Hutt South electorate candidate
– New Zealand First
Where did you grow up?
‘I grew up in many small towns in central India as my father was a senior police officer and got transferred every 2-3 years to new places. This gave me the exposure to meet new people and make new friends very easily and adjust to new environments comfortably.’
Tell us about a favourite childhood memory…
‘As most Indians, I am also a cricket fanatic. I grew up listening to the radio about the exploits by Sir Richard Hadlee; also watching cricket in a park-like setting similar to Wellington’s Basin Reserve, but in India. Cricket has always fascinated me since my childhood. As a child, I had always wanted to experience watching a game in person. Due to the power of visualisation in 2009, I personally met Sir Richard Hadlee and interviewed him at Basin Reserve, when NZ Cricket was celebrating its centenary. I also watched and covered the India vs Blackcaps test match at iconic Basin reserve as a journalist, which was the last cricket series Sachin Tendulkar played in NZ. Dreams come true in so many ways.’
When did you know you’d work in politics? Was it in childhood? Later?
‘Oh, I never-ever thought I would contest in an election. I am a very shy person. Politics was a far-end thing. But I love this country so much, and consider it to be the most beautiful and divine place to live with the most genuine people around; that and I do not want NZ to compromise on its values and social ethics. This brought me into politics.
Meeting and interviewing Rt Hon Winston Peters for my newspaper was the ‘aha’ moment that led me to decide and work with NZ First for the betterment of NZ. They gave me the opportunity to represent my own electorate, which was a blessing, as was my first day in NZ, which was in Lower Hutt. I am going to live here forever. I love it so-so much.’
What is your greatest glory? (This could be in adulthood.)
‘Being a sports journalist, three experiences come to my mind. First, covering cricket World cup 1999 finals at Lords cricket ground in England. Sitting with great ex-cricketers in the media box like Sunil Gavaskar, Mike Brearley, Geoff Boycott, Ian Botham, Michael Holding and listening to their marvelous anecdotes first hand was something surreal. The second: covering the opening ceremony at Sydney2000 Olympic Stadium – an out-of-this-world emotional experience. I dreamt about it (an Olympic Games experience) from a very, very young age. And then experiencing it in person was beyond words, and something I am still very proud of. Lastly, meeting Bill Gates, what a visionary, at the Darling Harbour Olympic Games media centre in Sydney.
‘Life simply feels like a blessing.’