Munira Premji

I was there when Sabrina first asked Shayne to be her “Man of Honour” for her wedding. After laughing out loud, he realized – as we all did – that she was actually quite serious and that this was a non-negotiable for her. We also knew that this was highly non-traditional. Using all her powers of persuasion (and probably a lot of her skills from her Negotiation class at Columbia!), Sabrina told Shayne that this was a milestone event in her life and she wanted to celebrate it with her big brother & hero by her side.

It took a couple of weeks for Shayne to warm up to the idea.  Once he did, he played the part like a true sport!  When Sabrina told him that it was customary for the Man of Honour to have a manicure and pedicure, Shayne looked a bit dubious and asked me if this was true.  With a straight face, I told him that it was indeed a key responsibility that he accompany the bride to the nail salon and participate in this ritual.  It was a memorable, happy afternoon as we watched Shayne go through his very first mani-pedi experience.  At one point, the nail technician brought something that resembled a cheese grater to work on Shayne’s feet.


Man of Honour, Shayne, gets his nails done for the first time.

We are all taking bets on whether mani-pedi’s are going to be a regular part of Shayne’s beauty regimen – don’t be fooled by his tough exterior. We think he secretly enjoy it!

Pre-Wedding Mani & Pedi


For the wedding day, I loved how Shayne prepared an emergency kit to manage any eventuality.  It consisted of bandaids, bobby pins, safety pins, a mirror, protein bars, bottled water, lip gloss, deodorant, q-tips, kleenex, eye drops, Advil, mints, make up kit, and a small amount of cash. I heard that many of these items came in handy that day.

This got me thinking.  If I had an emergency kit today, what would it consist of?  If I could have only one item in my kit, it would be a fully charged iPhone with WiFi access. From connecting to people and listening to music to navigating traffic and managing bank transactions, my iPhone has become my life. And when I need answers to questions, there is always Siri. It is a bit crazy – and scary – how one device can be so all-encompassing.

Other than my iPhone, there isn’t much, in the way of possession, that I need on a daily basis. I love my electric toothbrush and am partial to lip glosses and eye liners.  I take a heavy dose of vitamins every day.  I love my Magic Bullet and my green shakes to start the day (I am constantly stocking up on spinach, almond milk and bananas!).  There is a pair of shoes I love and I practically live in my Rockstar Jeans from Old Navy. I don’t leave home without applying Angel perfume. And I can never say no to a Whole Nut Cadbury chocolate bar.  Oh yes, I now need glasses to read.  So I might include these items in my Emergency Kit.

But the more I think about it, I have come to the conclusion that I would not fill my Emergency Kit with possessions, rather I would fill it with qualities.  At the bottom of the kit, I would have passion and purpose just as a reminder of how important these are to living  a fulfilling life.  I would definitely include courage and resilience to the kit because I realize, on a daily basis, how important it is to continue to flex my resilience muscles when life throws curveballs, as it invariably does from time to time.  At the top of my kit I would have patience and compassion because this is something I struggle with and need to work on consciously and continuously.  I find that I am always in such a hurry to get things done, that I don’t always see the impact of my actions on others.  I would line my Emergency Kit with hopefaith and community as a reminder of what is needed to go through life whole.

I imagine every person’s Emergency Kit would have different items.  Out of curiosity, what would your kit consist of?





  • Yasmin Dossa , August 23, 2016

    Hi Munira

    Incredible courage,!!!

    I pray that that you have the strength from within you and from all of us to blast this pesky cancer away!!!

    Get healthy as you have a lot of good to do in this world!


  • shayneaman , August 18, 2016


    My massage lady told me today my feet looked really good and she was wondering how it was possible!

  • Anonymous , August 14, 2016

    Love the fun-loving pix!

    My kit would probably look something like this: my Blackberry, family pix, Bollywood playlist, lipstick, sunclips, sunhat, tylenols and some form of caffeine 🙂


    • Munira Premji , August 19, 2016

      Haha! Your emergency kit is the “funnest” one yet! I cant believe you are still using a blackberry!

  • Swati , August 14, 2016

    Munira! What a beautiful post. First of all Congratulations to Sabrina and Afzal for tying the knot!

    I also feel like Shayne secretly enjoyed the mani/pedi!

    As I sit here and think about my emergency kit, I would have the following, some things materials and some not:

    – laughter: any situation can be diffused or become better with laughter
    – picture of my nephew: makes any day better
    – courage: to tackle any situation
    – friendship/partnership: teamwork always makes the dream work

    Thanks for getting me to think about this!

    • Munira Premji , August 19, 2016

      I so agree with you Swati! Laughter diffuses situations, a prized picture speaks a thousand words, the ability to face situations with courage is key to surviving and friendships makes the world a better place.

  • "EL" , August 14, 2016

    Patience, hope, optimism, acceptance, confidence — not sure if these are in the right order! By the way, tell Shayne not to accept too many more invitations to be a bridesman from now on — so people don’t start saying (as we know they do!) — “Poor Shayne. Always a bridesman, never a bride!” LOL xoxo

    • Munira Premji , August 19, 2016

      I will be sure to give Shayne your very profound message EL! I think those qualities you mention are great for anybody’s emergency kit!

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