Episode 17

Dhipa continues to discuss her book "Written" covering domestic violence, restrictive beliefs...

Episode Notes

This week Roksana and Dhipa A. Lee continue their conversation as they delve into her book, “Written”. Written depicts the life of a young girl, Eleanor born into a complex family where restrictive religious and cultural beliefs bare the landscape for painful experiences and decisions. Written is a beautifully told story of Love, Secrets, Betrayal and Honour through the eyes of a four year old girl, the reader travels into adulthood with her.

Roksana and Dhipa read extracts from the book to fully understand the concepts and beliefs of the character. Dhipa shares an inspirational message of hope that we each have the capability, opportunity and choice to create a fulfilling life.

As with first episode, you’ll continue to learn:

•           That Domestic Violence should never be tolerated

•           You are in control of your life despite the challenges faced

•           We have different experiences in life, and that makes us unique

•           Through loving yourself, you have the power to rewrite your life story

D.A. Lee is a Bangladeshi-born British author, artist, and poet, best known for her novel ‘Written’ published in 2019. Raised in a small town in Lancashire, England, Lee describes the cultural challenges of growing up in a Bengali household whilst navigating a western world.

Lee’s novel, whilst fictional, draws on many of her own experiences of growing up in a Muslim family and explores the underworld of cultural expectations, arranged marriages, honour, abuse, and domestic violence that often limit women’s choices.

Lee first started writing as a form of self-healing through the challenges of home life. The word ‘Written’ had become a poignant theme throughout the book, a word often expressed culturally to describe the notion of determinism and predestination adopted by most traditional Muslim families as a common explanation for events in life. Lee takes us on a journey through her character Eleanor, a young girl caught between a web of family secrets and lies where she comes into conflict with these values.

Today, Lee is an advocate for women’s freedom of choice and encourages women to speak out and seek help if they feel they are in danger.

You can find Dipha Aziz Lee on…

Website www.dalee.co.uk

Facebook https://business.facebook.com/DALEEAuthor/


[Roksana] My guest on today’s podcast returns for the second time. Dhipa Lee is an author who wrote ‘Written’ in 2019, which is a semi-autobiography about a girl born in a constrained culture and into a family who struggled with integrating their girl into a Western culture… she ended up agreeing to marry a man who was equally insecure but also held a lot of power over her. The story depicts the life of a girl from eventually breaks free but pays a heavy price of being misunderstood and estranged by her family. Dhipa is here today to share the reality of her own life, her own upbringing, the struggles and similarities with the character in the book, ‘Written’. Welcome, Dhipa!

[Dhipa] Thank you Roksana, good to see you again and good to hear from you again.

[Roksana] Welcome to the show. So I would love to find out a little bit about your own back story and you know where… I know that the book was a semi-autobiography, but it would be really good to know just from a reality perspective of how your life kind of started off and the key events that happened in your life to shape you to become the person that you are today.

[Dhipa] Yeah absolutely. Ah, so my background, really is Bangladeshi, so my family originally were from Bangladesh and my father arrived back in the 60s. He set up a restaurant here and my mom she and I and my brother arrived and in the 70s, so I was about two years old when I first moved here with my mum and settled in the UK… and we grew up my group in the in the North of Greater Manchester in this small town, and it’s sort of set in the Hills on the Pennines, so everyday I would be able to you know walk to school and very close and see the Hills and then the Pennines in front of me and that was always my starting point and in the book if you- when you read the book you will see that scene and the setting that you know it’s very much very country sort of small town place in the North.. you know the Hills you know gave me a lot of inspiration for the book because when you look across the Pennines in the Peak District, you will always see clouds hovering over and you got this sunlight coming in and it was a real place for me to dream. Being in the North, you’re in a town where there’s really not a lot going on and it really gives you a lot of time to think about things and the Hills were always a place for me to look out onto and actually think about you know where I can go and what is beyond that Hill? What you know, what is that town? I wonder what that looks like over there, and wonder what it’s like to walk across to that street, I can see people walking I wonder what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, and you know growing, you know with my family, pretty much just very just us really… my mum and I really at home a lot of time and you know she would often talk about her dreams and what she would like to do and I would always wonder why she couldn’t have her dreams, you know why can’t she have her dreams you know her dream could always be to go back to Bangladesh and live there or be with her family there and everything, and I couldn’t understand it. So some of the inspiration from the book was you know this idea that you know my mother always had this you know she wanted to explore she wanted to do things but she couldn’t do it… she felt she hadn’t she didn’t have any choice and the reason she didn’t have any choice was because in her world and in her belief system, every single thing was written by Allah in a certain way and that you have to accept your fate and your destiny and what has been written for you. As a little girl I found that really hard to swallow… I couldn’t see how that you know you had to just accept everything, what everything? Everything? You know and I would sit there looking out the window and go everything? You mean like everything? How do I just sit there and accept everything? So if I fall I accept that and if somebody shouts at me I have to accept that, and if somebody does something wrong to me I have to accept that, is that real? Is that for real that’s how God wanted that for me? Every time my mum would go through any issue, and there was a lot of issues (I won’t go into them), but it would always question the sanity in accepting it. You know why, why do we have to except that, you know why does she have to be accepting of her mistreatment in any way? That can’t be right.

