There was something unique about growing up in Hounslow in the late ‘90s. A stone’s throw from Heathrow Airport, this largely working class London suburb was home to the spectrum of the English capital’s diversity, comprising airport workers, migrant labourers and second-generation families integrating into British life – all without wanting to lose a sense of their own inherited identities in the process.
I spent the first 20 years of my life there; one of these second-generation immigrants whose parents had relocated to the suburb in the ‘80s. Among the rest of the South Asian, Black and Eastern European communities that lived in the town, we made our own Hounslow identities. We took trips to the Treaty Centre on the weekends, picking up CDs from HMV and watching Bollywood films in the local Cineworld. We ate jalebis from the Indian sweet shops and worked in the library and for the local pubs. There was always friction, but there was also a sense of belonging.
Read the essay on the Quietus.
[This piece was published on 15/04/22]