Nina Dar. The Change Troubleshooter

Made of What Matters

June 11, 2020 Nina Dar Season 1 Episode 2
Nina Dar. The Change Troubleshooter
Made of What Matters
Show Notes Transcript

 In this episode Nina and her parents, inspired by the personal and positive way Raheem Sterling, Gillette and Football Beyond Borders tackle the sensitive issue of perceived differences, cover subjects such as role models in life, changing cultural attitudes and what it was like to be in a mixed-race relationship in Manchester in the late 1960s. 

The collaboration between Raheem Sterling, Gillette and Football Beyond Borders looks to sport for role models. As football fans Nina and her parents have watched Raheem Sterling become a voice and role model for equality and positivity. Nina asks her parents if they are disappointed that this should still be headline news 50 years after their own personal battle.

They talk about the time it really takes to see the impact of change, especially when changing mindsets and culture, and the strength required to remain positive when not everyone agrees with what you say and believe.

A Human Approach to Innovation and Change is fundamentally about inclusion, acceptance of differences, different opinions and all the heat and light that comes from that in order to collaborate on change that will truly make a difference.

Narrator:

Hello and welcome to the Change Troubleshooter. This is Nina Dar's podcast . In today's episode Made of What Matters, Nina is joined by her parents, Jean and Shaukat Dar . This episode is inspired by Raheem Sterling's collaboration with Gillette where he tackles perceived differences in a personal and positive way. They'll cover subjects such as role models in life, changing cultural attitudes and what it was like to be in a mixed race relationship in Manchester in the late 1960s

Nina Dar:

Hello and welcome to today's podcast called made of what matters inspired by the Gillette collaboration with Raheem Sterling and football beyond borders. They say today more than ever, people need inspiration from others. Raheem does an advert which tackles the difficult subject of perceived differences in a real personal and positive way. So today I'm going to take a lead from him and I'm making it personal and positive with two of my role models here. Joining me today, we're going to talk about role models and how important they are. And then moving on to talk about the time it really takes to see the impact of change, especially when you're talking about changing mindsets and culture. And we'll bring that together with some passing on of experiences from people who have been there, been through the struggle, been through the tough times, and are here to say it can be positive. So I'd like to introduce my role models, Jean and Shaukat known to me as mum and dad.

Shaukat Dar:

Hello. I am the dad. My name is Shaukat. I was born in Sagana, in Kenya in 1944

Jean Dar:

Hi, I'm Jean. I was born in 1950 in Withington, Manchester.

Nina Dar:

So Gillette and Raheem are obviously look into the world of sport to show how positive role models can come from that area. We all are sports fans, particularly football fans and like most Manchester families, we are divided. I'm a City fan.

:

I'm a city fan.

Shaukat Dar:

I am a Manchester United. fan

Nina Dar:

No friction in our household ever. We're going to move on to that first question. How important are role models? What do they mean to us?

Shaukat Dar:

Let's talk about my dad. He an inspiring person to me and there's good reasons for it. First of all, my dad was totally uneducated. He was doing a job which required technical qualifications, but he did it. It didn't stop him because of his personal belief that if you want to do something, do it and do it right. He never deviated from that and he continued to try in his job throughout his working life. I admired his tenacity. I admired his vision from a younger age. I got engaged with him and I used that and he was my personal guidance of life.

Jean Dar:

My mum is my inspiration. We were brought up as a family of five and unfortunately when I was five my father passed away, leaving my mum with five small children, which was very hard and also she was not a healthy person, so for me we had to be very strong. It formed a good bond with her strengths and also my brothers and sisters. Unfortunately she was taken ill and we all had to go in a home. And eventually when she got better she brought all five of us back and brought her mum to live with us. And even though she was not well, she still managed to get a job and look after us. And she worked for the BBC as a cook, which was a hard job. And that's been my inspiration all my life because I took home cooking and baking and it's all because of the strength . She gave us

Nina Dar:

already an indication of some really tough times in your backgrounds, which is why probably no surprise that both of you , um, my role models today, when I was growing up, you protected me from ever thinking that we were different. So with that background, as you heard in the introduction, we were a mixed marriage family. And when I was growing up, I did not think there was anything different about that. In fact, I didn't think we were different at all. And when I look back at that situation now, that is because of what you two did to make sure that we never felt like our situation was different. But when you look back through older eyes, I do realize how hard that must have been and how much you must have gone through for us, for me, Saira and Yasmin to grow up not thinking that we were different when actually we're surrounded by people who wanted to tell us we were different every day, but the strength, determination and love that you brought to the situation meant that we never felt that

Jean Dar:

which is good. Yes, it was hard, but we had a lot of people behind us and although it was a diff , a different stage in the 1970s it was very hard, but you have to be strong, you have to work together and you have to accept people as they are, which is the point of this podcast.

