I don’t even know if I’m a muted no you guys we’re good here so we realize yeah oh so we’re gonna turn off volumes off on the YouTube thing if we’re watching back on that and going to zoom hey guys how you doing thank you for tuning in welcome back to the long lockdown or saying these guys I feel increasingly like a talk-show host and yeah we doing all kinds of strange talk-show bits throughout this chat I’m joined by three amazing writers that I wanted to bring on today and talk about the theme of home and what it means to you maybe literally but also just in your work what does it mean a lot of us with kind of complex identities we always seem to be searching for home and where do we belong and right now with so many of us who are lucky enough to have a home or at home there would be a good chance to talk about it so we’re here got nikka shook la falta my boot door and Ruby core and guys I guess I’ll just start off by asking you where is home for you groupie yes okay home I I feel like for me the first time I kind of answered that question I had to talk to do when they asked me where is home and at that moment I was kind of moving around all over the place and I just couldn’t figure out where home was physically and thought I’m I feel like I’ve spoken to you about this I feel like I don’t I’m not connected to a physical place when it comes to home maybe because I was born in a different country my dad’s a refugee I’m an immigrant and we’ve moved the ton growing up and now my work makes me like I’m constantly moving and living out of a suitcase and so home has really kind of become has maybe always been of state of mind and always trying to make sure my mind and body are connected and when they’re connected better where I am I feel home well amazing amazing I want to chat to you in a bit about how you kind of get to that place of feeling at home feeling at home in your own skin layer and particularly with everything that’s going on right now I’m fired tomorrow what about you this is a question that you’ve been asked is this a question you asked yourself a lot either in your work or in your mind yeah it’s um it’s quite a bit of what Ruby said I was I was born in Afghanistan I grew up in Damascus Syria I’m from Pakistan so I grew up in Karachi but it wasn’t until I was older that we returned home and so home for me has always been a very romantic idea it’s a place of longing and a place of imagination more than being anywhere and as as a kind of rootless person that idea of where you are meant to be versus where you are is something that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about personally but but also writing about and I think actually for me home is not one place home is where people you love are and those people are always gonna be scattered and so we live scattered lives and and we have to imagine things in a scattered way I love that I also love the idea that you’re just touching on about this idea that the space the home occupies for you in your mind and in your writing isn’t the place that you are or a place that you ever reach it’s a place you’re always seeking so I guess it’s that kind of sufi idea of always you know being the seeker or yourself being the focus rather than ever getting there I said that’s that’s interesting I’m gonna come back to that as well in a minute Nikesh what about you please just say just for one word answer like how after that you know it’s that manager it’s not where you’re from its way right like in Bristol you grew up in London and there’s there is this thing about Greek you know my mom passed away 10 years ago this year and I often think that grief often freezes you freezes your relationship at the point at which we love you last had a moment of intimacy together and so I feel like home for me is London in October 2011 which is when

I moved out and it was like those dying days that I was I was living there and I was no I knew I was about to leave but I was sort of working around this with you know with those sort of tear-stained eyes going might take a mental picture this is gonna be the last time you you experienced this and then you know every time I go back to London now it feels like a place that belongs to other people now I don’t live there so for home to me is London to 2011 late great I’m already crying yeah thank you I mean that’s beautiful it’s kind of interesting though in whatever I mean none of you guys are tying your sense of home to a place and I and I guess and particularly like Nikesh and Baltimore for you home is a place that you can never get to in the way that you’re defining it you seem to have kind of made peace with that definition and actually redefine the whole concept of home it’s somewhere that you’re not ever meant to get to it’s somewhere in your past for Unicare sure it’s somewhere abstract for you for tomorrow and it’s the kind of journey of seeking it that there is a focus is it that journey of seeking home that kind of animates your writing and your fiction because for me I always feel that home is a place that we build through fiction home is a place that we make through our and in some ways do you feel like that’s what you’re doing I mean even you reap you’re saying it’s when your mind and body feel in sync I’ve seen the way you perform and the way you perform the way you recite your poetry is so physical it feels like your mind and your body are in sync is his writing is fiction an act of kind of trying to create a home and if and if it is is that a home for you or is it also for others right I mean I think what’s interesting is you know we were chatting off-camera about the fact that we’re all desi so our relationship to time is abstract and unusual and I think in a way maybe space – I mean for me fiction fiction is the place where I where I can put home down so I mean The Runaways was a novel really about where one belongs and the seductions of belonging and where we feel welcomed and those places might not be the right places or the safe places or the places we grew up in there might be turbulent terrain but but we seek them out because we want so desperately to be somewhere and so I think for me as a writer I don’t know if Nikesh and and Ruby feel this way writing fiction is the one place where I can