What you don’t see is the equally diverse team behind the scenes. Off camera too, the team is very representative of our ethnic and cultural diversity here in Canada.
- Please tell us a bit about you academic/family background?
I was born and raised inBombay,India. I’m the baby of the family and compared to my siblings I turned out to be the most adventurous of the bunch. I did everything from summer and horse riding camps to saving stray dogs after school!
I sang, acted in plays and danced starting in kindergarten. I also played field hockey and soccer and generally topped my classes in most subjects when exam time came around.
In university I continued doing a lot of theatre and worked part time at aBombay radio station for a short while.
I majored in English Literature, topped my class in the graduating year and went back as a ‘returning fellow’ to teach a few lectures before leaving forCanada in September 2005.
I came toCanada to study Television Broadcasting. After studying inCanada for 2 years and working for another 2, I got my permanent residency in 2010 and here I am!
- Why showbiz?
Because I’m a show off! Haha!
But also because I love it with every molecule of my being!
- Have you gone through the periods like we hear in interviews of celebrities like Amitabh that in the beginning no one was willing to give them work but they persisted and are legends now?
Not exactly, but close enough.
As a new, young immigrant I definitely had to struggle to establish myself.
I had interned with Omni as a news editor right out of school and once visa rules turned in my favour in 2010, I was able to re-establish that connection and go back as a freelancer after 2.5 years of being away from editing and TV.
One thing led to another and I expressed interest in on air work as well. Between 2010-2012 my life changed dramatically.
I guess I’m still working on the ‘legend’ part, but for a girl fromBombay with no contacts whatsoever inToronto, I think I did alright. J
- What’s your family’s reaction to your profession’s choice?
They are 2000% supportive.
Is it a profession where you can make money?
That depends on a lot of factors- how long you’ve been working at the same place, what part of the industry you choose to work in, how good you are and how much experience you have etc etc.
TV in general pays well enough to survive inToronto though. J
- Is there a fair representation of visible minorities in channels like City TV, OMNI etc?
The launch of Omni 1 and Omni 2 was a HUGE step in a positive direction in terms of representing the cultural diversity ofCanada. Not only does Omni have newscasts in 5 different languages but it caters to numerous communities through shows designed specifically for that community. In order to do that of course Omni has proven a leader in hiring and representing visible minorities and I am proud to be part of that family.
In a City TV newscast too you’ll see the multicultural team – anchors, meteorologists, reporters and hosts all represent the melting pot that is our cosmopolitan city ofToronto.
What you don’t see is the equally diverse team behind the scenes. Off camera too, the team is very representative of our ethnic and cultural diversity here inCanada.
- What in your opinions are issues of young South Asian professionals?
In the current economy, finding a job to suit your skills and education is a struggle, for any young person, from any background. That’s a broad answer.
I find a lot of young South Asians here deal with issues of identity and we are still considered a visible minority. There’s a struggle between traditional values from their parents and the modern sentiments they identify with at school or work, and reconciling those two to form a cohesive self identity is difficult sometimes. Going into the professional world and still having to fight stereotypes and answer questions about where you’re from can be a hurdle sometimes. But not insurmountable! J
- What kind of pressures do you feel as professionals?
Being a grown up is hard!
Managing my time and finding enough time to actually eat, sleep, rest and spend time with friends and family is something I struggle with daily.
- Which are popular clubs for South Asian youth to visit?
I really see no difference between South Asian youth and any other kids. We’re all the same. The club scene is rough downtown! I like places where you can relax, eat, dance…and I’ve been known to be awesome at karaoke!
- How do you feel aboutToronto’s night life?
I love it! Torontohas an amazing, vibrant and comparatively safe nightlife. If you’re into the club hopping scene, we’ve got tons! Lounges and jazz bars are everywhere too!
I’m a foodie so I find the selection of restaurants and eateries enticing. I have my little secret all night places too, to get my NOM on after a long night- which is one of the reasons I adoreToronto. You can get sushi all the way till 2am!
- In spite of growing number of South Asian artists, very very few have really made a mark. What’s the reason in your opinion?
I think the answer is the same whether it’s South Asian artists or other local, indie artists – the support system and infrastructure is still growing and developing here inCanada. Everyone still looks south of the border to make it “big” so to speak because traditionally, that is where opportunities abound for artists.
- Do you feel generation gap between your parent’s and your generation?
For the record, my mom is the COOLEST!
I do feel that on a larger scale, ours is a generation that has seen the MOST change and the most rapid growth – in technology, arts, sciences and social networking. So for our parent’s generation to keep up with that and engage at the same level has become harder.
- What and who do you turn to when depressed?
I sing or listen to music. Constantly. When I’m happy or sad. The songs change depending on my mood. J
But I mostly turn to my mum. After I’ve struggled with an issue for a while, I’ll finally make that long distance call so I can hear her tell me everything is going to be fine.
That and good old comfort food. Food from home, Indian food, is a huge ‘cheer me up’ and I have to have some after a rough day!
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Still inToronto! But hopefully with bases inBombay,LAandNew York! Haha!
While I plan for the future, my plans are more immediate. I like to go with the flow and see where life takes me. My life has never worked out exactly how I planned – but it has worked out for the best!
- What would you like to change in the world.
People’s narrow perspectives and perceptions.
Artist – that is a tough one. Michael Jackson forever!!
Movie – My Fair Lady is an all time classic and favourite!
Book- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy tops my very extensive reading list.
Place to visit – Bombay and New York City.
Activity – Among MANY other hobbies, I also secretly sew to release stress and wear a LOT of the clothes I make myself.
Politician – I haven’t settled on this one quite yet!