Nina Dar:

So perhaps our situation is quite unusual that actually you've picked the initial role models to talk about as your parents, and I picked you as my parents. Many people wouldn't pick their parents as role models, maybe don't even even have parents. Why are role models important? And if people don't really have role models, what should they be looking for to get a good role model?

Shaukat Dar:

It's a difficult one. You know, when you, when you talk about it from your perspective, you chose us. And so did I . I chose my, my dad. It's what you see in front of you. You know, my dad was very inspirational and I've said it before that he was uneducated. And for him to be in a situation where he could make a big impact on my life and I took it forward, I use every bit of that experience with my dad. And when I had a family, when I had the opportunity to have my family and also a job, let's put it that way , uh, is to use that experience and explore the opportunities where I could , uh, promote some of those thinkings. Uh, not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of people who were working around with me.

Nina Dar:

So it role models always would be doing something that actually when we look at whoever they are, we think, I wish I could do that or they're going through something that I've gone through. It's always relatable. Then we need to relate to our role models.

Shaukat Dar:

I think it's, if you like to call it coincidence or maybe a fact of life that uh , we followed the same pattern, you know, chose the same role model as a parent and parents do play a critical role in the development of children and perhaps portray or take that message forward and how they see them, you know? And that brings it back to how, what are the mechanics behind introducing into someone's mind that following a role model can benefit your life?

Jean Dar:

Well, on that point though. It can have a two way situation. It can be a wrong decision if you pick the wrong role model because there's a lot of negativity out there and you could follow the wrong one. So you've got to be within your own mind, strong enough to decide is it a good or a bad role model ?

Nina Dar:

That's a pretty tough call isn't it? Because we're sort of looking to these people to guide us and there is a lot of controversy now over the people that um, stand up as role models today and whether they are actually negatively inspiring people or positively inspiring people.

:

That's true.

Shaukat Dar:

Yeah, this is very true that that can happen with the parents. Some of the parents can actually put across a message which is not perhaps if we like to call it desirable and not helpful in the situation where we want world to understand what is it to be together. And uh, the judgement call obviously always depends on the people who are seeking that kind of help.

Nina Dar:

Aren't we all seeking that kind of help? You know, we're in a world now that in some cases feels like we've never been more divided, which is not true because actually the two of you and your history show, it's not true. We've probably always been divided always through history, throughout the world, history and everything. I mean, history shows us that there is division everywhere. But in the story that you two bring to the table, you can track from the forties fifties sixties seventies how you have managed to positively come out of really tough times when when different countries that you were in were divided.

Shaukat Dar:

It is very true. I think it's a , it's your personal call as well, you know , but if you are focused and you want to remain focused and determined to achieve something in life, then you have to start to understand what is around you and what is it that you want in life.

Nina Dar:

Yeah, you have to decide what you want in life. So hard for people to do, isn't it?

Jean Dar:

It's very hard. You've got to be really positive within yourself to be able to do it. It's not an easy decision on a lot of aspects, but it's very doable if people stand together and be more positive and support each other.

Nina Dar:

You two have both been in situations where you've both had quite difficult personal journeys in your own right, and then one day your eyes met across a biscuit factory floor. When was that? This was in the sixties now.

Shaukat Dar:

That was, yes, it was a moment in life where it strikes you. It's like lightning striking you. And uh, I remember I had done a full shift working on nights and my job was to clean the part of machinery which I was responsible for, get myself ready, get home to get some sleep. But as I turned around, it was a winter's day and I saw this young lady stood near another machine using the, the machine heating system to get herself warm and um, she had red cheeks and I looked and I went, wow, now that is an inspiring moment, you know, and um, we ended up getting married.

Nina Dar:

Is that how you remember it?

:

Not Quite It was a very different situation really because it wasn't the done thing at the time. So there was a lot of hesitation. It took three asking outs before we actually went out.

Nina Dar:

What do you mean it wasn't the done thing at the time?

:

Because it was really frowned upon to go out with somebody of a different color. Not that we were brought up that way because we weren't , it never existed in the family at all until I met Shaukat. And then all the can of worms opened.

Nina Dar:

and that's it isn't it? It's a, it's one thing to be an observer of these things that happen and then have an opinion that you say, Oh, that wouldn't be me until something happens and it relates to you . So at the point that it related to all the people around you, the two of you coming together wasn't accepted by the world with open arms.

