Shazia Mirza: Diary of a disappointing daughter

I sent my parents £100 in the post last week. Why? Out of respect, out of guilt and because they’re old. I respect them because they’remy parents; I feel guilty because they supported me through university by consistently sending me money, but I always blew it on miniskirts, nightclubs and illegal substances.

When I go home to visit them, I eat all the food out of their fridge, sit with the fire on full blast and leave the lights on when I go to bed. I feel like I’m robbing my elderly parents. But it wouldn’t feel like home if I didn’t treat it like a hotel.

My parents never ask us for money, and when we offer them anything, they always refuse. My dad says, “We’ve got money, we don’t have to depend on anybody, thank God.” They may be old, but they still love to do their own shopping.

But every so often, my siblings and I send money to our parents. It’s partly Asian Law that you have to look after your parents, no matter how much they irritate you. The ultimate sin is to put your parents inan old people’s home.

When I have an argument with my mum, it nearly always ends with her shouting, “After all we’ve done for you, this is how you repay us? You kids are so selfish these days; you’ll probably throw us in an old people’s home when we’re on our last legs.”

No matter how much my mum nags and my dad moans, we could never put them in a home; the truth is, we’d miss their background noise.