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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Don't be mocked by "the Mock".

I can really empathise with this time of year when young people are taking mock exams, it can really lay down routes for the future. It is not just the exams but support and encouragement they received that shapes futures too. In my last book I touched on topics such as teachers putting children down and mocking their dreams. This adds further stress to the whole process. If a child is told they can’t go to university or they should aim lower they will believe it and it can shape lives in a negative way.

I feel very strongly about this issue which is why I wrote my book and I am taking it further with another project which is launching a home tutoring business with a difference. Not only will I be giving academic support to to people taking GCSE’s and A levels in English and Humanities subjects, I will also be offering mentoring and career guidance. During the mentoring and career guidance process I will help children turn around their negative thinking and help them to  make dreams come true. My tutoring will not just be about the academic preparation but also the mental and emotional preparation not just for the exams but for the future.

I have been through the exam system and been told that I will never set foot in university and I should do something mediocre. Many of my teachers would be surprised to find out that I am writing books. Together with my own siblings I'm living proof that the demeaning beliefs drummed into you don’t need to shape who you are.

As well as the exam system I’ve also been through the society pressure of getting that phone call on results day asking how many A stars you got. My sister even had someone with a pen and paper at the other end writing down all her results for every subject. With my tutoring and mentoring I intend to help young people overcome issues like this and believe in themselves. There is a preview of my book at the end of this post for personal tutoring please send me a personal message at mayapeec@googlemail.com or through social media.

See all 2 images

Sunday, 29 November 2015

1448 was great!

To continue from the last post, my weekend as a Runner on the 1448 Design Team was beyond awesome. The theme for the first night was “ I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” On the first day I didn’t get the full 1448 experience due to juggling this with a day job but I definitely gained invaluable experience from the time I spent. My lunch hour was spent making poo tentacles and cutting material for neckerchiefs. When I returned in the evening it was a long but fun night with a happy and hardworking team that made every moment an amazing experience. We were on our feet all night running around but we had a lot of laughter in the process. Between running around I caught a glimpse of some of the acts and wow what amazing talents from the writers,actors and directors. I got in at 2am and caught a few hours sleep ready for the next day.


Even with less sleep once I walked into The Y the energy of all the people around me woke me up. The theme for Saturday was “no pain no gain.” I felt on Saturday I fully benefited from the whole 1448 experience  as I was there all day. There was never a dull moment and every job was a brilliant learning curve. My own jobs involved helping to recreate  the Narnia scenery, providing baby props and creating a baby bump for a pregnant lady about to drop. There was a part of 1448 that nearly got me into trouble with my mother with the naughty words I was asked to write on a pizza box, my defence being it is for Art. With the tight deadlines to meet and sleep deprivation every body's spirits  were always high.


During the technical  rehearsals I got a mesmerising further insight into the talents of the actors and directors and had the pleasure of sharing chips with them at dinner. I was blown away by how all of the people involved are not just talented and dedicated but always very humble people, a rare quality to find nowadays.


I felt all the plays had powerful messages in them and the actors really showed their versatility from being able to switch between comedy and tragedy. Without being involved as a writer or performer this time I feel this experience is going to change how I hone my own Craft. I heard so many great reviews about 1448 to the point where I was raring to get involved as a writer. I felt by getting involved this time as a runner on the design time I would gain some insight about the whole 1448 concept. I gained more that that and would do it all again.


When the show closed and we moved onto to the after show party without sounding cliched there was a lot of love in the room. Everyone appreciated each other and everything was possible because of people's spirited can do attitude, nothing was a chore.


I feel like I have returned from Narnia myself as the experience was surreal and I’m raring to do it again and have started counting down to the next one. I would love try other disciplines however working with the design team was amazing and I was proud to be a part of it.


Thursday, 19 November 2015

1448 can't wait!

I'm really excited about my latest creative endeavour as a Runner for 1448 Leicester. The concept of 1448 was brought to the Y Theatre  Leicester from Seattle by husband and wife creative duo Amy and Bob Christer. The concept is to write and perform fourteen plays in forty eight  hours. The theme is drawn out of a hat and the writers have till very early the next morning to submit their finished scripts for the actors,directors designers etc to put together, then perform  over two evenings.

I attended the launch event this evening and the creative energy is infectious. It is both fun with a discipline element to it, as there are tight time constraints. This is a brilliant opportunity for local artistes in the community to showcase their talents. Tonight  I met some amazing people from different walks of life and am looking forward to what the weekend has in store for us all. This is my first involvement with this festival but it has been running since 2013. When my brother Rishii Chowdhury a well known Musician told me about his own involvement I was intrigued and just had be in on the excitement.

