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All the best: Nisha Tandon on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 57-year-old is the director of Arts Ekta, one of Northern Ireland's largest ethnic arts organisations. Originally from India, she lives in Belfast with her husband Vijay and their children, Sonia (34), Natalie (33), and Krishnan (26).

My best moment

My best moments were my days in public school in Delhi. Just doing the games, sports, arts and culture was great and I had some of my best moments with my school friends. We're all still in touch and there's going to be a big reunion later this year.

My best song

I like the soundtrack of a Bollywood film called Aandhi - the title translates to Wind. I loved the film, so any song from that would be a favourite.

My best way to relax

I love to garden and I really enjoy getting outside in the summer, although it's a little cold this year so far.

My best job

It has to be the one I have now as I'm very passionate about what I do. I helped to found Arts Ekta and it's now in its ninth year, so there are really good plans for our 10th anniversary next year.

My best bit of advice

My father would have always said that it was important to keep yourself motivated. He said if you don't achieve what you want to achieve, then you should keep doing what you like and you never know what will come out of it. As long as you're still passionate about what you're doing, then you're going in the right direction. That's one thing I've kept to.

My best achievement

It was when I did some voluntary work for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice, I also donated some art by local artists. Doing that made me feel like we had done something for a worthwhile cause. The children there were so eager to learn about different cultures. There are limitations to what they can achieve, but they were so enthusiastic and respectful.

My best gift

It's the last letter my father wrote to me before he died. It was so beautifully worded, he wrote what he thought of his children and what he thought of me. It wasn't supposed to be his last letter as he died quite suddenly. It means a lot to me as I live so far away from the rest of the family that I couldn't even get to his funeral in time.

My best buy

A gold bangle that's set with coloured stones. I found it in a shop in India and decided to treat myself because it's such a unique piece.

My best film 

The Sound Of Music is a great film, and I love settling down to watch The Snowman. I also like Happy Feet because I love the penguins in it.

My best book

At the moment, I’m reading the book by Meera Syal called The House of Hidden Mothers, which is all about surrogate mums. I also really enjoyed India’s Unending Journey by Mark Tully, who is one of the world’s leading writers on the country.

  • Arts Ekta will be celebrating the Belfast Mela on August 20. For more information on this and other events, go to

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