5 Articles That Illustrate Heena’s Character

As it’s my lady’s birthday today, I want to point your attention towards the issues that matter most to her.

Heena writes passionately on her blog at www.HeenaModi.com, and actively communicates these issues on Twitter and Facebook.  Her blog posts are also regularly featured on YouReportTV.

Today I share with you 5 articles from Heena’s blog that illustrates her character.

Heena Cares About Education

As a primary school teacher, Heena cares deeply about children’s education.  She is also the National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative for her school in South Harrow, to ensure that teachers are supported well in their careers.

In The best thing you can do for a child is encourage them to be independent, Heena outlines areas of focus to set the foundations for your children to gradually grow into responsible young adults.

Read the article at: http://www.heenamodi.com/2009/02/26/the-best-thing-you-can-do-for-a-child-is-encourage-them-to-be-independent/

Heena Cares About The Environment

Forever running around after me turning off light switches, Heena pushes hard to share ways in which to raise more awareness about the impact we are having on the environment, and what we can do to lighten our footprint.

In Everything is Disposable, Heena give practical suggestions on shifting from the ‘dispose everything’ mentality, into thinking how we can encourage more ways to ‘reduce, reuse or recycle’.

Read the article at: http://www.heenamodi.com/2010/02/05/everything-is-disposable/

Heena Cares About Animal Welfare

For a number of years, Heena has rescued abandoned cats by adopting them from animal shelters. A couple of years ago, she recognised the amount of violence that is involved in the dairy industry. As a result, she became vegan. To support other vegans, Heena regularly contacts food manufacturers to check whether everyday products are vegan-friendly, and then publishes the response on her blog.

In When your diet affects others. What do you do?, Heena explores some of the social considerations of following a vegan diet and how to overcome some of the challenges when dining with family and friends.

Read the article at: http://www.heenamodi.com/2008/10/09/when-your-diet-affects-others-what-do-you-do/

Heena Cares About The Local Community

Over the years, Heena has regularly participated in support groups that look out for the local community. She has served on the committee of a residents association and worked closely with local police on the Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

In Do you know your neighbours? What are the benefits of saying hello?, Heena opens our eyes to some of the shocking situations that are experienced by those living next door to us, and reminds us of our duty to ‘Love Thy Neighbour’.

Read the article at: http://www.heenamodi.com/2008/10/21/do-you-know-your-neighbours-what-are-the-benefits-of-saying-hello/

Heena Cares About Spiritual Growth

Having been brought up in a Jain family, Heena has taken a deep interest in her spiritual growth and progress for those around her.

In Jain Bhavnas / Reflections, Heena introduces twelve incredibly powerful contemplations from the timeless Jain tradition that cultivate equanimity through detachment.

Read the article at: http://www.heenamodi.com/2009/08/07/up-and-coming-posts-about-the-jain-bhavnasreflections/

Wish Heena a Happy Birthday!

To wish Heena a very happy birthday, tweet her @HeenaModi, message her on Facebook or drop her a note via the contact form at http://www.heenamodi.com/contact/.

Better still, read one of the recommended blog posts and leave a thoughtful comment on her site.

Introducing Raj Kotecha – Creative Content Consultant

Inspiring entrepreneur, talented DJ and friend, Raj Kotecha, is a creative content consultant. Raj is the man responsible for Heena and I meeting for the first time at that party in June 2007. Story for another day.

In this video @RajLoveSoul presents a guest lecture to media students at the University of East London. In it, he shares his own career history as well as some superb tips for thriving in the media business. Worth watching.

Vegan Pizza at Fire & Stone

Heena and I had a wiked vegan feast at Fire & Stone in Westfield London this week.

They had an offer: two pizzas for £10 – what a deal!

Heena ordered the Koh Samui: yellow coconut base sauce, roast sweet potato, crisp fried Thai shallots, red chilli & mange tout, baby sweet corn, basil drizzled with toasted sesame seeds. See photo above.

I ordered the Byron Bay: basil pesto, sliced field mushrooms, cumin roasted sweet potato, cherry vine tomatoes, green olives, topped with crushed macadamia nuts. See photo below.

We requested both pizzas to be without any cheese or other animal products.


Fire & Stone: Byron Bay pizza (vegan request)

When It Gets Tough, Stay, Don’t Run Away

Spent the day in the city with my father today. Rounded off the day with a trip to the London Comedy Club in Leicester Square.

The first two acts were superb. The last one was a bit of a drag.

However, what inspired me about the final act was his staying power. Even though he knew that he was really bombing it, he made a choice not to run away, and see through his time slot all the way to the end.

We could all do with learning from that. You could be incredibly good at your game, but just be having a series of off days. It’s those moments that you have to stand firm, push even harder and just keep going until the blocks start to shift.

When it gets touch, stay, don’t run away.

Never Forget Your Parents


In the Indian culture, there is a traditional hymn that highlights the impact a parent has on their child’s life. It’s titled “mata pitane bhulso nahi” which means “never forget your parents”.