[Roksana] So you had a strong sense of right and wrong and almost a wisdom about you at such a young age to know to question because who does when they’re that young? You kind of accept what your parents say and you roll with it and you have no reason to question it, but the fact that you were already such a young age questioning your mum’s views about accepting the good, the bad, the ugly and almost like I guess it was almost this kind of sense of resignation that life is what it is and actually there is no real sense of you being the director of that life… you know it is already being- steps have already been paved for you, you just have to go along with it.

[Dhipa] Yeah but what I felt as well from the whole- my experience with my family and my relationships and the community was that this idea of resignation which was a really great word that you used there, and it doesn’t feel real because when you- when you choose accept that’s your life, you’re not really accepting it. You’re putting on a front and you’re saying to the world, okay this happened to me but the effects, the psychological, mental wellbeing affects that are being suppressed because you’ve chosen to go, “well I’m going to take a beating, I’m going to accept this abuse, I’m going to accept this this way of thinking,” you’re just suppressing something… you’re not really enjoying the experience, you’re not fully involved in experience… you’re just accepting it because that’s what you feel you have to do, it’s not a real- you’re not really choosing that.

[Roksana] Not a choice, that’s exactly what I’m saying, is not a choice, it’s this or nothing. You know I have to make do with what’s happening to me.

[Dhipa] That leaves you very numb, and even in my own experiences that left me very numb… you know when I decided to go and to go ahead and marry somebody that wasn’t really suitable for me, you know I went down the path to please my family and go right with tradition and and try and uphold their honour and all of these cultural beliefs that you know and expectations that were really thrust upon me… but I just know that the choices I was making were not the right choices for me, in that the feeling of emptiness, of numbness, of sadness, of complete- a complete void, you know just it just felt like I wasn’t really experiencing my true- truest form of myself. I was in pain and that’s that just makes- that’s when I feel like your life starts to decline your real the real value of why you hear what you’re doing here, and the option that you chose and whether they really right for you. Because when I moved away from it eventually, when I chose to move away from that, I experienced amazing miraculous feelings. The sensations of wow this is what it’s like to make choices for yourself this is what it’s like to walk out of the door and feel your real value, this is what it’s like to do a job that you really enjoy, and all the pleasures I was now feeling was just phenomenal. I wrote the book because I want to people to explore those ideas for themselves… you know when they read when they read a lot of what’s going on in Eleanor’s life, you start to get a sense of she’s really thinking with through and she’s really processing what’s going on. Every obstacle that she hits, she’s presented with a choice- do I do I you know still push through with my exams or not, do I try to please my family or do I just please try and try and achieve what I’ve set for myself? You know do I please my family and you know get married, or do I try and find the right way forward for me? And all these choices that she’s making she’s coming to this realisation that the real choice is in you… you know is the real inner wisdom is in you, and you need to speak to your Golden truth and I always say Golden truth because it- when you- in the book, the idea is that you sometimes you hit an idea and it could be, “I wanna start a new business,” or “I want to do this painting”, or “I wanna look really pretty today”, you know any just pretty small things you know it can be can be made of and then something happens and you go yeah I want to dress up really nicely today – actually, no. People will say I’m ugly, people will think – what will people think of me if I dress like this, what will people think of me if I did my hair like this? Oh, they might think I’m a whore, they might think I’m being too pretentious… and all of these ideas start to take that little shine away from you, that little Golden light which actually brought you to this feeling of I feel so good if I did this…and slowly it chips away until the point you got forget it. I’m not going to do my hair, who’s going to notice me anyway? And you forget it. And I really like the idea to bring together you know my expression and my writing with that- with honouring that idea first. Tour inner wisdom and your inner Golden truth is a shining light that’s inside of you, you’ve got to give it room to shine and let it be there. Keep allowing that idea to give it room and space… and you know obsess about it if you have to, you know for a while obsess about it. Obsess about that business or just about that thing that you wanted to do and just give it room, give it space because it’s that that actually creates this real feeling of “I so love being here, I’m so meant to be here.”

