Monica Vaswani and her dad, Raj Vaswani, have a super close relationship, as fans saw on the first season of Family Karma. The father-daughter duo are so tight-knit, they even joke about finishing each other’s sentences. So what’s the secret to their special bond? “We genuinely enjoy each other’s company,” Monica said.
In an email interview with BravoTV.com, Raj and Monica reflect on their sweet relationship and share they’ve learned from each other over the years.
The Daily Dish: Describe your first Father's Day.
Raj Vaswani: My first Father's Day was so special because I finally had the daughter I had always wanted. Just knowing that I had this adorable little human being made my day.
Describe your best Father's Day.
RV: The best Father’s Day I had was a few years ago when Monica booked me a spa day at the Fountainbleau in Miami. I had no idea what I was in for but that was the most amazing experience I've had. I don't think I've ever spent that much time in a jacuzzi before.
What is the best dad advice you ever got and from whom did you receive it?
RV: My dad always used to say, "This is your child forever and treat that relationship like it is forever because you never know what tomorrow brings you. Cherish every moment you have." This was some of the best advice I received as a new parent. I've always made it a point to try and create memorable experiences with Monica over the years. Whether that was going on trips together or trying to throw her a big birthday party, I always wanted her to look back and remember those happy times.
How would you describe your dad philosophy?
RV: You have to not only be the parent but your child's best friend so there is a good balance in the relationship. I always wanted there to be a comfort level with my child, so they never felt any hesitation to come and talk to me if they had a problem.
How would you describe your dad’s philosophy when it comes to parenting?
Monica Vaswani: I always say that I'm so blessed to have such a non-judgmental dad. He will always share his opinion with me, but if I disagree, he'll hear me out and try to see things from my angle. He's never enforced the "my way or the highway" method, and I swear maybe that's been reverse psychology on me because I usually always end up agreeing with him.
What’s the best advice your dad has given you?
MV: My dad more recently has encouraged me to follow my creative passions professionally, which is the complete opposite of what most Indian parents advise when it comes to a career. At one point and time, he wanted me to become a doctor, which is the typical trajectory for any Indian kid but I think, deep down, he saw it wasn't what I wanted and told me to switch gears immediately.
What’s it like to have such a strong father-daughter bond?
MV: I swear we finish each other's sentences or read each other's minds sometimes. We genuinely enjoy each other's company so it feels like you always have a friend around the house to hang out with.
How has your relationship evolved as Monica has become an adult?
RV: It's funny because I always say that Monica as a child was very shy and quiet, but she's grown into this strong opinionated woman for all of the right reasons. She doesn't take crap from anyone, which is kind of fun to watch from the sidelines.
MV: I love that as an adult I'm in a position where I can take care of my dad sometimes. As a kid you're always being taken care of, but now I have the ability to spoil him once in a while!
What kinds of traditions do you have together?
MV: We're big on tradition in this household. My dad spearheads a huge spread for our vegetarian Thanksgivings and I'm the Christmas cheermeister that requires the house to smell like cinnamon for the month of December.
What have you learned most about yourself from being a dad?
RV: As a girl dad, I've learnt a whole new patience about myself when it comes to waiting for my daughter to get dressed. She might change her outfit three times, but if I keep asking, "Monica are you ready? Monica are you ready?" she'll probably change six times so it's better I watch TV and let her do her thing.
What’s the most important lesson you can teach kids?
RV: I have always wanted my daughter to make decisions off of her own instincts because I've always wanted her to be true to herself. I think it's important in knowing yourself at your core, so you don't allow others to persuade you. If you make decisions based off of your gut, then you'll have no one to blame but yourself if it goes left.
Are you the easy parent or the disciplinary parent?
RV: I think I'm a pretty easygoing parent.
Do you think he’s the easy parent or the disciplinary parent?
MV: My dad's definitely the easy parent. I have a funny memory as a kid where he stuffed paper towels in my sneakers to bump me up a centimeter to go on a rollercoaster with him. He's always down for a good time!
What’s the most important lesson your kids have taught you?
RV: My daughters taught me to enjoy the moment and not to take life too seriously. She's taught me to think more positively. I could be in the worst mood but I light up when she's around.
What have you taught each other about life?
RV: I believe strongly in karma, so I've tried to instill this in Monica over the years. If you try your best and do things with a clean heart, you'll always win. Life has taught me that you can't live in the past, you always have to move forward.
What do you hope for your kids and future generations?
RV: I hope and pray that my child and her children never let my home recipes go to waste. I don't want to see all those recipes in a box collecting dust, I've worked too hard on coming up with them, haha!
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