Mother and Girl Child

 

1. Editor, Femina, Times of India, Mumbai, India for 20 years and earlier assistant editor for 7 years.

One of the major social issues Femina dealt with was the status of the girl child. In a male dominated society, Femina set out to promote a life of dignity for women, starting with the girl child and her rights! From there on for more than half a century, Femina has worked for the empowerment of Indian women.

Bridal wear presented at Femina Fashion Show

 

 

 

2. Creator of the Miss India annual show for Femina from 1966 to 1993 and making it the vehicle for launching top Indian models and film stars. Presenter of fashion events at world fashion fairs and Indian government-sponsored trade fairs worldwide.

3. Prolific writer of an overwhelming number of features for various newspapers and magazines including the Asian Geographic, several hotel and airline magazines.

4. Editor of several portals and prolific content provider to many websites on Indian culture and art, lifestyle, trends, food, Bollywood and fashion.

5. Creator and Presenter of an audio visual show on the Sacred Rivers of India in prestigious institutions such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, Mumbai), the Kala Ghoda Festival, the IMC Ladies Wing and the Ramakrishna Mission.

6. Editor of house journals for Johnson & Johnson, Leela Hotels, Competition & Success Review, Food Talk and many more.

Exotic Sea Food at Viva Paschim

7. Creator of food festivals, among which was an event to promote the cuisines of the West Coast of India including the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. Out of the scintillating success of these events, was born a first-of-its-kind specialty restaurant named Viva Paschim. Over a period of time, this fine dining restaurant was counted among the ten best in Mumbai and many celebrities, including the Maharaja and Maharani of Baroda, participated in its numerous festivals to highlight cuisines from every community living in this region. Foreigners and visitors found this the most authentic restaurant for local flavours with seafood as a great attraction. The restaurant closed recently following the sale of the property in which it was situated.

In spite of being the capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai did not have a deluxe west coast cuisine restaurant! I was happy to collaborate in designing the menu and the interiors of Viva Paschim, which served the delicacies of Maharashtra and Goa to an International clientele!

8. Writer of commissioned books. Very recently, I have written and edited the Coffee Table Book for 2011 for the Leela Hotels, Palaces & Resorts. I was also the creative editor of the 2011 Chetana book on Thali Meals of India.

9. Sound & Light Show (SEL) at the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, starring the voices of Kabir Bedi (English), Amrish Puri (Hindi) and Darshan Jariwala (Gujarati). The songs are sung by Ratan Mohan Sharma and the music is by Bhavdeep Jaipurwale. Tourists and trustees of the temple say that this is rated as the best sound and light show in India. Script and music design for the Ganga Water Show in Haridwar, Uttaranchal. Songs are sung by Raghunandan Panshikar and Devki Pandit. Script for the sound and light show in the Udaygiri/Khandgiri caves in Orissa, dating back to 146 BC and lastly, the Nayakar Palace, Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

Ganga River at Haridwar

For some reason, I love rivers and their serenity! I was proud to do the Ganga Water Show script and music for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. To see life on the banks of this sacred river, I travelled to Haridwar and several riverside towns in the Himalayas.

10. As Editor Femina, I met many of India’s Prime Ministers, including Ms. Indira Gandhi (with whom I had an exclusive interview), Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee (whom also I interviewed). In a rare opportunity, I interviewed Empress Farah Diba at the request of the Government of India for Femina (Jitendra Arya shot her picture for the cover of Femina) during her state visit with the Shah of Iran to meet Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1974. I interviewed countless top musicians, artists and society and Bollywood personalities. One of the best assignments for me was the interview I had with Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India in 1974. She did a great deal to promote the empowerment of women and the handloom industry of India.

Farah Diba (centre) with me in the background

 

Indira Gandhi (left) with me and Sharda Prasad, her Press Secretary (photo: Jitendra Arya)

 

Read more: Awards and Journeys