Miss Malini was in conversation with SheThePeople.TV’s Ideas editor, Kiran Manral at the first Bombaywaali of the year.
The blogger, and self-proclaimed ‘diplobrat’ spoke about her journey to blogging about the stars and her new book “To The Moon.” Malini was born in Allahabad, and spent her childhood in Greece, Lebanon, Germany and even West Africa. Travel, she says, is the best educator.
She unabashedly follows her heart and decided to move to Bombay for a boy. Things with the boy didn’t work out, but her love affair with the city sure did. The day I landed it was raining and I didn’t know anyone and it was neon lights and I felt like I was in a Bollywood movie. I felt like this is it. It’s been 18 years and I’m definitely a Bombaywaali.
At the right place at the right time:
She says that she has fallen into jobs she has loved and at times when the right thing was happening. When she was working at MTV, a friend told her to audition for radio. The radio station was owned by Midday for which she was already doing a column (this column was the rudimentary version of the blog). She remembers working from 9-6, then walking over to do the graveyard shift at the radio station, and doing her column somewhere in between.
And all the while there were signs. “I felt like it was falling into place and I was getting positive feedback,” she says.
The trick to spotting trends:
Miss Malini believes that if you really want something you can get it. “You are the heroine of your own movie, and I would advise you think of it as a comedy.”
So how did the blog come about: the trick is to be your own audience, Malini says.
“I had seen every Bollywood movie and I loved it. I couldn’t find one website that told Bollywood stories which wasn’t a media dump- I saw the gap. We don’t have a millennial identity in between. I wanted to create a voice that represented young millennial India.”
On social media:
Social media is a human interactive space, says Malini. We forget that. We treat it wrong and put up pictures of ourselves without interacting with others. In the real world it would be equivalent to putting up posters of yourself at a party and not talking to anyone. Go to the Facebook party and see what people are saying, she argues.
People always ask me why I write only positive stories, she remarked.
“Bollywood is a dream it’s magical. I love the movies so I can’t tear them down. What is wrong with taking a positive spin. That doesn’t mean sucking up,” she insists.
She spoke about how one time they had gone to interview Shahrukh Khan. The interview slot was at 7 pm but he showed up only at 4 am. She remembers that the website with the slot before hers was rude to the star, and the interview was over in a minute.
Meanwhile her team came and ate cupcakes with the star. They conducted a completely original interview. We live in a world with so much sadness. Malini says she is lucky, and so isn’t the onus on her to spread positivity. Shouldn’t the question be why do you write so many negative stories, she insists.
Her advice for young bloggers:
The first thing you should do is decide what you are passionate about. What do u love? Then come up with the things u would write about, and the content you want to create. She says there is a difference between hobby blogging and blogging as an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur you have to think ahead. As yourself where you will be in a year, how you can make sustainable money, the difference in the market.
You also have to ask yourself what your benchmark of success is. It can be social work, fame, money, love, anything you choose.
Go out there and live your dream! says Miss Malini