As an Indian brought up in the UK I had always struggled to create my own identity, embracing both my roots and British way of life. This personality conflict started at a very young age when I would go to school and hear all my peers talking about British pop music. As a young child growing up in a thoroughly Indian household I would find it hard to relate, not knowing any of the music on the BBC top 40 music charts, with the only music being played in my house being the ’Golden Oldies’ or the latest party songs both from Bollywood.


In my growing years I started drowning out my parents’ music with YouTube videos of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. I didn’t really like the music or the lyrics I was just trying to “fit in”. To try to be part of a crowd whom apart from my age I had nothing in common with. One day, on a long car journey with my mum in her car listening to her so called ‘Golden Oldies’ I realized that this was my kind of music and that these were the lyrics I could listen to for hours on end. Fast forward a few years and I am now the in-house Bollywood DJ in my house, enlightening my parents to the newest tracks in B-town.


Music became the materialistic object I needed to realize that fitting into and being part of a country doesn’t just need to be through tangible things such as knowing the pop culture or wearing “British” clothes. I could be British through the value system I adopted. At this point I also realized that you don’t have to be part of just one culture, you could be part of many and you should embrace all aspects of your heritage and culture. Whilst my British education gave me the freedom and thought to explore my personality and understand myself, my Indian culture gave me an undoubtedly rich social life. The innate fight I had with myself every time England played India in a cricket match was ended when I realized that I could support both, and that no matter what I would win. The concept of winning both sides has so far brought a solace to my teenage mind that I don’t think will be broken by another discord. So now when anyone asks me ‘Where do you belong to? England or India?’ I hold my head up and proudly say that I BELONG TO BOTH.