KPU Program: BA Psychology
Grad Year: 2012
Employed as: Writer and Executive Administrator at Prabu Foods Inc.
What are your primary responsibilities at your job? At Prabu Foods Inc. I handle all the office paperwork. This includes the billing, payroll, and other accounting duties. As a writer, I write for the Huffington Post Canada, a few local magazines, and newspapers, as well as on my personal blog titled Amrita Literature. My greatest literary accomplishment thus far is my South Asian fiction-adventure novel titled, Chasing Kismet. I have just released it at the beginning of May and it has already become quite popular amongst our local community and beyond.
What is your favourite part of your work? My favourite part of being a part of Prabu is knowing that the sky is the limit with this company. I like that we produce traditional Indian sweets and snacks on a large scale. We allow people to enjoy a taste of “back home” without compromising quality. The thing I love about being a writer is being able to tie my passion for social advocacy into my literature. I love the concept that something I have written may spark the mind of the individual who might just create a whole lot of social and cultural change within our community.
How do you like to unwind/handle stress? In additional to my professional obligations I am also a mother. My happiest moments are the little ones I enjoy with my 2-year-old son. He is the driving force behind my motivation to be the best of the best in everything I do.
Who is the most famous person you've ever met? One time I went to a Jay-Z and Kanye West concert. I wouldn’t say I met them but we were in extremely close proximity to them. The only thing it made me realize is how so very silly it is to be over-the-top excited to be near someone “famous.” Celebrities are regular people just like us and that night being pushed and shoved while in the front row of the concert so that others could be as close to the singers as my husband and I were I realized there’s no need to put anyone on a pedestal unless they’ve done something extraordinary with their life that actually betters the state of humankind.
If you had a time machine and could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be? I would love to have another hour with my grandmother. I realize I took her time with me for granted and I wish I could learn more from her because now that she’s gone I realize her teachings have seeped into the way I live my life in a very good way.
Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from the example I wish to set for my son. I want him to realize that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, just like I did. It’s never too late to start anew or reinvent yourself so that you can achieve your goals and fulfill your familial and professional obligations as well. I am inspired by the concept that I have the power to shape the individual he grows up to be.
Where do you see yourself in one, five or 10 years? In five years I hope to have released my second novel. One which is a non-fiction novel about the elderly in the Indian community. I feel like they have so many life experienced to draw from in regards to the rich history of India’s past which they have lived through. I want to hear about the partition of India through their eyes (when India and Pakistan were separated). As well as stories about the attack on the Golden Temple by the Indian government in 1984. These catastrophic but milestone events in India`s dark history are something that just two generations above my own can describe with eyewitness accounts – that`s something that`s going to fade away in the near future and I`d like to capture accounts of these events before that happens.
What are you most proud of? I am most proud of the fact that despite cultural norms of married Indian girls not speaking about taboo subjects in my community on a public platform, I have released a novel outlining all of these subjects with full candor. It's not easy putting yourself out there for public scrutiny, however, I did so for the greater good and betterment of my community.
Greatest advice for life? It's hard to narrow the advice I have swarming about in my head down to just one tidbit of wisdom. I`d say that it all boils down to the fact that we only have one life to live, so we may as well make it one worth living. Often, self-worth can be found in our ability to create change, and everyone has the power to do so, we must just find the outlet through which we can.
Favourite KPU moment? My favourite moment would have to be when Cecilia Martell (my very first professor at KPU) pointed out the stereotypical tendencies the media portrays in very subtle ways. She held up a newspaper with a title that read “Monster Houses Taking Over.” She pointed out the way in which houses built in Surrey by the ethnic minority are made out to be something “invading” or disrupting the “status quo” yet big beautiful houses in West Vancouver, for example, are described as glorious mansions. That exact moment was what sparked my desire to be an advocate for my community and never allow stereotypical thinking to slide past in my presence ever again.
What's the last book you read? My own, about a thousand times, as I edited it until my brain felt numb. The most moving book I ever read though, was The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. This novel is about female empowerment and challenging societal constructs even though it’s easier not to do so. It was after reading that book that I decided to write my own.
What's currently on your iPod? I don’t really listen to my iPod, in fact, I’m not even sure where it is. I like listening to the radio a lot as it makes me feel connected to what’s going on in the community. Talk shows and podcasts are my favourite thing to tune into; they always provide me with inspiring material for my next article or blog.