Shaukat Dar:

It wasn't accepted in the workplace, let alone the things we made it worse was um, Jean had a relative, you know, working and um, I was, I remember being summoned , um, by the personnel manager and he said that when I finished my shift, I should just go home and not hang around. Uh , so that was kind of a putting a block, you know, so I didn't see the , uh, the person I liked

Nina Dar:

And did you have the same chat?

Jean Dar:

I had the same . I was banned from coming in early and talking and it's monitored by HR all the time.

Nina Dar:

And this was 19 six , 67, 1967. And this was the workplace actually HR within the workplace making a decision as to whether it was acceptable that the two of you saw that outside of work. Yes .

Shaukat Dar:

That is very, very clear. And um, it got to a point where there were supervisors watching us at every stage of the step you took till you were out of the , uh, the , the factory compounds. But it didn't deter us.

Jean Dar:

It made us stronger.

Shaukat Dar:

The thing is call it mission or whatever. It wasn't a mission, you know, I liked Jean and um, I knew at some stage it will touch my family as well because they were different, you know. And uh, in my mind I said we need to cross cross the first bridge is first I need to establish a proper, proper relationship with the person I think I like and um, and see what happens.

Nina Dar:

And so you did that and the day came where you decided you were going to get married?

Jean Dar:

Yes. Well, we had a few problems in between because at the age we got married, you had to be 21 so you needed to g et your p arents' permission, which wasn't forthcoming. So in the end, my s tepdad at the time decided he would let us get married because there was no way he was stopping us. Well because he knew he couldn't stop you. So what, you just wore him down. I suppose we did really because I had help from one of my sisters who covered for me.every time we went out. So eventually he just said, I've signed the papers, you can go and get married.

Nina Dar:

Right.

Shaukat Dar:

It was a little bit different to, to um, to sort of tackle it from my perspective. Uh , but I didn't think it was that difficult. I just had to make a decision which suited the circumstances at the time. And , uh, my mother was a well respected women , where we lived, and she used to get quite a few visitors, which were , uh, of Pakistani origin, you know , and they needed help every now and again. So our door front door used to be open all the time, people walking in and out. Uh, and so they , there was that a thought which wentthrough my mind that how would my parents feel. And um , I never discussed it even with my brothers or sisters, but Jean used to visit our house and my parents were aware of Jean and so were my brothers and sisters, but I didn't discuss anything about how far I was going to take it. Now that was deliberate on my part, but I saw the complexity of the whole environment, you know, mum being pretty strong , uh, in the , in that area so people would follow the in a way. Um, and um, I was very conscious of how my mother would feel generally. But in the background, it was one of those things where when I look back and I still think I made the right decision. So I decided that I wasn't going to tell anyone, but I , I wrote a short note to my sister and left it in her bedroom. I was working nights at the time. I finished my shift in the morning. My friend had his car and he was waiting for me outside to take me to get wed . And , um, I got dressed and my mom questioned me, said, why are you dressed with the suit and tie? I hesitated for a minute because at that time I still, I think, and I liked my mother, but I said, well, I haven't said anything yet. So sticking to my, to my guns, I just said, I've got a meeting and I'll be back. She was very conscious that I hadn't gone to bed yet. Uh, and uh , she said, don't be too late. Just be back home in good time to get some sleep. So we went out , uh, I went out, I stepped out and my friend picked me up and um, we got , uh , married.

Nina Dar:

And then the line that I always love to share is that you went off to get married with a little note in dad's sister's bedroom and you had to go back there to live.

Jean Dar:

I got married and then we went back to Shaukat's p arents' house and I didn't know anything about the note. And the next morning we got a knock on the door and she said, you'd best come down seeing as you're married.

Nina Dar:

So they knew, they knew you from the note. Oh, from the note the note was, yeah,

Shaukat Dar:

I knew I had to go and face, you know , whatever I had to face, you know. So , uh, I went downstairs at that time, coal fires were used, you know, in, in the household to get the warmth. So it was my dad's job. He used to do that very efficiently. Uh, and uh , he'd lit the fire and we were all sat. It was Sunday morning, I went down, he just looked at me. He knew, he looked at me, he said, well, now that you're married, you might as well go and get her downstairs. So yeah. So I took Jean downstairs and they , they just exchange pleasantries , uh , was in the habit of reading the Sunday papers . So I said to Jean, just to calm the things down. I'll get into perspective. I said to Jean, let's go ahead and get this paper and w e'll come back again.

Nina Dar:

That would calm things down. I'll just get the Sunday papers, that'll make it all right.

