The Most watched Interviews Of All Time

Following the much-awaited Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah Winfrey the viewings generated have meant that it now sits with some of the most watched interviews of modern times. With over 17 million Americans tuning in and 12m Brits tuning in the following day, Oprah has once again facilitated impressive viewing figures.

In accordance to Axios Media Trends Oprah Winfrey has not only generated numbers with Meghan and Harry, but the most viewed interview of all time with Michael Jackson in 1993 with 62.3 million views. Here are the most watched interviews of all time, which are dominated by female hosts.

  1. Michael Jackson (1993), Oprah Winfrey, 62.3M
  2. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley (1995), Diane Sawyer, 60.0M
  3. Monica Lewinsky (1999), Barbara Walters, 48.5M
  4. Richard Nixon (1977), David Frost, 45.0M
  5. Bill and Hillary Clinton (1992), Steve Kroft, 34.0M
  6. Barack and Michelle Obama (2008), Steve Kroft, 24.5M
  7. Diana, Princess of Wales (1995), Martin Bashir, 23.0M
  8. Stormy Daniels (2018), Anderson Cooper, 22.1M
  9. Whitney Houston (2002), Diane Sawyer, 21.0M
  10. John and Patsy Ramsey (2000), Barbara Walters, 19.6M
  11. Donald Trump (2016), Lesley Stahl, 18.8M
  12. Donald Trump and Mike Pence (2020), Norah O’Donnell, 17.4M
  13. Prince Harry and Meghan Markel (2021), Orprah Winfrey, 17.1 M
  14. Caitlin Jenner (2015) Diane Sawyer, 17.1M
  15. Jaycee Dugard (2011), Diane Sawyer, 14.8M

Source: Axios Media Trends

Speaking to Punjabi comedian, Sukh Ojla

Sukh Ojla

“Comedy with a Connection”

Getting the chance to share the story of comedian Sukh Ojla is a privilege that I am more than happy to grace you all with. From persevering through the most relatable situations to now accepting her first book deal, Sukh is the role model that women like me didn’t know we needed.

Grinning before our conversation even started, I was reminiscing her jokes from her appearance on Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club which set me up in the most perfect of moods for a chat. Changing her virtual video background from her previous online comedy gig, was the first task Sukh tackled as she entered our Zoom conversation. Followed by an admirably fast-paced make-up application, she was ready to rumble.

If this isn’t the definition of hustle then I don’t know what is…

Still amazed at the speed of filling in her eyebrows, I was indulged in stories of her days in performance theatre and how she had costume changes with the time span of just 30 seconds. This was amateur stuff in comparison.

Born in the Leeds and raised in Kent, Sukh went to a small-town school, in which she admittedly didn’t feel like an academic achiever. Making the decision to go to drama school at the age of 18, Sukh then made her way to London. This step was considered as unconventional for a young South Asian woman in the 90’s and Sukh noted there weren’t any relatable role models at the time.

“If I was, to mentor my younger self… in my position, from a single income family, I would not recommend going to drama school straight away”

Following her completion of Drama School, it became ever more apparent that the types of drama she wanted to get involved in were just not available. With limitations on her chances of being in classical dramas or Shakespearean productions, Sukh was always pointed in the direction of musicals which is something she wasn’t interested in. During this time, Sukh applied her drama skills to the world of children’s theatre and after thoroughly educating Britain’s children to not do drugs she decided that this avenue had come to an end.

“I left the industry at 23”

After making this decision Sukh was propelled into the world of part time jobs. From being a bra fitter to being an usher at Lords cricket ground, to working in administration, Sukh’s CV was getting more varied by the minute and none of these jobs were fulfilling her creative streak.

Just like many creatives these jobs had to be flexible just in case an audition or an opportunity arose. Feeling a deep dissatisfaction with this way of life and not being able to express herself creatively, Sukh described a very relatable feeling that often comes to fruition as a creative.

Not doing anything professionally for seven years, it was an offhand conversation with a friend on Sukh’s 30th birthday that she admitted she wasn’t happy. With her own peers being in completely different stages of life, Sukh still felt stagnated.  She decided to make this milestone year her turning point.

