Sunday, 29 November 2015

1448 was great!

To continue from the last post, my weekend as a Runner on the 1448 Design Team was beyond awesome. The theme for the first night was “ I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” On the first day I didn’t get the full 1448 experience due to juggling this with a day job but I definitely gained invaluable experience from the time I spent. My lunch hour was spent making poo tentacles and cutting material for neckerchiefs. When I returned in the evening it was a long but fun night with a happy and hardworking team that made every moment an amazing experience. We were on our feet all night running around but we had a lot of laughter in the process. Between running around I caught a glimpse of some of the acts and wow what amazing talents from the writers,actors and directors. I got in at 2am and caught a few hours sleep ready for the next day.

Even with less sleep once I walked into The Y the energy of all the people around me woke me up. The theme for Saturday was “no pain no gain.” I felt on Saturday I fully benefited from the whole 1448 experience  as I was there all day. There was never a dull moment and every job was a brilliant learning curve. My own jobs involved helping to recreate  the Narnia scenery, providing baby props and creating a baby bump for a pregnant lady about to drop. There was a part of 1448 that nearly got me into trouble with my mother with the naughty words I was asked to write on a pizza box, my defence being it is for Art. With the tight deadlines to meet and sleep deprivation every body's spirits  were always high.

During the technical  rehearsals I got a mesmerising further insight into the talents of the actors and directors and had the pleasure of sharing chips with them at dinner. I was blown away by how all of the people involved are not just talented and dedicated but always very humble people, a rare quality to find nowadays.

I felt all the plays had powerful messages in them and the actors really showed their versatility from being able to switch between comedy and tragedy. Without being involved as a writer or performer this time I feel this experience is going to change how I hone my own Craft. I heard so many great reviews about 1448 to the point where I was raring to get involved as a writer. I felt by getting involved this time as a runner on the design time I would gain some insight about the whole 1448 concept. I gained more that that and would do it all again.

When the show closed and we moved onto to the after show party without sounding cliched there was a lot of love in the room. Everyone appreciated each other and everything was possible because of people's spirited can do attitude, nothing was a chore.

I feel like I have returned from Narnia myself as the experience was surreal and I’m raring to do it again and have started counting down to the next one. I would love try other disciplines however working with the design team was amazing and I was proud to be a part of it.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

1448 can't wait!

I'm really excited about my latest creative endeavour as a Runner for 1448 Leicester. The concept of 1448 was brought to the Y Theatre  Leicester from Seattle by husband and wife creative duo Amy and Bob Christer. The concept is to write and perform fourteen plays in forty eight  hours. The theme is drawn out of a hat and the writers have till very early the next morning to submit their finished scripts for the actors,directors designers etc to put together, then perform  over two evenings.

I attended the launch event this evening and the creative energy is infectious. It is both fun with a discipline element to it, as there are tight time constraints. This is a brilliant opportunity for local artistes in the community to showcase their talents. Tonight  I met some amazing people from different walks of life and am looking forward to what the weekend has in store for us all. This is my first involvement with this festival but it has been running since 2013. When my brother Rishii Chowdhury a well known Musician told me about his own involvement I was intrigued and just had be in on the excitement.

The theme is " I've got a bad feeling about this". As I am writing this the writers will be writing their scripts ready for submission at 8am tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see what these talented individuals will come up with and am looking forward to my role as Runner. I will return over the weekend to share my experiences of this much talked about festival.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Divorce- A celebration?

Following the interview  last Sunday I then was invited to make another radio appearance, this time on the Graham Torrington Late Night love Show on Monday night. I had to pinch myself with this one as I grew up listening to that show. I've always been a fan so that phone call with the invite to appear on the show was a dream come true.

This time the discussion was around is it wrong to celebrate divorce? My view on this was, being released from an unhappy marriage is like being released from a jail sentence and getting that decree absolute makes it final  putting a green light on being able to move forward with your life. When Graham Torrington asked me how I felt when I got mine, for me it was just a formality as I knew the marriage ended. We then talked about can it be seen as a failure. To this I responded it takes guts to leave an unhappy marriage and referring to my interview the previous night, life is for living not existing.

Graham then asked me more about my book The Divorce Toolbox and what is the first thing to do when the marriage is over. I referred to the earlier chapters around practical matters that people completely forget about in the stress of it all, such as changing pin numbers on bank accounts. I have friends who look at bank statements and find thousands have been drawn out of their accounts as ex's still had pin numbers several years after the marriage.

The discussion closed with what is the last thing to do when the divorce becomes final. My view being rather than last but a continuous process is to keep moving forward with the life.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

A Toolbox of Insights!

It was an honour to take part in Arshia Riyaz’s  show Midlands Masala again last  weekend, some very stimulating insights on the subject matter including  is nine months too early to end a marriage, are people giving up too easily and with the increase in celebrity divorces are they setting  a bad example?

I was amused when Arshia introduced me as the author of The Divorce Toolbox and am I someone who helps people to get divorced. To this I  replied that  I guide them through the process. When Arshia asked me my own view about Imran Khan and Reham Khans divorce within a few months of marriage I felt we need to look at the route of the problems, which is society, not just our Asian community but society in general puts pressure on being married . There is still a stigma attached with courting or living together. A perfect example is recently when Chukka Ummna went for labour leadership he was harshly criticised for having a girlfriend in his thirties rather than being married. Something I advocated was encouraging dating and living together so that people get to know each and don’t rush into getting married before their ready.

We then went onto talk about the time factor that do people give up too quickly as all marriages have problems. I then raised the issue from observing my parents generation, is that people get stuck in a rut and before you know it twenty years have gone by and people are just existing not living. In cases of domestic violence for example the sooner the better in my opinion. In my own book I touched on how time never comes back. There is a huge difference between trying to rebuild nine months as oppose to say thirty years.

The debate then moved onto are celebrities setting a bad example with the rate at which they are getting divorced. With the example of Imran Khan a high powered politician and Reham Khan a successful Journalist the two careers can clash. Being married to someone like Imran Khan there is a first lady role to fulfil. Not all women would give up their careers for their husband and why should they have to. I feel celebrities are setting a good example, if your happy why exist when you can live.

Overall I enjoyed being invited on this show again and giving my input but still strongly feel even though we live in the twenty first century society can still be very narrow minded and judgemental about divorce.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

All About Timing.

Exactly this time last year when I published my self help book "The Divorce Toolbox" I was also invited on a radio show to not only talk about the book but also discuss the topic "why is divorce on the increase in Asian society." Following Imran Khan's recent announcement to divorce after just nine months of marriage the same radio show invited  me to take part in a discussion asking the question "is nine months too early to end  a marriage and how long should we give a marriage before making that decision?

There will be other guests taking part in the discussion and listeners are are very welcome to phone in and  give their input. This is a very thought provoking topic that can be approached from several angles with a variety of insights. As someone who is divorced and written a book on it I certainly have many of my own views on this and look forward to sharing them with listeners.

The show is BBC West Millands 95.6 a show called Midlands Masala with Arshia Riyaz. Tune in on Sunday 1st November  at 6:30pm (UK time) look forward to hearing from you.