Shaukat Dar:

Kind of, it just gives a break, you know, it was for them to take a breather and a , and perhaps if there's any questions to do fire to us is just to give them up . I thought it was a good break and walked back in. And , uh, so, Oh,

Nina Dar:

so you went from that, you went from that start to married life where even before that as you describe everybody was pointing out that this was not okay. Nobody really, I mean, you obviously had friends who did think it was okay,

Jean Dar:

we did.

Nina Dar:

So and they became then part of the strength that made you think, actually we can do this.

Shaukat Dar:

Yes. I think you , you have to have that personal strength as well. You know , uh, it's , it's very good to know there are some friends we can rely on and uh, exchange views and also as a backup , uh, for whatever reason. Uh , but at the end of the day, you have to face the music yourself. So you have to be really well prepared, you know , prepared in the sense that , uh, you are going to be as civil as possible. So my, my goal at the time was that I'm here to stay. So is my wife

Nina Dar:

is a very, very easy thing to say. But obviously for a lot of people and people listening, they'll be thinking, you couldn't do that today. Maybe they're thinking that now , uh , that maybe you could do it then you couldn't do it today. Just so that we get some idea of your thoughts in that, what was happening in the sixties and what people thought about the two of you getting together then versus what we're seeing now. And the fact that, you know, people like Raheem Sterling still believe that this is such an issue that he will collaborate with people like Gillette and many others. I mean, we know Raheem now is standing out for what he believes in sharing his background, but that's because it's still seen as quite a significant issue. So what you're talking about in the sixties to today, do you think things have changed?

Shaukat Dar:

I don't think so. I think about it quite often. And so what we went through at the time was trying to make it sort of easy, sort of listen. Uh, obviously , uh, things don't happen just with a click of your finger and some hard work had to go behind it , uh , to achieve all that. Uh, when, when we talk about differences, differences in family, differences in the background, differences in the culture, in my mind, I knew I was very comfortable that Jean will embrace it , uh, as , as quickly as possible. But then again, my parents came to terms with it very quickly, you know, and my dad , uh, and Jean can talk about it. My dad took on the mantle of say, I'm going to teach that girl, you know , uh, how to make food. And uh, and then they formed a relationship, you know, which was pretty strong. And mum's relationship with her was very strong. With that, they could have an impact on the community. So as there were quite a few followers of mother, you know , uh , she used to mentor them , uh , in in a lot of ways and she tried to remove that negativity , uh , in the beliefs of the other people as well. And Jean, over a period of time gained a better respect, not better, but a respect from the community, which perhaps wouldn't have . And they respected her more than they respected me

Nina Dar:

This is what we're talking about, isn't it? About, this is why role models are so important because they're not individuals. You don't just have one role model in your life. You have multiple role models at different times. And the job of a role model is primarily to do something that one, everyone looks at you and says, Oh, that's what I want to achieve. That's what I want to be there. The values I want to show. But at the same time, they have this ability to pass it on. And that's what you're saying, that your mom and dad started doing. So after this initial shock of he's gone away, he's got married, he didn't involve us in that which in itself could have been family shattering. It didn't become that. And it would be interesting to hear from you mom as to why do you think it didn't become that? What did you and dad do that stopped it becoming family shattering?

Jean Dar:

Uh , I think, I think you've got to, first of all, for me to go into living in a strange house with people I didn't really know and the culture and the culture didn't know at all. Um , it was really daunting. But that's where your strength comes. Well , my strength comes in because I , I accept people how they are and they, they accepted me how I was.

Nina Dar:

You think they did that because you did it first?

Jean Dar:

I think it was mutual. Really. You've got to earn respect, you know, I think you've got to, you, you have got to earn respect from people, but also you've got to give and take. So sometimes it was hard and you just have to bear with it to get to the next stage.

Nina Dar:

But then that was because you knew what you wanted and you knew how you wanted this to be play out.

Jean Dar:

Yeah, because I, I was married and it's what I wanted. It wasn't forced. It was what I wanted and we both wanted it. So we both worked at it.

Nina Dar:

But you didn't, you didn't need to, you could have done what so many people do. You could have just left your families and walked away from the families and sorted out the two of you.

Shaukat Dar:

I think that that would have been a worse scenario. You know, I wasn't prepared to do that. And hence the initial decision I made that I'm not going to involve family into marriage process, you know, because I could see that other people outside our arena would intervene and have something to say. And that blows out of proportions in order to act . So I still think even today, after all this time and we've been married 50 years, that I've made the right decision at the time, under the circumstances and um , and worked at it to maintain , uh , that the decision was right and we can make things right by first of all, promoting our behavior and our thinking and also taking into account how other people feel as well. I knew perhaps at some stage mom and dad got hurt, but they came to terms with it and I wasn't prepared to have a confrontation with them. I was prepared to ride the time and walk through the life pace and how after all, I could have been rejected by my parents. They could have chucked me out.

