No Plain Jain

Posted on March 10, 2016 under Faces in the Crowd with no comments yet

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The long and winding road took her and her husband from Mumbai, through Delhi, Zambia, Atlanta and Bangkok, and finally to a small town in rural, Nova Scotia, a place they now call home.

Meet Jyotsna Jain.

She was born in the outskirts of Mumbai, India in the suburbs of Kalyan. She was raised in a small industrial township in Baroda, Gujarat where an oil refinery employed people from every part of India and everyone knew everyone else in a very multi cultural environment.  Like many in her newly adopted town of Antigonish, the people of Baroda celebrated life with lots of cultural events.

She completed her undergraduate studies in political science followed by a Master’s degree. She was a sports enthusiast and played competitive basketball in high school and university and even participated at Nationals.  Then, as now, she recognized the importance of being a team player.

They moved to Antigonish 6 years ago when her husband, Anuj, took a position teaching microfinance at the renowned Coady International Institute. It took a while to adjust but, according to Jyotsna, “We decided that this was a place where we could settle down for the long haul.”

It didn’t take long for Jyotsna to immerse herself in the community. She has an easy way with people.  She’s friendly and outgoing, compassionate and a good listener.  She started volunteering with ACALA and says that this was a turning point for her.  She now teaches at ACALA where she helps new immigrants with English language skills.  She raves about People’s Place library as a space that is welcoming to all, especially new people to the area.

She is a familiar face at the Antigonish Art Fair and Cultural Connections (International Pot Luck).

Jyotsna is a passionate “foodie”. “Cooking is therapy for me.  When I’m alone in the kitchen, I’m completely at peace with myself.”  She loves to cook and dreams someday of opening a restaurant.

She sees Antigonish emerging as a cultural hub. It wouldn’t be a surprise to her or anyone else to see new businesses and places of worship spring up.

This quiet, thoughtful and caring person is “no plain Jain”.

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