When your meddling Asian ‘aunty ji’ (i.e. every Brown lady in East London) asks why you’re not married at 35, apparently, telling her that “it seems the love of my life got stuck in a condom” is not the correct answer. A gasp, followed by the facepalm gesture and some muttering under the breath of how education has ruined girls is likely to follow.
My education has never been the problem though. I am, what you can call an ‘accidental lawyer’. I spent more time in school dreaming of a magical pen than practicing cursive writing. I was the fat tomboy with the awful ‘80s haircut whose idea of exercise was merely walking to the fridge and back. Yes, I was THAT annoying child aiming wet ink at her maths teacher’s white shirt. I was, in short, the child with no hope.
I’d have quite happily skipped my education and settled on working as a nail technician, but I lacked the requisite skill. I eventually took inspiration from Bollywood’s ‘90s movies where lawyers were only required to argue with their opponent and say “I object your honour” to each question asked in cross-examination – a legal career seemed rather straight forward. I somehow coasted through college and university, never really thinking I’d make it to the end; but I did. You can call it luck with intermittent hard work, or simply a blessing from God, but I eventually qualified as a lawyer and was dubbed the ‘accidental lawyer’ by my siblings. An accidental lawyer that would later fall in love with her work as an advocate for human rights.
I was less useless at home. Whilst my parents were as liberal as they could be, I did the “good Muslim girl thing” and was fully domesticated by the age of 12. I entered the world of femininity, lost my ’80s hair and eventually cut down on my trips to the fridge. I did however maintain my fat girl humour.
Whilst my nail painting skills may not be on point, Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) I have a good career, my chapattis are round and I can make a killer biryani – so why the heck am I single? Is it the Leo stubbornness that won’t let me settle for anything less than a soul-deep, electrifying connection? Am I too British for the Muslim guys? Or too Muslim for other guys? Is it my potty mouth and filthy mind or that I dare to hold an opinion? Am I just batshit crazy or do I deploy defences to keep the good men away? Is it me… or is it them?
Stay tuned to find out…
The Accidental Lawyer