This hymn is typically sung during the prayer meeting after someone has passed away, often reminding everyone else to recollect what their parents have done for them, and if they are still alive, to look after them, the way they looked after you.

Mother’s Day is approaching – please take a moment to watch the video and read the words below, and do what is required right now to reconnect with those who have given you shelter.

Forget Everything Else, But Do Not Forget Your Parents

Bhulo Bhale Beeju Badhu Maa Baap ne Bhulosho Nahin
You can forget everything else, but do not forget your parents

Aganeet Che Upkaar Enaa, Eha Visarsho Nahin.
Their favors are countless, never forget that.

Patthar Pujya Pruthvi Tanaa,tyare Dithu Tama Mukhdu,
They prayed to many gods on earth, to see your face

Punit Jana Naa Kaadjaa, Patthar bani chundsho nahin.
Do not become rocks and crush the hearts of those saintly people.

Kaadhi Mukhethi Kodiaa, Monmaa dai motaa karyaa,
They fed morsels from their own mouth to raise you

Amrut tanaa denaar saame, Zher ugadsho nahin.
Do not spit poison on the ones who gave you nectar

Laakho ladaavya laad tamane, Kodh sau poora karyaa,
Those who loved you immensely and fulfilled all your desires

E Kodh naa purnaar naa, kodh purvaa bhulsho nahin.
Do not forget to fulfill the desires of those who fulfilled your desires

Laakho kamaataa ho bhale, maa baap jethi naa tharyaa,
You could earn millions, but if your parents are not happy at heart,

laakh nahin pan raakh che, E maanvu bhulsho nahin.
Always remember, those millions are ashes.

Santaan thi seva chaaho, santaan cho seva karo,
Expect service from your children, and serve being a child yourself,

Jevu karo tevu bharo, E bhavnaa bhulsho nahin.
Remember the teaching, as you sow so shall you reap.

Bhine sui potee ane, sooke suvdaavya aapne,
They slept in wet areas but made sure you were on dry land,

E amimay aankhne, bhuline bhinjavsho nahin.
Do not let tears come to those loving eyes.

Pushpo bichaavyaa prem thi, jene tamaaraa raah par,
They spread flowers in your path with love

E rahbar naa raah par, kantak kadi bansho nahin.
Do not spread thorns in the path of those path makers.

Dhan kharachtaa madshe badhu, Mata Pitaa madshe nahin,
You will get everything by spending money, but not Mother and father.

Pal Pal paavan E charan ni, chaahnaa bhulsho nahin.
Do not forget every loving moment of those auspicious feet.

(source: Never Forget Your Parents)

Marrakech with the Missus

At the tail end of December 2009, Heena and I spent 5 days and 4 nights in Marrakech (Morocco) celebrating our 1 year anniversary.

It was much needed time in the sunshine. The days were sunny and warm, but the nights were very cold, although not as freezing as London.

Here’s what we did: we spent time absorbing the sights sounds and scents (+ sometimes yucky smells) of the Souks, which are the markets and small shops throughout the alleyways of the Medina.

We also did the touristy things such as visiting some ancient buildings but didn’t fully understand what they are as my French needs brushing up and we don’t understand Arabic.  I’m hoping Heena will write a post about it with researched detail soon on her blog so I can link to it.

[update: Heena has written a wonderful post with more details about our time in Marrakech – published on Valentines Day 2010]

We took an excursion into the Atlas mountains where we climbed up to check out the Ourika waterfalls.

The magic of the trip was the quality time we spent playing cards, board games, and some singing and dancing 🙂

Some tips and resources if you are considering a short vacation to Marrakech:

  • We stayed at the Dellarosa Hotel, about a 15-20 minute walk to the Medina
  • Our vegan meal at Earth Cafe was delicious – possibly the only vegetarian restaurant in Marrakech
  • We needed to get a taxi from the airport to the hotel.  The first taxi driver we met tried to screw us over for price.  Lucky I had called up the hotel the night before – they said it would cost 150 Dhirams.  The first taxi driver tried to take us for 300!  Lesson: always check with the hotel how much the taxi should cost.
  • The climb up the mountain to the waterfall could have been fatal if it wasn’t for my shoes which had some grip – I almost slipped a few times right off the slippery mountain rocks!  Pack sensible walking shoes with good grip!
  • Devise a strategy when walking through the narrow alleyways of the Souks – all the shopkeepers will attempt to lure you in to buy something.  We had a strategy – I would hold Heena’s hand and charge straight ahead with rhino-like focus while Heena would smile at them with a look of “I’m sorry but he won’t let me stop” – kept it polite whilst successfully getting from point A to point B in the shortest possible time.
  • We drank loads of mint tea, loaded with plenty of sugar – BEWARE: I’ve now become addicted to sugar in less than 5 days and have to start weaning myself off it in my hot drinks.

No trip’s complete without some holiday snaps: