Blogpost written by The Eaghams
This short story explores British-Asian identities in London, the generational gap between the previous generation who emigrated from Bangladesh and the British-Asian youth born in England. The style of this short story includes satirical insights, and reflections on these people.
His dad was strict to a fault, always, judging and mocking his son, staring at him, so that anger had built inside of him. What about what I want to do? Thought Imtiaz. He was obliged to carry on in the family business as an introverted expression and token of love, actively. The restaurant, a waiter, to help his dad who insisted he did so. He felt that at home with the set up, the terrace built conversion since the 70s.
His views were as limited as the window panes in his small room. He felt frustrated but believed what he did, he was secure. He was well established, cemented foundations. His dad insisted he took 'serious' subjects at school and university when he sat down to talk to him. His dad believed severely that a degree in the History of Art, or The Classics, would not gain employment, when careers are so varied and creative these days. His father's strictness showed a kind of limited view which robbed his son of the richness of all possibilities and freeing the artist that lay dormant in him.
His dad kept the same decor over the years,attesting to his being set in his ways. He joked about charging extra money to his customers in the restaurant, who were of a similar mindset. Although he loved money, he didn't love life enough to splash out every so often and have a merry time. A cheapness attributed to Asians who would come from abroad, who were practical, hoarding plastic bags, brick-a-brack, in their lofts. He had too much in the way of this baggage. He had such an eye for a bargain, always brought in other relatives in business for the cheapest deal, always the warehouse and the market deals where things were done on the cheap. Had not the affluent Middle East inspired him with all it's new structures and architectures and all it's splendour? Holidays were holy days, from which the word originally came from: they only went on holidays to countries of their faith. There were airers available yet they still hung their clothes on pegs indoors, the biscuits were limited to 'toast', when there was a dazzling assortment in the supermarkets. His sister had imitated the melodramatic attitudes of Indian cinema in the fifties, accentuating a self pitying and weak attitude in Asian women. She was given an arranged marriage, it was fairly amicable, a Pride and Prejudice introductions thing, not just a mere formality.
The Boy From Bath
by The Eaghams
This short story is an observational piece, depicting the middle class from England, exploring the Londoner's identity in relation to middle England. The characterisation will remind you of people we have all come across. Read this one to explore urban forms of masculinity and femininity.
I was on the train eavesdropping on a boy and his girlfriend on my way back to Victoria. They came on from Bath. He talked to the girl in a way that mimicked a girl in it's niceness, perhaps it was chivalrous courtesy. I would imagine his father would address the opposite sex in the same way, the same predilection for detailed opinions on cultural items of interest, a nerd of the over cautious gentleman, it was purely BBC Radio Three, and he wore on his sleeve his appreciation of the arts, it was articulated in such splendid detail that it bothered my urban and brazen ways as being unmanly although it was frank in it's almost tender honesty. It was sensitive and elaborate, the predominance of intellect it was not, as he was collecting experiences and attending various dos. It was as if he used language to script his life with such imagination that it clarified his experiences into gratitude, not greed, he was almost a writer. His girlfriend listened in a staunch and nice way, they were one of a kind.
He had not any hint of cool in his expression though he was self-aware, to take the South London expression, he was always on a 'long ting'. He got about but how he understood everything was long and nuanced. He was basically a nerd, and when at work he spoke in a soft nice tone on the phone, giggling delicately, his broad shoulders hunched over the phone. I wondered if the two in their imaginative and intellectual life world together thought of other people from other walks of life. If she cared what I thought of the boy's words, perhaps she preferred someone cooler, more understated? Did she know other people from London like that? I wouldn't want to vex her boyfriend, and she was quite insular, angrily introverted. Perhaps he would address me as 'man', being an Asian Londoner, known apparently for our blend of social identities, nothing short of cool, compared to the country bumpkins of middle england, where there's no sight of me for miles around.
© Zubyre Parvez 2016 All Rights Reserved
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WRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Taoist Crucible. His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEagham