Riya Sinha is an entrepreneur ready to bring girls together from developing communities around the world. Her website, Fuzia, is a global community that nurtures and empowers the creativity of the young women leaders of tomorrow through the fusion of culture and ideas. Riya loves to read and write. When she was 11, she wrote a book called “Runaway Twins”, that sold through Amazon website and through a local Palo Alto bookstore, Books Inc. In writing the book, Riya got the inspiration to launch a website to help other girls through their writings and online connections. As founder of Fuzia, Riya works to make sure the website is the best for all teenagers and girls who want to change the world for better. In a short time since its launch in November 2015, millions of girls from around the world are following Fuzia on social media, and Fuzia has rapidly become one of the top most-liked communities on Facebook. Riya is proud to bring together hundreds of thousands of girls from Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, U.S., India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines and many other places around the world where women are following Fuzia to drive women empowerment and creativity through their fusion of cultures and ideas. Her dreams are to write her own set of books, live by the beach, and to grow her own social impact business Fuzia, and unite the voices of girls from and drive gender equity and women empowerment. She takes part in our interview series to shed light on more of her psyche.
The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized(though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is when I am able to make an impact through all my actions. My perfect happiness would be when I am surrounded by loving friends and family and have a career where I am able to help other people and myself.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is living with regret. I never want to feel like I made the wrong decision or lived a life that I didn’t love.
Which living person do you most admire?
I most admire Mira Nair. She is an incredible independent filmmaker who tells real and raw stories in a moving way. She truly believes in diversity and representation in storytelling. She also gives back by teaching people who may not have the resources the basics of filmmaking
What is your greatest extravagance?
My greatest extravagance would be my phone. I don’t really spend too much money on clothes or gadgets, but I have an iPhone which I use a lot and spend money on upgrading.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I think the most overrated virtue would be meekness/rule-following. While it is good to fulfill one’s duty, sometimes it is good to think outside of the box and speak out.
On what occasion do you lie?
I lie when it would make the person feel worse to hear the truth. I don’t think it is ok to lie about big things, but for small interactions, it is ok to not tell the full truth if it is hurtful.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I tend to slouch a lot because I have really bad posture, and not only is it bad for my back, it also doesn’t look good.
Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t despise any specific person, but I despise certain qualities. I despise ignorance that seems to be present in many of our world’s current leaders and the greed that many rich people seem to have. I despise more the systems that decided the current power balance, rather than the people.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
In a man, the quality I most like is empathy and being considerate. They should have perspective and think about people and relationships outside of themselves
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
In a woman, I would like the same qualities as a man. They should be empathetic and treat everyone with the same kindness.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I overuse a lot of conversational phrases, such as “like” or “um” or “oh my god”
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I really love to write, read, watch movies/TV, and in general, I love storytelling and immersing myself in that world.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could play guitar/piano and have a singing voice. I love listening to music, so I wish I could sing better.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I overthink a lot. I spend a lot of time thinking about what other people think of me and am very indecisive even with small decisions, such as where to eat. I would change that so I am more confident in every decision.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement would be founding Fuzia and helping give a platform to such a diverse group of women, helping them empower themselves and find their own voice.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would come back as a cloud! I could see the world from a new perspective and live a content life floating in the sky
Where would you most like to live?
I would most like to live in New York. I love the energy and diversity of the big city.
What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession would be my camera roll. It is not something tangible, but I have so many good memories, photos, and videos there, and it is something I look through and cherish.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The feeling of loneliness, when you feel like nobody is there for you at all.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I think that I am easy going and non judgemental. I tend to get along with most people and go with the flow.
What do you most value in your friends?
I most value them if they are there for you when you need them, their humor, and their kindness to me and to other people. I also value friends who are motivated to do well and make a change.
Who are your favorite writers?
I love Khalid Hosseini (Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed), and Elie Wiesel (Night)
Who is your hero of fiction?
My hero of fiction is Emma from Jane Austen’s Emma- she is very outspoken and one of the first strong women in literature.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I most identify with Maya Angelou. While I can’t identify with the racism and pain she must have faced, I admire how she took that and used it to fuel her creative work.
Who are your heroes in real life?
In real life, my heroes would be my parents.
What is your motto?
I don’t really have a motto, but I think that it is important to treat others how you would like to be treated and be empathetic to everyone’s needs.