My name is Farah. But when I was five years old my name was not Farah. My name was Lakhan. Confused? Yeah, I thought so. My name is Lakhan, a song from the 1989 movie Ram Lakhan was the first song that caught my fascination as a child. In fact this song had influenced me so deeply that when I was questioned in the kindergarten interview, “What is your name child?” I replied, “My name is Lakhan.” Yet I got through my interview with flying colours.
A picture with my Kindergarten class in St. Joseph’s Convent School, Bandra (1993)
17 years later I grew up to be a fine Biotechnologist, with fine analytical and research skills. I thoroughly enjoyed preparing solutions of multiple dilutions, extracting and purifying DNA, preserving fungi and separating proteins on PAGE (Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis). And when I was not in the molecular kitchen I was experimenting in the real world kitchen.
Yes, I can cook. In my formative years my mother a homemaker taught me how to cook. Besides I loved to eat, so it was inevitable that I fell in love with the pots and pans too. I was not particularly fond of making the everyday dal-sabzi-roti but each time I conveyed my thoughts I was greeted with a taut reply, ‘If you don’t cook this, what will you feed your family?’ Thanks to her now I can make everything from the simple Kokum Kadhi to the shahi style Nawabi Dum Ghosht Biryani.
Besides cooking I am also passionate about photography. My passion got some direction under the guidance of my lecturer Jeroo Mulla. She with surety said that I could take pictures only for documentation purposes and that I did not possess the skills of an artist, but she too appreciated my analytical skills. She always said, “You have the eye but somehow it doesn’t translate.” She also introduced me to films, in a way that I had never seen before. This new learning also made it possible for me to participate as a member of the Young Critic Jury at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2014.
On the closing ceremony of the 16th Mumbai Film Festival along with other members of the Young Critics Jury, Juhu 2014
As I continue this journey of life I continue to meet a lot of fascinating people. With people come stories, some of which I find interesting, some of which give me hunger pangs, some of which can turn me into “AUNTY ACID”, while some others leave me in complete awe. I am described as well-mannered, intelligent, efficient, modern, traditional and one with a beautiful smile. But quiet? Oh no! For anyone who describes me as quiet doesn’t know me yet. I can have really long conversations and if something’s on my mind I just have to say it.