have a one-word answer to your question where as in life as Nikesh said life you know the Karachi of 1993 when I moved there is not the Karachi of 2020 or 19 or it’s not even the Karachi of yesterday it changes so much I find I find that sort of people was so creations of home and how that how they depict home often often spin me off in two different directions trying to recreate something in my own in my own practice you know and you know segue into the The Long Goodbye but you know watching the actual film and watching the first act of the short film I kind of felt this strange nostalgia for my childhood I’m you know in a really visceral way that I hadn’t felt before like you know that the overlapping conversations the television constantly on like staff everywhere and then you move stuff from one room but you did enough to fit into another room where there’s stuff and I could smell the like it was it was so visceral and you know what I’ve been planning a novel for the last year I knew exactly what it was gonna be I had it down to a tee and I watched I worst The Long Goodbye and I was like you know what I feel brave enough to write about about home in a way that I’m not I’ve been sort of running away from in a real long time and I just i junked this thing that was ready to work on and just started waiting something really naturalistically but in this way that i just really wanted to capture my that thing that you’d kind of awoken to me segue into thank you man wow that’s amazing I’m glad I had that impact it’s weird isn’t it it’s when we kind of see those realities reflected it kind of emboldened us to also kind of speak about them it kind of emboldened us to say ok so it does matter that experience does count it is a valid space to explore which is which can be kind of tricky if you don’t see yourself reflected back in the culture right you often not sure whether anyone cares about that experience or if it’s you know you should be exploring that or not um I just want to touch on what you had

something to say a moment ago Ruby right when we were talking about whether is is home what you’re trying to kind of build through fiction is that what animates you is it that journey or is were you just at peace with with the home question and it’s other things what role does it play well I think that I didn’t mean to do it this way but in search of finding home what my identity meant I think I ended up finding my voice so when I started performing I was performing I was lost I was confused I’d like hit rock bottom it was like a really bad time in my life I was 17 or 16 and I just didn’t have any support around me in terms of family and friends and so it was that feeling of walking up to a microphone I don’t know and just hearing my voice and feeling heard for the first time that is when I feel most at home and I so often say that I feel so at home on the stage and for some reason over the last couple years I’ve felt so separated from my body maybe because life has just become so turbulent that I just feel like my mind and my body are disconnected and I’m working on that but the moments where I feel like the two do come together is on that stage that’s when I’m most present and I was laughing when Fatima was speaking earlier because this past summer I was having a conversation with her because I was been struggling with the idea of home so much and I asked her because I know she also lives between two places and I always ask her these ridiculous questions I’m like she has the answers I know she does and I asked her I was like so where do you feel more at home is it London or is it Karachi and she just looked at me and she’s like I always feel home at the place that I left behind so you’re always longing for the place you look behind and I just threw up my hand that I was like damn it all right fine which was a s I can relate to that cuz I feel like she put words to the experience I was having it was a little bit sad but it was also comforting so now I think about that when I’m homesick and it helps me just feel a little bit more at ease I love this idea actually of do you introduce Fatima of home being a feeling of longing yeah right it’s not something you ever necessarily arrive at but it’s something you’re always kind of seeking either in your past as you said Nikesh or the place you just left behind or something you’re seeking on stage I guess that kind of speaks a lot to this idea of heartbreak isn’t it if home is a kind of heartbreak I mean or a nostalgia right I mean the longer buy album is kind of framing this relationship with Britain relationship with country with the country that you call home as a heartbreak and so I guess I’m just wondering if if hollom is something in the past if home is something that you never quite get to is home also that feeling of heartbreak can you relate to that feeling that I kind of explore the long goodbyes of feeling like you’re going through a breakup with your home with your home country where you know the place or the people that you grew up with because it seems under your definition for thermite that’s that’s kind of standard home is always a heartbreak where is the I was trying to flame frame it in the angle in the album was this idea of okay this is heartbreaking because I’m being kicked out of my home or the place that I call home well that thought was my own so what’s your take on this father I just late to the party and it’s hot break what’s the deal I think and I don’t know if you feel this way but I I think that when we talk about love and the things we love that can’t just be one thing it’s not one static thing but that has within it intense beauty and intense wonder and amazement and joy but it has to include heartbreak and and pain and and for me the notion of home always did include heartbreak because I grew up in exile and and so as a young child I would ask why are we not home you know I grew up in Syria I thought for a long time that I was Syrian and my father was at great pains to remind me constantly that I wasn’t and and every time he succeeded he would then have to answer the other question which was well why can’t I be where I’m really supposed to be you know why can’t I be where I belong and that’s going to include some pain in it and that’s going to include some sadness but I was thinking about you raised and I I wonder if there is a moment there is a moment where you felt

