Two interesting interviews today and both completely different. My first was with Tanya Wood of the International Federation of the Red Cross which was a useful insight into an organization of undeniable value to the world. So often whenever disaster strikes some region on the planet the first group in to help alleviate suffering is the IFRC.
My second interview was with, and without my notepad this may be difficult to remember, Jafar Mir Abdullah, the Nawab of Sheesh Mahal, Luknow. That being said and when i was given the dossier by my able assistant Heidi I thought someone was pulling my leg and having me interview an Enid Blyton character. A quick spell on Google told me that the gentleman in question did, in fact, exist. There were some odd bits of trivia that also turned up in my search. According to the Times of India there have been some questions raised about the man’s lineage. According to the newspaper the last verifiable Nawab died without issue towards the beginning of the last century and claimants to the title now are relatives of his wife. There was also a reference to the current “Nawab” in which he accuses anyone who questions his bona fides of ignorance. The paper went on to say that there was no documentation to support the current Nawab’s claim as he says the paperwork was “eaten by termites”.
The gentleman is here as a guest of the University of Trinidad & Tobago to speak about India’s observance of Hosay ( a Shia festival that is also observed here) so I just went with the flow. I am not sure if he really is “Your Excellency” and given the fact India is a republic I don’t think such titles even exist but what the heck..if someone wants to be an Excellency I am happy to oblige. There wasn’t much light shed on Hosay but he did speak at length about the tradition of Muharram in Lucknow. I know very little about Shia tradition other than the basic roots of the festival but it certainly made for a unique interview. According to the goodly Nawab all is rosy in Lucknow and who am i to disagree.
I have been thinking a lot lately that my current work situation leaves a lot to be desired in terms of a regular schedule. I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else but I am starting to feel that three years of not having regular days off and having to make special arrangements to get away for a weekend is not an ideal situation. It would be nice to plan things more than a day or so in advance and not being able to spend time with my friends on weekends has become rather taxing on my social life. I will have to add fixing my work schedule to my list of things to change this year.