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I have not let opportunities to show my talent go by

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Photographs by Trupti Arekar

Being at number 7 in the list of 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising, 'Mumbai ki Rani' aka Malishka Mendonsa, known for presenting the woes of Mumbai in an entertaining manner over the radio, interacts with ADC's Shaiber Raichur on her journey so far

You have been working in various fields like radio, stage, TV, film. People address you as 'Mumbai ki rani', how will you describe your journey so far?
It's been fantastic. Even as a child, I used to believe that you have to try your hand at everything, as a grown-up I believed that you have to focus on things and do as much as you can. Right from my childhood I have been that kind of a person who loves to be on stage, acting, singing, dancing have been my forte. As a child, I always did imagine, I was an actor or dancer perhaps. I started talking sooner than the usual, as a result, this wonderful feeling of radio talk came my way and I was good at it. Like I used to put up my hand in class whenever there was a play no matter what the role was might have been a tree, a crow or whatever. I have not let opportunities go by where my talent can be utilised. Most importantly there has been a struggle. I am very grateful that I found radio as an outlet for my talent and I'm very glad that I stuck with it as it allowed me to express myself and be myself, and try and make changes in society for good and make people, it’s all a package and at the same time while doing this I manage to do other things which I like to do as a diversion. The journey has been great.

How does it feel getting so much love from Mumbaikars and being one of the most loved RJ's?
When I go out, I keep on hearing that I am the most loved one and at the same time 'tu to bajati hai' (laughs), it's quite cool.  But to be lovable, it's not necessary that you have to be a certain kind of person who is sweet or innocent. To be loved while you have been able to raise your voice, is a big deal and that is amazing.

How was your childhood?
I am a very quiet person and I don't speak without any reason, but of course, I was more talkative as a child. My favourite part, while I was growing up, was that we had three cottage row houses and we also had a garden where there were lots of trees, so we have lived very close to the nature. We climbed trees, ran on the grass bare footed and I have seen that my bond with nature has also played a big part in making me a classy person. We danced, played various games and enjoyed a lot and was very close to nature. I pray to God that the next generation manages to somehow hold on to make the same kind of bond with nature.

Did you always want to be an RJ or was there any other profession you wanted to select for yourself?
As a child, I wanted to be an astronaut, a police officer and there were so many plans. When I was in Class 8, I decided that I want to be in the media, not knowing what the media was, at the same time. I always wanted to be in front of the camera. After my media college degree, I joined radio because I felt that it was something more than a medium, like it can go live, and not share information but also bring people together for a good cause. As I finished college, FM radio came up, so my bond with radio was decided in heaven. After I joined radio, I tried my hand at other things also.

What have you to say about the video on civic issues in the city which went viral on the Internet?
For me, the song which I sang was about my city. There are so many issues at stake and how can anyone tell me that you cannot raise your voice? I was very angry and I decided to make three more songs. I hope they do something about the potholes in the city. It was done not to shame anyone but something that I did very naturally.

You recently bagged the title 'RJ of the Year' how does it feel?
Awards can be pressurising but it has stopped pressurising me. You can't say that you don't want it. Radio is a very fluid medium where you communicate like a family with the city. Awards can be very encouraging and it feels very uplifting when you receive an award for your work. I'm very happy to be at Number 7 of the top 50 women influential women in the media.

After completing your show, what are the things you that do for the rest of the day?
I don't  rest, I keep thinking, I keep imagining there is something or the other to do. You are invited at so many places. You have interviews to be done, there are your own things to be done. Very rarely do I get time to sleep in the afternoon. My daily schedule is very busy. Something or the other comes up. When I am not travelling, I am doing things like diving, jumping off an airplane and adventurous things that keep me busy.

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