Ready to vote?

(Article published in Hindustan Times Next)

Tomorrow, May 7, is the polling day for UK elections. As an Indian living in the UK, I am excited about being given the privilege to vote.

 According to recent reports in the media, there are nearly 45 million voters in the UK of which 615,000 are migrant Indians. No wonder major parties have been trying to woo this significant votebank by visiting places of worship and displaying Bollywood-style gimmicks. 

april 2015

Where is the spring and the summer…


I was in India in early April and everyday my mailbox was flooded with emails about the arrival of spring in the UK. Pictures of parks in bloom, news stories about an impending heatwave and promotional deals on spring wear from high street retailers made me dream of returning to a warm and sunny UK just a week later.

Now UK weather is notorious for being unpredictable and it can be sunny, rainy, chilly and breezy all in a single day itself. I understand that UK’s weather is determined by a constant tussle between the cold air from the Arctic North and warm air from the Tropics in the South. However, knowing this is one thing and dealing with random weather on a daily basis is another. I grew up in India’s capital New Delhi where weather largely varied around expected times of the year. In February, my mother would neatly pack away woollens and these would resurface in our wardrobes only months later around the arrival of winters. Here in England, we never really pack away woollens. On many sunny and seemingly warm days I have stepped out of my home in summery clothes, only to be deceived by chilly winds accompanying the sun.

But this time, I wasn’t disappointed. After I returned from India in mid April, it was perfectly warm and sunny for a week or so. I was glad that my toddler was able to spend more time outdoors chasing butterflies and running around the neighbourhood park. Few things make me as happy as a weather forecast for a bright and sunny week ahead. Very simply it means we as a family can go out more often, without having to pack varieties of jumpers and jackets. But even before we could celebrate the arrival of spring in full zest, the British weather gods changed their mind and it was suddenly winter again in the month of spring.