You Don’t Know Me – Slang in the Courtroom

“You know, part of me thought if I told my speech myself then at least you get to feel a little bit of what it is like to be m. That if my QC did it then maybe you would all be thinking, ‘Yeah, it’s all very well to put it over all shiny and slick but that fucker’s still a murderer.’ And I really did think that if I told my own story I could make you feel my life. But actually explaining the evidences is out loud is proper hard.”
– You Don’t Know Me – Imran Mahmood

You’re guilty until proven innocent. Perception is reality, that’s the way that it is in this world.
– Chris Webber

A young man is in court, on trial for murder. As all evidence seems to point to him being the culprit, the unnamed defendant does the unexpected, and sacks his lawyer. There are eight pieces of compelling evidences against him – now he will stand up and tell the real story about what happened.
His life is in the hands of the jury who are listening – but can he convince them of his innocence?

Mixing inner-city ‘London-speak’ and slang with intelligent insights and a perspective into the justice system, the young man describes the events which has led up to his trial, asking us to consider an alternative course of events which lies behinds his innocence.

I thought this was an interesting take on gang culture, social influences, poverty and and the idea of racial profiling and the opportunities available for young men in London today. It sounds like a pretty heavy read, but it’s quite easy to follow, and it’s interesting to see how an intelligent young man presents his story – his way of life, the South-London culture he is immersed in, and the choices he has to make.

The language of the novel is fairly informal, but it flows well enough that it feels credible (although I’ll admit, certain aspects of the story line were a bit dramatic!) It’s also easy to follow – there’s one narrator to keep the story readable, which makes a change from a lot of stories which can be confusing with multiple perspectives. It also helps that the main character is pretty likeable – he tells his life story, which is be sad, funny and moving, and one which keeps you reading.

As a Londoner myself, I thought this was quite an interesting book – I loved seeing the familiar place names, slang and things that the characters do, although there is also a lot of the culture in this story which isn’t so familiar. While I do believe that there is a prevalent issue with drugs, gangs and peer pressure in today’s society, it felt a little too magnified in this book (although this may also be down to the fact that the author of this novel is a lawyer who has spent 25 years defending a mixture of inner-city clients).

I thought this was a really interesting read; while the conclusion is pretty unexpected, which might not appeal to everyone, the character’s voice was interesting enough to keep me reading to see what happened. It takes time to get into the language of the story, but it’s engaging enough that the characters feel well-drawn and the premise of the story is followed through quite well. At first, we see another young, vulnerable black man in London caught up in gang culture, with low prospects and not many opportunities – but through it all, we also that though he is surrounded by poverty, domestic violence and a drug culture, there’s also positives which shine through, as the strong women in his life who are important to him, the loyal friends who stick by him, and the prevailing love he has for the woman who is at the centre of this story.

You Don’t Know Me is available to buy on Amazon and was sent to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

#CHECKTHELABEL

“There’s a Palestine that dwells inside all of us, a Palestine that needs to be rescued: a free Palestine where all people regardless of color, religion, or race coexist; a Palestine where the meaning of the word “occupation” is only restricted to what the dictionary says rather than those plenty of meanings and connotations of death, destruction, pain, suffering, deprivation, isolation and restrictions that the country has become injected with.”
― Refaat Alareer, Gaza Writes Back

Every year, Israel exports millions of pounds worth of dates to the world, which many people unknowingly buy and use to break their fasts. These dates are often grown in illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, on land that has been stolen from Palestinians. By buying these dates, we are helping Israel to continue it’s illegal occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. With your hard work, dedication and support the #CheckTheLabel campaign has grown significantly over the last 8 years.  The campaign has gone to the heart of the communities in cities and towns across the UK to ensure no one buys these dates.

When buying dates for Ramadan this year, please check the label and make sure they have come from free settlements and are part of a fair trade community. One of the biggest reasons we fast is to recognise and understand the suffering which unfortunate people undergo, and these fasts could be undermined if they are opened with food which becomes a symbol of oppression.

