Finding her calling
As the daughter of a diplomat, Malini travelled the world before finding herself in Delhi. In 1996, she wound up joining Maitreyi College. “It was strange being in an all-girls college,” she declared in JoshTalks 2017, “but that’s how I got into dramatics and even joined a professional dance troupe called Veronica and the Planets.” Before she became a member of Sonam Kapoor’s posse, she was low-key a part of Sukhbir Singh’s squad (of the Oh Ho Ho fame). She even starred in the aforementioned music video as a backup dancer!
In 2000, she visited a close friend working in advertising in Mumbai. “I got into a cab, and the cab had disco lights, everything was neon, and I went out at night, and everything was so bright,” she recalled. It was love at first sight for Malini. From here on, the starry eyed young woman's life unfolded like any conventional Bollywood drama.
Malini admits she has been pretty lucky-- somehow always in the right place at the right time. She moved to Bombay into a house with six girls and a pigeon-- with 40,000 rupees and a dream. She served a brief stint as a freelance emcee, copywriter, radio DJ at 92.5 FM Radio One and gossip columnist for Mid-Day before moving on to Head of Digital Content for Channel V. And then, MissMalini happened.
When passion pays off
On a friend’s suggestion, Malini started blogging as a hobby in 2008. It turned out to be great advice. Drawing upon her expertise in tabloid journalism and the Photoshop and HTML skills she had acquired over the way, MissMalini gradually became the one-stop digital destination for all things Bollywood, Fashion, Lifestyle and Geek Chic. What started as a casual project turned into a full-fledged media enterprise, with its own portal and a traffic of four million unique visitors every month.
Malini’s army of thirty personnels comprises of young people in their twenties who write, tweet incessantly, post to Facebook, style and shoot photos and videos, among other things. Though the blog is focused on India, there is growing coverage of international trends, celebrity news and analysis-- with a voice that represents the new, young and global Indians.
“People around the world know our country for what they watch on Discovery Channel or Slumdog Millionaire but so few talk about the enterprise and talent India has to offer,” she rues. The reason she started a blog was because she felt that there was a gap in how everything was being reported.
Her life mantra is simple
Named as ‘India’s most famous blogger’ by The Huffington Post and Forbes, Bollywood’s online poster girl Miss Malini exemplifies what aspirational India is all about. She is living proof that hardwork and ambition can lead to success, effectively debunking in process the popular cliché that you need a godfather to be able to succeed in a city like Mumbai.
Her philosophy in life is simple: the greatest thing you'll ever learn is how to love and be loved in return. “Close your eyes and think of the one thing you would do for the rest of your life if nobody paid you to do it. Now that's what you should be doing for a living. Once you find your voice and a unique gap in the market, you are likely to be successful at it,” she offers some pearls of wisdom about starting a career. Her words resonate with a finality that none can deny.