your heartbreak with your country because I think I think there can be moments where you feel you don’t recognize the place anymore and then I also think it’s mad to expect that a place should be recognizable at all times but but it will of course turn on you and betray you and wound you like any other living thing might know like any relationship right it has those kind of ups and downs but I guess it’ll only be a heartbreak if you care about it if you do feel some attachment and some investment to that place I mean how you guys I mean just answer your question if there was a particular moment I don’t know if you guys have felt this as well I’d love to hear if there was a particular moment for you and you were like actually we need to kind of discuss this relationship you know we need to kind of have have that conversation for me I think it was around kind of 2016 with the election of Trump and also Briggs it I kind of found myself in rooms sort of you know probably well-adjusted successful people different ethnic groups saying I don’t know if I should stay in the u.s. I don’t know if I should stay in the UK even though I’m born here I’m not sure if I should have kids here grandkids by the time it gets to my grandkids will it still be safe here you know for people like me who look like me you have my religion and I thought that was that was hard breaking first because I never heard people at all like that secondly because I really recognized that as I thought that I had as well and so I wanted to explore that and explore that as a kind of Heartbreakers but I guess what you know into a point far to my every relationship shifts every relationship has these ruptures and every home in every relationship in some small way will break your heart so how how do you guys dealt with your home countries or the places where you’re from kind of breaking your heart have you had that experience and and how have you kind of worked through it have you kind of redefined your sense of identity from it I feel like well I feel like the both are true for me like the kind of experience that you’re describing as a heartbreak rizz and then this how thought the Mun describes home as well like both can be true at one time like I’m saying home as a state of mind but I also really want to buy a house and like make it wonderful and feel comfortable for me and so it’s like I’m pursuing and I’m believing both of those things to be true and alive at once and so I mean I’m from I’m in Canada right now and that’s where I was raised and so I feel like it’s a little bit there hasn’t been that breakup moment but I think the moment that I felt like oh I’m different is probably post 9/11 because we got a lot of you know the hey xenophobia also what came up here my dad who’s a truck driver and he is a turban bearded man and so to see his relationship shift with his work and him coming home and talking about where was safe to sleep where was not where was safe to pull over and where was not and then constantly like before that we didn’t really hear stories about the violence it was more so just like oh yes we’re here and then there’s racism and then a couple of other things but then it was just like we were under a microscope and so I think that was when I first started to feel like wow we’re really really other and what does that mean and that I didn’t see your sense of like actually maybe home is a shifting idea maybe belonging is something I have to find inside myself through my prefer eyes to my voice because you go back home and it’s not the you know it’s not the place that your parents described to you like I went back I moved here when I was four and then I couldn’t go back home till I was in a trance so I don’t know maybe I’m gonna say 13 years old and so I was like where the hell are really hello you spent 13 years telling me home was like this like this like that and this is like nothing like how you described it and it was because my parents were stuck in the years that they left and romanticizing that and holding onto that as a way to just survive and so we all showed up in like my dad’s village confused as hell and so I always try to keep that in mind to just home is totally so romanticized yeah it’s um it’s kind of inspiring actually to hear like you know all you guys are really successful at what you do as writers and you build these worlds and you’ve got these voices and it’s

kind of comforting to hear that for all of you guys the idea of where all is completely like it’s like well how long have you got you know what I mean like where do you want me to start it’s it’s somewhere that I kind of deliberately define as residing inside myself and it comes and goes depending on how in my body I feel or it’s somewhere in my past I can never get back but I can tap into if I really close my eyes and put on the right tune and smell the right smells at my heart’s house or it’s somewhere that I’m never supposed to get to and the whole act of making work is kind of seeking it out it’s kind of amazing because in a way it’s that disconnection from harm or that searching for home that kind of seems to be creating and guiding so much of your work and I would say kind of is what leads to such amazing work from people with complex identities or you know without with a complex answer to this question um I wanted to ask a little bit about how you feel your relationship to belonging or home or has shifted with this moment with everything that we’re living through right now I kind of wanted to just touch on his point like you know over the last few years as I said kind of particularly with about 2016 or so I really felt like I had to I thought visibility’s not enough you know people have to be vocal as well about their values in the face of all this rising intolerance and other Inga’s you put it repeat and so you know I start off sweatshop boys and we did that and I just kind of found myself whereas before I was maybe bite my tongue a little bit not great deal but a little bit now I kind of stopped doing that altogether and um and I kind of felt like I’m not a believer in tribalism that’s all right I don’t