If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change: Lina Ashar

The Proust Questionnaire is about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

Lina Ashar, Founder of Kangaroo Kids Education, is a teacher at heart, and worked as one in Australia before she came to India. Kangaroo Kids Education runs Kangaroo Kids preschools and Billabong High International Schools across India.

Keen to set up a school that would give every child the chance to thrive, she is still reinventing teaching methodologies according to changing times after 25 years of being in the education industry.

Also read: ‘My greatest fear is getting stuck in the rut of life’: Goumtesh Singh, Co-Partner, Raasta

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Fulfilment of living in alignment with my values.

What is your greatest fear?

A child getting hurt in one of our schools.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Procrastinating about losing weight.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Not living up to their potential.

Which living person do you most admire?

My son.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My hair – it is curly and I go to the parlour each time I wash it.

What is your current state of mind?

Content and peaceful.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Following rules. Rebels who question status quo are the ones who can transform society.

On what occasion do you lie?

If it’s going to hurt somebody else’s feelings.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My curly hair.

Which living person do you most despise?

No one. I believe everyone comes to my life for a reason; they are all here to teach us something important.

What is the quality you most like in a man?


What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The quality of being empathetic and caring.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My son.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to sing, and I don’t mean in the shower.

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

I love me just the way I am, but perhaps my habit to procrastinate.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Changing the perception of education in India – from rote learning to making learning fun and impactful.

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

I would like to come back as me.

Where would you most like to live?


What is your most treasured possession?

My house in Goa.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Not being able to recognise your calling and following it.

What is your favourite occupation?

I am a teacher at heart.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Being calm.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their love for me and their wit.

Who are your favourite writers?

My favourite writers are Andy Andrews and Bruce Lipton.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Pollyanna. Her philosophy of life centres on what she calls ‘The Glad Game’, an optimistic and positive attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Albert Einstein.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My son and my dad who taught me persistence and commitment.

What is your favourite name?

Drish – because it means vision.

What is it that you most dislike?

Arrogance in people.

What is your greatest regret?

Don’t have any; every situation has taught me something.

How would you like to die?


What is your favourite journey?

Every time I get on a plane it becomes my favourite journey.

What is your motto?

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Also read: ‘Live in the present and keep your mind at peace’: Shreyans Jain, Co-Founder, Under 25