‘Over the next 12 weeks I was amazed by Saba’s authenticity. I learnt that she had moved to the community with her daughter to escape an abusive and controlling marriage. Single motherhood carries a huge stigma in Bangladesh, and Saba explained to me how she had struggled to make friends in her new community.
‘Despite the exclusion from those around her, she taught me to love people without judgement, leaning on God every day. Being a part of her family was never about impressing anyone, but about being yourself and being accepted no matter what.
Lost in translation
‘I think back to one particular evening, as we sat together at the dinner table. I had already eaten far more than I could handle and, after being served what felt like my hundredth plate of food, I asked her how to say “I am full” in Bengali.
‘She replied with a puzzled look on her face. I repeated the phrase back to her and she burst into uncontrollable laughter. Saba had misunderstood my question, thinking I had asked her how to say “I am a fool”. We were laughing about it for days afterwards.