believe that the goal is like my team people who look like me who have names like me you have my faith or ever need to end up on top I just believe in kind of equality and sometimes you have to kind of get into the the vehicle of your identity right in order to help level that playing field I kind of feel like after Corona I wonder what role identity politics will play I kind of wonder if it’ll be even more relevant than ever or whether it will become less and less relevant to those of us who want an equal society because I remember people would say you know what racism won’t end until we have an invasion I mean I’d like to believe that true I don’t know if it is we can talk about that but Corona feels like the alien invasion right it feels like that thing that’s reminded us all we’re just all human it’s a great equalizer no matter where we come from do you feel like your work or how you kind of engage with your identity and stuff my really shift after this or what do you foresee around some of the conversations that that do you know you talk about in your work kind of evolving after this has it crossed your mind or yeah I’ve been thinking a lot in the last couple of weeks about who I’m writing for and at what moment and I think the thing that the thing of fiction gives me is clarity and the thing that prose gives me is a method of interrogation and I think I’ve just spent the last week working out that everything that everything I write doesn’t need to have an audience I don’t need to write to kind of put out into the world sometimes I can just look within and that’s okay and I’ve been thinking a lot more about just sitting with sitting with my feelings a lot more and writing stuff just just for me just to kind of give myself some sort of clarity in some sort into interrogation to how I’m doing and that’s okay that doesn’t need to see the right day I think I think there’s been so much to this sort of weird like hostile culture versus I just want to sit stare into space culture going on online and it’s okay to do and that’s what I’ve been thinking about not like it’s I’m not gonna be working on stuff that I’m gonna what the novel I’ve always wanted to write and I’m gonna sell it for millions and millions of pounds and I can’t just sit with my feelings and that’s alright I haven’t felt like that for a long time yeah what about you guys yeah how you feel how do you feel your work might respond to this moment has it already started doing that or are you still processing like where’s your head out because I feel that that kind of yo-yoing as well indication I feel like you know what I want to stay connected I want to stay engaged I want to kind of convene these conversations I want to start writing I also kind of feel like man I just want to like hibernate and curl up and go what the hell is happening you know and I do wonder how my work will change from this I think all of our work will probably change from this in ways you probably don’t understand but yeah I don’t know how I’d be interested in hearing how cuz you have to cancel tour

and everything how you’re envisioning that or maybe changing it moving forward but back to your other question well I was in the process of I’ve been in the process of writing my third book which the deadline is fast approaching and so I these months were supposed to be like the moments where I’m finishing it so I had all these like elaborate plans of where what sunny destination am I gonna go to to finish this thing that’s kicking my ass and the world is so funny because you know it just ended a full circle like this is a house that I left it to start off this journey of mine and this is like now where I ended back this is where I end up this is the last place I wanted to write this book you know with like my parents off and fighting in that corner and then a sibling doing this and the blah blah blah and the neighbors losing their mind and so it’s just really funny to me and so actually it’s I’ve been doing a lot of that yo-yoing – and I’m actually a little bit grateful and I’m just sinking into the irritation and the annoyance and the joy and all the emotions that come with that yo-yoing because I don’t know I just realize there’s probably never gonna be another opportunity in my life where the six of us come together like this ever again ever and so that’s kind of been the silver lining of it and so I’m still trying to finish the book it’s actually interesting cuz I’m writing the book the chapter I’m working on right now is about loneliness it is about that fear it’s about all the things that I think a lot of us are feeling so it’s easier to tap into for sure remember one well I just remember once croupier asked you like who are you writing for do you have a clear idea of writing for me remember we kind of were having a chat this chat or the dinner once and you were like and you had I remember you had a very specific answer to that question and I just wonder I mean it doesn’t have to be a cons answer that you share it may just be something that privately guides you but do you feel like that might shift or that might evolve in the wake of this this lightning ball that has reminded us that we are all the same and we’re all in it together what does will this lightning ball will probably affect different people in different ways so it’s still about you know seeking out yeah I think it’s made it more clear for me like I started to write for myself as a form of medicine to try to process the experiences I had in life and then what happened was somehow and at a publishing book and then I had this like audience and throughout that time I was like you know you have to make sure that you stay true to yourself and your writing for you blah blah blah but I couldn’t stop the people from coming in even though I thought I was doing a really good job of it they had broken down the doors and the gates and whether I like to admit it or not I mean now I realize it but I had suddenly stopped writing for myself and now I was writing for the people at I’m writing for my publisher as I’m writing for my team my manager I’m writing for the people who are constantly like where’s book three where’s book three where’s book free and so I think who I’m writing for just became clear because I know