Writer, editor and council member of Badan Warisan Malaysia
“Initially, I was going to write from the perspective of a Filipino domestic worker—someone who lives out on her own and isn’t a live-in helper. I did interview someone, but I needed to understand the nuances of the local dialect, the food and the cultural backdrop. I didn’t want to lose the gravitas in my interpretation. So, I went with a community and a voice that I was familiar with. Although I’m of mixed parentage, I speak Tamil and grew up in a traditional South Indian household, spending the formative years of my childhood in Madras (as it was known then). This landscape and the vernacular were familiar to me. I knew marginalised Indian women who have suffered at the hands of their husbands as well as their in-laws, and had to escape the abuse and carry the weight of their family on their own. Sadly, Ammu’s life isn’t an uncommon one. The part where I wrote about The Pit Stop was a wonderful establishment introduced to me by a friend, and where I’d volunteered with her a few years ago. It’s a place that offers a safe space for the homeless that didn’t just offer a hot meal, but where they can rest and are treated with dignity. I’ve seen humanity at its best among the people there; they share the space they have, and you’ll often find them in conversation with one another. Everyone there has a backstory, everyone there are just people simply looking for kindness.”
Writer and editor for The Lockdown Chronicles
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