My Multi-Media Skills
Print; Web; Radio; TV; A-V; Electronic; Scripts for TV & Son-et-Lumiere
A Biographical Note
Looking over my long and hugely rewarding career, I can say that I am fortunate to have had an incredible amount of experience as a media-person, editor, script writer and event designer. Even at a random guess, I have written more than 25,000 features on current issues, women’s concerns, travel, art and archaeology, Bollywood, fashion, food, interior design, lifestyle as well as scripts, speeches and more...I have written more than 50 ‘middles’ for the Times of India and have contributed my writings to most leading papers and magazines of India and several publications in Sri Lanka, U.K., and Singapore.
Behind my rich and rewarding writing and event-design career stands the strength of my wonderful 20-year-stint as the longest-working editor of Femina, a Times of India publication and India’s top women’s magazine, where I worked from 1966 to 1993. Femina is my personal success story. Through the magazine, my team and I pushed women’s empowerment and effectively changed the Indian woman’s status and mindset to design a 21st century, dignified and confident persona of the modern, educated Indian woman. In fact, millions of readers of the magazine described Femina as a movement for women rather than a magazine. It became a powerful agent of change for women and aimed at bringing them education, empowerment, economic independence, enterprise, equality and enlightenment.
Femina was founded in 1958 – an apt year for Indian women because of the Hindu Code Bill and the Hindu Succession Act passed in 1956. It was most opportune time to promote the empowerment of women in every endeavour!
For Femina too, I organized the glamorous Miss India Contest and Teen Princess Contest for several decades, creating not only many top models like Meher Jessia Rampal and Madhu Sapre but also Bollywood stars for generations. Among the stars are Zeenat Aman, Tina Munim, Juhi Chawla, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Sangeeta Bijlani and many others. Most of them acknowledge the contribution of Femina to their careers and lives. For example, Tina Munim Ambani has said in an interview, “Life has always been a process of choosing what I want to do rather than compromising with what I have to. As a 16-year-old young girl, I received an offer that dreams are made of. On the basis of a cover and fashion spread I had done for Femina, I was selected to represent India at the International Teen Princess contest at Aruba. Then I started my journey to stardom and fame!”
From 1964, Femina conducted the Miss India and later, the Ten Princess International Contests. Tina Munim was sent to the Teen Princess Contest in 1976 and after winning laurels, was chosen by Dev Anand to star in his film Des Pardes!
Under the aegis of the Government of India and especially with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s inspiration and support, I travelled to many countries of the world with Indian fashion presentations, especially handlooms, so that India would be recognized as a preferred fashion destination. Some of these countries are: Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Fiji, UK, Yugoslavia, Senegal, Venezuela and Australia.
I have written the scripts and designed the music of two Sound and Light (SEL) shows for the Ministry of Tourism, India: One at the historic Somnath temple in Gujarat and one on the banks of the River Ganga in Haridwar in Uttaranchal. I also wrote the scripts for a Sound and Light show at the Udaygiri/Khandgiri prehistoric caves in Orissa and for the Nayakar Palace in Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
I have edited house journals, magazines and newspaper supplements and customized features for magazines. I write well-researched pieces on culture, art, films and celebrities, travel and lifestyles across the Indian sub-continent. I have an impressive number of website references about me on the Internet, I work with print media as well as electronic media to provide content for websites.
After I finished my inspiring career with Femina, I was asked to edit the 10th anniversary issue of the Leela Hotels, Palaces & Resorts. I edited several issues of this magazine in the ensuing years! This gave me a new perspective in the media world of house magazines.
I have written twelve cookery books, an autobiography of my media career, a book on the festive days of India and a compendium called 64 Ways To Be Successful & Happy, based on the qualities of Arjuna, who was the only recipient of the Bhagwad Geeta. The book has been translated in the Korean language.
I specialize in writing lifestyle pieces, women’s concerns, travelogues, celebrity interviews, Bollywood news, art-culture pieces about India and Asian countries, scripts and creating artistic events on a customized scale.
I was educated in Mumbai and London and graduated with English Literature, Ancient History and Culture and later in Law (B.A.LLB.) from Mumbai University. I have a degree in Journalism from London University.
Read more: Career Highlights