'I'm sleeping with the director'

TV PRESENTER

'I'm sleeping with the director'

A popular face on Indian television, she has recently returned after making a mark in the UK TV industry. Having hosted an IPL show there, Shonali Nagrani has become the first Indian woman to do so for a UK channel.

“This is my hat-trick year,” shared Shonali when she was recently in the City on a personal visit. In between heavy rains in the City that flooded her house in Defence Colony and packing bags to go to Ladakh (for part II of her honeymoon), she sat down for a chat with Metrolife.

“I was born into a family of cricket-crazy people where every ball of every match was watched closely. So, the sport is in my blood,” smiles the girl who has an Army background. “As a woman, you are not expected to ask technical questions about a game. However, when I did, people in UK appreciated me!”

“It is a matter of great pride for me that I am the only woman of Indian origin to have been a part of such a show and I flaunted my sarees there,” adds the TV presenter who added a touch of fashion to the usually serious cricket show in her Satya Paul creations. “These have become a massive hit there. When I walk on the street, all the Indian women who don’t watch any other sport there, walk up to me and appreciate my work which makes me feel very proud!”

All this has come after long years of struggle for the girl pursued journalism and then contested for Miss India International in 2003. “I was never attracted to modelling but always wanted to be in a world where I could flaunt my talent. Be it elocution, debate, drama or dance, I was used to be number one in school but when I came out in the real world, I realised it is much more difficult,” she says.

Though she entered Miss India only to fulfill her mother’s wish, she can’t thank her enough today. “Ever since the crown happened, all things have fallen into my lap. I walked the ramp and earned much more than a regular 21-year old does. But I picked money over creative satisfaction then. Now I want to move on,” she retrospects and elucidates, “I haven’t got a chance to show my dancing and acting skills. With dance, it was my bad luck because just days before I got a call from Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’s team, I tore a cartilage on my left knee. But as far as acting is concerned, I am hoping to get a role in my husband’s film.”

She recently got married to beau Shiraz Bhattacharya and jokes, “Since I’m sleeping with the director, I have a legitimate casting couch. So I am hoping he will give me a role. He dare not say no.” God forbid, if he does or doesn’t!

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