What’s your idea of God?
God to me is a belief in the supreme power, an entity who looks after everything in this universe. The world has been created by God and my destiny has been made for me.
Any special God moments?
When my dad literally escaped death. This was three years ago when he had cancer… We didn’t expect
he would make it but he did and I attribute it to his sheer will power, destiny and prayers.
What’s your idea of love?
My idea of love is to be swept off my feet. And I think when it happens I’ll just know it (smiles). It’s very important for me to respect and look up to the person I’m with, and also want to spend all my time with him.
What have been some of your greatest influences?
My greatest — and most consistent — influence has been my family. I look up to my dad for his resilience, strength and values. My mother is the backbone of the family and I admire her will power and the ability to take life as it comes.
Also, my army upbringing has played a big role in my life. It inculcated values of punctuality, etiquette and discipline.
Other than that, I’m a voracious reader and enjoy reading biographies. Letters To A Daughter by Jawaharlal Nehru is a favourite.
What does happiness mean to you?
Happiness means love to me.It’s also about being peaceful and experiencing contentment.
Who or what are your spiritual ideals/inspirations?
My guru Baba H Khan who is in Ranikhet. We grew up believing in him. He considers himself an avatar of Shiva and stands for yoga and karma. It’s a more spiritual than religious belief for me.
So what distinction do you make between spirituality and religion?
Spirituality is that belief... in a supreme power; all religions come under one God. Religion is a way to get to that belief.
What’s your solution for communal harmony in India?
It’s difficult in a country like India to have one solution. Various communities have lived with great understanding under one country for a long time. We need to restart believing in humanity and I think that should start with our leaders.
Do you have a mind talisman, something that gets you refreshed?
No, am constantly stressed! (Laughs) but I’d say my stress is my drive. Otherwise, music does it for me, long drives, being with a close friend, having long conversations…
— Shalini Singh