Nina Dar:

Well , you know, at work many times you'll hear the line ask for forgiveness, not permission.

Shaukat Dar:

Hmm .

Nina Dar:

Which is , is really what the two of you did. You thought if I asked for permission to do this, many people are going to get involved in this conversation. Yes . There'll be so many views. I won't be able to control that. Actually we can see a way through here and I've got to trust that when we make this decision and then go back and make it work and make it right. It will be okay.

Shaukat Dar:

Going back to when I said my dad was my mentor and everything is in life , his thought process of achieving an employment, which required high level of, you know, reading capacity. He was totally educated, but he somehow managed to secure the job. I don't know how, but he did. Maybe they were short of people at the time, but he displayed something different to his peers at the time that he was capable, irrespective of whether he could write or not, he, his job cannot be faulted and...

Nina Dar:

He was also capable of a different mindset.

Shaukat Dar:

Yes, because he was determined at the time that I can make a success of this, whether I've been to college or not,

Nina Dar:

which was different in those days. I mean, when would we have been talking now we would have been talking in the thirties and forties

Shaukat Dar:

Oh yes. Yeah.

Nina Dar:

So in, in that era, for somebody like that to be uneducated and end up with a profession, a professional job, a skill job was unheard of.

Shaukat Dar:

Totally, totally. All respect to him, you know, in a big way. And that's what inspired me that if you want to do something, you don't have to have that qualification. Your qualification is your behavior and your attachment with other people. That is the key thing. You have to understand that you are a human being and other people are humans as well. Take that into account. And you can't just sit there and throw rubbish things at each other and expect good results. You have to work for it and you can achieve marvelous things.

Nina Dar:

But the , the important things you're talking about is this is not about getting qualifications, although that's become so important nowadays. But , but the more important things, attitude, behavior, your own personal values that your own determination and ability and really we're talking about resilience, aren't we? Knowing that knowing that these things are not going to be easy. Um, knowing the conversations that we're talking about now, they're not easy, easy conversations. Even to have today, but you've got to have a certain amount of resilience and belief that by sharing there will be a more positive outcome.

Shaukat Dar:

Of course you have to share , uh , as a human being, I think you have a duty duty first of all, to let the world know that you are a human being and also understand that are other human beings. You, you're having a conversation, take their understanding and uh , find a solution.

Nina Dar:

One of the things that Raheem's advert talks about is prove the doubters wrong. Mum, you seem to have done that.

Jean Dar:

Well, I'll give you an instance then when I first went out with Shaukat and I went to his house and I knocked on the door, his dad used to open the door and go, he's not in and shut the door and I'd persevere at that door until he opened the door,

Nina Dar:

What, standing there? Just knocking back on the door,

Jean Dar:

I said I know he's in so I'll just wait. And a t the end when we got married and I'd say, what? Two years in, he was the only person t hat wanted to talk his personal things with me. We'd got that connection so strong that he just w orked. He just wanted me to be there to discuss things.

Nina Dar:

So what did you do to get to that point to reverse the situation that much?

Jean Dar:

I listened to him. I let him teach me things and never argued with him. I could've done , but I didn't. And I gained confidence in him and trust. And

Nina Dar:

because, because you didn't, you were unconditionally accepting of him even though I can imagine that some of that, like even him closing the door in your face, wasn't that him showing that same acceptance of you?

Jean Dar:

Well, he was, to me with just guarding his interest. It's his son that he didn't want to get married into a different culture and we had to break that deadlock. So, and we did, we did with the whole family. And I would say now I'm more respected then the sister in laws that are married into the same say . And that's because of your determination, but also positive thinking and understanding because there is complications on both sides. I mean, my family did more or less disowned me when we got married. So , um , they don't come to anything. They won't do anything with us . And we've been married 50 years and still my sister will not visit, she'll send a card. but she will not visit.

Nina Dar:

And so much has been lost in that time, hasn't it ?

Jean Dar:

So much has been lost. You as our three girls have lost their cousins, they've lost everything and their children have lost both ways. It's both ways lost.

Nina Dar:

And what do you think the difference was? Why did you manage to break through with one family and not the other?

Jean Dar:

Well, I suppose mostly it was after my mom died, my, my stepdad wasn't very good, so he was very racialist. And when my mom died, everybody just broke up.

Nina Dar:

Right. So it was your mom that kept everybody together.

Jean Dar:

Yeah, I suppose . Well, in a respect. Yeah , she was. But they've got their own lives and they have their own choices.

