Most despicable people are misunderstood: Bina Shah


Express July 20, 2010

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Freedom from any kind of want, need, or desire. Contentment. Coming to a resting point where everything is at peace within and without.

What is your greatest fear?

Snakes.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Laziness.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Gadgetry — specially if made by Apple.

On what occasion do you lie?

When someone pressures me to do something I don’t want to do.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My hair. It’s uncontrollable!

Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t despise anyone. Most despicable people are either misunderstood, misguided, or both.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Integrity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Integrity.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Oh my god” and a few unprintable phrases.

When and where were you happiest?

At my brother’s wedding a few weeks ago. I was surrounded by friends and family, and was so proud to see him taking such an important step in life.

Which talent would you most like to have?

A beautiful singing voice.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d wish for more athletic ability.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Writing my books. I’m very proud of that.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I’d come back as a doctor. I’ve always wanted to be one without having to go to medical school.

Where would you most like to live?

Geneva in the summer, Karachi in the winter.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being blessed but unable to realise it.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you choose to do?

I’d be a chef. Run a restaurant or a bakery.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My creativity.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Fatima Jinnah.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Martin Luther King Jr. Anne Frank. My aunt Fahima Qalbani who ran a breast care clinic in the Midwest for many years and doubtlessly saved many women’s lives.

What is your greatest regret?

I’m too young for regrets just yet.

What’s your favourite quote?

Mother Theresa: “If you judge people you have no time to love them.”

How many hours of load shedding did you experience yesterday?

Five or six — I’ve lost count.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2010.

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