Born in Mumbai, India; brought up in Dubai (UAE) and Salalah (Oman)
Married 21 years to her first love whom she’s known since she was seven
Mother of two daughters, Niara and Saira
Graduated college with a degree in Marine Science and Aquaculture
Enjoys yoga, reading, knitting, tweeting, and (more recently) running
International frontline fundraiser for Boston University, overseeing the Middle East and India
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK/AUTHOR?
A: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Though I started this journey with [author] Charlotte Brontë. I was always referred to as “Jane Eyre” because when I was eight, my parents had to leave me with my aunt for a few years to take on employment in the Gulf.
Q: WOW. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN TOUGH AT THE RIPE, OLD AGE OF EIGHT.
A: Don’t feel bad. It was only for three years! Anyway, during that time, I got my hands on Jane Eyre at the library, got hooked on the classics, and eventually landed on Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. Funnily enough, the old BBC television series featuring Colin Firth remains my favorite visual depiction of the book. I still watch a few minutes of it almost every night before going to bed.
Q: AWW! ANY OTHER FUNNY HABITS?
A: I love caffeine in the form of espressos in a demitasse cup. I am shamefully known as an “espresso fiend” with a personal record of 15 espressos in a day. I can’t sleep for more than 3.5 hours a day. It’s my thing, but not to worry, I am all there in my head!
Q: THAT’S COMPLETELY NUTS / I’M SO JEALOUS! SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THOSE EXTRA WAKING HOURS?
A: I read, follow too many news links, and knit. I also dream of becoming the next Anthony Bourdain since I love to travel, and I love food. On the road, I enjoy finding quaint bookshops and cafés, walking along old streets, and stuffing my face with street food (I do have an iron stomach). Many of my favorite places are in the Middle East – think sand dunes, desert sunsets, hummus, apple-flavored shisha, oceans to dive, and mountains to climb.
But my very favorite hangout is my family cabin in the mountains of Norway. You have to hike 20 minutes to get up to it – well, 35 minutes with the kids; all our stuff; and two motivational, fruit-roll ups. At the Dagli hytte [cabin], the most delicious moment is waking up at 4:00 am in summertime (land of the midnight sun), pouring myself a cup of coffee from the French press, sitting on the sofa, chomping on a traditional Norwegian breakfast, and looking out the window at the mountains. I also enjoy using my wood carving knife to make useful things out of raw branches and sharing big meals with my family and our Norske friends.
Q: THAT SOUNDS WONDERFUL. LASTLY, TELL US WHO BROUGHT YOU INTO SHEGIVES AND WHAT YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT HER.
A: Geraldine Acuna. Her children attended the same preschool as mine. She always conveyed such positive energy and genuine enthusiasm to those who managed and executed the fundraisers at our school. An unusual dinner event she hosted threw us into one another’s company, and my lucky draw from that evening was Geraldine’s recommendation of SheGives. She got me hook, line, and sinker; and I am truly enjoying getting to know her through this endeavor.
SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged funders with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater.
WhoIsShe is a regular column featuring an appreciative but sometimes irreverent conversation with a SheGives Member.