Nina Dar:

Yeah. Which is a big part of, again, what's in this campaign, you know, it's to get people to realize it's on, you know , these, these big decisions, the big things we have to go through in our lives. Of course we need support, we need the role models, we need family and friends. But fundamentally, it's on you, isn't it?

Jean Dar:

Definitely ,

Shaukat Dar:

uh , that, that's a crucial point really, because if I look back now and if I look at , um, uh, the current situation with us, you know, we can go anywhere. We can go and attend any kind of festival gatherings and , um, no one will start staring at Jean if you like to think like that. Uh, they will just embrace her and to just go ahead and say, Oh, we know that's Jean, Shaukat's wife . And then carry on. It's just like being a normal part of the family as it should be. And , uh , it's very acceptable. Uh, and , um , more so even within the family. I mean, I talk to my sister, she lives in London every Sunday morning , uh , just to keep in touch with her. And , uh , of course she wants to listen to me, but very quickly she'll say, is Jean there? And then I don't see the phone for another hour or so. So , uh , that's, that's the way it goes, you know. But , uh, uh, the impact, I mean, that kind of impact is created by your personal efforts. You have to be a part of it. You have to put energy into it and you get the benefits.

Nina Dar:

Yeah. And that's, I think even for the generations coming through now, despite all the progress that you've made through your generations, we still are at the point where we're still convincing people that they should do this. It's worth doing it. Which in a way must be disappointing for you two to know that this is still a headline subject.

Shaukat Dar:

I have anger in my body which says that we have , uh , made it possible for ourselves and we think it is possible. Not that everyone should go and get married in different races or something like that. That's not what I'm talking about, but I'm still talking about the relationship between all the human beings and it is possible to develop that relationship without any ill feelings. Uh , I don't carry any baggage. I feel very angry and disappointed that , uh, I was expecting something which would change this world in my lifetime and I would like to see that.

Nina Dar:

Yeah, wouldn't, we all, and even for me , um , living this story , um, had such an impact on me in such a positive way is that as I said in me describing you as my role models , um, I didn't grow up thinking anything was different. So, and there's things, you know, people say I don't see color. Well, I really didn't see color. I grew up in that same, I started my life in the same family home that you went back to after you'd got married. And then we moved to Reddish, which was apart from you in my memory Dad,, apart from you was completely white area. Unless my memory is clouded in that , um, and still didn't feel that we were any different. Um, because we were the center of everything. And I think in the way that you describe , um, your parents' house, you had lots of people, your mom and dad had lots of people from lots of different places who came, came for advice, came just for help, just came for food. Um , and you, you took that to our house in Reddish and our house there became the house that had every party. We celebrated everything. I mean, people still say that we celebrate the opening of a box, you know , we still celebrate everything and our houses are still very social and very party, which is amazing when you think that it could have so easily been that we were excluded from everything. But instead of taking that position of being excluded, in fact, I would say we are so inclusive as a family, as an extended family, even people coming into our lives, they become part of our families all over the world. We have connections out there that are very strong and this, this whole approach to life is so inclusive. How do you know if we, you think if we have managed to do it and one little bubble her , what messages can we send of how you make that spread?

Shaukat Dar:

I think , uh, if I can go back and look at my own culture, you know , where people gathered together most of the time , you know, families and, and uh , the neighbours and all that, so it had that open house sort of a feel to it. And also in practice, that's how it was because people did that and then came to UK. Obviously things were different, but I saw the benefit of it because by doing that we were minded by other people as well. They looked at her interest for instance , uh, as being young, I can remember it in Kenya that , uh , just taking a catapult out and uh , knocking the street light bulb and one of my neighbors just , uh , got hold of me and I was treated the same. Uh, it took me to house and to house and uh, and uh, gave me the third degree. It was the worst thing which could have happened because it doesn't end there. Uh, because once he's finished and he's playing like my dad's role in earnest and people accept that and he has to pass on that information to my dad and say , by the way, I had to chastise your son because this is what he did. And then you get the second part of your punishment from your dad as well. So we were brought up in that kind of environment, but we respected other people around us. You know, your neighbors, you know, you , because they were always looking after you. And we did the same, you know, I tell you , remember the Reddish situation , uh, everyone used to come,

Nina Dar:

I k now, it was very like t hat in Reddish, as a child growing up in Reddish, we could be anywhere and be told off by anybody or be told that you were, had to go back home. There was no mobile phones. There's no nothing. Y ou didn't even know how that had happened.