“In hindsight I did realise that I was anxious and I was depressed… I just thought oh hey life is really crap”

Giving herself a timeline of a year to try again in performance arts, Sukh gave herself the plan to train as a primary school teacher if nothing came from the 12 months. Little did she know this time was going to be monumental in her comedy and performance journey. Alongside actioning the steps, she needed to do (signing up for auditions and joining acting groups), a foundational event that propelled her was competing in Monologue Slam. Whilst preparing for her audition she found that the available monologues didn’t feel right, so took this opportunity to write and perform her own.

Fuelling her monologue was the perspective of a Punjabi Bride at her own wedding reception that “made an arse of herself”. It was this performance piece that Sukh had won and got her noticed and signed by an agent.

Yay…or not.

Although the floodgates for auditions opened up again, Sukh’s work flow began to slow down again and she began entering a space where she wasn’t happy. This was a time in Sukh’s life where a lot of transition happened. Making the decision to move home was paired with a break up in her personal life, which acted as a catalyst for her to stay busy.

“It was a lot”

Taking a comedy writing class in the Southbank in London was one thing that Sukh did as a way to keep busy and sought enjoyment in this. After the workshop, she was unsure of how to build on this and enter the realm of stand- up comedy.

“How are you supposed to know how to do it?”

Beginning with performing small comedy gigs, Sukh was noticed by Sindhu Vee, who stealthily passed on her details to the BBC Asian Network, for which Sukh performed on their live 2017 comedy show. Creating a snowball effect, Sukh’s stand up opportunities heavily outweighed her acting involvement. Developing as a comedian is what has accelerated Sukh to be an active presence on the comedy scene and is what led me to see her at the live filming of the 2019 BBC Asian Network Live show.

It seems that in the past few years (after years of uncertainty) Sukh has been in the right place at the right time and her comedy journey has led her right to her book deal (pause for applause please). Having drawn on her own experiences in her comedy writing, the relatability factor for British Asians is second to none. I have no doubt that this book will also will be reflective and representative of this and more importantly hilarious.  Wanting to see more representation of herself in non-fiction, Sukh is actioning this for her own book writing and her new book is something I am eagerly waiting for.

“I just want to see myself in books”

With socially distanced audiences at the comedy gigs and a change of pace not only Sukh, but the nation, she also uses her platform to speak about mental health and encourages people to not shy away from the topic or feel isolated. This realness and vulnerability is another reason why I think Sukh’s success will remain ever-growing.

“You need to know you’re not on your own”

The Joy of Letting Go: In Conversation with Priya Sharma

The Joy of Letting Go, In Conversation with Priya Sharma

During these unprecedented times, many people have archived what was once considered their ‘normal’ life. From unemployment to home offices, it appears that there has been many a life evaluation and what truly makes individuals happy. Taking the plunge out of our comfort zones is alien and scary to many, but Priya Sharma has made the decision to do just this.

With her occupational status changing from Engineer to Traveller, Priya and her boyfriend Sid decided to sell their belongings and purchase a van to travel Australia. With her social media reach and views equating to thousands of viewers, her introduction has fast become part of people’s for you page.

“Hi my name is Priya”

Priya has documented her van life, and has adopted the mantra of living to work not working to live. Born and raised in Sydney, Priya and Sid worked together in mining engineering in remote and central Australia – nowhere near their hometown. Working long days to then coming home and waking up to work the next day again, this pair used any spare time they had to travel and gave them insight into how they wanted to live their life.

 “We wanted to work to live not live to work”

The couple then made the epic decision to leave their jobs, sell their belongings and move out of their flat. Following which they bought a van, which only had a bed frame in at the time. It was then kitted out with a small kitchen, fridge and decor, a great first van for travellers. This vehicle would not only become Priya’s home, but the tool for her adventures and vlogs.

“Little things make it feel bigger and homely”

I had the pleasure of video calling Priya whilst the pair were in the Queensland leg of their travels, and the cosy nature of the van matched that of Priya’s social media videos. It was funny to see that they couldn’t quite stand up fully in the van, but for later travels would invest in a bigger one. In all honesty it made me excited for when I could travel again and to have an element of fearlessness.

