How does this field fit into your career plans?
I am heading towards motivational speaking and moderation. I will write and may curate content too. Anchoring does not fit into any of these, but it is something I will do till I stand. It is a love story. I will see it to the end!
You’ve done more than two dozen television shows and more than three thousand live events across the globe. Would you like to share any unique experience?
Ideally speaking, every experience is unique. Events are like kaleidoscopes, every time we go out there and re-arrange the bits and colours to form new imagery or experiences. From the events getting blown off in the wind and rain to those events where sets catch fire, to those other events where the stage is wobbling and almost caving in and the chief guest walking in an hour early, I have seen it all! However, one of the most special memories I have is of one of the few events I have hosted in Srinagar, Kashmir, on the banks of the scenic Dal Lake, talking to a pre-dominantly young audience full of rosy cheeks, fair skin and a Pakistani Band playing music to them! I still can’t forget that I was a Kashmiri Pandit girl, hosting the show! This event was managed by Kulbir Singh who after the event had to carry my suitcase for nearly two kilometres, all the way to a taxi stand to ensure I made it to the flight. Those were the days! Most of us worked as a family unit!
You have been recently awarded the Best Gold Anchor India by EEMAX Spotlight Awards, anything to say on that?
What can I say but a heartfelt thank you, soaked in gratitude. I am fully aware that not many anchors in the live business have had such a magical run! Only I know and feel the kind of affection that I encounter on a daily basis. The things members of the audience say to me post a show, the mails did by clients, the little things I have said or done are recalled by colleagues years later. As I say, only I know that such quality of affection can only come from a blessing by Goddess Saraswati. I am most grateful and humbled for everything I have achieved. For the EEMAX Spotlight Best Anchor Gold Award, I must thank the jury and also thank EEMA for constituting this property that recognises the efforts of partners.
You’ve also done anchoring with Bollywood stars, what were the challenges have you faced?
None at all. Most of them are well behaved and professional. Yes, one or two are habitual latecomers, but what to do!
You are a mother of a daughter, wife to a senior banker, how do you balance your professional and personal life?
I am usually engaged into some or the other thing all the time. There is no blank-out time! However, I am very much clear that this cannot be a regular feature. There are days when my kid takes a backseat, I shut out work, and I give my best to both. I am fully cued into Giaa’s studies and other classes. The only thing I do not do anymore is cooking! Sorry, no energy is left for that! So, only for a party where Kashmiri cuisine is being served, will I cook!
How do you work under pressure?
I work best under pressure. I seem to thrive on it. Though I have loosened up quite a bit.
Any advice to upcoming anchors who are trying hard to make their career in this field?
Who am I to offer advice to them!
Are there any incidents where you have to sacrifice your professional life due to family responsibility?
Yes, many a time. However, it is worth it, and I have no regrets because I know that sooner or later, I will reach where I am meant to. No hurry here!
Which event has been more memorable for you which you cherish even today?
All the events I have hosted in the presence of Amitabh Bachchan and APJ Abdul Kalam. And recently, when I hosted the International Energy Forum in the presence of more than 80 global heads of State including our very own PM, Mr Modi and the ASEAN-INDO Summit with the Indian Government present in full force. I am still waiting to host the President’s National Film Awards and another awards property, let’s see when I tick those off my bucket list!
At this peak stage of career, how does winning an award matter to you?
Yes and no. Yes, it matters because I personally don't want to feel like 'Awards don't matter to me.'. For me, being grounded is very important.
And, No, winning an award doesn't matter much because after having won 6 awards, you begin to feel a little guilty (laughs)...!
What makes you so different from other anchors?
I don’t know! You tell me!
Who’s your favorite anchor? Let us know in the comment box below.