Shaukat Dar:

Yeah, it was , uh , I remember it was , uh , it was , um, hair salon as well. All the children used to work in [inaudible] daughters and this is it. This, I think it's the kind of relationship with develop and the kind of person you become and that is very important. You have to have it in your mind. You have to have it in your heart, the feel for it. You can't just sit around and look at the world and say this is how they're behaving and why am I not behaving like them ?

Nina Dar:

And food was always a big part mum.

Jean Dar:

Oh yes . Everybody likes to come for a curry Made properly by instructions of my father in law and when we took Packed lunches of samosas to school. Oh yes , you are always favorites. But on the point, I do think you should stress that in today's world people don't respect other people's cultures. We are a one person. We get different skins and different cultures, but we're still the same person. We're all made the same . Just different cultures and different colors and it shouldn't matter at all. You should respect everybody with a good heart

Shaukat Dar:

and take time to understand other people. You know, it is important to , I think , uh, more than the religion. Culture is very, very important. You know, it brings color, it brings joyful things in life. Uh, do it.

Nina Dar:

Absolutely. And so no surprise really that when I set up cheeky monkey, that my line was a human approach to innovation and change, which is fundamentally about the acceptance of differences, but also understanding that if we want to create real change, there's going to be heat and light. We're not going to go agree on everything. We're just not going to all agree. And that's, that's when we're talking about things in the workplace, not even talking about the big issues. So in the workplace, it's rare that you're going to get a group of people who come together and agreed on everything. So what you have to do is work through that. And I thought that the way we worked through that wasn't very human. And so the human approach was to say, look, we are people, we're emotional. We have differences of opinions, we have different backgrounds, and that all comes together and what we bring to the workplace. And if we don't work through that and don't make it part of what we have to deal with, then there'll always be uncomfortable points and things that don't really sit together that say when you take that out of the workplace and then you, you looking at these bigger conversations of differences in people. And although , um, for us personally it was about color, but now the way things have gone actually were more tolerant of all kinds of differences. So we're not just talking about color are we, we're talking about gender, sexuality, just nationality, belief systems, religion, all sorts of things that in one respect we are talking about more than we ever talked about, which is a good thing. It is. Yeah. The downside of that is now we seem to have more things to disagree on.

Shaukat Dar:

Yes . I mean, I think you have to go through that process, you know, and uh, but it's, it becomes a long process when it's dark. You know, some, someone has to make a stand and this is what I meant about dad . He always made a stand and he always achieved what his aim was and so did I in my lifetime. And I have a very good successful record of that. U h, not because, u h, I was being dogmatic about it. I just wanted to be s ensible. I wanted to be human. I wanted to get on with you. It was simple as that.

Nina Dar:

And you think that, see , so, so people listening to this may think, well, that is really dogmatic. I , but what you're really getting at behind that is, unless you, you as an individual make those choices and make them strong and say, this is what I want out of my life and I'm going for it. Then it doesn't matter how many role models you have or how many people you have supporting you, it's not going to happen. You're not going to get there.

Shaukat Dar:

No, you have to make a commitment. The commitment has got to come from you. Now when you say, Oh , you know, you said part of the description, have you go about it? You know, because I , I would easily would have said, I would have liked to, you know, but when you, when you're truly in the ground, likely in the circumstances which are pretty inflammatory at times, then you have to show what you're made of. You know, you, if you have made off the stuff which can deliver and there is no going back. You know, you make a decision, you have to make a decision. But it doesn't mean that you are ignoring others. You have to make them understand the decision is good for you and good for me, but take a human approach to it.

Nina Dar:

It seems to take a long time. So although we've made progress or some would say we've not made as much progress as we should have made. It's taken a long time. In my professional life in trying to manage change there is an impatience always in the corporate world about we want change, but we want it now. Make it faster, deliver this faster. Make everyone think about this in a different way and make them think about it now. So when you think about what you've seen change in 50 years, that you've been together, and then you do see , um, the Gillette advert and you see the reaction at the Brit awards, where still people's differences are still in the headlines, what do you think we could all do to finally nail it? Or do you think we'll never nail it?

Shaukat Dar:

I think , uh , if you, if you follow the timescale , you know, and , and uh, to me , uh, at the moment, unfortunately it looks like it's , it's , it's a long process. How long a process , uh, is debatable because it's not changing the way I, I was expecting people will learn, people will watch people learn by experience, you know, and , uh , I think we have had quite a few experiences in theworld. There are quite a few people in the world who are regarded as life changers, you know, and besides having all that , uh, you can get a situation a small situation developing where , um, a litmus paper is lit and it goes the other way. I think people need to hold on to the thought. They need to understand that we need to be together to achieve something. There is a lot more we can achieve by being together rather than separated items.

