Chanyado means shade in Gujarati. Under this tree, I can rest my head, wriggle my toes in the grass and watch the dust dance in the light.

This is my respite from the sun.

My name is Aleya Kassam, I live in Nairobi and I enjoy making things.



55 thoughts on “About

    1. It was taken in Tanzania, near the Ngorongoro crater somewhere. It was beautiful up there, at a time when there was not much beauty in my life.

  1. Hey Aleya – i’m delighted to have recently discovered your blog. I am enjoying it, but limiting myself to just a few posts each day so that it will last (like a bar of chocolate!). Think i taught you a few years back … or maybe you didn’t do chemistry? but definitely remember you and good to discover what you are up to through your blog. Keep it up…

    1. Hello! Yes of course I remember. Thanks so much for dropping by, so glad you are enjoying it – thank goodness I did not take up chemistry, I was never very good at it!

  2. I just bumped into your blog by chance ….
    I hope you keep playing and remain a terribly self indulgent writer …. don’t grow into a “proper serious” writer, there are enough of those around. The world could definitely do with a lot more terribly self indulgent writers.

  3. through biko i found you and magunga and when i read your work, you people are blessed with and creativity.kudos

  4. Chanyado. Shade. Respite from the sun. A place under a tree to rest my head and, wiggle my toes up in the sun.

    I don’t why I keep on coming back to thus blog just to read the above description. Something in it is attracting me. 🙂

  5. Chayando, is it the Nekesa and Nafula story ?? or your elaborate description of nature?? your writing is awesome, good read keep it up

  6. Came across your blog recently and literally spent the whole afternoon reading your posts! You describe things so vividly, it transports the reader to another place and makes it easy to see things as you do. Absolutely love your writing

  7. good thoughts! I wondered few years ago while I was in Kenya that its high time The “Wahindis” were also counted as one of the Kenyan tribes! glad that many youth are coming up to recognize their dual identity, Kenyan and Indian! God bless you for being authentic and letting people know who you are. I enjoyed reading. By the way, since I am also a Gujarati, the correct spelling of the Shade in Gujarati would be “Chhaanydoh” I hope you do not mind me pointing this out. As I read, write and speak most of Indian languages, Swahili as well as teach English! thought it would be good to mention! bless you!

    1. Thanks Kalpna. I am horrified I got the spelling wrong 🙂 oh dear. Perhaps I will need to create a new meaning for this word that I apparently invented. Any suggestions? 🙂

      1. hi
        Liked your blog.
        Will like to keep in touch. Let me know more about you.
        Do you visit India-Delhi sometime. It will be great to organise your reading of your text here at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi at Centre for African Studies in School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi.
        We have very strong academic focus on Indian Diaspora Studies (www.odi.in)
        Prof Ajay Dubey
        School of International Studies JNU

  8. Just stumbled across your blog… enjoying exploring and reminds me again I MUST also get to Nairobi one of these days!! Helps my partner has oodles of relatives there who do make trips to Mumbai, Goa and more often enough I’m sure when I finally get to Kenya it will feel like a ‘home away from home!’ 🙂

  9. You write it because someone out there may see themselves in it and take comfort…well i did take comfort coz it sounded like u were writing my story.thank you. 😀

  10. Just moved back to Kenya, and I’m loving connecting with other bloggers! Your blog is very interesting, and certainly something to relate to. I’ll be creating a facebook/linkedin group for female bloggers in kenya to connect… do let me know if you’re interested!

  11. Discovered your blog today….its as if you are writing what i am thinking…Kenyan and Indian is the way it is….brilliant writing…don’t stop 🙂

  12. Awesome writing! How are you able to make someone feel something they have never experienced? This is really beautiful writing! I am subscribing to your blog.

  13. Chanyado – Y r beautiful inside out!! You havent just embraced that beauty “fully” 🙂 And btw, you write soooo well!!

  14. Just discovered your blog today through a friend and I feel like I have discovered hidden treasure! Immensely enjoying your blog and impatiently waiting for some more. In the meantime, the next few hours or so of my life is booked-scheming my way through your posts!

  15. Despite the Imperial Bank mess your family finds itself in. I hope you managed to have a Happy Diwalli. Happy new year. Wishing you all the best.

  16. I have no words to describe your writing, as everyone sums it up! keep it up, as what you do is is down to earth and honestly just what we feel.
    If you ever do a book on how the Indians came to Kenya, i have some good pictures and just about zero information, but good pictures.

  17. Send me a mail. will scan and send them over. Their is one picture when the railway reached nairobi with a all the workers.

  18. Lemme not lie I just bumped into your blog from the myNetwork article back in school… its amazing…. totally dope…. keep up Aleya…I guess you may be my new blogger role model…

  19. Hello, I am a doctoral scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and I am currently researching on People of Indian Origin in Kenya. Could you please provide me an email address to reach you?

  20. There are not many grasping blogs out there but yours has certainly done the job for me. This is what I had been looking for. There’s a sheer ease and eloquence in your writing, and I love it.

  21. You know what, you have proved a point by your writings here that I fight for, anybody & everybody is unique & special and so is every mind special and unique.

    A request, please never stop this whatever may come your way.

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