At aged 16 Bashiran set off from Sargodha in Pakistan for East Africa. She was travelling to meet her husband-to-be who worked on the railways in Tanzania. They went on to have four children. When their second daughter Lubna was 5 the family moved to England. They settled in Rochdale where they had relatives and Mukhtar returned to Africa to fulfill his contract. Life in England was difficult. The scarce money that they had didn’t buy much. Their new home was a condemned terraced house and birthdays were forgotten because there was nothing to pay for them. In the mid 80s Lubna won a place at university. She moved into a shared house. She worked hard, one week night she finished late and returned home to a dark house. She turned on the kitchen light to find the room filled with friends pulling party poppers. Her flat mates Naomi, Tracy and Lisa had made birthday bunting and a big cake. Lubna has kept the bunting and empty party poppers in a small tin for twenty five years.

05 Aug 2012