It runs in the family: Shehrbano Raza Rizvi and Mehek Raza Rizvi

Shehrbano Raza Rizvi, social entrepreneur, and Mehek Raza Rizvi, journalist, take us through their sisterhood

February 05, 2017

Shehrbano Raza Rizvi, social entrepreneur, and Mehek Raza Rizvi, journalist, take us through their sisterhood. From hosting Barbie parties together on weekends, to beating burglars with wooden
sticks — these sisters share it all!

What is your first memory of each other?

Shehrbano: She was the cutest, cuddliest ball wrapped in pink. I picked her up from Zainab Memorial, instantly fell in love with her and took on the role of an uber-possessive apa!

Mehek: I remember elaborately planned weekends that comprised of Barbie parties, pool parties and camps in our backyard.

What is the craziest thing you have done together?

Shehrbano: Our life is a series of that I think, but the craziest is a tie between our attempt to beat burglars with wooden sticks, changing the rules of a hospital so we could adequately welcome our niece and surviving a very chaotic night in Chandigarh!

Mehek: It’s hard to pick one, but I’ll go for the night Bano and I thought someone broke into our house. Instead of waking up our parents, we crept downstairs with wooden sticks to take the unwelcome visitors down!

What did you get punished for the most as a child?

Shehrbano: I was too well behaved to get punished — except one time when I refused to eat aloo gosht. Never scoff at food, even jokingly, in the Rizvi household. Hell hath no fury than parents sensing ingratitude!

Mehek: I always got away with everything because our other sister, Sameen, would take the blame for it. Perks of being the youngest, and most favourite family member I suppose.

If you could only wear one piece of clothing for the rest of your life, from the others closet, what would it be?

Shehrbano: Ha! I’d love to get to her size first.

Mehek: A yellow sari I’ve always had my eye on.

If you could swap places with each other, what’s the first thing you would do?

Shehrbano: Be kinder to myself, and try another geography. That bug needs to transfer to more siblings.

Mehek: Take a day off.

What is the one thing you love about your sister?

Shehrbano: Her absolutely pure heart, which has so much love to give. The exceptional work ethic she’s had from a very young age is a close second.

Mehek: She’s definitely the smartest and most compassionate person I know. We need more women like her in the world.

If you are fighting with each other, how do you make up?

Shehrbano: We forget that we ever fought after a few minutes, as there are important decisions to be made that need collaborative effort, like what to eat next.

Mehek: It happens quite naturally, within five minutes or so — usually when we have to decide on a place to eat.

What is the one secret talent your sister has, that you wish you had too?

Shehrbano: It’s not really a secret but she has a beautiful voice. She got all the good genes!

Mehek: She’s a great cook and an amazing hostess.

Describe your sister in three words:

Shehrbano: Fiercely loyal firecracker.

Mehek: Intelligent, headstrong and kind.

Which fictional character is your sister most like?

Shehrbano: Jerry from Tom and Jerry.

Mehek: Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

How are your personalities similar?

Shehrbano: Whatever we do, we do with all our heart. From being passionate about our work to always standing behind the people we love. Also, we value family and relationships more than anything else in the world.

Mehek: Nothing makes me happier than people telling me I’m a mini version of Bano! Growing up, I always tried to emulate her, which is why I may have acquired some of her traits. We are both equally driven, free-spirited and fiercely loyal. 

I can’t live without my sister because…

Shehrbano: No one else can be the best confidant, dispenser of advice, and constantly ‘get it’, except one’s siblings. It also helps that she’s hilarious and super entertaining.

Mehek: She’s my anchor, my safety net and my best friend.

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