Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jehan Ara

My name is Jehan Ara. I am a person of average intelligence who can best be described as a pretty good human being, a communicator, an entrepreneur, a mild activist, a believer in the general goodness of people and an optimist.
I was born in Karachi but moved to Hong Kong as a child. It was in that vibrant and fast-moving city that I grew up. The kind of things that Hong Kong stamped on me were:
- a real appreciation for good food
- the importance of hard work, and
- the value of time (mine and everyone else’s)
If there is anything remotely angelic in my character, I owe it all to my mother who was the nicest, kindest and most beautiful human being on the face of this planet. She always wore a smile (even during the times when she was in pain due to the state of her health) and had a wonderful sense of humour. She had a kind word to say about everyone she met and her patience and compassion knew no bounds. We were lucky to have had a mother who taught us the basic lessons of love and sacrifice.
My father must be held responsible for teaching us the essential values of integrity, hard work, loyalty and commitment. Stories of his generosity and his hospitality have spread far and wide. Many a time I run into people in the course of my work who inform me that they have had the pleasure of staying at our home in Hong Kong. Should I tell them, I wonder, that the traffic through our apartment would put the traffic on our freeways to shame?
Amongst my vices, topmost is the pleasure I get in bestowing gifts on family and friends – this has earned for me the nickname “Santy Claus”.
What do I enjoy? I love to write, to talk, to read, to listen to music, to watch movies and go to the theatre whenever I get a chance. I love to travel – see new towns and cities, experience different cultures. I am a gadget freak and especially love everything “Apple”.
I am passionate about anything I undertake – whether it is the branding of P@SHA, the planning of an event, the development of a product, cooking a meal, counselling, working with younger people, or taking on a cause and pursuing it to the limits.
Amongst the things I fail to comprehend are the instincts in people to bring each other down, to be unhappy at the success of others, their inability to unite towards the achievement of a common cause and their selfishness in the pursuit of commercial or monetary gain.
Does this make me a social entrepreneur? I don’t know. I don’t like labels. All I know is that whatever I do, it needs to ignite in me a passion, an interest, a sense of achievement, of pleasure – a need that goes beyond mere monetary benefit.