‘I couldn’t have asked for a better film to debut in the Hindi film industry’

 ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better film to debut in the Hindi film industry’

Gitikka Ganju Dhar with Aamir Khan

Upasana Kaura

The movie, Laal Singh Chaddha, may have been in news for all the wrong reasons but it gave India a new actor – Gitikka Ganju Dhar. The noted Host made her Bollywood debut as Manjeet Maasi, a part of Chaddha’s family.
Gitikka started her career as an anchor hosting live shows in 2000 but quickly moved to hosting TV shows. The last two years of pandemic turned her into an online/ virtual event host and moderator as well.
In her career spanning over two decades, she won many an award and appreciation for her work. “I couldn’t have wished for a better banner to debut with. To be a part of this film is a thing of joy. It is a film, that I am convinced millions around the world will enjoy watching,” she says talking about her Hindi film debut.
In an email interview with Life & More, Gitikka talks about her life, and more:

How did a Master in Mass Communication enter the glamour world?
Honestly, I don’t see what I do as an anchor, as a content writer, or as a communication coach as being a part of the glamour world. Somehow this term – Glamour World – has acquired a particular connotation that I do not relate to as an artiste. My brand at work is all about skill and craft, so, yes, a student of Mass Communication can enter the media industry as someone armed with communication skills, whether acting or anchoring or writing or coaching.

How was your experience of working in Laal Singh Chaddha?
Superlative! I slipped right into it. Everything was professional and well-organised. I am someone who believes that God is in the details – it was wonderful to see how cinema production in India is so evolved in its modus operandi.
Right from the first day, when we were doing a practice run for my look as Manjit Massi, post her aging in the film, I remember I had prosthetic makeup on and Aamir (Khan, actor-producer) and Advait (Chandan, Director) came in to check the look and suggested improvements in the same.
I was like, yayy! This is an opportunity to do some world-class work and I must say, I hold the opinion that this is a world-class film and a film ahead of its time! I am so happy that this Aamir Khan Productions’ film, which is truly good cinema, has just been declared the highest-grossing Indian film, worldwide. The Academy has mentioned it on their social media. I am sure, there is a lot more appreciation
on its way, for it!

For a person who has been in the media ever since you began, what kept you away from Bollywood for so long?
Actually, the day I hosted my first event, I was spoken to about a film, but I was not mentally ready to take on acting as a profession.
Then, I began hosting events, anchored many shows on television, and acted in advertisements and all of it was going very well. I could have not asked for more in my career as a Live Host. It has been an overwhelming journey that continues!
But, acting was always on my mind. I wanted, and waited, for my daughter to reach a certain age before I could take a plunge. And now, I am ready to take on a new journey.

Any other film offers?
Yes, but more on this when I can divulge the details.

Gitikka Ganju Dhar

Do you plan to stick to films now or will you return to your first love – anchoring/ hosting shows?
I am most definitely going to continue to host large-format events across the country. After nearly two decades in the business, anchoring is something that gives me joy, we have a well-oiled system at work, and I will continue to host events for many more years.
It is a great feeling to step on and host events that launch national and state-level initiatives, celebrate Brand India, mark international milestones, and involve global corporate leadership. Why would I not want to continue being a part of India’s journey into the future!

Which one do you like most – live events or TV shows?
Between television shows and live hosting, I would now like to host on television for the sheer reason that I have not done it in while and the freshness of the experience attracts me.

Any anecdotes (from your two decades of career) you would like to share with our readers?
One of the most outstanding memories I have is of the former President Late Shri APJ Abdul Kalam. After the completion of a show that I was hosting in his presence, he took the mike and commended my skill, it was very special. Also, post an expansive and intricate presence as the emcee, at an event with the PM of India, how we, the directors and me, just slumped into a sofa backstage with sheer relief and fatigue and laughed and laughed without a reason, just from relief that we got it right and it was over.

What are your future plans?
Many… To act more and more, to finally complete the two books that are almost reaching the finish line, to learn swimming, to start learning dance again, to formulate my career as an inspirational speaker, to travel to Rome, Paris, Egypt, Kashmir, and Bhutan, – I have lots of plans for future!

What do you do in your free time?
I rarely have free time – that is a life goal I will hopefully achieve by next year! If not daughter then family, there is our dog, there are homes to be managed, there are careers across anchoring, coaching, and acting, and I also write! So, it is very important that I adhere to a routine so that I enjoy it all, rather than it becoming a burden.


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