[Roksana] What’s really interesting and what as you’re speaking the thing that I just found so remarkable about you and your story… is that you went what you went through, but let’s not skirt over it, what you went through from childhood and then the marriage that you were arranged into against your wishes really but you went along with it and then you endured in that marriage, you were at the receiving end of emotional and physical abuse on a daily basis, you had no choices… and you were told… things were said to you you by your family and your husband at the time that would diminish the light in any human being. They are enough to stop most of us in our tracks and give up on life completely, because what’s the point then? If I am not not somebody who is able to make a sound decision for myself, if I’m not even asked for my opinion to decide something so crucial in my life in terms of marriage, and then once I’m in that marriage I have to ask the permission to go on a work event or to decide what I want to wear or when I want to go outside the house, these are all things are completely controlled by another human being and I have no choice and no voice in that, and I think what is so remarkable is that despite all of that and there were many events that happened, micro events that happened within those the years of your life, you still had hope you still have this view that “I need to find the choice in this situation, what choice am I presented with here?” And I just find that remarkable… literally like how- you know when we have those negative thoughts and those a beliefs programmed within us by our parents and then by other people that are unhealthy, those tend to takeover our thinking you know we don’t think for ourselves, we don’t trust our judgement about- the thing you said about the Golden light, and I think about Oprah Winfrey used to talk a lot about this resounding “yes”. You know when you want to do something and there’s just this resounding “yes” then it comes from a deep place within you and you know you want it. Most of us don’t even have the quietness and the stillness to hear it.

[Dhipa] It takes a lot of courage and a lot of work to to find it, to actually find that ability to go yeah I’m gonna do this, this is what I’m going to do. And it was not by any means easy for me either to go through that- I’m actually… you know in the book you might hear a lot of this inner self talk and sometimes the character is trying to talk herself out of this situation or she’s hearing all of these things from her seven year old self… you know which is saying no you’ve got to do this for your mum and dad, you’ve got to do this and it takes it takes a lot to navigate what these cultures and the societies and family upbringings can bring about in you… so by no stretch of the imagination would I think this is an easy thing to do but it’s so worth. It is so worth it to strive and pursue that because really, the way I see it and I said this to my dad when I was growing up, you know what are you gonna say to yourself when you get really old you know but about what you’ve done? What are you gonna say to God? He gave you this time on earth you know to really enjoy earth and enjoy everything that it has- what are you going to say you did on your holiday if you don’t do anything on this holiday, on this journey, on this short time that we have on this planet? Is it the idea just you know doing everything for everybody else and not for you? Is that exactly what’s fulfilling is that what everybody else will remember you by? No, you know your real time here is very very short and it is worth it… it’s worth fighting form it’s worth fighting for that allocated slot that you’ve been given you know which is a miracle in itself.

[Roksana] That’s so beautiful. I love the way that you put that: this allocated time that we have. I think one of the things that I know that you experienced throughout your life for periods of time when you felt quite estranged from your family, the family that you grew up with especially, during the time of the marriage and the turbulent years that you had… although you did try to go instead with relatives at certain points to have some respite and to have some breathing space and maybe hope in the hope that they may offering you a get out of jail card, if you like but that never really happened and I wonder if you’d like to explore a little bit about and female advocacy in the Asian culture and how you navigated that and how you made peace and reconciled with the fact that your family were actually not there for you when you needed them.

