By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar
If your head is always stuck in a Bollywood magazine or you can name off all of Rajesh Khanna and Sharukh Khan’s movies in their lifetimes, you’re probably a Bollywood Momma! Some of you may have tried your hand at blogging about Bollywood and so in our next series we’re talking to some of the hottest Bollywood bloggers across the globe. They’ll be telling us what it takes to blog on this subject and how they got started. While not all of them are masalamommas, they are all women blogging about the the biggest film industry on the planet!
This month, we talk to Amrita Tanna, from the UK. Tanna works in communications by day but her heart and passion has always been Indian cinema. Her other passion is, of course, writing which is where the blog comes in.
“I will share moments, thoughts and give my views on various subjects which won’t always relate to Bollywood,” she writes on her site, “From film reviews, opinion pieces and star-studded special features, my aim is to give you a little slice of me and perhaps a little slice of others too in the process. Tanna also used to write for BollySpice (www.bollyspice.com) and her stories can also be found at: http://bollyspice.com/author/amrita. She is now the Editor at BizAsia Showbiz, a British Asian Media + Entertainment site.
What made you decide to pick Bollywood as the subject of your blog?
It wasn’t difficult to choose Bollywood as a subject for my blog but I can safely say this wasn’t my initial intention. I set up a blog after a good 7-8 months writing for a Bollywood web-magazine. I very quickly understood that I wanted an outlet where I could just share my thoughts. Bollywood somehow came into this because of my passion for it and also due to the fact that I felt a little limited in the writing that I did. You will notice that my blog is a little varied but that the main topic of my posts fall within the Bollywood genre. I like to have some lifetstyle posts as well and I’ve also been lucky enough to have some famous personalities contribute to it.
What were some of your most interesting experiences during your stint as a blogger?
Wow… it would be difficult to narrow my experiences down to just a few. I am thankful for the day that I started by blog because it has put so many unique opportunities my way. I had the opportunity to interview Bollywood singer Ash King for my blog in what was one of his very first in-depth interviews. My blogging antics also led to my being invited to a press conference in London on the success of Bodyguard, attended by the one and only Salman Khan. I also interviewed the stars of Delhi Belly for my blog. Aside from this, I have been contacted by various people due to my posts. One Bollywood personality I wrote about contacted me on Twitter to say thanks for the post. Most recently, I received an email from the publicist of a world renowned Bollywood celebrity by way of thanks for such an insightful and opinionated post about the celeb in question. I also firmly believe that my current position as Editor of a British Asian showbiz website also had a lot to do with my blog.
Who is your favourite Bollywood celebrity, and why?
I am not sure I have a form favourite in all honesty but I can safely say I will be a Shah Rukh Khan fan until I die. For me, there is no-one quite like King Khan. Other celebrities that get my vote are Hrithik Roshan, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Anushka Sharma… so many more. The promising of generation next according to me have to be Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra.
How has Bollywood blogging defined you?
I think it’s defined me a number of ways. Firstly, my blog following know that I won’t shy away from showing real opinion. Sometimes, writing for an official outlet can have a slight limitation but I know that with my blog, I write whatever I feel and keep it personal to me. Secondly, my blog has been recognised by the British Asian media in ways I never expected it to be and this not only makes me proud but also grateful for such amazing opportunities that are always being put my way.
What do you think a blogger needs to write about Bollywood?
I don’t know if there are any set ingredients that are needed in a blog or qualities in a Bollywood blogger that are essential. However, it helps if you remain personal and true to yourself throughout. Don’t be afraid of criticism or bad comments that come your way. Also, make sure your passion seeks to express and fulfil yourself firstly and if it resonates then you’re on to a winner.
What role has social media played in your blogging?
I can’t even begin to express how much social media has played a part in the success of my blog. Without the likes of Facebook and Twitter, my blog would never get the coverage it has achieved. I notice more and more on Twitter exactly how far one blog post can go and how it can reach the right people without you even realising. It’s a truly amazing feeling and also a little unsettling as well sometimes (in a good way).
What are some of the trends that you notice among Bollywood bloggers?
I am not very aware of many Bollywood blogs but the ones I know of are all unique in themselves. I think that’s the key, in all honesty. If you create a blog which you hope will achieve as much as another will then you’ll constantly be fighting a losing battle.
What are some of the major changes that you have noticed in readers’ passion for bollywood/bollywood celebrities?
I think the audiences and readers and forever evolving just like a star’s popularity fluctuates between projects. However, I notice that whenever I’ve done a dedicated post on one particular personality, the fanclubs, etc on Twitter have always picked it up. Therefore, knowing that the post has been read by the specific fans makes it a little difficult to gauge the changing trends.
What is your advice for mothers who would want to start with Bollywood blogging?
I would say go for it! It’s a great outlet for thoughts and also a great hobby. I would never discourage someone who wants to get into any kind of blogging as long as they go into it without any expectations. I would also say being active on social media helps considerably.
You can follow Amrita’s Bollywood journey on her blog: www.amr1ta.blog.com
On Twitter: @Amr1ta
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