Dr Kiran Rahim speaks of the moment she was racially abused whilst sat in a hotel lobby with her son.

The last time I heard the word Paki was probably when I was a teenager. Until yesterday.

Sat in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel with my children, it was whispered so quietly, I had to double check I had heard what I thought I had.

I was taken aback and shocked and then swiftly the astonishment was replaced with anger.

"I beg your pardon?" I demanded of the 50y+ man who had uttered it.

He didn't reply, he turned and walked away but he knew that I had heard it.

I knew I had heard it, but sat alone, waiting for my husband with my young children, I felt incredibly vulnerable.

Angry that what had been a pleasant weekend away was now overshadowed by this. Angry that my children had witnessed a horrible racist's behaviour. I wanted to shout, "say it again, to my face, louder," but my 6 year old had innocently said, "I didn't meant to upset him mama."

I turned to him and reminded him NOTHING he had done had caused this.

To give you context, we were sat minding ourselves in the lobby, checking out when my son had asked what the words written on the boxed gift were.

I had replied and said you're a clever boy why don't you sound it out! He had pointed to said gift and started reading 'Wedding Day' when this gentleman had come over and said, "Oi what you doing, why you touching my stuff?"

I was surprised but replied curtly that neither myself nor my son had touched his stuff.

I could see the shock on his face, that I, a brown woman in a headscarf, had replied, that I had spoken English, in an accent he wasn't expecting.

"Keep your kids grubby hands off yeh." I was silenced by his wife approaching apologising, "Sorry we've spread out a bit here, let me just move stuff."

I replied quite angrily that it wasn't okay, that my son was simply trying to read the long word he couldn't make sense of, and that the reaction was neither warranted nor necessary. We were not trying to steal his stuff or whatever he thought was going on.

She said sorry and moved this wrapped gift away and that's when he said it, just as I turned to give my attention to my kids,"P.A.K.I."

Hearing that word, took me back to my school days where the odd racist remark was part and parcel of growing up in the nineties.

It was an echo on an unwanted bygone era, one I can hear even now as I write this. "Go home," or "you paki Bitch," or "buttbutt ting ting" are all part of my lived experiences.

Some said with innocence or as a laugh by my friends, but others were meant maliciously to me and my peers that looked like I do.

Until yesterday, I don't think I had been called a Paki since I left school.

I wish at school I had been empowered enough to call out the bullshit, but I wasn't. Today I am no longer that girl.

The difference between school aged Kiran and the woman I am today is that I will not be cowed into silence. I have a voice and I intend to use it to challenge every bit of shitty racist, xenophobic behaviour I see.

I have replayed this incident in my head over and over again and although I wish I had really challenged him, in that moment of vulnerability I chose the higher ground.

I thought long and hard about whether I would share this. I have lived here all my life. I am as British as they come, and although I am acutely aware of how ENGLISH I am not, I call this place my home.

I share this because in this post-Brexit/Trump era there are folks that act like racism is not a thing in Britain 2019. IT IS. Just because it is isn't your lived experience, doesn't mean racism isn't rife.