“We just wanted this tiny van, our home, to be able to travel from this tiny town…it makes sense, it feels free”

Showcasing their travel life, Priya began using Tik Tok to make short videos about their travels and sharing her recipes. Building a quick fire following, Priya admitted she was shocked and began using her new found community to sell her Dad’s famous spice mix! This mix was an amalgamation of spice blends that saw Priya through her childhood and often uses it to flavour the amazing fruits and produce she whips up in the van kitchen.

Finding that her van life meant less consumption over all, made it a more sustainable way to travel and explore. Using less electricity, water and power, this way of living contributed to a more-free way of life.

The lockdown rules in Queensland were so relaxed, which is contrastingly not the case in the UK at the moment, so it was interesting to witness some sense of normalcy on the other side of the world.  So as my day on this side of the world began, Priya’s was ending so I bade her goodnight and went about my day with a sense of adventure.

Keeping your Mental health in Check: A Conversation with Dan Draper

Releasing the stigma around Mental Health, A Conversation with Dan Draper

With mental health being at the forefront of Dan Draper’s podcasting journey, this presenter, influencer and friend is determined to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. Speaking from the comfort of our homes, Dan’s set up screamed podcaster mode. From his mic to his professionalism, it was time for me to reverse the roles and delve in Dan’s journey.

Beaming and smiling, Dan began by telling me about his childhood and growing up in Harlow, Essex. Paired with the hustle and bustle of his large family (not forgetting his dogs of course), he was also exploring his creative side as a drummer. It was apparent that Dan’s extroverted personality has been a big part of who he is from a very young age.

“I was bouncing off the walls”

Following his school life, he went on to work various jobs, and got well acquainted with HSBC for 4 years. It was during this time that a 2-week trip to Thailand left Dan with a thirst for exploration. It was at this point that Dan realised he didn’t want to be living his 9-5 any longer.

“I can’t do this anymore; I can’t just be a corporate number”

 This feeling became a catalyst for Dan to fly out and begin his travels within South East Asia. Reminiscing the people who he met along the way, who he referred to as “family” as well as being humbled by the contrasting lifestyle, Dan soaked in the sites.

“It grounded me”

Revealing that his own mental health was in top form whilst travelling, he was “on a constant high” and having the freedom to do whatever he wanted was a foundation for that.

Little did he know that the amazement and experiences of this trip were to be paired with the most devasting news.

Following the news of a close family friend passing away from terminal cancer back home, alongside aiding an ill travelling companion to hospital, the trip’s course began to change. Whilst navigating a Vietnamese hospital, Dan returned to his place of stay to receive the news from his family that his Nan had also passed away as a result of Dementia.

Already an emotionally tolling week for Dan, he made the decision to fly home early for the funeral. Prior to his journey back home, Dan was staying with a local family where he received news about Dean.

“Dean was my cousin, we grew up like brother, we were genuinely inseparable… we had that sort of twin effect”

An initial call from his Dad informing Dan that Dean had suddenly collapsed, spurred Dan to accelerate his journey back home and get on the next available flight back to the UK. Making the journey from the remote village he was staying in to the airport was over 6 hours before he made it to the airport.

“Even if he was gonna be alright, I knew I had to go back”

Arriving at the airport and connecting to the Wi-Fi was when Dan was able to video call his family back home.

Dean had not made it.

Finding out this news in such a public setting manifested grief in a way that led to Dan being stripped from processing in a private setting. Nearly missing his flight, Dan was processing the news whilst trying to make it for the flight. With Dean’s cause of death being an underlying, undetected heart condition, he lived a very healthy lifestyle and this condition could’ve affected him at any time.

21 hours and 4 hours later, Dan landed back in the UK to the support and love of his family. Running to him in the airport, Dan admitted he had exhausted himself on the journey and “had run out of tears”.

“It was like a scene from Love Actually”

It was the time following Dean’s funeral that proved detrimental to Dan’s mental health. Feeling a lack of motivation as well as bottling up emotion, led to Dan experiencing a panic attack on a Christmas gathering at the pub. Paired with a feeling of confusion and sadness, Dan interestingly noted that he didn’t want anyone to know he had suffered with a panic attack and felt he had to put on a “brave face” and continued to enjoy his night.

“There’d be times where the lights were on but no one was home for me”

With a ‘keep calm and carry on’ mindset regarding his mental health, Dan thought his feelings were just what grief was and never suspected that his mental health could be suffering. With the offer of grief counselling, Dan admitted that he let his male ego get in the way of getting help for how he was feeling.