I’ve been trying to write for myself but it’s so hard in a busy world where there’s so many expectations and now that the world has stopped and there was a moment of pause and stillness I’m forced to come back to myself and so a couple of days ago I was having a total messy breakdown and I was on a call was the zoom call with a bunch of other artists and they were just like when was the last time you felt happy writing like you really really just enjoyed it a hundred percent and I told them I was like the last time I felt a lot of joy writing was before I got published which was five years ago well and she though said okay so I want you to just take a second you’ve been doing these this workshop and I gave on IG live I gave everybody this prompt to write a letter and she’s like I want you to use your own prompt and write a letter to yourself from 2014 before you published and it’s been like one of the most therapeutic things that I’ve done and I’m just trying to remember that every day so who I’m writing for has become more clear it hasn’t it’s just changed back to who I was supposed to be writing for and I hope that doesn’t shift because so easily without us realizing it can shift because the external world sort of takes over amazing so beautifully said yeah I’m sure we can all relate to that can’t we is that sense of other people entering

your creative process for second-guessing their reactions and responses how do you guys deal with that for tomorrow how do you yeah well I wanted to touch on something Ruby said something you said R is I think you know writing I don’t know if you go through this when you’re working on your albums but or Nikesh I wonder if you and Ruby agree with me but it is a lonely occupation it’s a solitary occupation so for a lot of us whose job is to sit in a room quietly for seven hours a day I feel lucky to be able to new my work in the middle of this strange and surreal moment but then to go back to what you said earlier is about identity I think it’s so interesting that you wanted us to talk about home and especially at this moment where it seems that half of us are divided between people who are lucky enough to be at home and the other half who just aren’t you know we’re talking also about countries like India like Pakistan where this pandemic is presenting itself in unusual ways in new ways so we’re not just seeing people wonder how they’re gonna stay sane at home but we also see migrant communities migrant workers subsistence workers daily wage workers who just don’t have the luxury to be at home or who cannot get home and how this moment has forced all of us I hope to think about others to think about people who are incarcerated I mean it’s it’s it’s something I think about because I can’t remember the last time anyone else had to collectively think about prison populations because the population at risk now affects all of us which should be the case in healthy times but but just never is you know and so we’ve seen you know countries like Iran like I think Jordan even they’ve released prisoners in Pakistan a lot of provincial courts have given orders to release prisoners but the Supreme Court just stopped that and people are talking about it and I kind of wonder why we’ve waited for this to talk about it you know why did we just clung to our identities for so long when isn’t the thing to do to drop them to just be a million identity that wants which is what we are anyways but yeah and I saw there’s some conversation right now about Rikers Island prison in New York which I kind of researched a lot for the night of and if there’s a conversation happening there about inmate should be released or not a lot of people in Rikers actually awaiting trials they have never been found guilty of anything so but in a way kind of way of saying is that well at least what I’m kind of taking when we were saying is that what’s happening right now with corona reminds us that we’re all the same we’re all in it together we only think about each other but also the circumstances of what’s happening are really showing that actually we’re not all in the same boat at all it’s really kind of throwing up the inequalities in our society and in a crazy way something that I’m worried about is how after this yeah you know what kind of world will be being will we be in a world that is more equal or more unequal you know I said a world of closed borders or a world of we’re all in it together people become complacent like right now everyone’s like it’s easy for us to say oh we’re all in it together we’re all in it together but then the moment things go back to the way that they were and we’re comfortable in our lives again we just become complacent yeah and so how do how do you not become complacent how do you make sure that people remember it’s a good it’s a good thing to remember this moment where we require everyone to be well in order for us to be well I mean I I agree with you Ruby I’m slightly terrified at the moment this is over everyone wolf again and we’ll just go back to looking inward that is that is the fundamental isn’t it like our well-being is interconnected our well-being is something that we have to kind of calculate realistically it’s not just about my well-being it’s about we are one organism you know I don’t know if we will be able to forget this anytime soon to me this feels like the kind of event it’s like what you know World War two scale event you know the whole world is going through this together think that you know what’s gonna happen to our economies and you know the lives that may be lost I think this is one of those moments when we’re gonna kind of reimagine certain aspects of society and I guess yeah like in the face of all that can sometimes feel a bit daunting about like what the hell is our role in that you know the hell is me saying in my room writing have to do with that or is it actually an absolutely essential

