I’m leaving Tower Hamlets. After my wedding at the end of October I shall be moving to the borough of Redbridge. Many people I know would rejoice at the thought of leaving the “crime-infested, poverty-stricken cesspool” that is Tower Hamlets but for me, it is a reluctant move and a sad event. Tower Hamlets may be one of the poorest boroughs in Europe; it may be saturated by high unemployment rates and have an uncontrollable drugs problem but it has always been my home and I have grown to love it.
Living in Limehouse, I have experienced both the affluence of the Docklands and the poverty of the surrounding areas. This dichotomy has only helped create the unique identity sported by my borough. It has history, culture and an amazing mix of people. I know I sound like an over-passionate council brochure or a second-rate estate agent but I don’t care. From Limehouse Basin to Brick Lane and Billingsgate, the colour, charm, diversity, vibrancy and authenticity of Tower Hamlets is unmatched by any other borough in London. It is as much a part of me as the colour of my skin or the level of my education. I hate to leave it because it is a part of my identity as a bengali, as a woman, as a writer, and as a person.