Munira Premji

183626_813243177717_72610145_45688046_1526667_nMarch 27, 2013 – Toronto.

It’s midnight and I’m thinking of you on your special day.  I smile as I remember you being a tomboy for most of your life.  You wore big, oversized, hand-me-down clothes from Shayne for the longest time.  You could play ice hockey and baseball with the best of them.   You focused your energies on all kinds of interesting hobbies — building dream catchers,  developing black and white photographs, being President of the JA club, spending hours painting and doing pottery, playing basketball for your high school team.  As a kid, do you remember how you used to hold classes for the family in the basement every Friday night and send us formal invitations?  You  would teach us to draw cartoons, paint with chalk, etc, and we would flock to your class with anticipation.  When you were 13, I suggested  that you stop wearing socks to JK everyday – and you were devastated.  You loved your socks!   And do you remember how happy you were when the referee sent you to the penalty box for the first and only time while playing hockey?  You could not stop smiling the whole time!  One of my favourite memories is when we used to create a “tent” from bedsheets and read books, including “The Witches” by Roal Dahl.  You were fearless as a kid – – acting first, thinking after.   

And then, when you were 21, you declared that you wanted a princess party – and did we ever throw you a party!  We should have known that things would change after that.  You blossomed into  a striking, radiant young lady.  You discovered your purpose in life and you grew into your own.  You cultivated a unique look and style.   You wrote a book.  You made travel and helping people an integral part of your life.  And you came home to look after me when I got sick.  When did you grow up?

Last week you shared with us incredible news that you were accepted at Harvard University for the Master of Science in Global Health and Population program.  Then you get accepted by Columbia University for the Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program, something you have been aiming for.  As if that was not enough, Columbia has accepted you for two other programs.  So many choices!  We are so excited for you and the opportunities that lie ahead for you.  We can’t wait to hear your decision about what program you will accept.  The question is:  How do you say no to Harvard?  But then how do you say no to living in New York and attending Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)? This is a good problem to have!

We wish that you could see yourself through our eyes.  You are one talented woman — smart, competent, compassionate, funny and strong.  May your 25th birthday bring you much success and happiness.  I had an epiphany today while speaking to my cousin, Zara, from Vancouver:  success is defined by what makes you happy.  So think about what makes you happy, and you will be successful. 

Sabrina, today is your day.  Burst into it.  Follow your footsteps where your heart takes you.  Believe in your dreams and let your spirit soar.   We love you to the moon and back…



  • Yasmin Valani , June 9, 2013

    Happy 25th birthday and many more with good health, happiness and success in your career choices! May this year be full of amazing opportunities

  • Sabrina Natasha Premji , May 11, 2013

    Thank you so much for the wonderful wishes! I am delighted to note that I have accepted Columbia’s offer for a 2-year Masters in Public Administration, Development Practice. New York City, here I come!

  • Anonymous , May 10, 2013

    happy mothers day Mukhiani maa
    hope yu have a wonder ful time with your family
    thinking of you as usual
    did you google Anita Moorjani and read her book
    it was really good


  • Anonymous , March 30, 2013

    I am glad yu feel good,happiness is upon an individual to perceive, and appreciate it! as Allah says, to feel happy is Allah’s will , its good to know that you all feel happy about it , we pray for lots of happiness in your way….

  • Yasmin Rahemtullah , March 30, 2013

    A very happy birthday Sabrina and congrats on your acceptance in the best universities. You have a tough decision to make. May HI always guide you and protect you and grant you success in all your endeavours.

  • Anonymous , March 29, 2013

    Happy Happy Happiest Birthday Sabrina! Congratulations on this wonderful milestone!

  • Anonymous , March 28, 2013

    Awww..thats so sweet:))) Happy birthday gal! Mmmh…hard choice there but as mum says choose what will make you happy! All the best!

  • Anonymous , March 27, 2013

    Happy Birthday, Sabrina – and congratulations on living your dreams! Love, Patti

  • Anonymous , March 27, 2013

    Yam Mukhiani Maa

    now we know what makes yu really happy! it is so nice to hear and feel happiness within yu., thats what we were waiting for , real happiness not fake…. artificial or forced

    one shud strive to be happy and tolerant and success will follow

  • Anonymous , March 27, 2013

    Happy B’day and congratulations! I am very proud of your achievements and I think either institute you select will have the best! Have a great day and dream big dreams – you are almost there!

  • mylegacytoyoud , March 27, 2013

    Happy birthday Sabrina!

    So you got the Willy Wonka golden ticket in the mail with the magical words “Your application to Harvard has been accepted” splattered on it? You’ve got more than one golden ticket for that matter! You’ll be the first one that I personally know to attend Harvard OR Columbia (or have the choice between the two). I wish you all my best. You make your mother very happy Sabrina. :))


  • Kathy Thom , March 27, 2013

    Sabrina, you are living your purpose and are an absolute inspiration. I was so thrilled to hear the news of your being accepted by all of the US universities and I’m smiling as I reflect on how your profiles have always spoken to your power. You’ve always stood out to me as a strong, influential young woman and it’s the way that you show up in the world that enables you to have the immense impact that you do with everyone that you meet. All the best for the year that lies ahead and all that it holds for you.

  • Yasmin jiwa , March 27, 2013

    Both of you are blessed to have each other.

  • Shahnaz Suteria , March 27, 2013

    A very happy birthday to a Qaurter Century Baby who has accomplished so much and has so much more to give to this world. You have certainly made you family proud. Tough and yet exciting choices ahead of you. Your inner spiritual self will guide you always. Ameen.

  • Frank , March 27, 2013

    Happy Birthday Sabrina!!!!!

  • Lynda Cavanagh , March 27, 2013

    Congratulation Sabrina! and Happy Birthday. i remember when your Mom was so busy working at Scotiabank that she woudl bring you and Shane in after school, give you and Shane paper and you would lie on the floor and colour. She was at theat time creating the writer in you.
    Munira – i dreamt of you last night – you were well and singing on a stage somewhere in Toronto. i hope that you are heading that way. We have not been in touch as Dave and i have been in West africa for over a month visiting Heidi and Marc and then travelling to other countries nearby. t think of yu often and hope that you are getting better.

  • Kermally , March 27, 2013

    Happy Birthday Sabrina. Harvard or Columbia – both will be proud to have you and through your mum’s tales, I am sure that all those who read today’s post, will feel just as proud of you. Be happy, today and always.

  • Anonymous , March 27, 2013

    beautiful, just beautiful … beyond words to describe the admiration for Sabrina and her ‘unique’ mum!

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