part of it if kind of what you’ve been saying is you know through your pens where you you’re creating home is is not is possibly is now the moment where we can really dream up a home through the pen well we can co-create a vision of what the future can look like right well I think what this has shown us is how like fickle capitalism really is and so clearly it didn’t work it doesn’t doesn’t work so are we gonna go back to how things were I don’t think the world can so I agree with you on that but then what does the next thing look like and I think that’s really interesting as well yeah I I’ve been thinking about how this is helping me to be more present and I think being present has been the last few years when it comes to like you know you’re thinking about I’ve got to get this so I’ve got to be in this place I’ve got a you know working to do X Y and Zed but you know I’ve got to two kids and having this opportunity to build a relationship with them was really really incredible at the moment because I get to be present with them and that for me has been a real eye-opener I’ve been thinking less I’ve been worrying less about the future and no I’m worrying less about the past and actually just being in the moment being Windows to people is that that moment then there’s all the matters to that you know so it should be it should be the only thing that matters to me in that moment that’s beautiful Nick it’s beautiful are you homeschooling your kids nagesh yeah yeah we are we get stuff from from the from the school that you know we go through and we’re kind of also you know today I we took them on a virtual trip of new to New York to kind of you know because you know all the websites that are opening up their digital doors to kind of show different exhibitions and stuff and so we kind of curated a day a day out in New York which is quite fun you know while concentrating on the spate of having to exist in the space we can take those opportunities to do go on flights of whimsy and you know utilize our own imagination and that and that’s kind of the fun thing about being a writer is that I get to I get to use my imagination in ways I haven’t in a really long time that you know that idea of play yes degree yeah I’ve been trying to like because I get so trapped in work work work go go go thinking about the future in the hustle culture that I have been trying for a long time to like escape that and have my romances play and this is definitely this definitely helps because there’s many moments when there’s nothing to do except you know open up an old box of you know old art supplies that I haven’t touched in years or old books and so ya know but that is isn’t that a great lesson I mean because that’s essentially the only way to survive anything is to focus on the moment and to be there for what’s happening then and to take everything day by day I think again it’s one has to keep saying how lucky we are to be able to do that huh and there’s an incredible privilege and we’re incredibly fortunate to go day by day but it does feel it does feel like a strange pause doesn’t it in some way and I I really hope we’re able to sustain it although I kind of feel like I’m still doing what I always did in a way which was yes I feel like it this is the same I’m like I realize I socially distant all the time no not about it because they somebody’s telling me I can’t go out I know this is the last two weeks have really done I’ve really shown a lot of people in various creative industries that a lot of meetings just be emails yeah and they can be done and that’s that’s been interesting do you guys have a routine you tryna stick to a routine you’re just sort of taking these day as it comes well and I struggled for the first little bit just felt like everything is soup you know when the future feels like it’s foggy then it’s harder to make sense of the present and so I wasn’t really sure exactly how I can help what I can do turn our way we can help is by just staying home you know maybe trying to provide some distraction some connection for people

and now I’ve come up with an absolutely insane kind of like for like writers trying to figure out technology that’s never gonna work so um yeah I mean so basically now I’m just like getting up at 8:00 trying to like just get my head right trying to meditate I’m really bad at sitting still so I’m trying to get better at that so I’m trying to do there that try and do some creative work from nine till twelve and at twelve I work out with a friend on on skype or whatever and having someone else there except bounce off and to just push you is just it’s really the highlight of my day really just getting to kind of move around yeah then I’ll have lunch and afternoons for for emails and stuff I’m supposed to meditate again at 4:00 I don’t do that that never happens what really happens that’s what it’s supposed to happen what really happens is I have a bit of lunch I get my phone out and I go down a kind of news wormhole or a social media wormhole and then I feel kind of anxious in the middle cause someone then you’re worried about family and you know all that kind of stuff and really I guess that before I’ll be able to stick to any proper routine I’m trying to just put my phone down a little bit mmm crazy it’s like that’s the only kind of connection yeah I’m on my phone more than I’ve in a very long time that’s the last thing that the planet that humans needed right was a push towards living more on their phones and feel like this virus is gonna make it worse because now all these I feel like industries and corporations are gonna figure out find out ways for us to like hold a bee on it more in case something like this happens again I know we’re not trying to stay on there our phones but can I just say if you are on your phones then it would be great if you check out this series that we’re doing which roofies been a part of ana cash is gonna be a partner we talk about it man it’s amazing what’s up so son of my hair is another karate writer and sure at this incredible book called a woman like her which is about can deal below Chan it’s about honor killing and celebrity and virality in in Pakistan and sanam had a bunch of events lined up for that book now and I am supposed to be on runaways paperback tour which is about a bunch of people who run away to join Isis so these are all like really uplifting topics that I don’t think anyone wants to talk about during corona but we found ourselves kind of stranded and we were thinking you know this has happened to us what’s happening to a lot of younger writers to writers who maybe are coming out with