Remember the 1990s? The era when Saudi-influenced political Islam had a strong hold on British South Asian Muslims and black Muslim women were told, in no uncertain terms, that their headwraps were categorically not hijab? Remember when ten years later a sizeable number of Asian women donned all manner of African-influenced headwraps without bothering to acknowledge the roots of their appropriated clothing?

‘I want my love for different cultural traditions and their art forms to manifest itself in this story, using contrasts to bring all of it together. Rural meets urban; traditions encounter modern ideas and science fiction; spirituality mingles with different religious traditions. In all of that there is a girl and her life’s journey’.

The Hajj has always been a source of wonder to me. At first, I must confess out of sheer travel wanderlust. For central Arabia, like the mountains of Tibet, is one of those historical testing grounds for heroic British scholar travellers.

‘The problem of the twentieth century’, wrote the African-American historian W.E.B. Du Bois in his 1903 treatise on racism, The Souls of Black Folk, ‘is the problem of the colour-line – the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea’.