It was at this time that Dan was offered a job with a London start up, where he built new connections and new friends. Delving in the London working life, Dan decided to make the move the city (which is where Dan first came into my life), and has been living there until the present.

2020 has become a transitional year for Dan, from changing work circumstances to getting ready to travel, it’s not been all bad for this amazing podcaster.

“This year was meant to be my year, I’m turning 30, I’m gonna travel, I’m gonna get my first tattoo…and then corona hit”

Lockdown was the reason that, for many people, mental health issues had manifested. A change of pace in life, followed by intense uncertainty, not only created stress for people but also fear. Working in the hospitality industry, Dan was also affected. The pub was closed and Dan was put on furlough. Recognising how lockdown was making him feel, Dan knew that other people must be feeling the same way.

The Dan Draper Podcast

Alongside the emotions that lockdown was stirring Dan was fuelled by the memories of Dean. Putting aside his search for another corporate job, he had decided it was time to pursue and indulge his creative side. The Dan Draper Podcast was born!

The Dan Draper Podcast is a set of conversations, hosted by Dan, that explore mental health. From mental health charities and sportsman to presenters and influencers, Dan’s goal is to release the stigma surrounding mental health. Consistency and passion are what drive Dan Draper and being a guest on his show myself, I am very excited to see what it around the corner for this amazing presenter.

This natural conversationalist, allows his guests to open up in a way where there is room for vulnerability and uses it as a tool, to educate himself further. Using exercise as a means to keep his own mental health in check, Dan is continually exploring the intricacies of mental health and checks in with his audience daily. Being transparent in this way, shows the genuine care that Dan has for connecting with his audience and showcasing both the ups and downs in his quest to get people conversing abut mental health.

Write Here, Write Now: Priyanka Mohan

Priyanka Mohan

We have gone international baby! Having navigated the time difference, I managed to get hold of Digital Content Creator Priyanka Mohan. Identifying as a Third Culture Kid, Priyanka balances the influences of three cultures in her life, whist living in the Unites States of America. With an Indian background, but being born and raised in Dubai and then moving to the USA when she was 17, the three cultures have all played in a part in influencing her content today.

Sitting in her plant saturated living room, Priyanka delved into telling me about her journey into content creation. Her transition from Dubai to becoming a student at Virginia Tech, Washington DC is where Priyanka has resided for most of her USA life (just over 10 years). With a break up being the catalyst for a change in Priyanka’s life, she applied for jobs which was the start of her chapter in Minnesota.

“I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know anything about Minnesota, I just put everything in my car and I drove”

With Minnesota being a completely different welcoming experience to any other state she had lived in before, Priyanka identified that her formative years were shaped by the diversity that came with her international moves. It was during this time that she became used to navigating the day to day life alone. Going to work and then coming home became template for her life for a while, and getting used to the different social construct in Minnesota was a challenge.

“I did try looking for that emotional and social connection”

Getting to a point where she was beginning to realise that she may not be integrated as she might’ve been living in the East Coast, she was beginning to think about leaving. It was at this point that she was told about a local influencer event from her regular coffee shop from which she began to mingle with people who wanted to meet other people.

During lockdown Priyanka really honed in on how she wanted to now present her content. Motivated by Social Justice and Positivity, she put her photography skills to work. Shaping her content to inspire people and taking the most beautiful images, she is constantly developing her craft.

“It’s been quite challenging”

Being the photographer and the subject of her own images presents itself as a challenge. Aligning her images now with her study of Fine Art and taking inspiration from colour and Pop Art, it is apparent that Priyanka is experimenting with cementing her own colourful style on her feed with her content. As her journey into colourful content creation grows so does her following and it with eagerness that I personally look forward to the creativity that comes paired with her photographs.

Write Here, Write Now: Meera Sharma

Meera Sharma

Meera Sharma is a myriad of talents, from being a radio presenter to writing and self-publishing The Book of Sass, she has conquered an array of creative projects which she shared with me. Speaking from the comfort of our bedrooms, Meera came laced in self-care and put my moisturising routine to shame as she was saturated in skin and hair oils. Skin was positively glowing.

