‘I wish I didn’t wear so many different hats!’
Gitikka Ganju Dhar who has anchored 100 plus events in Goa and over 3000 across India and abroad, speaks to #TGLIFE about her 18-year-journey as an anchor, actor, dancer, vocalist and a writer, during her recent visit to Goa
17th April 2018, 03:52 Hrs
#TGLIFE: You’ve often said that something magical when you are on stage. Could you elaborate?
Gitikka Ganju Dhar: I am completely different on stage and off stage. Off stage, I have still managed to, unfortunately, retain a lot of shyness I had as a child and it takes me a while to open up and talk or socialise in public. But on stage when I am anchoring it is like a lioness’s spirit takes over me and I know that this is a space that I own, this is the space where I express freely. When I step on the stage I go into a different zone - there is this magical feeling in the air, a magical connect I have with the audience. It’s almost like someone is directing this orchestra that I am performing on stage, it’s that supernatural for me.
Your love for the stage - where did it come from?
It was not something that was born naturally. I became an emcee, went on stage and because I enjoyed my time on stage very much, that’s where the love of stage was born from. So the stage really loved me before I loved the stage.
You wear different hats. How do you manage to do all this ?
I wish I didn’t wear so many different hats. As an artist I can be an anchor, I can be an actor. In my personal life I am a mother, a homemaker, a daughter. Wearing so many hats is an extremely tiring process and it challenges you every single hour of day. But some of us have our lives written out like this and we have to live it like this. So though externally, it seems like you want to admire someone who wears so many hats, I would probably say, look at us more closely, because we are doing too much and doing more than one single person can. Having said that I wouldn’t leave my work and I wouldn’t ever ‘not want’ to be a mom to my daughter or have a home and family, as both are extremely important to me. I think all women like to fulfil our responsibilities in the best manner possible and all of us like to chase our dreams by working hard. So it is not something that I alone do. Every women does this whether in India or across the world.
Could you recall some of the memorable events you anchored?
I am the kind of anchor who executes a show yesterday and forgets about it after three days.
However, my top picks would be - Make In India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, International Solar Alliance, ASEAN-Indo Summit, International Energy Forum, EEMAGINE International Summits, The GPI National Bravery Awards, Salaam India Awards, ICWF, WOW Awards, UNESCO Conference, National Games of India, India Design ID, Maritime India Summit, Autodest India and SAARC, Monalisa Musical, Jagran Film Festival Awards, Goafest, Petrotech, IIFA Press Conferences etc. Then there are flagship events for iconic brands.
What is your advice to those who wish to choose a career like you?
If anyone wants to follow my journey, I would say examine it, read about it. Learn from my mistakes and learn from what I did right. I still have a long way to go. The only thing I would say is, do not become an anchor because you think it is a glamorous, jet setting job. It is a job that has a lot of hard work. Only pursue this if you are really passionate about it, about talking, if you have a good voice and you are willing to work hard.
You are good with spoken word. Do you pen your own scripts?
Writing is something that I really love doing and I will definitely pean a book or two in the future. I used to write my own content. I do a lot of research before and a lot of passion goes into it, so I prefer to write it myself. But now, due to paucity of time, I oversee what is written by my content writers and I definitely give it my touch, every single time.
You carry around a yellow notebook. How handy does it come?
It comes very handy. My yellow diary is very precious because some of my best ideas are noted in this diary. There are days when you get ten creative ideas and some days you have a complete block. So I keep noting them down in my notebook and later use them.
Late President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam has previously praised your work. How does it feel?
Every single time I went to work with him there was an energetic one liner from him to me. Working with him has been a very special experience, I have learnt from his modesty and humility, from his great achievements and contributions in the field of science and also as an inspirational leader. He was one of the greatest men that ever lived in the country and having worked with him at close proximity is truly an honour and a very special memory. I feel the same way about Amitabh Bachchan too!
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