"I will talk till I stand." - Gitikka Ganju Dhar
"My daughter was two years old, when I decided to return to work again, post a sabbatical of a few years. I remember being told that I was overweight for stage, I remember being told that I was talented but I was much older than the so-called standard acceptable age, it was not just the men who waved these conventions at my face, the ladies did too. Back then I thought, it was not fair. Were things so difficult for new fathers too? Did a male anchor’s shelf life come with an expiry date too? Did age and looks act as terminator for them too? Did the male gaze hand-cuff them too? Apart from these reasons, I also asked myself, was I not in touch with the times? The industry had changed. Content was no more king. Talk had become cosmetic and too dependant on the packaging of the talker. The digital revolution had disrupted our category, for the better. A category I was one of the few initial members of. It was a challenge I could have walked away from. But there was a higher reason that made me dig my heels in. This was not about me. This would be about - Us."
Today, they say, I am ageless, weightless, genderless and forever. But I am not important. What is important is that never again, will a door be shut on a female anchor who wishes to build her success on the core of her job, never again will opportunities be distant only because she has crossed a certain age, put on a few pounds, has had a child or refuses to play, I am Barbie you are Ken. We made sure of that. It was a cause is worth fighting for. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity of hosting some of the best events that the Indian experiential zone has mounted. And as I look back, I note with a quiet satisfaction that my career as a female anchor on Indian stage has clocked more than two decades, beyond the conventional shelf life.
My ambition has never been to merely achieve success, it is to achieve excellence and thus command respect. My humble desire is to leave behind a legacy in my chosen vocation. Till I feel the fire in my belly and till I feel the magic - I will talk. Female anchors in India need to be liberated from the bondage of the male gaze. We live in a world where Billy Crystal, at his age hosted the Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres hosts one of the most popular television shows in the world & Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest entertainers in the world! All of them, still talking and still on the top of their game.
"I have a dream. I hope I can make true the vision that I have for myself and the category I work in."