Meera Sharma was born and raised in Lancashire, and made note that there were not many Asian families in that area at the time. With her childhood, she felt like grew up with a good mix of South Asian Culture and British Culture and balancing these two cultures is often reflected in her creative endeavours today.

Always having the ambition and drive to pursue something different, is what led Meera to decide to study Fashion Design at the University of Westminster and turn down her Law School offer. This off the cuff and ballsy move, was motivated by rebellion of the status quo. Describing the experience as very “Devil Wears Prada” the “bolshy Northerner” was often contrasting to what her tutors expected of her, however, led to her creating a collection that attracted a lot of press. Based on the premise of superheroes and having two identities, Meera created her first collection based around this.  

“I’m all about female empowerment…people have these preconceived ideas and I feel like for Asian women especially… people have this idea that we’re very timid and restricted and I just think not everyone is like that”

Gaining traction from her collection resulted in her being signed to a PR agent and mingling in the media world. During this time, Meera started delving more into the Bollywood Showbiz side of things when she began interviewing stars like Amitabh Bachan and writing fashion reviews on Bollywood stars for Bollyspice. This resulted in her presenting film reviews at the BBC Asian Network for the Raj and Pablo show which allowed her to be able to attend events where these stars would be. Indulging in this media saturation of her career made her realise that the lifestyle in fashion wasn’t the life she wanted to live. Choosing to then pursue a more media-based career, Meera went to work within media sales. Now in the working world, she then got the opportunity to go on Take Me Out.

 Yes. Take. Me. Out.

Going in with the same confidence as she did within fashion, Meera styled herself and was on a mission to represent her community in a different way. From showing a different insight into the Asian community, to gaining traction from the show (and meeting Paddy obviously) Meera met her now co-host Jaya.

 Jaya saw Meera on Take Me Out and through mutual friends, reached out and they both realised the way they wanted to represent their communities aligned. They likied and they lightied (that was awful please forgive me).

After liaising with each other they both had the goal of empowering women and pitched their radio show, Up Your Game, to Rukus Avenue Radio and got running.

“You don’t really see any shows where two Asian women come together like that in the UK”

Speaking about dating and relationships and breaking stereotypes, Meera and Jaya have spoke to some brilliant guests, including Natasha Sandhu and Naz from Love Island.

Alongside her growing radio show, Meera is constantly improving her creative outlet and different ways to motivate and empower women. This is where The Little Book of Sass came in. This book was a collection of sassy quotes and was created by Meera as a tool of empowerment for people and to keep them going. Self-Publishing on Amazon, just goes to demonstrate how headstrong this creative is and I look forward to seeing how she is going to develop even further!

Write Here, Write Now: Jenni Savin

Jenni Savin

From investigating cultural trends to real-life hard-hitting stories, Jennifer Savin is a pivotal member of the Cosmopolitan Features team and has got herself in some sticky situations in her investigative pursuits. In our conversation, Jenni indulged me in her writing journey and how she got to work on one of the most recognised publications in the magazine world.

From the comfort of our homes, Jenni was rocking her signature Mac red lippy and we began by chatting about Jenni’s desire, pre-covid- to slow down and how this pandemic (as extreme as it sounds) was the way to accommodate that. Not taking away from people’s negative experiences of lockdown, this period allowed Jenni to take a step back from the hustle and bustle.

As the daughter of a military man, Jenni always moved around military base accommodation and settled for the majority of her life in Essex. Going on to study English Literature and Media at University of Brighton, Jenni worked part time jobs during this time and then following graduation (2013) moved to France for a kitchen role working for the Sultan of Oman – Jenni just decided to causally drop this into conversation.

It was during this time that Jenni kept up her blogging to ensure that she kept on writing, and had dabbled in writing for online platforms to make sure she was continually writing. Whilst in France a friend from her part time jobs, Isabella Silvers (who is now a writer across Hearst) encouraged Jenni to apply for a Features Intern for Cosmopolitan magazine – this was a full time and yearlong opportunity at Cosmo.

“I spent every night after work for a week working intensely on my cover letter”

Beginning the long application process, Jenni got to work and put in the hours on her cover letter, critique of the issue and 5 ideas for the publication. This application process became the catalyst for her to move back to the UK, where she realised if she wanted to be taken seriously for a role in journalism, she had to be available. So back to the UK she came and began working in a pub as an evening job. With her head in the game to pursue her writing career, Jenni was attending networking events, writing and applying for all the opportunities she could.

