‘Women should get married biy 26’

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MASABA RICHARDS, Fashion designer

What’s your earliest memory?
I think it’s of some riots in Bombay, I don’t exactly remember when though. I must have been 10 or so. We were living in Versova at the time and I remember all the kids in the colony had come over to my house and we were all in this one room, hiding. I remember all the guys came out with their hockey sticks, etc to protect us.

Are you religious?
I don’t go to any places of worship but I pray every night before going to sleep. These are more like conversations than prayers. But yes, I do believe.

What’s your greatest fear?
Losing my sanity, definitely. I can handle anything else as long as my brain is functioning properly.

So what do you consider ‘losing sanity’?
Not having a balanced life – professionally and personally. If everything is well balanced, then you are sane. I think work keeps you sane to a large extent. It’s something to fall back on, to go back to when other things aren’t how you’d want them to be. What would drive me insane is not doing anything.

What’s your take on marriage?
I’m quite orthodox about marriage. I strictly believe in arranged marriage. I think women should marry at an early age – maximum by around 26. The most important reason being that you won’t get a good guy if you marry later. Moreover, if you have kids at an early age they have a better relationship with you. The chances of you being friends with your kids are higher.

How have your parents influenced you?
I’ve got a bit of everything from my mom and my dad. They are both very individual people with their own identities. They are strong and determined and I’ve got all these things from them. They’ve taught me to always be strong and to find my own identity.

What was your childhood like?
It was pretty normal. I have a very normal set of friends. I don’t know what it might be like to be a star kid. I’ve had a very middle class life though I always knew we had a few advantages. But my mother made sure I understood that that’s not something I should be relying on.

What do you dislike about other people?
I really dislike hypocrisy. People who are two faced and have double standards. I don’t like people who are nice to others on the face but mean later on.

ISHA MANCHANDA