This time, we took a special interview of much known fashion celebrity Maha Burney, who is a lovable wife and soon going-to-be-mom; currently working as a creative director for her husband Nadir Feroz Khan’s photography venture, this stylist is surely on top of her game. Here she shared the prized memories that splurge with her family and now the endeavor of newly motherhood…
Express the moment you first met your partner?
We first met when we were 9 years old! We were neighbors and best friends and would play together every day. We lost touch for many years and only reconnected 6 years ago when we met at a common friends wedding. The spark was instant and the rest as they say is history.
Tell us about your childhood home?
I lived in London from the approximate age of 2-8, so that’s the first home I remember & still have fond memories of. My brother & I had our own playroom just for toys, which for us was a dream! We also had a beautiful sunroom at the back, which then opened, into an overgrown English garden, where I remember having my birthday every year. I remember our parents taking us to the park a lot as kids and to the countryside-Devon, Lake District etc. All & all we were pretty outdoorsy kids, which was really fun.
How do you celebrate Eid holidays with your family?
Our family & some of the extended family & friends always meet for Eid lunch at my Nanis. She has an unmatchable flair for making traditional desi food & her lunches are always looked forward to by all. Eid is very casual in our family; it’s more about chilling, eating & catching up with everyone. Of course no Eid is complete without a nice long nap after a heavy meal!
I think that day will just be about family time & baby time. I expect that it will be a life changing experiences for both Nadir & I and we both really want to be able to relish that moment! From my side its also the first grandchild for my parents, & the first great grand child for both my grandparents, so I expect it will be a really special moment for them too. I’m sure there will be lots of pictures being taken with the baby!
Suggest some tips on how to manage family relations & family life in Pakistan.
It is definitely hard to manage & juggle family life in Pakistan. There are so many components to it; in-laws, your own family, you, your husband & kids & work life. I think it’s more important to spend quality time with the people you love than spreading yourself thin to trying to be any & everywhere & constantly in a rush & never in the moment. It’s impossible to do everything so you have to learn to let go where you can & prioritize. Family is one of the cornerstones of life in Pakistan, you just have to figure out how to manage & take it all in whilst enjoying your own life as well. If you approach it with warmth & an open heart your family (new or old) will always respond with the like.
Do you have a preference for what your children choose for themselves in terms of their future or career? For example would you want them to choose the field you both are in or something else?
Nadir & I don’t have any preference for what our children pick. I think they should be allowed to find their own way. My brother & I have both picked careers different from my father & grandfather’s; I was initially an Architect & then switched over to Fashion Design through Parsons & my brother is a lawyer. Nadir’s one sister is a doctor while the other is a teacher. There are no hard & fast rules in his family or mine. We have both been fortunate to have family that encouraged us to follow our own interests & pursue careers that suited us. Every child is different, it’s important to first see where that child’s talent lies & then push him or her to follow his/her own dreams.
I think we are quite compatible as far as husband & wife working duos go. We are both lucky to share the same aesthetic & stylistic sensibilities & we both have a lot of faith in each other. Of course we do disagree sometimes on what’s working & what isn’t, but like in any marriage & working partnership there is nothing that can’t be solved with compromise & a little give & take.
What is more beneficial to spend a happy life, love or arrange marriage?
Honestly I don’t know! I think each to his own! Love worked for us! Maybe arranged marriage works for others. I don’t think there is any set formula to happiness.
Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favorite foods?
My family always ate dinner together. Dinner wasn’t very formal in our household so we would eat in the TV lounge most of the time. My mother cooked while we were in London, but once we moved back it was mostly the cook who made the food. My favorite foods as a child were Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagna & Dum Keema, basically anything with beef! I’ve never been a fan of chicken.
How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
The world seems to move a lot faster now than it did before. Life feels a lot more complicated. I remember a time when we didn’t have mobile phones, email or the like & one seemed to have so much more free time! When we were young, we weren’t always looking at our phones; we were out & about doing things with our friends. Work remained at work, & when we clocked off we weren’t constantly glued to the pings of our email till the wee hours of the morning! I miss that work & life divide. That doesn’t exist anymore. I also feel like life in Pakistan is a lot more dangerous & thus limiting now for children than it was when we grew up. We used to ride our bikes on the street, & my brother was always playing cricket with his friends outdoors. There wasn’t this constant fear of kidnapping or getting held up. We were a lot more carefree!
“Nadir & I don’t have any preference for what our children pick. I think they should be allowed to find their own way…”