The first time my mom met my dad was at the airport when she arrived in Birmingham in the late 1970's. More than once I've reflected on how different my life would have been if they hadn't moved to England and I had instead been born and raised in Panjab.

Having become a mother myself a couple of years ago, and seeing my young nieces and nephews grow up around me, the stories of my family and their roots are something that I've felt a pressing need to record. And this has never felt more important after the passing of my grandmother in April 2018, who was the cornerstone of our family. 

In generations to come I don't want the memories of our elders to be lost, and for future generations to forget the sacrifices they made for us to have the privileged life we have now.

It is their stories of being born in India but migrating to England, the hard work and graft they put in here to make a life for their families, that I want to treasure. My mom worked in sewing factories and my dad as a taxi driver, before owning a cornershop newsagents, which they still run to this day.

And I know this isn't just the story of my family, but one that echoes throughout migrant communities, whose families are trying to give their children a better chance to thrive.

Mitti Di Khushboo was exhibited at Lightwoods House, Bearwood from May-July 2019. The work was commissioned by Multistory for Blast! Photography Festival 2019.

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