debut books or you know who works on projects for years and now they find themselves drowned under this CNN news wave and also we were wondering about lowliness and what do people do when maybe they don’t have people to check in with and so we reached out to a whole bunch of writers who we love and who we read and who were curious about and including rupee and Nikesh and and asked them to read to us to just make small videos where they read to us for three minutes either from their own books or from books they loved or from both and we’re sharing those online so our screen time is really like it’s out of control but it’s called stay home stay reading and you can find it through the hashtag on Instagram we were trying to convince rizz but maybe you can do like some of your some of your music or some of your own well you know that’s one thing I have to admit is I’ve always had I’ve always I’ve never really been a massive reader I’ve just never developed the hobby I always found it hard to sit still I always had quite a bit of like kind of a DD going on and I was kind of you know it did well at school but I didn’t I just the act of sitting down to read it’s something I’ve never made part of my my daily routine of my life if I always felt like I’m sitting down I should be writing should be writing lyrics or making something rather than absorbing and it’s something that I’m just kind of trying to turn the corner towards more now so actually maybe that should be my kind of Corona commitment to myself is read man try and read some books it’s amazing that you’re doing that for tomorrow what what are you guys kind of reading right now to kind of help you yeah digest to escape what’s going on right now handily I’ve got

loads of books here at my desk so this this comes out in Kate Amara I just want to give it a plug it’s called sway by pradya agrawal it’s it’s an it’s a nonfiction book about unconscious bias it’s really really interesting really readable book about unconscious bias so calls again knickers sway unraveling unconscious bias and I always say just because I have them here that reminds me by Dara cabooses a really beautiful book of poetry about mental health debut by Paul Mendes called rain by milk and my dear friend Nikita Lalwani has a book called new people that comes out that’s basically a thriller about illegal immigrants working in the restaurant in the restaurant economy in North London it’s really amazing so those are the books I just want to give a shout out to that amazing amazing recommendations why you had them at the ready wise Nicola said yes to doing this talk so how many of those do you publish how many of those develop okay by the rest of you guys there anything that you’ve picked up boy that you’re hoping to pick up I’m getting some book recommendations in the comments guys in the comments if you’ve got any book recommendations or if you’ve read any of this stuff there’s a great poem Riz which I which I think you should read actually it’s written by a Assyrian poet called nazar Ambani and he writes this beautiful poem and it’s there’s a section where he talks about living in England away from Damascus and his mother would send him letters and inside the letters she would place tarragon which is a which is a herb that reminded him of home and that they used to inspect his letters and they would call Scotland Yard and say what is the meaning of this thing in your letter and what is it code behind it and he writes in this poem about trying to say to these investigators that it means I miss you you know it means come home it means when your you know your your family thinks of you your home thinks of you and they kept searching for this sort of explosive message of the tarragon so I think that should be on your reading list okay I actually have a copy of that once on you I love Barney I think he’s gonna have one of my favorites yeah told me to check out the returned by Sean Murtagh that’s very good – yeah yeah similarly about someone kind of returning back – yeah yeah that sense of longing learning a pattern with what you’re into here for tomorrow yeah what about you repeat I am reading I just started this morning I started when things fall apart by I’m gonna pronounce her name wrong Pema Chodron she’s I think she’s a Buddhist teacher it’s been on my desk for a while that’s one of the new books I picked up I’ve been avoiding reading anything triggering okay because I know you want to find stuff that’s a bit more Morgan yeah or something that I already something that’s comfortable so actually I did I went through a list for stay home stay reading I’m reading a lot of Sharon old poetry as I’m you know trying to write and then I’m reading a lot of there’s this like really funny there was one evening this week or maybe it was last week I was just having a really bad night and then I just read these really funny comments they’re comics about adulthood because I think I hit like I like left school and I was like why I’ve arrived like with my little degree what’s what what’s next and then I was like wow they all liked me there’s nothing I know nothing and so that’s kind of yeah we do feel like we’re living through that moment isn’t it oh yeah we don’t know anything I’m getting some great recommendations in the comments here Nikita gills poetry Nikita join us earlier also post-colonial banter by sohail omens or amazing spoken word always here from the UK just mercy yeah a lot of amazing kind of recommendations guys because some Alisha fog Chiron keeps coming into what’s that tell us about that this is one of my favorites that I I don’t know if I included in a stay home read stay reading but this really great book about so Lisa spent 10 years writing this book and she went and she lived with three different women and the book just talks about desire and sexuality and what that means to these three different women and