Two months after the initial application stage, Jenni heard back from Cosmo and was invited to create a mock up for the magazine as the next task. It was not easy. Whilst she was waiting to hear back from Cosmo, Jenni had managed to get herself work experience at Closer Magazine, as a result from the networking events so had that under her belt too.

After submitting the next task Cosmo reached out to Jenni with an opportunity to cover the current features intern.

“I didn’t realise they were kind of testing me to see if I’d be right for the role”

After four months since the initial submission, Jenni finally bagged herself the internship at the magazine and began her journey into feature writing. Although the application is much more streamlined now, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Jenni at the time. Going through a period of severe anxiety and a really tough time. Following her recovery, her passion for mental health lead to her writing pieces for Women’s Health and as her writing portfolio expanded so did her opportunities.

“I was so fixated, it was like I was stuck in a cycle of googling things, I was convinced I had a brain tumour or cancer, I just wasn’t functioning”

Following the change of editor, halfway through her internship, Jenni was offered a full-time position on the Features Team and began working writing her book The Wrong Move which has now been published. Paired with her experiences of renting in London, Jenni crafted a thriller which has now led on to her working on her second book at her own pace. I for one loved hearing about Jenni’s writing journey and am looking forward to see what the future is going to bring for her.

Write Here, Write Now: Lara Burwell

Lara Burwell

After a slight technical hitch, our wi-fi decided to cooperate and Lara Burwell honoured me with the conversation of her journey and how she began blogging and writing. Although Lara’s writing has been a positive outcome, it’s regrettable that the reason for her to start doing so was quite the opposite.

Now 14 chapters in to her blog, Lara began her blogging and writing journey after she was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer over a year ago. From diagnosis to treatment Lara used her blog as an outlet and a platform to articulate her experiences for people to read and not fee alone.

“I wanted a way to put it into something I could digest myself”

As a mother of one, Lara wanted her cancer journey and blog to be a way for her son to read about her experiences and what the family went through. Her chapter structure was motivated by Lara not wanting to miss any details about her journey and make sure her son was aware in the future.

Lara’s life before her cancer diagnosis, was a stark contrast to her life now. Constantly wanting to climb the career ladder in the nurseries she used to work in, Lara was very ambitious and was looking to start trying for her second child.

“We were living in blissful ignorance”

Lara described her situation before her diagnosis as building towards her “perfect life” and feels a resentment sometimes. Having to revaluate her outlook on situations she would’ve perhaps taken for granted. The number of hours she was able to put into her job before was a considerable amount more than it is now. Seeing life “pass her by” and changes happening all around her saw a change in her mental health and the feeling of stagnation whilst wating for her results.

“It’s gone so fast and so slowly at the same time”

Speaking about how the next set of test results could mean further treatment or the start of remission and the normalcy of what her life was before made me cement how monumental each chapter of Lara’s treatment has been. From having cameras put down her throat to dealing with numerous surgeries, Lara uses her blogging outlet as a way to process her journey. As her story continues so do the chapters of her story and blog.

Write Here, Write Now: Ali Woods

Ali Woods

Having indulged in the comedy of Ali Woods at the Top-Secret Comedy Club in London, I had to see what else this young comedian had in store. Getting rid of my lockdown blues with his sketches on Instagram, I reached out to this born and raised Londoner for chat about his comedy journey.

Educated in North London, Ali Woods always gravitated towards creativity and went on to study English Literature at the University of York. Being influenced by Live at the Apollo and TV comedians, growing up, he started his pursuit into comedy by joining the University Comedy Society. Dipping his toes in with the improv world, Ali started his style of comedy here and enjoyed the chaotic nature of improvisation. 

“I always liked being the centre of attention…  I always liked at school people thinking I was funny”

With his comedy society, Ali was given the opportunity to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe and performed Improvisation there. This came paired with stand up that he used to do on campus.

Going through a self-recognised slump at University, Ali always wanted to push himself to constantly improve. Not wanting to cruise through his university experience, he recognised that he had the potential to do more and push himself. Having a “positive impact” as a result of his potential was something that he wanted to do with his life. By using diaries to navigate that “knot in his stomach” and cruising feeling, allowed him to recognise what he needed to do. It was at this point in our conversation, I realised that I too was all too familiar with the feeling of being on auto pilot.

