Masala Dad Spotlight: Neil & Zach

Our community is full of amazing men who inspire us with their passion and with the love they have for their little ones.  We’re feeling the love for our Masala Dads this week, and we you to know it!
Much like the mamas we’ve gotten to know, these masala dads come from all walks of life and have this in common: they are strong, genuine and possess love for life and their families that knows no bounds!

This week, we’re celebrating you, masala dads! We’ve asked these masala dads a series of fun questions to find out a bit about them – read their answers below and get to know our community, one dad at a time!

@charlottecharan / @travel_live_eat_repeat

You’ve seen his baby girl Charlotte in our feed, and we featured his wife during our Masala Mama May features… Today we want to introduce you to Neil!

Neil is the embodiment of masala, truly a global mix, part Black/part Indian of Guyanese and Barbadian descent, born in St. Albans, Herts., England, raised in the Bronx. Neil graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Psychology, University of New Haven with a Master’s in Conflict Management and University of Connecticut with an MBA. Neil currently works in Financial Services in New York City.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, he’s also driven by his creative side and has recently published a novel on Amazon.com called Gideon Star: The Shields of Gideon Prime

We’ve asked Neil a few questions about being a dad, so without further adieu, let’s see what he has to say!

One word to describe your daughter, Charlotte:
Effervescent.

One word Charlotte would use to describe you:
Entertaining.

Fun fact about yourself:
I recently self-published a book on Amazon called Gideon Star: The Shields of Gideon Prime, a sci-fi/action adventure written for adult readers.  I have been writing for fun and as a hobby since I can remember and this work is a culmination of the fantasy epics I grew up with, coupled with a desire to spread a positive message for a more hopeful world. 

What’s your secret dad talent?
I can always make my daughter laugh.

Your first thought about becoming a dad?
Follow your dreams. 

When I found out my wife was pregnant with my daughter I was over the moon happy. I kept imagining what she would be like and more importantly what kind of father I would be to her. In one of my very first imaginings I found myself telling her ‘to follow your dreams and no matter what anyone in this life tells you don’t ever stop believing they can come true’.

When did you tell your first dad joke?
My first dad joke was actually created in regards to our dog Lulu. We were house training her but she was still going in the house and I told my wife, “I thought we got a terrier but we have a caca-spaniel.” My wife laughed. I haven’t yet done a dad joke with my daughter. She’s still young so I have plenty of time and obviously I have the Dad gene so I’m sure it’s bound to happen sooner or later.

What is your passion?
To be creative. Whether it’s work, writing or playing with my daughter I love expressing creativity in all that I do. 

Favorite activity with the kid(s):
My favorite activity with Charlotte is watching Star Wars. Her face just lights up when the fanfare opening plays. It makes me so happy.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?  What about it did you love?
I love Italy mostly for the food. But my favorite place is Paris mainly because of the Eiffel Tower. More than a beautiful work of art it is a reminder of what we human-beings can achieve. No one thought a steel structure could stand as tall and endure until Monsieur Eiffel built his tower. Soon after the Chrysler building was built, followed by the Empire State Building and what back then was thought impossible is now commonplace. I am always in awe and inspired by the Eiffel Tower for being built despite the naysayers.

How would you define your strength, your power, your grace? 
Patience, forward thinking and putting others first.

One word of advice to your child/children:
Persevere.

3 emojis to describe life after kids: 💕🙏💕

Meet Zach, designer, photographer, adventure entrepreneur, and co-founder of Sherpapa Supply Co, dedicated to gifts and gear for dads and families !

Much like Neil, Zach’s daughter Taya, 4 (and a half as she points out) is masala girl that we can’t get enough of. Taya and Natazha wore their golden mommy & me looks last month for our features, so naturally we want to know who’s capturing those precious moments!

We’re drawn to Zach and his family’s love of the outdoors, and it fills our hearts to see that this a wonderful appreciation of nature is being passed down to their daughter! Adventurous and free-spirited, this papa knows how to enjoy the little things and how to fill his life with laugher!

We can’t wait to follow along on his family’s adventures as they travel with Taya and share the world and its beauty with her!

We’ve asked Zach a few fun questions about being a dad… But we have some follow-up questions. Namely, just what was that first dad-joke?! 😂Read on and see!

One word to describe Taya: Beautiful (inside and out)

One word Taya would use to describe you: Pinchable.

Fun fact about yourself: I love planning family adventures.

What’s your secret dad talent:
Cooking. The way to my wife and daughter’s hearts are definitely through their stomachs!

Your first thought about becoming a dad?
I couldn’t wait! We were really excited. 

When did you tell your first dad joke?
October 27, 2014, at 4:17pm.  

What is your passion?
I have had a lot of passions, and have made a life out of actively pursuing them and encouraging others to do the same… but now my biggest passion is sharing what I’ve learned and enjoy with my family. 

Favorite activity with Taya:
Camping and just being outdoors.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?  What about it did you love?
That’s a tough question! I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of amazing places, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be free-diving with dolphins in the electric blue waters around Bimini, Bahamas. It was one of the first things I took my wife to experience with me when we got together, and it isn’t the type of life experience that you can really express with mere adjectives. I can’t wait to take our daughter there to experience that!

How would you define your strength, your power, your grace? 
I attribute my best qualities to the matriarchs of my family, and the one quality that I learned from them that I think helps you keep all the others polished and shining is Resilience. 

One word of advice to your child/children:
Laugh. Surround yourself with people, things, and activities that keep you smiling. 

3 emojis to describe life after kids:
🥰🌪🤣

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