[Dhipa] So I’ve always felt like I am in a way an alien in my family… I’ve always felt that I am watching, I’m an observer and I’m watching what’s going on around me. I’ve almost kind of like dislocated if you’d like and detached from my presence on earth and I’m watching all of this going on around me and when I- always, this sensation always got was am I invisible? Because people don’t seem to understand that physical violence, hurting somebody is never right. It’s never right. How can that be such a minor elements in in my existence? If I’m not safe and I’m not healthy and physically safe, then how can that how can that be treated in such a trivial way? And I think the reason why a lot of the time in these cultures it’s just embedded into their into their ideas it’s a bit like become… I don’t know what the word is but when people become so so neutral to something, when they see it so often that they become just yeah… this is what happens and this is… yeah, she’s probably to blame for it because she obviously upset him and that’s the reason why this happens, she wasn’t conforming to something and that’s why this happened. There is this I think in women in in this culture, I’m not saying everybody I’m just saying a lot of these families, pretty much reinforcing these truths you know for themselves. Often you know you hear them, well this happened to me too you know you know new obviously and it happened because I did something wrong or they are almost allowing it to become normal behaviour for men and rather than picking up a fight and going how dare you and why did you allow this to happen and how could you, how could you let this happen, you know they they take the other stance that it’s definitely the girl that’s the problem you know… every part of my being was saying there’s nothing left of me if I’m not alive. If I’m beaten then there’s nothing to honour anymore there’s nothing to be proud of anymore… if there’s no light, then there’s no point in this marriage you know and my family have found it very hard to come to terms with this idea that I was not gonna tolerate this abuse or tolerate physical abuse. I wasn’t gonna tolerate being controlled to the point where I couldn’t leave a room unless I was given permission and there was just something completely foreign in that circle and that surrounding that just wouldn’t agree with me… it just wouldn’t agree with me because my family just seemed to think that it was this is what happens in marriage, this is what this is what you need to suck up and live for… and I placed.. it wasn’t so much that I placed value on my life, but I felt there was so much I’m here to do… there’s so much work that I’ve got to do while I’m here on planet earth, that I couldn’t let those things go and the one thing that was really coming back to me time and time again was that if I’m not alive, how am I going to allow those things to happen? If I’m not safe, how am I gonna allow those things to happen? And one of the things that really was a crossing point for me was when I fell- when I fell pregnant and that was really when I came to the crossroads, was what do I do now? How am I gonna survive this? You know how am I gonna bring up a child if I’m not safe myself? How am I going to you know survive- what will happen to my baby if if I don’t survive and if I’m not safe who’s gonna look after it? And that was just that just became too much for me and it’s a bit like when you’re on a plane and they say that before you secure anybody else’s seat belts, make sure you secure your own first, and it wasn’t a huge moral decision I had to make but I wasn’t going to allow myself to die in a situation where I had to be responsible for somebody else and I couldn’t.. I couldn’t do that that was when I realised that in every situation there is a choice and the choice that you need to make is loving yourself, loving the value that you place on being here and the reason why you’re here.. you’re here on planet earth not just to live and learn and all these things, but you’re bringing something everyday, and you need to show up with everything that you have with all the grace and all the love and fill your cup to the point where you are ready to live and take that and you know go forth with that. Everything else, I mean everything else will figure itself out, I mean at the time when I was making these decisions I was saying oh gosh what are people going to say… I’ll never get married again, people will never love me, people hate me, people will not like me you know I’ll be disowned forever, and all of these things and yes just an extent I have been but at the same time I’ve realised that that you can still love people you can still love your family despite the disagreements and things you have. You can still say to them I love you, I know we are different we may have different opinions we may have a different police system you know we may have different way of life but we can choose to love each other still and not hate each other if we still love each other and just gracefully take our journey that we came here to take and I- and I really feel that many of us need to not just go with you know the flock of sheep and actually just take the stance of I am here and all the things that came here- you know I fought for this life and I need to live in the way I truly believe it’s me.

[Roksana] Wow. That’s amazing. I think one of the biggest things that brings pain to most of us is this notion of expectation of what should have happened and also in terms of family, how I think this is the cross cultural but everybody thinks that family should all be the same. And I just think actually what if we’re all not meant to be the same? And actually that’s what family is. That we are all just very different characters having to figure out life together and therefore accepting all the different nuances that we’re presented with on a daily basis and learning to navigate those an accepting those an just loving the beauty of the differences that we all share.

