By Malini Agarwal
Being a ‘Diplo-brat’: Growing up all over the world (courtesy of my diplomat parents) shaped my identity and personality in ways no amount of education could have. I literally grew up in Somalia, Lebanon, Greece, Germany, Ivory Coast, Bulgaria and India! My best friend was Korean and my tiffin box was filled with hummus! The international school system taught me to have an opinion and express myself with the confidence that led me to build my brand today.
Professional dancing: When I was in college I was recruited by a professional dance troupe and ended up flying around the country performing on stage after stage. Not only did it give me epic stamina and a dancer’s physique, it taught me teamwork and improvisation. From dodging glass bottles in small town India (when people got bored of an artist) to doing entire wardrobe changes under a tablecloth in the wings!
The Internet: For someone who started out with an alpha-numeric pager and no cellphone till I was 22, opening the door to the Internet was like Alice following the white rabbit down the hole to wonderland! Looking back now I can safely say the Internet changed my life. One little pixel at a time!
Moving to Mumbai: If there was ever any doubt about Bombay being the city of fortune, rest assured I am living, breathing proof that a passion plus hard work are powerful enough to take you from ‘zero to hero’ in this city of dreams. (Ask SRK, he’ll tell you the same!) I moved here with two suitcases and knew one friend. It’s safe to say I’ve earned the life less ordinary I always wanted to live and Mumbai made it happen.
Radio: Radio or as I like to call it, the theatre of the mind, taught me the most valuable lesson I have ever learnt about connecting with people. Even though radio is a very public medium, the equation between host and listener is a very intimate one. Maintain that and you’ve got a loyal following, apply the same attitude to your brand voice online and you’ve got a winner too. The radio taught me the value of being.
Social media: Without social media, the intricate web of the world would not exist. The only reason there is an entire living, breathing eco-system on the Internet is because that is where ‘life 2.0’ virtually lives. Social media has become the most powerful mode of communication for me and a universe where ‘my people’ exist. Forever ready to be entertained, inspired and loved. Social media is the world’s antidote to loneliness.
Blogging: What started out as my little hobby blog (or online diary of sorts) has now become the mammoth empire I am humbled and proud to call my own today. Blogging didn’t really even exist in 2008 when I started MissMalini.com and I had no idea what it would grow up to become. But every day that I spent writing letters to myself on the Internet was one more day that I felt fulfilled and truly happy. I had found my passion and the extraordinary life I wanted to live had finally found me.
Team MissMalini: Trust me when I say that the one thing that will shape your world the most in life will be the people that are in it. From friends to family to those who support your dreams! I am blessed to have an incredible team of absolute ninjas who have jumped onto this rocket ship with incredible drive and passion. The kind that takes you to the moon (and far beyond).
Notes From The Universe: I am a great believer in signs, and love and the universe. Everyday I receive a note from the universe from a site called tut.com (and I suggest you do to!) Today my note said: There is no scorekeeping, Malini. Everyone lives each day for him or herself, no matter what they did. No one owes anything to anyone, no matter what happened. And from this, what I hope you most get, is that whatever you do next, you do it for the joy it brings you. Rock on, The Universe Let the Universe help you find your joy
Writing a book: Something that has always been on my bucket list, but that I never expected to happen so soon. Writing my memoire and a digital guide has been an emotional experience. I have really poured my heart and my story onto these pages and I hope it will inspire someone to follow their own dreams #tothemoon.
Malini Agarwal is founder and creative director of MissMalini Entertainment. Her book #tothemoon – How I Blogged My Way To Bollywood is available to buy on Amazon. Visit www. missmalini.com & follow @MissMalini on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat & Pinterest. Hashtag for the book is #MMTotheMoon