The theme is " I've got a bad feeling about this". As I am writing this the writers will be writing their scripts ready for submission at 8am tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see what these talented individuals will come up with and am looking forward to my role as Runner. I will return over the weekend to share my experiences of this much talked about festival.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Divorce- A celebration?


Following the interview  last Sunday I then was invited to make another radio appearance, this time on the Graham Torrington Late Night love Show on Monday night. I had to pinch myself with this one as I grew up listening to that show. I've always been a fan so that phone call with the invite to appear on the show was a dream come true.

This time the discussion was around is it wrong to celebrate divorce? My view on this was, being released from an unhappy marriage is like being released from a jail sentence and getting that decree absolute makes it final  putting a green light on being able to move forward with your life. When Graham Torrington asked me how I felt when I got mine, for me it was just a formality as I knew the marriage ended. We then talked about can it be seen as a failure. To this I responded it takes guts to leave an unhappy marriage and referring to my interview the previous night, life is for living not existing.

Graham then asked me more about my book The Divorce Toolbox and what is the first thing to do when the marriage is over. I referred to the earlier chapters around practical matters that people completely forget about in the stress of it all, such as changing pin numbers on bank accounts. I have friends who look at bank statements and find thousands have been drawn out of their accounts as ex's still had pin numbers several years after the marriage.

The discussion closed with what is the last thing to do when the divorce becomes final. My view being rather than last but a continuous process is to keep moving forward with the life.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

A Toolbox of Insights!


It was an honour to take part in Arshia Riyaz’s  show Midlands Masala again last  weekend, some very stimulating insights on the subject matter including  is nine months too early to end a marriage, are people giving up too easily and with the increase in celebrity divorces are they setting  a bad example?

I was amused when Arshia introduced me as the author of The Divorce Toolbox and am I someone who helps people to get divorced. To this I  replied that  I guide them through the process. When Arshia asked me my own view about Imran Khan and Reham Khans divorce within a few months of marriage I felt we need to look at the route of the problems, which is society, not just our Asian community but society in general puts pressure on being married . There is still a stigma attached with courting or living together. A perfect example is recently when Chukka Ummna went for labour leadership he was harshly criticised for having a girlfriend in his thirties rather than being married. Something I advocated was encouraging dating and living together so that people get to know each and don’t rush into getting married before their ready.

We then went onto talk about the time factor that do people give up too quickly as all marriages have problems. I then raised the issue from observing my parents generation, is that people get stuck in a rut and before you know it twenty years have gone by and people are just existing not living. In cases of domestic violence for example the sooner the better in my opinion. In my own book I touched on how time never comes back. There is a huge difference between trying to rebuild nine months as oppose to say thirty years.


The debate then moved onto are celebrities setting a bad example with the rate at which they are getting divorced. With the example of Imran Khan a high powered politician and Reham Khan a successful Journalist the two careers can clash. Being married to someone like Imran Khan there is a first lady role to fulfil. Not all women would give up their careers for their husband and why should they have to. I feel celebrities are setting a good example, if your happy why exist when you can live.

Overall I enjoyed being invited on this show again and giving my input but still strongly feel even though we live in the twenty first century society can still be very narrow minded and judgemental about divorce.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

All About Timing.


Exactly this time last year when I published my self help book "The Divorce Toolbox" I was also invited on a radio show to not only talk about the book but also discuss the topic "why is divorce on the increase in Asian society." Following Imran Khan's recent announcement to divorce after just nine months of marriage the same radio show invited  me to take part in a discussion asking the question "is nine months too early to end  a marriage and how long should we give a marriage before making that decision?

There will be other guests taking part in the discussion and listeners are are very welcome to phone in and  give their input. This is a very thought provoking topic that can be approached from several angles with a variety of insights. As someone who is divorced and written a book on it I certainly have many of my own views on this and look forward to sharing them with listeners.

The show is BBC West Millands 95.6 a show called Midlands Masala with Arshia Riyaz. Tune in on Sunday 1st November  at 6:30pm (UK time) look forward to hearing from you.





Monday, 14 September 2015

Revisiting the results

This time of year really takes me back! When the A level and GCSE results come out and people move onto pastures new. There is the aftermath of the grilling you get. I have touched on this issue at great length in my new book as it affected my childhood. Even if you feel your results are good enough for your path, society has a different view. The first social event you attend in the Asian community calender can be like a results day in itself. The comparison shopping of who got all A stars, who got into Oxford, who's doing medicine etc.

Looking back on all this now I have finally realised this is not even half the battle of life. I still reiterate maybe someone did get more A stars than you but what have they contributed to society? Being an Oxford or Cambridge graduate does not make you a better person. Just because someone's life may appear perfect these appearances can be deceptive.

