2019: One Hundred and Eighty Nine

I’m actually at the United Nations. Holy moly.

See, I’m going to get over this feeling in a day. I know it. I’m not going to have a first day at the United Nations internship again. But that feeling of wow, this is where I’ve wanted to be since I was in Grade 9? That’s literally all I can think about.

I had to stand in a massive security-accreditation line to get my ID Card – something I’m hoping I don’t have to go through every day. That was something I was impressed by too, though. This place is literally so crazy that people might need to go through security every single day.

Anyway, I hung out at the library, got myself familiarized with the entire space, met the person under whom I’m working, sat through a session with an earpiece because translations might be needed. And met the people I’ll be working with for the next month.

Honestly, it sounds super duper drab. But I’ll contextualize this for you so you might get a sense of how I’m feeling.

You see, after I relocated to India from Dubai, I was a very whatever person. I got bullied a lot, I was smaller than most kids height-wise, but chubbier than them width-wise. I didn’t really have a great, fixed friends circle. I was a nerd. I enjoyed academic activities more than anything else. I liked reading, writing, and public speaking – all activities the social circles in school had placed at the bottom of the food chain. In Grade 9 though, these activities and skillsets appeared to come together when I was introduced to Model United Nations. My school wasn’t an old city school. We were one of those new breed, international schools.In Bangalore, this makes a massive difference to your interaction with the entire city – because the school you go to is an indicator of so much. (apparently).

So we didn’t really have anyone who was established in this whole Model United Nations business. I remember we had a teacher from another school come and take sessions for us on what the activity was and prepare us for what we ought to be doing and what we ought to avoid. My seniors at school were good – so they set up a conference to train us. But once they left, there was this void that rendered my batchmate and I the seniormost MUNners at school. Today, when we look back, people talk about how overrated MUNning was, and how thinking of MUNners as cool people was a false notion – because it merely tested your confidence in your speaking skills, rather than much else. But that’s what the circuit became. Being a MUNner was a lot of work. For our school, it meant we got developing countries which were not instantly in winnable positions – because of how global history has shaped today’s global order, and how the interschool MUN circuit was based on power rankings. We were also really bad and lost consistently. But I remember being so enamoured with the United Nations as an organization when I was younger. To think that I’m here now, and I have the opportunity to work with the organization?

I’m lucky.


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