Bonjour, I’m Nermesh Singh or you can call me Neru, aged 20, from the wettest town in Malaysia, Taiping. I’m currently pursuing Bachelor of Pharmacy in a very established university known as International Medical University (IMU) and joined the 2016 intake. Oh yes, let me just narrate what does the title depicts. I’ve always had passion in photography since primary school and then I stopped indulging in it as soon I graduated from high school knowing that I will be stuck with assignments, deadlines and exams. As I stepped into IMU, I decided to rejuvenate my skills in photography and submit photos for competitions. I guess IMU brings luck (giggles) as I won several competitions throughout my year in IMU such as the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotrourism (MAHA) Photography Competition 2016, International My View on Sustainable Development Goals Student Photo Contest 2016, Selfie with Mom Photography Competition, National World Photographic Cup 2017,and utmost recently the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) 2017. One day, I was just scrolling Google search engines and then I found this very interesting photography competition where you get handmade recognition remarks not just cash or printed certificates, plus they carve your full name on the crystal ball, that’s the wonderful thing! I decided to submit around 4 pictures of my own and then when the day comes, two photos of mine were nominated in the awards listing among 49429 photos out of 161 countries. I was then told that I was nominated the Top 3 under 20 years old category. I was on top of the world. I’ve won two awards under one category: Remarkable Award and the 3rd Place Pangea Prize Award. I travelled to Siena, Italy on 26 October which takes one whole tiring day to travel from Asia to Europe. I reached Siena on 27 October and was brought to the hotel that I have been accommodated for. Upon reaching, I received the SIPA kit consisting of a bottle of wine, bags, vouchers, calendars, postcards, cap etc. The next day, 28 October, I was entitled for a guided city tour. I took my Italian breakfast and then rushed to the St Domenico’s church. Trust me, the weather is around 10 degree Celsius. So cold. I wore like three sweaters and walk around. But I was delighted as the church is a just walking distance of 10 minutes. Siena is divided into 17 districts equivalent to 17 animals. Each year on 2 July and 16 August, the city has its own horse race called II Palio di Siena whereby 10 eligible animals (districts) participated for only 3 laps which accounted for 1.5 minutes. I was astonished and surprised that such a tradition was carried out by the citizens over here. The guided tour consists of visit to the Cathedral, the horse race valley and St Domenico’s church. The guided tour ended around 12pm and I quickly went and shop. The souvenirs were quite reasonable and yes, they’re in good quality. Around 5pm, I rushed back to the hotel, to prepare myself for the Gala Award Night. Utmost 6.30pm, I went to the theatre and was offered the sit whereby my name was written on. I felt like a superstar (giggles). The awards were going on and then comes my award. The moment they announce my very first award with the “grammy-awards” kind of feeling, I felt so over the moon. Soon, they announced the prize winners and I got myself the 3rd Prize- Crystal Pangea Prize. The photographers were then told to go to the Gala Dinner about 500m away from the theatre. The dinner was an Italian-kind buffet, which is quite unusual for me. For starters, they had red wine, and to be professional, I took up a glass and drink and mingle with the photographers. I met photographers from the Hawaii, Portugal and Czech Republic. They are friendly and yes inspiring to me. I returned to Malaysia on the very next day. At first, I was curious how I won as I don’t have much photography skills. I basically take photos and rarely edit them. I love taking natural ones as they define originality and that’s what the judges are looking for. Till now, I’m jumping with joy as every single individual who meets me congratulate me. I’m glad to bring happiness and smiles especially to my parents as I managed to fulfil their hopes that I could soar their names higher over skies. I would like to thank IMU as well for their support towards my involvement in this international event.
My life’s philosophy: “Life is a like staircase whereby with talent in your hand, you’re able to establish a step higher at a time. To that one step, comes all hurdles and obstacles in life where you must be brave and optimistic enough to face.”
Written by IMU Pharmacy Student, Nermesh Singh aka Neru
Congratulations to Neru!
In the news:
|NST, 30 Oct 2017||Picture Perfect: M’sian Pharmacy Student Wins Prestigious Photography Prize in Siena, Italy|
|NST, 22 Nov 2017||Picture Perfect for Pharmacy Student|
|NST, 22 Nov 2017 (online)||Picture Perfect for Pharmacy Student|
|Aperture, 10 April 2018||Nermesh Singh|