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The gift of the gab


MEHNAZ NASREEN | New Delhi, August 1, 2011 14:55
Tags : Anjana kashyap | journalist | Zee | anchor | News 24 | journalism career |

Being one of the most successful anchors in India, specially in Hindi anchoring, is a tough task; tougher is to maintain the position. Anjana Kashyap is a hard-core journalist who believes that out of 24 hours, one has to give at least 18 hours to this profession. She is a prime-time anchor and Deputy Executive Producer at News 24, a Hindi news channel. Her work starts even before she reaches office. Anjana starts her day early and reaches home only late at night. But she believes, “Work has to be on one’s mind all the time. You have to be really dedicated towards your profession.”

A small town girl from Ranchi, she had wanted to become a doctor like her father. She did her schooling from Loreto Convent, Ranchi. After her schooling, she left for Delhi in search for a brighter future. Her interest in medical science made her take up Botany Honours from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University. However, for her post-graduation, she wanted a total change and did her masters in Social Work from the Delhi School of Social Work.

During her school and college days, she was a keen debater. She used to win all the extempore and  debate competitions. After completing her masters, she worked for at least five years in the field of social work and she started her own NGO as well. “However, I suddenly wanted to join Jamia Millia Islamia for a course in journalism (perhaps, I being a keen debater was the reason for joining journalism),” she says. In 2002, she did Diploma in journalism from Jamia. ‘Aankhon Dekhi’, a programme in DD was the show from where she started her journalism career in 2003. In 2003 itself, she joined Zee News for a deskjob.

But how did she become an anchor? Anjana Kashyap replies: “In Zee, I was working at the desk. But one day, the editor asked me if I wanted to become an anchor. I thought to give it a shot. I was rejected the first time, which was really disappointing. But I was approved the second time and after that, there was no looking back!”

She worked in Zee for about five years before joining News 24 in 2007. “BAG films has a legacy of running successful programmes like ‘Pol Khol’ and ‘Sansani’. So when they started a channel, I thought the channel has a lot of promise,” Anjana said.

When asked if there is a need to do a course in Journalism, she replied: “Definitely, a course in journalism is a must for any aspirant. It always helps if you know how to go about in journalism. Today you cannot survive without a journalism degree at least in the electronic media. You have to know your typing skills, you have to know how to speak in front of the camera, you have to be camera-friendly. Nowdays no one has time to teach you all these basic things.”

On the large number of mass communication institutes in India she says, “It is a sad scenario. Nowadays everyone wants to become an anchor. And such institutes promise that they will provide jobs which they fail to.” Anjana Kashyap also teaches in several colleges of Delhi and NCR. She says, “I teach once in a month or so but  anyday I would choose anchoring over teaching. I just love the profession.”

At 23, she married her college boyfriend who now is a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Delhi Police. “It’s completely a poisonous mixture- journalist and police,” she jokes. They are blessed with two children. An 11-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. When asked what she wants her children to become, pat comes the reply: “Absolutely, journalists. I am in love (with emphasis to the word ‘love’) with the profession.”

To be a working mother is truly a tough task and when the mother is a journalist, it is always tougher. “It’s really challenging to be a working mother. Specially when you have two children to take care of,” Anjana Kashyap says. But how does she maintain looking good, young and fit? Is it yoga or gym or something else? “Well, I am not into work-out or yoga but I enjoy brisk morning walk at a nearby park every day,” she reveals. Anjana Kashyap is also an exquisite painter. She loves oil-painting and paints mostly faces and figures. She is also fond of interior designing and gardening.

About her latest show ‘Do Tuk’, a debate show on News 24, she said it is one of the debate shows which is doing well in terms of TRPs too. As there is a dearth of debate shows in Hindi news channels, the channel came up with this idea. “Do Tuk can be called as biggest achievement of my life,” Anjana says proudly. She adds, “Debate shows do not go down well with Hindi audience but fortunately my show has received positive feedback from across the country.”  Anjana Kashyap’s secret of success is: “Passion for journalism.”

She has fallen in love with journalism and it is the love for the profession that has helped her become one of the famous anchors in the Indian electronic media. To the aspiring journalists, she says: “If you are good, nobody can hold you back, and if you are bad, nobody can put you on air!”

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017