[Dhipa] One of the things that always say and this is what I really believe and this is what I aspire for my family too, is a family is a community of people that love each other unconditionally… they are the people that yeah you have you have fights, you may bicker, you have differences, you have you may have differences of opinion, but at the end of the day, we love this person, we love them without any need to take it personally when they choose to do something different, when they choose to explore something else… and I think a lot of the things that I would like my family and my extended family to start to rethink their lives… is this idea of honour and that we attach so many ideals onto people that if they don’t meet those ideals and expectation, they’re just instantly cut off from the family or you see women being shamed and you know men being told for example that you know they’re not man enough because they didn’t you know do something which was culturally expected… and I think if we can you know start to send out messages that there is no need to feel afraid to be yourself, you know, love was unconditional, love was something we were brought up with, you know we should embody everything that we have in us to be filled with love and I’m not the and not start to attach- well this person didn’t do this so I don’t like them anymore, this person didn’t do this. We can choose to have be free of that and actually go this full of love does not mean that I no longer love them because they they have a different way of life or different way of thinking. Who can choose to just maybe not hang out anymore, we don’t need to change somebody, do you have a total disliking to somebody because they just didn’t have the same journey of patters of beliefs that we have?  And the other thing about this as well is you know anger, the way I look at it, is it’s like a ball of fire… every time we get angry were holding on to this big ball of fire and then you know we hit somebody with it you know by saying something or shouting at them, and we throw the anger to them, and they are now holding this big ball of fire of anger and they’re going now I’m angry too because she said this to me and now she’s made me angry, and I feel that that sort of anger is constantly being- this energy, this negative energy just goes around and it loops around and it just goes from one person to the next… whereas  with love, if you come from a place with love you know everything that we strive is actually because of love, because we want- you know even when we’re feeling depressed it’s coming from a place that we needed love and you know love is what actually heals a lot of that you know a lot of our- it dissipates all of the anger so if we choose to forgive like a lot of people say how you know how did you deal that with your family you know being you know, in this situation how did you reconcile that? I don’t dislike my family… I still love my family, you know they they are still the people that I you know respect and you know I respect their way of life and respect their ideas and I respect what they needed to do, where I get the divide is where I need to protect myself, what’s the best way forward? I can still love them… I could still I can be different to them, but I need to find ways in which I protect myself.

[Roksana] Have you been able to do for yourself that your family weren’t able to do for you? I spoke earlier about advocacy, female advocacy, I know that you turned to different relatives at different times to seek refuge and support and try to have an alliance and for somebody to just say yes this is wrong, and it didn’t come for you in the way that you needed at the time that you needed. So how have you since then created that resilience if you like, to be there for you in the way that you need.

[Dhipa] The way the way I look at it is it’s not their fault, actually, you know a lot of the things that happened and their beliefs and their story- everybody is coming from their own story, you know, whoever you are in the world, whichever community, whichever race, you can only be defined by what you’ve heard and what you’ve seen and what you’ve experienced and yeah, in a way culture has given a lot of the backdrop to that as well, and so when you realize that they are only speaking from their onwn truths and realities, you realise this wasn’t anything personal to me. I don’t need to hate or get upset with them because this was not their fault. My own mother is a complete example of this, because she was married when she was 12. 12 years old, a child of 12 years old gets married to a man who is 20 years older than her she is then moved pretty much within a very short time frame to this country and you know is expected to live and serve my father and bring up her children in a country where she cannot speak English you can’t read or write in English… and all she knows is what her mother has told her, which is that you have to accept life as it is and you have to accept what God is giving you gracefully, accept what’s been written and when you think about it, of course she’s going to raise up her daughters and her children in the same way because that’s her truth, that’s her reality, that’s what she knows, and the reason why you can’t be angry with anybody and upset with anybody about the maybe the way you felt you been mistreated or misbehaved… because they come from this place where that was what their reality was, and that’s why they made the decisions that they made… the only way you can change that is actually go, right, this is what happened and it happened because of this, but now I have a choice: do I want to face the same reality for myself, do I want to accept those things for myself, or do I want to go? Let me take a quick look at the vision of my life in the future and go, this is not what I came here to be. I wanted to do- these are the things I want to do and it’s going to be a struggle sometimes, because a lot of people with their own stories in their own backgrounds in their own reality will probably say no, this is not the way you need to live your life, but they are only people that came with their own stories. So you’ve got to go, what’s my story? What can I do to rewrite and shape my story? And that’s what I think you know the first opening chapter when you read it, that is the concept that I was enlightened to as a four year old, and remember sitting at my other window you know how in our house with my mum, and a plane is flying over the sky and my mother is upset, sad, and she’s longing to go back to Bangladesh for example, and she says you know well there goes another one, I’ll never be able to go back, you know, and she’s crying, and so upset. And I say to her, why can’t we that? She says it’s because it was all written, that all life is all written, that’s you know- that’s what I have to accept. I’m never going to go back to Bangladesh, I’m never going to see my family again or  see anybody again and I just remember feeling, as a four year old, like how is that possible to believe? How can I accept that? And I just remember thinking, I’m not gonna accept this, you know? I wasn’t born for it all to be written for me, I’m going to write it. And  I remember that was – that truth that narrative and that is my real narrative goes all the way through my life, it’s a question I ask at every single Cross Road that I come up against. You know all these ideas people have been great but we can choose we can choose which way we want to take a pass for ourselves what feels good in that moment and what we want to carry forward with is actually you own it. It’s nobody else to take away, it’s yours. I’m just- I just want to be able to convey that it took me 40 years actually for me to come to that point where I realised that for myself a lot of mistakes later… a lot of tears and a lot of grief and a lot of sadness to actually go, actually I do have a choice. I do have a choice. I can actually choose and choose to do things and even just to wake up in the morning for example, instead of listening to that inner critic that says you look ugly today, you look fat, you look whatever… you can even from that point you can choose and go: no actually you’re somebody telling me that. That’s not how I need to choose to deal or you know the path I wanna take today, negative or positive. I’m hoping that when people read read the book they actually can really be drawn into some of these ideas and how it can really be uplifting for them. I know it goes through a lot of sadness, example of sadness but I hope that it gives them courage to actually fight for those tiny little wins that you know you’ll get in a day … you’ll get a lot of bad days and a lot of horrible things happen but you can slowly chip away at all the good things and just you know get there, get to what you really came here to be and do.

