Madam Walker was an incredible woman, but she wasn't the only one of her time who was. She just took it to the highest height.
A cravat is the only item of named after Croatians. Balkan mercenaries were brought to Paris by Louis XIV. Their strange and exotic attire attracted the French bon hommes, who were wearing formal ruffs, and who immediately took to the simple and relaxed military cloth tied at the neck.
I was proud my father spoke Arabic fluently - his father sent him to learn Arabic from a sheikh - and we had Arab friends. His task of understanding the Arabs - not only politics but poetry - was very important; he took it as a vocation.
I did four movies where I gained, like, fifty pounds. I had curly hair, and I had all of this facial hair. I had put on all this weight for these movies, and I did four or five of them back-to-back. Then I cut the weight and I got fit again. I cut my beard and I took away the mustache, and people were like, 'What are you doing?'
When I took over as president, I studied the Constitution, and the more I studied it, the more I realised that it does not prevent the president of India from giving the nation a vision. So when I went and presented this vision in Parliament and in legislative assemblies; everyone welcomed it, irrespective of party affiliations.
My mother's belief in spiritual healers grew stronger after our family went through a rough patch following my father's death. Sufi saint Karimullah Shah Kadri changed our lives, and all of us converted to Sufism. But it wasn't an instantaneous decision - it took us 10 years to convert. The change in religion was like washing away the past.
Because I came out as a singer, I took the time to get an acting coach.
Christine Bass was my high school music teacher. She took a program on its last legs and within a few years turned into one of the best programs in the country. Our high school dominated national choir competitions all through her 20-plus year tenure.
Before Mint.com, I was a long-time user of 'Microsoft Money' and Intuit's 'Quicken.' Both were powerful tools, loaded with features and functionality around taxes, investment, budgeting - too feature-laden, in fact. They took hours to set up, forever to learn, and an hour a week to maintain.
My mother turned me onto St. Jude back in the days when I was wild and crazy. She took me to the shrine on Rampart Street.