Be a better version of who you are every day: Divya Jain, founder, Safeducate
The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature
A recipient of the ASEAN achievers award, Divya Jain is a social entrepreneur working for the past ten years to provide a solution for the unemployment problems of youth of the Indian subcontinent. She conceptualised the first mobile container skill schools in the country and is heading one of the largest initiatives for skilling in logistics. Divya is the CEO and founder of Safeducate. She is also the author of the book, ‘Horn Please’, for which, she researched and provided a photo-essay on the lives of truck drivers in India. She was BW 40 under 40 entrepreneurs and among India Today’s 50 most powerful change-makers under 50. Here are her responses to our Proust questionnaire...
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sunday morning sunshine - hugs, giggles and playing Lego with my two brats and Rubal, my husband.
What is your greatest fear?
Not being there for my children.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The inability to say no and the constant need to do everything.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Constant complainers. If you’re unhappy with something - fix it.
Which living person do you most admire?
Elon Musk. I love how he has consistently grown, taken everything that’s been thrown at him into an advantage and dared to dream a future that just months ago seemed like science fiction.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel. The world that you experience when you travel feeds your soul and makes you who you are.
What is your current state of mind?
I am excited as I am leaving for a much-needed holiday with my family and closest friends to Disneyland.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Perfection. In our quest for the perfect moment, perfect person, perfect job, we often just let life pass us by. It is far better to live to your fullest potential today and now!
On what occasion do you lie?
Mostly to spare someone’s feelings and sometimes to get my favourite people out of trouble!
Which living person do you most despise?
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Chivalry. There is something so timeless about just old-fashioned good manners and etiquette.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Now what?” Mostly in the context of what’s next, how do you move forward.
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What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could sing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Stop overthinking and over planning your life!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My children, Noor and Zahaan
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Where would you most like to live?
I love my life in India but if not here, then maybe a vineyard in Tuscany!
What is your most treasured possession?
My book of poems.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Losing a loved one.
What is your favourite occupation?
Working out! Right now, I am obsessing over kickboxing.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Confidence and innate optimism
What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty and honesty.
Who are your favourite writers?
Jane Austen, Ayn Rand and Ken Follet.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Iron Man! He is magnificently flawed, whimsical and such a star.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
My father in law.
What is your favourite name?
Noor- it means light. I think I had a daughter just so that I could name her that!
What is it that you most dislike?
Uncertainty. Indecision or being in flux is something very hard for me to deal with.
What is your greatest regret?
How would you like to die?
In my sleep.
What is your favourite journey?
The one that I am on right now.
What is your motto?
Be a better version of who you are every day.
If the words of writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron who once said,"Writing is what I do... it is like breathing to me..." defined the goals of Ephron's life, it would be Asha's mantra too, as she lives to create word pictures of the people she meets. She believes that the best stories "must move the heart and feed the mind". When she is not working, she loves reading novels and listening to music.