Simon Webbe’s biggest fan

Friday 5th March 2010

Hi guys,
so, the adventure continues….
There’s so much to say I don’t even know where to begin!

Work has been incredibly busy. I’ve written proposals, attended a conference on community radio projects, and even given a short presentation at a press conference. A CSR Consultant came out for a week to work with us on our strategic plan, and then the University had a festival, which was exhausting!

The festival was really badly organised, and S and I ended up being in charge of security, (very random!). They had a crap bamboo barricade separating the student area from the VIPs and the stage, which we kept telling them was going to fall down, and eventually it did. The guys in charge kept telling us not to be so negative, and thought we were over-reacting and predicting the worst. The Event Manager said “Don’t worry, as soon as the band starts to play, they’ll all stop pushing forward so much, because they’ll be watching the show”.

I looked at him incredulously and wondered if he had ever actually attended a concert in his life, before calmly explaining that actually, when the band comes on stage, 4,000 students were going to surge forward to get closer and see the celebrities, at which point the bamboo poles would collapse (they were literally tied together with string), and all hell would break loose.

Thankfully, at around 8pm they finally started to realise that we were right and got more men to prop up the fence. It was hilarious, we were walking up and down the barricade asking students to move back, and they started helping us to pull the fence back into position. In one area there was just a rope, and when it fell down the students at the front just picked it up and held it at waist height and held themselves back!
In what other country would students at a festival/rock concert be polite enough to hold up their own barricade?

The celebrities were also pretty funny. They got some professional models for a fashion show (models who were mostly eastern european, didn’t speak English and were frankly, not at all attractive, just toothpick thin!). They also had a Pakistani band called Jal, who are MASSIVE over here (and were actually fantastic – I’ll have to get their album), and Simon Webbe, from Blue. Until a week ago I had no idea who he was, and had only vaguely heard of Blue (some fairly crap one-hit wonder British pop-band). Simon, it seems, has since gone solo, and is touring Indian Universities, to give you an idea of his celebrity status.

He was actually a pretty good singer, and did some covers of The Killers and stuff, as well as a couple of Blue songs (he had the rest of the band playing on a cd!). At the end of the night, someone asked me to clear boxes out of the way of a blocked-off exit, so that the celebrities could sneak out quietly. There I was, hot, sweaty, and exhausted, humping massive amplifier boxes around, when Mr Webbe himself came towards me with his entourage. I moved aside and stood there politely to let them go through, and Simon stopped and shook my hand, and said hello. He obviously thought I had been waiting there like an adoring fan just so I could meet him, and I didn’t have the heart to disappoint him, so I pumped his hand enthusiastically and gushed about what a great show it had been, and never let on that I’d never even heard of him a week ago!

Anyway, after that we all had a few days off over a long weekend, as it was the Holi festival, which is a national holiday. I went with a bunch of German and American ex-pats I met recently on a trip to Jaipur, organised by a great organisation called Knowledge Must. Jaipur was fantastic – it’s a city a few hour’s drive away in Rajasthan State, and it was very beautiful. I didn’t have time to do all of the sights, but I’m keen to go back and see more of the town. We all had lots of fun, and on the Monday we played Holi, which involves running around throwing coloured tikka powder in people’s faces, and having a massive city-wide water fight. We all got very very messy, and covered in coloured powder from head to toe.

And so this week it’s back to the grindstone, although the office is really quiet, as loads of people are still on holiday, and the students all have exams.

Hope you’re all well,
tons of love,
“Er, actually I was just moving boxes” Maya

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