How I finally became Manoj

This is the most important and difficult piece I’ve ever written.
Content warning: suicide, depression, mention of eating disorder

In the past couple of years, I have conducted the BBC Philharmonic in concert and the Concertgebouw Orchestra in rehearsals, I have won and fulfilled one of the most coveted young conductor posts in the world (the Junior Fellowship at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester), I have co-organised and officiated at the funerals of my father, my grandmother and my cousin, I’ve had a second coming out as pansexual, genderqueer and polyamorous, I’ve become somewhat of an activist regarding the damaging stigma associated with HIV and PrEP, and even managed to successfully move house several times. Yet, writing and sharing this text has, perhaps, been more challenging than any of these things. Continue reading “How I finally became Manoj”

A Saturday in December (in loving memory of Peter Kamps)

1998. A Saturday in December. 7.30 am, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
My first piano lesson with Sureka, at her house. Many more followed. She challenged me in many ways — my favourite was when after I’d had my first few piano lessons, she instructed me to accompany her flute playing from sight. She didn’t give me time to panic.  Continue reading “A Saturday in December (in loving memory of Peter Kamps)”