“I hate cruising…because then you’ll wake up when you’re 80 and you’ve done nothing!”

Talking about his outlets, Ali also uses the gym as a way to keep himself in check, not only physically, but mentally too. In the gym, the amount of work you put in is relative and this is the same in comedy. The harder you work on your act is proportionate to your audience reactions and Ali attests to this.

“You can’t just be given a healthier body and it’s the same in comedy, its’ all you”

Following graduation, just like so many creatives, Ali had to deal with balancing his art with actually making money. Having revealed to me that he was once rejected for being “too creative” for an advertisement role, he realised his heart wasn’t fully invested in the jobs he was applying for. His love for performance is what he was passionate about. This was when Ali decided to take active steps in his journey to pursue his comedy career.

Making the decision to move back to North London after graduating, Ali’s plan was to get part-time work whilst working on his material. After reluctance from his parents, he had to enter the graduate level working world – he hated it. This became the catalyst for him to make a strategic plan for himself and get back into performing gigs. By breaking down his goals Ali is now well on his way to becoming a professional comedian. With comedy as his priority focus, Ali also works at a PR firm part-time.

Because of his hard work, Ali has gone on to win comedy awards, and performing at some of the biggest comedy clubs in London and around the UK. He indulged me in some of his manifestations and sayings that keep him motivated. I for one am very sure that even more success is on the line for Ali and I can’t wait to interview him again when he’s on our big screens!

“Everyone has their own version of success”

Write Here, Write Now: Mehaa Seth Marwah

AmericanDesi – Mehaa Seth Marwah

Reaching out to blogger Mehaa Seth Marwah (owner of American Desi by MSM) was a no brainer for me. As a Californian who had chosen to move and settled in India, Mehaa set up her blog, American Desi by MSM as a way to document her transition as well as explore things that she loves. Looking to debunk the views that moving back to the East is often considered as ‘Reverse Migration’ and a disadvantage, she is shining a light on what India has offered her and why so many more people are choosing to settle there.

As a North American citizen, Mehaa was born and raised in California by an immigrant Punjabi Family. Having to flit between her Eastern and Western side, Mehaa had to adapt to her life in America and work with both sides of her culture. Being a studious young student, she was able to skip a school grade which meant that she was able to enrol into University at the age of 16.

Being drawn to Psychology and human behaviour, Mehaa pursued this in her study and gained two Bachelors Degrees in Marketing and Psychology. During this time is when Mehaa met her husband. They were introduced to each other through family and he was based in Delhi, she revealed that their first “international phone call that was 4 hours”- how romantic! From the get go they got on and since January 2013 took it in turns to visit each other.  Following her graduation with her Master’s, came the wedding in August 2014 and she had moved to Delhi to live with her husband in September 2014.

This blogger’s initial apprehensions abut moving to another country were eased by the knowledge that she knew her husband was right for her.

“He was the one thing I was sure about”

 Being used to an independent life in the USA, Mehaa was now getting accustomed to her new life in India. She found that “everyone underestimates me because I’m from the US”, and found ways to get around this. From tackling the roads in India, to indulging her hobbies, to working for her husband’s in laws. Bringing her marketing skills to the family business she began handling the business social media pages and found her love for writing.

After a few years, Mehaa decided to take a sabbatical to re group herself and get away from the hustle and bustle of the move for some time. During this time Mehaa began her blog and began documenting her experiences and transition time in India.

Living in Gurgaon, just outside of Delhi” Mehaa noted that there are a lot of international companies there so felt a sense of belonging here because of the diversity of people from different places. Speaking a mix of Hindi and English, comes a blend of “Hinglish” which was an apparency where Mehaa and her husband live.

“It’s a pretty young place and there’s lots going on”

Recognising her growth as a person whilst being in India, Mehaa has now taken her love for fashion and beauty and woven it into her blog -American Desi, by MSM. Using the surroundings around her, Delhi became a hub for beauty and fashion events which she attended. Still learning and adjusting to India, it is clear that she is very happy there. I loved hearing about her evolution and making the most of her environment, she made me consider a trip to India myself!