I was born in Hong Kong. And then we move to mainland China because my father is a Mandarin speaker and that is his area of expertise.
We were in China during the Cultural Revolution.
We then returned to Delhi in the late 70s. In 1980, my father was posted to our mission to the UN in New York.
Back then New York was still gritty and grim – not the gentrified family friendly city it has become today!
The subways were full of graffiti, violent crime was an issue, but my sister and I had a great time there.
From 1983 – 86 we lived in Delhi – it was a wonderful time to be in the capital. The city was still sleepy and small. I remember the day Mrs Gandhi was shot and how awful it was for those weeks afterwards. We didn’t go to school for two weeks I think.
In 1986, we moved to Islamabad, Pakistan, where I finished high school. The culture of jewellery is more over-the-top there than it is here in India. I would go to these weddings in Pakistan – the big Punjabi ones especially – where the women would wear these big, elaborate hair ornaments, plus big nose rings, heavy earrings and necklaces. Next to them, I looked like the hired help! Diamonds, pearls, gold, colored gemstones, Pakistani women wear all of it with aplomb.