What is one lesson or quote from a professor that has stuck? As I went off to medical school, my undergrad botany professor, Dr. Ilabanta (Jim) Mukherjee, told me, “They will teach you where to look. You have to figure out what you see.” I think I get it now, 25 years later. Sadly, Dr. Mukherjee passed away last year, and I didn’t get a chance to tell him.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A fourth season of The Newsroom.
What is your greatest fear? An 11th season of Beverly Hills 90210.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Forgetfulness.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Being hard to remember.
Which living person do you most admire? My mom, who is at once a wallflower to others and larger than life to me.
What is your greatest extravagance? A fleece onesie straight off a towel warmer.
What is your current state of mind? As a public-health doctor, I’m concerned. (Still.)
What is the quality you most like in a person? Has thoughts they don't tweet. (And humility.)
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “You’re still on mute,” and, “Go back on mute. Please.”
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Exploring the infinite allegories in an Islamic garden with Farzana, my wife.
What is your most treasured possession? The Father’s Day cards my brother, sister and I made for my dad which, as we discovered going through his things after he passed away, he had kept safely and secretly for over 40 years.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? The times I changed my mind.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Siri.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and acceptance.
Who are your favourite writers? Rumi, Khaled Hosseini, Maya Angelou and my brother, Shafique. And also Jay-Z.
Who is your hero of fiction? CIA analyst Fara Sherazi [from the TV series Homeland].