In my collection my poem "Results Day" and story  "Behind the Scenes" I tackle this issue in depth and hope my readers will find strength from it. Anyone who has an event to attend following the aftermath of results day should walk into that event with their head held high. So what if your results are average it is not hurting anyone else, they are not paying for your up keep therefore its none of their business. Not passing an exam is not a crime.

If people are now at school, college or university doing taking a path they were not hoping for such as resits or  a degree course through clearing look forward to this journey, never feel ashamed of it. Having to resit exams does not make you a failure that should be excluded from society. On your first day in your new job,course etc walk in with your head held high. You are doing something productive for your future. All the best to you all on your new journeys.


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Reflective Summer

As we are well into the summer holidays now I am still amazed at the year Nishka and I have had. There have been highs and lows,darkness and light. In reflection the following poem came to me during a bus journey about a week ago;


We Got Through!

Got through the year,
not without a tear.
Outwardly a smile,
inside a trial.

Would the next phone call
lead to a fall?
Trying to keep track
watching my back.

Digging in the knife,
cutting into life.
Constant pacing
heart,mind,body racing.

Amongst the low,
a lot to show.
Moments of pride,
no need to hide.

My little angel growing
inner goodness showing.
Refusal to demise
sparkle in the eyes.

With every ounce of mettle
fighting each battle.
Not giving in,
when luck wore thin.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

Race of Spirit


Last  weekend along with three other lovely ladies I completed the Race for Life and raised money for a very worthwhile charity. I’m so happy I made it to the 10K finishing line in a total of one hour and thirty eight minutes. Taking part in this event has given me so much on many levels. As I said in the previous post I feel inspired to know survivors of the illness and it is with this pride I took part in the event.

I have become a lot fitter from taking part in the Race for Life and had fun along the way. The last seven years took its toll on my own health and I feel by training for an event like this it has kick started a healthy fitness regime that I intend to maintain even though the race is over. If anyone is struggling for motivation to get fit and trying to juggle it with other commitments I strongly feel training for a charitable event is the way to go. It actually forces you to go for that run and not just talk about it. I found myself fitting training in around school runs for example. It also helped that while I was training for Race for Life Nishka was also preparing for her Taekwondo grading something which we do together.

On a social level I have also gained a lot from race for life with the new friends I have made. iIhave learnt a lot about people and the value of friendships and trust. It may sound like a cliche but been around other people can make you look at yourself in a different way. It makes you think of how you could improve your own life or how your own problems are nothing compared to someone else's.

I would like to round off my post by thanking my family who supported me throughout this event, my parents were at the finishing line taking pictures. Nishka even trained with us and my siblings and brother in law were generous with donations and helping me to promote the event. I know I have already mentioned the ladies I trained with but I cannot say it enough about the journey I have been on and the new people that have come into my life. I have kind of been on a very spiritual journey.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Time for The Big Race!!!!

During the long gap I had from blogging I mentioned that I have been keeping very busy. Amongst the books and usual mummy mania etc I have also been training for the Race for Life which I will be taking part in this Sunday 5th July at Victoria Park Leicester at 2pm.

Cancer Research is a charity I strongly believe in and feel proud to be supporting the event. However the cancer victims I know are actually survivors of the illness and still live to tell the tale which I find very inspiring and it gives hope.

I have an aunt who fought the disease and survived, she proved to be stronger than the cancer itself. This same strength was passed onto me in my dark times and I consider the women I know as true role models, by not giving up. The mentality they took was basically to tell the cancer to **** off.  I hope anyone reading this post will find this very heartening.

At the weekend I plan to do 10K combination of jogging and walking with some lovely ladies who I have met on this journey. Please show your support for this event by making a donation at http://justgiving.com/mayapeechowdhury.

Friday, 3 July 2015

A strike of knowledge!!!

In the last couple of posts I discussed my new book which looks at bullying amongst many other adolescent issues. My own childhood has shaped how I tackle issues as a mother. Whether a child attends a private school or state school, regardless of the area bullying is inevitable, which is why I am arming Nishka with some survival tools.

Two years ago Nishka and I took up the Korean Martial Art Taekwondo. At the weekend Nishka got promoted to yellow tag which I am really proud of, she worked hard and showed focus. However I always drum it into Nishka that Taekwondo is about more than progressing through the belts. When dealing with a bully it may not always be necessary to physically fight back but knowledge is power.

Having the knowledge can put someone in a different mindset where they can even stand differently and feel in better control of a situation. I strongly advocate children learning Martial Arts from a young age. I took up Karate at the age of fourteen and am doing Taekwondo now and I can also say having this knowledge helped me overcome a lot of problems. As one progresses through belts in Taekwondo we do something called "breaking" which involves smashing a hard board barefooted. I have done this myself a few times and it makes me think if I can smash a board I can do anything.