it’s just like one of the most striking and gutting prose I feel like I’ve read in a really long time one of the girls or women in the story is a woman who as a 14 year old her teacher had a relationship with her and so how she was kind of Houston from society because of that and then there two other stories and it’s just it’s really beautiful on some of them most like getting that of course I bread so this is one I’m revisiting as well well amazing I’m trying to just make up you know if you seen that scene in succession where there’s a dinner party and he goes what are you reading right now and he just kind of makes up a fake book yeah it’s called guys just before we kind of like you know left I wondered whether there was anything no matter how sure that you guys might want to share and read so everyone is tuned in I know rupee a lot of people would be very eager to hear anything that you wanted to read of your own work but not to put you on the spot if you wanted to read anything for anyone else is it could be really brief it could be a sentence it could be a paragraph you’ve all I know have lots of books and unlike me remote control I didn’t bring anything which does the problem so I don’t know if there’s anything that you kind of well I just want to point out that both Nikita and Prague Yahoo Nikesh mentioned are doing readings for stay home stay reading amazing and wait and just remind us how can we get on the stay at home stay reading you just follow you it’s it’s sanam on instagram and she’s at top bastard or it’s me and I’m me and I’m at F Berto or you could just follow the hashtag which is stay home stay weeding and you’ll find the videos that way okay pull something about to pull out a little something yeah so I’m going through the page proofs of my next book which is out in we’re supposed to be out in February but it’s now been pushed sorry it was supposed to be I mean in September there’s been push there everybody’s called brown baby a memoir of race family and home I was just read a little bit from the opening paragraph how to bring you into this world I never considered becoming a parent myself until my mom died I’d like to think there was a moment when the switch flicked on or the force field came down or the upgrade happened between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. plugged into a power source Wi-Fi switched on there was nothing like that nothing dramatic happened there was no tearful staring out over a field of bluebells no pristine cake chewing revelation no need to cement my legacy you didn’t appear to me in a dream I didn’t read a saccharine poem about inheritance I didn’t hold a friend’s baby and have that big final chorus and Barry Manilow’s and looks like we made it or up to my head you just arrived one minute your mom and I were getting drunk at Christmas and the next there you were in my arms Wow adulthood really is a myth really dynamically amazing so when is when is this book is it out now in the kitchen no it’s come here in February 21 it was first command there are a lot of books that were supposed to be on now though being pushed to the autumn and so we got it so the decision you know crowd people not not overcrowd the book buyers we like more staff so maybe a call wait beautiful can’t wait amazing rupee did you have something to hand that you wanted to share yes I will I’m just gonna share I think this is the one that’s probably most relevant it’s just the last one and my book the year is done I spread the past 365 days before me on the living room carpet here’s the month I decided to shed everything not I’m deeply committed to my dreams the day I refused to be a victim to the self-pity here’s the week I slept in the garden the spring i rung the self-doubt by its neck hunger kindness up took down the calendar the I danced so hard my heart learned to float above water again the summer I unscrewed all the mirrors from their walls no longer needed to see myself to

feel seeing comb the weights out of my hair I fold the good days up and place them in my back pocket for safekeeping draw the match cremate the unnecessary the light of the fire warms my toes I pour myself a glass of warm water to cleanse myself for January here I go stronger and wiser into the new love that take the mirror down from the wall no longer need to be seen you know yeah is interesting isn’t it it’s that now a lot of us is always kind of been we’ve had our audiences taken away you know how good or we are sitting with ourselves how good are we when there’s no one to kind of validate us and give us that round of applause and where there isn’t an audience can you can you still be an artist without an audience I don’t know that’s just one thing that just popped into my head as you were saying that that’s really beautiful rupee is that the last poem in your last book that came out yes yeah this is just a hardcover so it looks a little bit different than the paperback I don’t know where that one is amazing beautiful did you know of course my absolute pleasure phantom oh you didn’t you said you didn’t have anything to her you know what I don’t have the runaways with me annoyingly but I did want to read you a poem that I loved and I used as an epigraph for my last novel and it’s a poem by Nazim hikmet and I think it’s it speaks to what we’ve all been talking about and it’s a tiny little verse which starts my country I don’t have any caps left made back home nor any shoes that trod your roads and I’ve worn out your last shirt quite a long time ago it was made of Sheela now you only remain in the whiteness of my hair intact in my heart in the lines of my forehead my country beautiful just to end on thoughts of home yeah thank you so much guys it’s been really inspiring conversation it’s really beautiful to hear how you know your complicated answers to where is home I’ve actually inspired such incredible work they inspire so many people and it’s really it’s really beautiful just to hear the kind of you know your human experience right now I’m dealing with this crazy moment we were living through I’m not sure what lies on the other side of this crisis that we’re all facing but I think that you know your voices and your pens will be part of kind of writing the next chapter of what we will are living in together so thank you so much thank you for taking out a time everyone thank you everyone who tuned in and yeah we’ll be back for another long lockdown on Friday we will be going in depth on The Long Goodbye album with Bilal Qureshi so tune in with any questions everyone stay safe stay home wash your hands you

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