[Roksana] Definitely. I mean, I think you are so eloquent in the way that you share your reality and what you depict in the book. I think you’re absolutely spot on about making choices and recognising the fact that you have a choice at every juncture in your life, every single day, every moment, every thought that comes into your head, you can choose to believe it or you can choose to create some new narrative for yourself that serves you. Almost like the perfect way to for people to kind of take away a tool that they can use in their own life to think, OK I have a choice here, I have many choices actually if I choose to recognise the choices, cause part of it is being able to see them and I- hearing you I see that from a young age for some reason you had the foresight and the wisdom to recognise that you do have choices, and even though you there were lots of twists and turns and you and you took choices that weren’t real choices, they were decisions that you just had to go along with, in the end you came back to your truth, and in the end you made choices that have compelled you to move forward in your life in a way that now most people would look to and aspire to have that sense of freedom and self love and growth and progress into create as you say that community around you where you use love.

[Dhipa] And I think I mean one thing, I mean I’m writing more small nugget- nuggets of information to trying to try and just set the ideas that I’m working on at the moment and this is one thing that I feel really true to me and I always try and say everyday and then this is what I sayL there are always choices be yourself, love yourself, and most of all free yourself. You know because that once you do that once you free yourself to make those choices you will start to go yeah, I can do this. You can do this and you will achieve it. I remember a long, long time ago you know I used to feel that there is absolutely no way out of this specially when I was in that situation I just felt I felt there was absolutely no way out of this. I thought how can I possibly even consider this as an option? I know a lot of people will now come to these situations where they feel that absolutely no way out of this, I can’t get out of this… but even if you hold on to that one little tiny amount of faith that it can change, it can change… rather than just going, this is it. This is it. Just holding on to that tiny little bit of faith will eventually give you something rather than nothing, you know, just you know resigning to this will end up being that… but just having a little bit of faith everyday, you will slowly move mountains. Even a book for example is a huge mountain, put it that way.

[Roksana] Every time I read a passage from it I’m just so inspired and I want to keep reading it and I want everybody to know about your book because it is, it it’s a really detailed insight into a culture that I think it has probably evolved more now than it was then. I think the culture reflects not just the Bangladeshi culture, I think all the Asian cultures back when our parents were kind of new immigrants and trying to find their feet in this country, and also being the ages that they were, I think that their focuses were on other things. It wasn’t on evolving emotionally, it was about making sure their bills are paid, making sure that we fit into some kind of society where we’re accepted  because that sense of belonging was very strong for them at any cost. I feel like the gift that that’s given our generation is that we can evolve our thinking around emotional wellbeing and create social structures for ourselves that serve us and enable us to reach out to each other and support one another, no matter how different we all might be.

[Dhipa] I definitely think that there is a massive change in out ideas and out thinking in this generation. If we can harness that more. There’s still that old way of thinking- not old, but the generational ways of thinking still in, you know generations so I think- I think we can definitely find room now look at wellbeing in our generation so I think I think we can definitely find room now you know to look at you know wellbeing in ourselves and self awareness and I think yeah, they definitely seen a lot more more focus being put on that now.

[Roksana] Thank you so much, it’s been an amazing conversation.

[Dhipa] Thank you, Roksana, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you as well.