The years spent at primary and secondary school lay foundations for life and issues such as low self esteem and self worth can leave scars for life. This is why I give out a strong message of taking up some sort of martial arts from a young age. Another message I would like to give in this post is quoting a poem in my latest book "a bully is a coward." Practising martial arts gives someone the courage to accomplish anything.




Monday, 29 June 2015

The Pen Strikes Again!!!!

In my last post I introduced my new book Embarrassing Siblings,Playground Taunts and other Growing Pains, which is a semi autobiographical anthology of poems and short fiction based on my childhood experiences. This collection covers adolescent issues that are still close to my heart such as bullying,racism,eating disorders, low self esteem, early puberty and many more issues. The bullying issues I cover in this collection  are not just describing fellow peers but also teachers. My siblings and I all have experience of having our dreams mocked or being met with negativity. The headteacher at my primary school told my mother that I would never set foot in a university. He was right I did not set foot in one university but two with two degrees to show for it.

While I was being mocked, picked on etc  behind closed doors I had an outlet to vent which  was through my writing which has led to this collection. In some ways I feel the playground bullies, boys who called me ugly and teachers who gave me the "slow walk" title should be thanked. I have learnt to channel my negative experience into something positive so I thank them all! I hope that particular headteacher reads this post or one of my books! The pen is mightier than the sword I have chosen to fight back in the way I know best, with my words.

This is the message I tried to convey when I put this collection together never give up on your dreams and don't follow the crowd. Another issue I touch on in my anthology is how Asian society often have a low opinion of you if you are not a doctor for example. My take on this is being a doctor or having any academic qualification does not make you a better person. If anything many of these people are unhappy behind closed doors.

I have already performed some  of the poetry and short snippets of the fiction at book readings and local festivals. As intended buttons have been pressed. My collection is available on Amazon as a print or kindle format. Enjoy and be inspired.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I'm back!!!

I know it has been a while, which maybe putting it mildly. When I look at the date 27th January when I last posted on here, I know why I have left it for so long. At the start of February my long seven year battle finally drew to a close. I cannot actually believe I am writing this but I feel I have been given my freedom back from what felt like a life sentence.

It is mainly this closure that has impacted on posting on here. On the one hand it feels like I have been given a life line and can look to the future. On a physical and emotional point of view these last few years have taken its toll on my mind and body. There is an strong sense of severe exhaustion that has hit me to the point where at times I feel like a zombie.

When others have not been through what you have it is easy for them to judge but going through a legal battle like this does take its toll on your mind and body. I don't want to look back but when at every angle you are fighting  and stripped away of all your rights, never mind feelings it it puts stress on the body in very extreme ways.

I remember some of the days in court when my heart would be racing, I would gasp for breath and go for long periods of time without eating or drinking, no wonder it is catching up with me now! Often I would do a full day at work then afterwards have a solicitors appointment or grilling assessment with a psychologist, then have a child to take care of. I guess this has tired me out but also made me want to just de-stress myself a bit now and take it easy.

Life has not completely quietened down though I still like to make some noise. I plan to be up and running with the blog again and will go into the other excitement in my life. As a kind of introduction to the next post here is a flavor of what I have been up to. Despite the turbulence I have brought another book out. More to be revealed in the next post. Literally watch this space for more.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Poetic Feast.

Last weekend I gave a poetry recital for our Assamese harvest festival celebrations Magh Bihu. I perfomed two poems, one had a couple of stanza's in Assamese that I sang. The second one really provoked some thoughts, which went like this;

In a rush to update your status.

There is a hook,
called facebook.
In a rush,
to update your status.

Your dog got a fright,
what you ate last night.
Feeling ill,
use facebook as a pill.

Your flashy car,
will take you so far.
Flying high
but living a lie.

Your Prada bag!
Is just a rag.
making amends
for having no friends.

You dined at the Ritz,
secretly in bits.
Jumping on a bike,
to get a like.

To celebrate the material
is so trivial.
A small mind
is the state of mankind.

This attention
has no retention.
Social media
has made us needier.

In a rush
to update your status.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tropical Detox.


This is the time of year when people make resolutions around better health. The excessive over indulging and taking it easy can leave the skin and body feeling sluggish with a break out in pimples. The weather at this time of year does not help matters. However it is the time of year when sales are going on, so good health does not need to break the bank.

Tropicskincare is no different when it comes to sales but you also feel like you have made a trip to a spa. It is the kick start to overall health that everyone needs at this time of year. I reiterate it is not just a skincare regime but a way of life. The natural products penetrate through the whole system drawing out toxins, making you want to take better care of yourself. The products are vegan and chemical free with all ingredients listed on the packaging, so you know what you are putting into your body.

For a detoxing spa experience without the celebrity price tag check out the latest sales and offers at https://www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/mayapeechowdhury