The Flavour of Laughter
"Humour is a serious business," Nickunj Malik tells me at a dinner she hosted with her husband, Mayank Malik, Chief Executive Officer of Citibank Jordan.
Humour can go a long way in diffusing stress, she elaborates, and even at this business function, it took Ms Malik less than five minutes to connect with me, and others guests, with a genuine smile and laughter to break the ice. This was certainly no ordinary "stuffy" business dinner and empty conversation.
Although the gathering revolved around Citibank's standing in Jordan and in the world -- Mr Malik spoke of Jordan's stability as good for "not just what can be done in Jordan but from Jordan" -- popular talking points included education, Jordan's youth in the job market, raising children...all serious subjects but with an edge of humour. We're loosening up as a society and Nickunj Malik's acclaimed column in The Jordan Times, "Tale Spin", is also proof of this.
Just this week, The Jordan Times published Malik's 235th column. And last March, she launched the release of her book, Tale Spin, a compilation of these columns and just her latest endeavor after publishing other columns in South Africa, Tanzania and Bahrain. When she gifted me an autographed copy of her book over dinner, where we meet for the first time, I couldn't wait to start reading it - the cover itself is exciting (with illustrations by Osama Hajjaj, Jordan's leading cartoonist).
Of course the title of the first chapter, "The Flavour of Love", grabbed me - it's well suited for Family Flavours! Seeking inspiration from daily life, Malik covers issues we can all relate to, from deep questions about love to a problem we all face on occasion - a bad hair day! Her writing style is witty without being perplexing and her observations about daily life reveal something deeper about human nature - with a good dose of humour of course!
With Shareef tugging at my dress now, parenting duties call. But I know now which chapter I will be reading tonight: "Disciplinary Action" starts with, "Parenting is a task like no other and there is an endless trial and error method associated with it". So it is.
Me with columnist and long-time journalist Nickunj Malik and guest of honour at tonight's dinner, Tasnim Ghiawadwala, Citibank's Commercial Banking Head for Europe, Middle East & Africa. Phenomenal women not just for their professional achievements but for their global perspectives and insights too
Taurik Haddad of M. Haddad & Sons Co, Mr. and Mrs. Malik, Tasnim Ghiawadwala, Manar Aaibidi of Citibank and Firas Abu Wishah of Petra Engineering Industries Co.