Posted in Friday, Health

#Friday 22.0: When the universe is sending you a message…maybe listen

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

Give me some background Potato…

A couple of years ago a group of friends and I registered to take part in a 5km Tough Mudder event. Tough Mudder are endurance events run all over the world, in which participants have to negotiate various obstacles (usually very muddy) over a certain distance. This video will give you some context:

How did you get on?

Well, I didn’t! A week before the event, for which I had been doing quite a bit of training, my left ankle flared up, badly limited my mobility and that was the end of it. The best I managed was to accompany my friends to the event and be the in house photographer. The upside was I managed to grab quite a few good pictures, some good memories for them on the day.

Fast forward to the present

In November 2021 we again registered for the Tough Mudder event (to take place on 2nd April 2022), as I still had my previous unused place so had it transferred. This one was 10km and I purposely kept my training low and steady. Everything was going to plan until I felt a slight discomfort in my left foot on 19th March…..crap! Today is the 1st April and as I write this post, I also have a draft email ready to be sent to the event organisers to postpone my participation….again! I am a little gutted!

..And this showed me?

While I appreciate there are bigger problems in the world, we can’t just discount our own, no matter how big or small. For me to churn out any positivity from this, then maybe I should read the signs, and such events are not for me. Maybe some force out there is trying to tell me not to attend and saving me from what could be a bigger problem. It’s the writer’s perception and the readers belief…but for now this helps me get over the disappointment. But, it has also shown me how lucky I am to have such a caring family, and I am ever grateful for all the running around my wife and kids have done just so I can rest up my foot and recover as best as possible. It also means I am writing this post in a much happier mood. In true writer style I wasn’t shy of a few words on how I was feeling, hope you enjoy them.

Posted in Theatre

A Raw Emotion within South Asian Writers

On July 7th 2021 I walked into a studio at the Watford Palace Theatre with a few lines of my monologue in hand. Just a few minutes past 10am, 7 more writers joined me at the large table and we sat listening attentively to our mentor on this writing journey. All 8 of us had previously been selected as part of the Rifcoarts Associate Programme.

Thus began our writing journey, the growth and development of our monologues, with the theatre equipping us with the tools to take our words to the next level. A process which started in March 2021 took us to a showcase night at the Bush Theatre in 23rd March 2022.

Along the way I made 7 new friends for life who are very talented in their craft. Now we heard each others monologue’s many times over in rehearsals, but to feel that raw emotion on the night was incredible. And those raw emotions are connected to history, to family and to being South Asian in a world which still holds so many preconceptions about our culture. Something I didn’t expect from such a young group of writers, but I was happy to be proven wrong.

It was so refreshing to know that the future of South Asian representation within the arts looks strong, however the challenge is still around getting the platform to showcase our voices. Rifco Theatre are doing to fantastic job in trying to get voices to the masses, but more needs to be done by other mainstream production companies, only then will perceptions begin to change.

Short video talking about the Associates Journey

Some memories from our journey:

Posted in Mondays

Mondays – I wish I had…..#10

“listened more attentively”

Each morning I make a conscious effort to listen to one of the Sikh prayers, the Japji Sahib, which was composed by the founder of Sikhism, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Aside from the calm I feel after listening to it, I am on the journey to understand it so that I may benefit how it can improve my personal development in life. But recently I feel while I am listening to the words being spoken, I don’t think I am actually listening to what is being said. The ability to be a good listener is a skill not everyone possess but with careful craft and dedication, it can be mastered. If you can truly listen in the purest sense then it will help process and articulate the information, and then enrol what we have learnt into our lives to better develop ourselves. From a personal perspective, there is much room for improvement on my own listening skills. I need re-engage with my listening ability and maybe I can absorb what is being said.

Do share your listening tips.

Posted in Friday, Personal Observations, Sport

#Friday 21.0: PSG showed us the human disorder around buying success

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

Are we talking football (or soccer)

Football is merely the example to help drive my point. Don’t let it put you off.

Some context?

PSG – “Paris Saint-Germain” is a football club which doesn’t have a 100 year odd rich history in the game such as clubs you may akin to like Liverpool FC, Manchester United or Real Madrid, and it was never considered a superpower. Founded in 1970, it steadied it’s way within the French first division quite unnoticed.

So something changed?

In 2011 Qatar Sports Investments – or QSi – bought Paris Saint-Germain. QSi is subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – and that’s the state-run sovereign-wealth fund in Qatar. In a nutshell the Qatar group have quite a few billions in their wallet and their objective has been not only to win the French premier division every year, a feat which the team are achieving, but to also win the holy grail which is the European Champions League (ECL). Basically it’s a competition in which all the top 4 teams from each league compete, for pride and oodles of money. The owners were going to achieve this by buying the very best players (through offering lucrative contracts and lots of money), putting them in the team and hoping they’ll gel and work their magic. Has it worked? Hell No!

Yeah but Rome wasn’t built in a day

I get that. But that quote works well when you know the project is “work in progress” and there’s some vision around the club to a long term goal of sustainability. PSG have tried on numerous occasions to win the elite competition but have failed at the pinnacle moment, and when the tough got going, they wanted to turn and run the other way. On 9th March PSG played Real Madrid (Spanish team) in round two of the ECL. PSG were 1-0 up from the first match and in this return leg, scored another to lead 2-0 and looked like coasting to victory. Then in the 60th minute the PSG goalkeeper had a I’m bored so I’ll try a trick or two moment, fluffed his lines and conceded what looked like the most unlikeliest of goals. Fast forward 15 minutes and Real Madrid capitalised on some real nervous, slow reacting and I can’t be bothered because I’m too big for my boots attitude to score two more goals, win the game 3-1 and progress through to the QF’s.

..And this showed us?

When the owners brought the club in 2011 two words probably came to their mind – World Domination. They brought players offering the paradise of high wages, as opposed to investing in youth players. Those players, with their inflated wages came with inflated ego’s…ego’s so big that no manager has managed to control it. Those players, along with the short term vision of the club has created an environment where the very human characteristics of passion, desire, team work, courage and pride have been packed and locked away in the boot room. The owners haven’t been able to buy success but have hit the lowest point in the clubs history. You can’t buy what you think is the best, assemble it and see if it glues. PSG have become an example of that human condition where we want instant success, instant everything, like the noodles….but we all know what they taste like.