For more information, please visit this site.

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One Year Today…!

Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.

Today is my first wedding anniversary with my husband, and it’s amazing to see how time flies. It’s been an adventurous year for me, but also a really lovely one, and it’s only given a flavour of all the things we want to do over the next few years – we’ve travelled, dined out, laughed at silly movies and eaten plenty of chocolate along the way.

Our wedding day feels like it just happened a few weeks ago, and it’s weird to look back and see ourselves all dressed up like superstars – although if you saw me dressed in my pyjamas now you’d never believe it!

We’ve had a lovely evening dining out so more on this soon, but for now, it’s time to be a lazy couple. laze on the sofa with snacks and watch a comedy or two : )

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Terry Pratchett, Magic Man

It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done – A Hat Full of Sky

Fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett passed away yesterday, leaving a legacy which has touched people all over the world, whether it was for his novels and comic books, his famous Discworld series or his quirky sense of humour. His fan-base was one which was world-spread, and whose tributes, accolades and petitions have all been pouring in for a man whose writing appealed to everyone, and who taught the power of imagination, on how to upset and rouse people, and that cats are devilish things that know who’s boss.

Below is a guide by Jacob Oleksow for anyone who wants to start reading the Discworld series and want to know which order to read the books in, or what categories they come in.

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it

Thank you Terry Pratchett for sharing your quirky tales, your magical stories, the witty humour and a whole different world for us to explore – I’m sure that there’s someone out there about to discover your novels and series, and discover a love for your characters.

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“Reader, I married him.”

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Wuthering Heights

“Among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility with them and He put love and mercy between your (hearts) : verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” – [Surah Ar-Rum 30:21]

“I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life” – Rita Rudner

I’m finally back, my lovely people, to announce that I am officially a Wife, readers, I indeed did marry him and it was a beautiful day.

There were plenty of events, dholki nights at home, a henna party, more than one bridal shower and best of all, a new baby arrival in the midst of it all, which was pretty amazing and also a wonderful time to spend with family. I’m currently tip-tapping away on my keyboard in our new home, in our bedroom still feeling a little shell-shocked but also very happy (and confused about where to start!)

I’m still sorting through hundreds of photographs and waiting for the professional ones from my photographers at the events, but I will be posting details, which I want to post in chronological order, so bear with me! Please do also read my other blog for more colourful details of the wedding and all the functions leading up to it as well : )

I’d also like to thank all of you who left comments in my previous posts with blessings, congratulations and lots of kinds words, they were a pleasure to read and I was happy to read them all.

For now, here’s a picture of what is sitting on our window sill in our new house, our wedding favour boxes which I sneaked away from the wedding day, and my sparkling ring given to me by The Husband.

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BRB…Getting Married.

I’m sure you’ve noticed my absence these last few weeks, and I do apologise, but I have been super busy! My wedding is coming up in a matter of days now, so I won’t be able to blog properly until I move into our new house (and our internet is set up!) so I can post properly about everything. I’ll be sure to take photographs of everything though, and I won’t be gone for long, but it does mean a small blogging hiatus of a couple of weeks.

I’ll catch you all up very soon, in the meantime there’s a lot of of stuff to prepare for (and good food to try!), but I will be back before you know it, quicker than a cupcake left defenceless in our house gets eaten!

Harlequin x

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Some good news…

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”
[Al-Rum: 21]

“It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love).”
[AI-A`raf: 189]

 

I don’t often post about personal things too much, mainly because I’m quite a reserved person, and I’m also a little choosy about what I write/photograph/draw about. I do have some good news to share though, and would like your prayers over the next few months as I take a new step in my journey towards good things.

I’m happy to say that I’m getting married at the end of this year, and it’s something which has kept me emotional and ecstatic in turns. I’d like to share my news and ask you to keep me in your prayers and share your advice, blessings and of course any tips you find helpful as I look forward to the rest of the year : )

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The Mystery and Magic of Great Stories

“The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

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