When 5 years somehow creep up on you…

5. It’s my lucky number. As I mark 5 years since my BizAsia journey officially began on 14 April, I can’t help but look back, take stock and be grateful about the number of times in the journey that I’ve genuinely felt that my life had come full circle. In this incredible half-decade journey, I’ve thought many times about the fact that I never actually wanted to be a journalist. I always had a passion for writing but journalism was a big no-no for me right from when I was very young. I didn’t want to fight for exclusives, rub people up the wrong way to get a headline or ramroad my way through a profession that I saw as being too ruthless for someone like me. Contrary to how I felt then, I would like to think that I’m here now because I refused to do anything underhand and mostly because I’ve met people along the way who often had more faith in my talent than I did. It’s funny how life turns out, isn’t it?

So as I’m reflecting back, I can’t help but think about some of the damn cool things that have happened in the last 5 years…

When Ranveer Singh openly recognised me in a room full of press…
When I shouted a “code word” to Vivek Oberoi on the IIFA green carpet so that he’d recognise me…
When I sat in a room and talked DDLJ & Dilwale with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol
When finding out I was Gujarati (and not Jatt), Ayushmann Khurrana told me he’d just finished shooting in Rajkot…
When Ranbir Kapoor came and introduced himself to me in an interview (What a gent!)…
When Priyanka Chopra told me she couldn’t stand during an interview with Hrithik Roshan because of her killer heels…
When Shreya Ghoshal started following me on Twitter after my interview with her before her 30th birthday…
When I sat across a table from Nakuul Mehta in London as he answered all the questions his fans had sent me…
When I met Vivian DSena and Vahbiz Dorabjee for a coffee just off Oxford Street…
When I watched Deepika Padukone happily eat scones with jam and butter right in front of me during an interview…
When Abhishek Bachchan pushed me towards Sonu Sood during a press junket because he thought I was standing too far…

There are literally too many memories to even put in one article! However, more than the memories, I think I’m most grateful for how much the experience has changed me and made me more aware of people and the world. It’s made me hold on tight to the values I’ve been taught and have grown up with and take my negative experiences and try to turn them into positive experiences for others. I’ve learnt many lessons along the way too. Here are some, for those wanting to get into Asian media or anyone who thinks it’s easy:

Don’t be afraid of bad vibes, just don’t let them in.
I’ve got to be honest. This is probably one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt. There are so many people out there who want to bring you down. It’s really easy to get caught up in the whole thing and stop believing in yourself. However, this is something you absolutely should never do. Always believe in yourself but be vigilant of those people and circumstances where others just show themselves up more than anything else. Negativity is a big no-no!

Competition is a good thing. It helps you focus.
There are so many people and organisations out there who go to events or places and essentially get access to the same events and people that you do. The key to making it as positive as possible for you is just to accept that competition is always a good thing. You will only believe this if you ultimately believe in what you do. And when you get to that stage, you’ll find that competition – even if not direct – helps you do better for yourself.

Not everyone is going to like you… and that’s ok.
This is a life lesson as well as something to know in Asian media. As with any industry, there will be haters. There will also be people who are nice to you when they want something. This is part and parcel of the culture. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. It helps you develop a thick skin and deal with the things that come your way in a much more self-aware state.

Don’t feel like you need to prove yourself over and over.
This is something I see so many people doing. However, just let your work and your reputation speak for itself. It’ll very often speak louder for you than you can yourself.

The trick is to make it look easy.
Apart from the ones constantly seeing it daily, noone is going to be around to see you slog your guts out towards whatever the bigger picture might be. I often get asked “How do you juggle this alongside a full-time job?” My only answer to that is that it’s bloody hard work! It’s not easy managing the content of a website and a team of writers outside of a day job. However, most of the time I am loving every single minute of it. I’d like to think I’ve worked hard to even make it to 5 years and I’ll continue to do so. I like that so many people think it’s so easy – feels like a compliment in a weird way. It’s really not! Sorry to burst your bubble.

If you really want something, make sure you go about getting it the right way.
Oneupmanship is something that’s prevalent throughout life. You will inevitably be presented with different opportunities along the way. You can be the judge of whether these opportunities really are for you. Sometimes the things you don’t take up say more about you than anything else. It’s really not always about looking for the easy way. Like I said, if you believe in your talent and your work speaks for itself, the right opportunities will come for you. They might take time but they’ll arrive eventually.

Stand your ground when you need to.
Realistically, this is sometimes hard but, quite often, some people need you more than you need them – even if you don’t realise it at the time. If you feel like you’re deliberately being hard done by and treated wrongly, just speak out. It might severe some relationships but ultimately, people who understand you will stay with you no matter what.

Have the right people around you.
It’s hard to find good people out there and many of my friends within the industry will vouch for that. I’m lucky that I have my Scorpion instinct with me and I usually know when someone just isn’t right. However, I’m extremely grateful to have such amazing people around me. I don’t associate very heavily with many people – in life and within the Asian media industry – but I count myself and very lucky to have the support of some absolute gems!

Last but not the least, believe in yourself.
I couldn’t stress this enough to anyone wanting to achieve any kind of dream. If you don’t have a strong belief in yourself, how can you expect others to? Having said that, there’s a fine line between believing in yourself and being over-confident. Make sure you’re on the right side.

 

So, without boring you even more (!), I just want to end by saying I’ve made some truly special friendships in these five years, which I’m very grateful for. I have people around me that I can’t imagine my life without and that’s a really big personal achievement. I didn’t ever think the last five years would bring me here! Sometimes, it’s nice to just go with it. Trust the journey, it’ll always bring you where you’re meant to be.

I want to say a ****BIG**** thanks so all the wonderful people who support and believe in me day in, day out. You are my rocks and I wouldn’t be here without you.

Here’s to another 5 years of madness! *raises glass*

2 comments

  1. Hey Amrita How u doing? Kinda speechless, we cant all be exceptional wordsmiths like you 😊😉, but amazing 5 years you have had…. Hope plenty more of that to come your way… U truly deserve it. It was pleasure chatting to you again after so many years, hope you’re well. Take care

    Regards, Vijoy Sugunan

    On 13 Apr 2017 23:28, “Amrita’s Perceptive Punch” wrote:

    > blogamr1ta posted: “5. It’s my lucky number. Today, as I mark 5 years > since my BizAsia journey officially began, I can’t help but look back, take > stock and be grateful about the number of times in the journey that I’ve > genuinely felt that my life had come full circle. In thi” >

    Like

  2. Hey Amrita
    How u doing?
    Kinda speechless, we cant all be exceptional wordsmiths like you 😊😉, but amazing 5 years you have had…. Hope plenty more of that to come your way im sure… U truly deserve it. It was pleasure chatting to you again after so many years, hope you’re well. Take care

    Regards, Vijoy Sugunan

    Like

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