During the first week of the term, we were kindly invited by the Trust to a drop-in lunch at the Nosebag. The modest restaurant, located just opposite the historic buildings of the Oxford Union, has a reputation for being delicious and wholesome. I must confess that I initially thought this lunch would not merit a blog post. However, upon further reflection, I came to realize there is an extraordinary value and uniqueness to every WHT activity.
I was among the first scholars to arrive. Gradually, the others joined as well, each according to their own tight and intense schedules (business as usual in Oxford). Notwithstanding, the atmosphere in the restaurant was homely, soothing, and cosy. I shared my lunch with Aditta Kittikhoun (2019, Laos, MSc Social Science of the Internet, Weidenfeld-Hoffmann/Chevening), Kapil Yadav (2019, India, Environmental Change and Management,
Louis Dreyfus-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann) and Mohsin Mustafa (2019, Pakistan, Master of Business Administration, Oxford-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann-Lewis). The four of us come from very different places, but we are quick to have a laugh and to talk about the mundane and the not so mundane in equal measure.
When people ask me about my colleagues from WHT, I always tell them one could write a book based on each of their life stories. Aditta, for example, is a really fun person to be around, with a witty comment always up his sleeve. A funny story that I later learned about him is that he was the first Facebook user from Laos. Ever. Kapil is a blissful and reflexive individual that irradiates positive energy. He is a passionate environmentalist whose work in India can inspire anyone.
For his part, Mohsin is a straight shooter; a very direct, risk-taking, problem-solving physician. Personally, I had previously not associated myself with many entrepreneurs. Mohsin is helping me understand that word. The way he approaches problems is very different to the mindset of a trained lawyer as myself. Always focusing on possible solutions, and rarely in the complications. You can learn a lot just by having lunch with him. This lunch in particular, included a very nice salmon quiche.
Listening to my colleagues’ stories is what made my lunch inimitable. This is what makes being part of the WHT family such an extraordinary privilege and opportunity. A pool of talented individuals from a diverse array of backgrounds that facilitate mutual learning. I now cherish each moment with this bunch, be it a moral philosophy seminar, a cup of tea, or a delicious lunch at the nosebag.