Nina Dar:

Do you think mum, that the younger generation has more of a handle on this?

Jean Dar:

I personally think it will take the next generation and looking at all the demos and everything that's going on around the world. They are committed together and I hope that commitment together will continue and change,

Nina Dar:

but they're committed together over climate change.

Jean Dar:

They are, but they're committed within a group, nobody is saying you shouldn't be in this group. You shouldn't be protesting. That's the start.

Nina Dar:

So you're seeing that those climate change protests actually contain a group of very diverse young people?

Jean Dar:

I do.

Nina Dar:

And that they see that as perfectly normal.

Jean Dar:

Yes.

Nina Dar:

And you identify with that as change ?

Jean Dar:

Hopefully I do. I see the next generation as being more tolerant towards each other and hopefully the tolerance will include all the other issues that's going on . Fingers crossed. It may not take till the next generation and things will start to happen. But I do think it will be the next generation that will change things.

Nina Dar:

And what, what message do we need to pass on to them? Like today, say as we bring this podcast to a close, what are the things that we want to say are going to be important in keeping this commitment to inclusive behaviour and an inclusive society. What does it need?

Jean Dar:

It needs positivity. It needs togetherness. You need to talk to each other, stick together .

Shaukat Dar:

It needs , um, from my perspective, I think it needs collaboration. You know, people need to understand it's about time. The education system is good nowadays. And I am surprised that , uh, besides that, you know, people stop developing a , an unnecessary thought is to look around, look at the world world contains all of uh , various mix of people. That is the world and uh , recognise it, embrace it, understand it and make friends.

Nina Dar:

Yeah. And if we did all of that, it would be amazing. Um , and definitely , uh, as we've said throughout this, the power of one, the power of you, the power of you as an individual, what you choose to do, the values that you choose, the example you choose to set is really important.

Shaukat Dar:

It is without a doubt, because if you, if you are not there , uh, with your experience and your understanding, then it will be pointless. I don't think there'll be anybody taking the mantle at all. I think people first of all need to understand that the world is coming closer together, be a part of it. And uh, that's where the success lies. That's where the big decisions are made. That's where you achieve climate change is you talked about climate change before. It is a worldwide thing. So you can't just say, Oh, by the way, it only belongs to Britain. It is one of those things where you need to just look around you and say, what is the big picture now, be a part of it. Achieve the results and embrace it.

Nina Dar:

Well, I'd say we do need the power of one and we're very lucky. I'm very lucky that you two met each other and it became an amazing power of two. Thanks for coming onto the podcast today and sharing your story. Very personal and I hope that everybody took something away from that today. Thanks so much.

Narrator:

Special. Thanks again today to Shaukat and Jean and thank you very much for listening to today's episode of the change troubleshooter. Nina invites you as always to join in the conversation by going to her website, ninadar .com where you'll find all contact details. As mentioned in the podcast, last year, Shaukat and Jean celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and a song was written for them describing how they met and their story. This is called biscuit love

Music:

[inaudible]

Speaker 7:

One day back in in 67 in a biscuit factory, well-known Shaukat saw a vision of heaven and true love began to grow. He knew right then where his future lay, his destiny was shown. His heart sang out and his spirits rose and he had to make her his own. Jean was packing biscuits into boxes, maybe Jaffa Cakes or Rich Tea, it might have been digestives. She wasn't looking so she did not see. Aware someone was watching her, she looked up from the conveyor belt, her eyes met his, there was a bang and a fizz and their two hearts began to melt. Shaukat and Jean, Shaukat and Jean, the biggest love story on the Manchester scene, Shaukat and Jean, Shaukat and Jean, the sweeted=st love story Manchester's ever seen. He asked her out to Magambo to meet his friends for a cup of tea. That funky little cafe around the back of Piccadilly. They had a plate of cheese on toast and shared a banana split, and pretty soon they both knew if love was real, then this was it. Shaukat and Jean, Shaukat and Jean, the biggest love story on the Manchester scene . Shaukat and Jean . Hey , Shaukat and Jean the sweetest love story Manchester's ever seen. Now here we are 50 years later, celebrating that love of theirs, they proved to everybody that true love has no cares, against the odds in different times they s tuck to what t hey k new w as right. That is why we're singing this song on this special night. Shaukat and Jean, Shaukat and Jean, the biggest love story. on the Manchester scene, Shaukat and Jean, Shaukat and Jean the biggest love story Manchester's ever seen. Writ ten, produced and performed by Sunsoaked Creative

Narrator:

Join us again in two weeks time for the next episode of The Change Troubleshooter. This has been a Sunsoaked Creative production.

Speaker 8:

[inaudible] .