What I am thinking, when I am not writing.

Featured image

As my work days get longer and the stakes get higher, I sometimes feel extremely confused. Some people may not completely understand why I do what I do. Many people don’t actually know what I do, let alone understand why. In stressful times, these voices can latch onto your mind and make you question these things yourself. 

I wrote something down in my iPhone notes a couple of weeks ago that made me realise that this was all nonsense.

“The impact you might potentially have on others has proven to be a phenomenal thing for those who want to change the world for the better. Many of us are overcome with this desire after an experience has shown them just how much work our world needs. We see that someone or something needs to bring justice to the less fortunate.

One you see this, you can never un-see it. Once you realise that you could make a difference, this becomes all you think about. Once you see how your own actions are helping someone else’s life, pursuing these actions becomes an addiction as strong as an adrenaline junkie’s thirst for adventure. You must be the change.

We spend the more important part of our lives in education being encouraged to make our mark – but not to disrupt things too much in the process. We can do whatever we like and what ever makes us happy, as long as you colour within the lines.

This creates a life of constant battle between quenching the thirst for change and satisfying the part of you that wants to play it safe.”

Just another one of my whims that I forgot to write down on time. I read it now and again, and everytime it makes me realise how thirsty I am.

Over & Out

Advertisements

Good Kid, Maad City: Week 5 (this is a good’un…)

FIRSTLY I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all friends, family, people from afar, who have read my blog. I hope you are all enjoying the story of my journey. I definitely enjoy writing about it. 

IMG_0056 - Version 2

This week has been intense – probably the best week so far and also one of the most eventful weeks in a very long time. On Tuesday, I graduated from the University of Manchester with a 2.1 degree in Economics & Development Studies. Graduating is an extremely surreal experience. It consists of getting your gown fitted by a stranger, hoping you sit next to someone you know in the hall and then ensuring that your family takes you for an extravagant meal. I was lucky enough to get fitted by someone from my hometown, be seated next to a guy I knew from a first year tutorial and found a secret, beautiful pizzaria to celebrate with my family. However, Graduation itself, is a production line. A queue of students, being stamped with some sort of ‘seal of approval’ and ready to be shipped off and shelved with the rest of the world. It was a happy but somehow a depressing few hours.

Onto more exciting things, GiveMeTap have been hard at work but having a bit too much fun as well. Edwin (my boss) came back from Ghana after unveiling the latest water project. He showed us hundreds of photos from his time with the people of Kpakpalamuni, in the Upper West region of Ghana. It was hard to see the conditions that these people live in but then seeing the water pump we installed just reassured me of why I chose to be apart of GiveMeTap. We just helped around 850 people by giving them access to clean drinking water and practically eradicating the chances of them dying from water-related diseases.

2013-07-19 11.09.05

Many of you may have seen me plaster Facebook with the events of Friday. Friday was the best day of my time in London so far! GMT were lucky enough to be approached by the BBC to do a segment on tap water as part of another feature. We filmed outside FlatPlanet, a flat bread eatery on Great Marlborough Street. I very much recommend you visit for lunch, by the way. Amazing food and people! Edwin shot an interview where he got to talk about the GMT scheme and officially place the Tap sticker on the FlatPlanet door.

2013-07-19 11.19.01

The Droplets’ moment of fame came when we hit Carnaby Street. Ben and I were filmed talking to members of the public about tap water and about GMT. Needless to say, handing out flyers was frustrating and did not receive a great reception, however I plucked up the courage to talk to people and encourage them to talk on telly for 30 seconds. Remember, my childhood dream was to be a Blue Peter presenter, so I needed to step up! It was such a fun day and really got us all at GMT really hyped! We hope the segment will air in a few weeks.

1012379_10151589364913167_1745746529_n

Hold your horses before you jump from here to Facebook, as the day did not end there… as a PR intern, I’ve been trying to find ways of boosting GMT’s publicity. It just so happened that because my (amazing) aunt spent the week mentoring at Kings Collage for a Space Outreach programme, she got to work with Astronaut Kenneth Ham and his wife and astronaut trainer, Michelle Ham. Ken had discussed with his students on the programme, the importance of looking after our planet and how he could see from space the damage we were doing to our home. I was able to use this opportunity to ask Ken a few questions for GiveMeTap, about the importance of reducing waste and protecting everyone on our planet. My first mini interview with a renowned  Space Personality, a casual dose of Pimms o’clock and conversations about space food. Not bad!

The day ended with a spontaneous trip to Riverside Theatre to see the powerful Nirbhaya, a play based on the events last December – the Delhi Gang-rape. Nirbhaya was the name given to the victim, meaning Fearless One. This play was less a performance, but more a theatrical sequence of testimonials. Real stories from acting personalities who had experienced the toils of being a female in India, Pakistan and even America and chose now to reveal their stories. I didn’t realise until after the performance that these Women were telling their own stories. This wasn’t acting. This was real. The Delhi Rape posed as a turning point for all 5 of these Women who then chose to share their most personal experiences with us through theatre. Powerful, Intense and left me lost for words. I will be writing a review of this, hopefully tomorrow, so please please read it. However uncomfortable, it is a must see for everyone, especially young men and women from South Asian backgrounds.Overall, this has been such a productive, intense and emotional week. It is probably the first time I have felt that I would love to tell you all individually what I have done and explain every detail! For those of you who will be lucky enough to escape this, I hope you have had an equally as amazing week. For those of you who I may see soon, BE PREPARED!

Over & Out.

Good Kid, Maad City: My First Week

Walking into the Google Campus everyday is quite surreal. The burst of entrepreneurial energy really does shine through and you can tell everyone has an exciting story behind their decision to start their own business. I must admit, this last week, although there has been quite a lot of work, there has been a significant amount of people watching!

Work wise, I’ve been really lucky to gain on-the-job experience from day 1. I’ve learnt how social media acts as a really important form of marketing in today’s business world. Many people think the significance of social media is overstated. Maybe, I used to be one of those people, but my perception is definitely starting to change now that I am on the other side of business and I have a lot of control over the platforms. Apologies for all of those who just see ‘Sanum has liked GiveMeTap’s photo’ every hour and ‘Sanu has retweeted GiveMeTap’ every other hour. Actually, i’m not sorry… please like the Facebook page and make me look really good. 

I’ve done some press related things also, however I know that the meat will come when I’ve built a bit more of a relationship with people and also when I get to know how everything works a little bit better. It’s going to be exciting.

EVENT OF THE WEEK: So, some geeza comes up to me and asks me what I was doing at the Hub. I explained what GiveMeTap was, and my role, and he suddenly asked if I could do an interview for The One Show. This was really bizarre and random, but I thought WHY NOT – Perfect press opportunity for GiveMeTap. I was really proud of this opportunity. However, when the camera started rolling, and I had a GMT speech ready at the tip of my tongue, I got HIT with “So how do you feel about Google having access to so much of our data?”. My heart dropped, my legs went to jelly and my throat closed up. It was awful and I was just so thrown off with no briefing or warning. But within 3 seconds, I realised I had to turn this around. I managed to coherently discuss with presenter Alex Riley about this topic which I had very little concrete knowledge about and I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself. After signing one of those film shooting forms, part of me was really eager to watch it, but come Thursday, I was quite relieved that it didn’t get picked to air. It was slightly embarrassing and I had no make-up on. Not one for the memory bank!

Hope you enjoyed your first weekly update! I’ll leave you with a picture of when Edwin (my Boss), Ben (fellow intern) and myself randomly went to this random Museum of Water exhibition and partied hard with shots of water. Tap Water. Did I mention how random it was?

Image

Over and Out.