TOIFA 2013

What an amazing experience I had covering the first annual Times of India Film Awards (April 4-6) – it was a phenomenal opportunity. How does a fashion and style writer end up at a Bollywood awards show; one she’s a crazy big fan of Indian films (you have know clue) and she is a contributor to Vancouver’s coolest South Asian magazine Desi Ink. My lovely editor at the magazine hooked me up with media credentials and a temporary gig with the amazing Miss Malini to cover the event for both publications. This is a double score because is based out of Mumbai India, and now I’m an international writer!


{On a side note; my regular column with Desi Ink Magazine lets me check off a life list item ‘Have a monthly column in a print magazine’! So cool.}

Most of the weekend was a big blur – for the first time ever I was interviewing people that had nothing to do with fashion, accessories, or shoes; and some of them were people that I secretly harboured a crazy fan crush for. Even with my total lack of celebrity interview experience, I was pleasantly surprised with my ability to hold it together and ask questions that were somewhat intelligent and focussed. What made the whole interview process all the more exciting and difficult was the fact that you never knew who might come into the media centre next, it was just so-and-so is coming in 5 minutes, not much time to prepare  – a totally different experience than I’ve ever had before. My absolute favourites to interview were Prabhu Deva – love his dancing, Boman Irani – such a lovable character on screen and so warm in person, and Neha Dhupia – the girl is gorgeous, stylish, and has a good head on her shoulder, total girl crush! The one interview I’m crushed I didn’t get – Jimmy Sheirgill, seriously, if you see that guy somewhere please let him know I’m dying to meet him. 

with-prabhu{With the dancing dude Prabhu Deva! Sorry, still waiting for all the pics to come back from the photographer so this is the best I have!}

A definite highlight of the weekend (and my limited fashion career) was watching the Manish Malhotra fashion show. For those of you who don’t know, Manish is one of the top designers in India and a celebrity favourite. Watching one of his shows up close was the most surreal experience. Another random side note; who’s life is this anyway! 

manish-collage-1024x587{L: Neha Dhupia walks for Manish Malhotra R: Me and Manish!}

As I was planning to write this post, I sat and poured through pictures, notes, and my twitter feed to try and pick my favourite moment, and the more I thought of it, it had to be when I danced with Salman Yusuf Khan (dancer and choreographer). Not only was it awesome because I got to dance with him, but also because I asked for it. I remember standing there thinking, I’ve been watching this guy on TV for the last three years, love every one of his routines, and I’ll probably never meet him again – I want to dance with him! Somehow I mustered up the courage to ask him for a quick lesson and this happened:


{Salman is such an amazing dancer – watch this video to see his real magic. Also a huge thank you to @sharadkhare of Khare Communications for capturing this moment on video for me!}

Not only will TOIFA forever be a sweet memory for me because it happened in Vancouver and I was surrounded with great people, it also feels like a turning point in my writing career (I can’t even explain how strange it feels to call it a career). Just two years ago I was bored and a little depressed so I started to take pictures of myself in my backyard, and now I’m interviewing celebrities? Blessed seems like too little of a word – but it really is what I feel these days!

neesha-and-raj{A big thank you to the lady who took me to TOIFA – Neesha from @desiinkmag}


1 Comment

  1. April 17, 2013 / 12:33 am

    Hey Raj,
    What an amazing experience for you. There has been so much growth in our online presence over the last year. Love the dance video in this post. You must have had a marvelous time!

    Your blog looks so professional now and you are meeting so many interesting and influential people. So excited for you and looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring!
    Dale Kathryn
    Your Pink Friend

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