Priya's Blog

Asian Media Awards Shortlist Announcement

Life does take extraordinary turns. At the time some of those turns may not feel like they are for the best; like a relationship ending or losing a job. Many years will pass and you will look back at these moments and think about them, chances are that the turns that came were for the best. You will get a better job and even better partner.

In the same way this week I attended the shortlist announcement for the Asian Media Awards where I am nominated in the Best Blog category along with three other amazing blogs which are:

Look! A Singh

Asian Culture Vulture

The Red Notebook

I never imagined that this is where I would be, after the many years of staying in on a Saturday night because i’d chosen to blog and for covering subjects that perhaps in the Asian community people don’t want to read about but of course do happen. Or with the cyber bullying. My blog wouldn’t be what it is without the encouragement of people like Asjad Nazir who’s nominated for journalist of the year, and I want him to win so badly because he deserves it and I say that from the bottom of my heart.

You know what, I’m just sooo happy to be nominated. Each and every one of those blogs is great in its own way and on the night we will all be celebrating together as winners!

I started my blog on a whim, I’d just gotten dumped and enjoyed writing so started writing (even though at times I have faced negative comments, backlash and cyber bullying). One of the most inspirational things about announcement night was Yasmin Alibhai-Browns speech. She said that you had to be brave in media, that she gets death threats and she doesn’t know if she will have a job the next day. That she writes what people don’t want to read… but that is the truth. ( I got super excited when she followed me on Twitter!) I really felt that she is someone I really aspire to be like, such a brave woman and if I can achieve a smidgen of what she has i’d die a happy woman! Probably single, but happy! And that makes everything worth it.

No matter what happens, whether I win or not, I just want to wish everyone the absolute best and that whatever happens we will party together and celebrate on the night!

Asif Zubairy told those gathered, “It’s an achievement in itself to be nominated for an award tonight and I congratulate all nominees from online, print, internet bloggers, PR experts as well as old school media like radio and TV whether you win or not.

“Being successful in the media requires creativity, dedication and – in my experience – a lot of long hours.

“In focusing on doing the best job possible, it’s easy to get consumed by the ideas, the look and sound of what you’re working on and the effect it has on the public so I’d just ask everyone in this room to remind the next generation of media superstars of their roots: they’re not just media superstars, they’re Asian media superstars.”

View a full list of nominations here.

Visit the Asian Media Awards website here 

A few pictures from the night:

Me and Asjad Nazir

Me and Asjad Nazir

Having fun with singer Rita Morar and Japjit Kaur who is the star of nominated play Nirbhaya

Having fun with singer Rita Morar and Japjit Kaur who is the star of nominated play Nirbhaya

Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown

Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown

 

The main event takes place on 28th October at the Hilton, Deansgate Manchester. I wish all the nominees all the very best!

 

Priya Mulji

 

Yasmins picture courtesy Asian Media Awards website.

Interview with Rita Morar

It is rare when you connect with someone in such a way that you wonder why you hadn’t met them earlier. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Twitter and my blog I wouldn’t have many of the people in my life and I am very thankful for this. I’d have probably moved to London and have been a lonely wreck.

This interview has been a long time coming and I am finally so thrilled to be able to share this with you. One of my most favourite singers is a beautiful soul called Rita Morar. Rita and I connected back in 2012 when I was unemployed and looking for work. On our first meeting she actually gave me a rendition of naina lagiya baarishan which is now known as Teardrops. Ladies and gentleman I am proud to share with you my recent chat with singer, songwriter and all round amazing human being Rita Morar…

The success of teardrops has been phenomenal and the unplugged version has become just as big! What do you think has been the biggest contributor to its success?

The biggest contributor I say is the team behind it. The passion Tazzz has and the spirit of the song is incredible. This was the first project I worked on with Tazzz and from the very start we knew the song was special. Tazzz is very passionate when it comes to music so connecting on him on this level was a pure blessing. His vision is clear; he always knows what exactly he wants in a song. It was amazing to observe that vision through him.  Having Raxstar on board too was the icing on the cake; never have I heard an artist so in tune with lyrics, feelings and emotions.  Altogether, our voices and emotions sound so strong and through that the people have connected with us. I am grateful to be part of this project.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Everyday life is. Every day you learn, feel, see or hear something that stimulates the mind. Through thoughts and discoveries, it makes me want to be creative.  My music is my form of expression so when I feel something inspirational and think I can put it in a song, I develop that idea.

Everyone loves your music from normal people like me to superstar Dj’s like Nihal. How do you feel you connect to each and every person out there?
I connect through being myself with whoever I meet in my path. I try to understand their experiences. There are no levels, everyone is equal. It’s amazing how much you can learn so much from just by listening and observing.

I believe music can heal. Is this something you believe in and what power do you think music has on a person?

I totally agree that music heals. Music has got me through some challenging times in my life. I believe that music is a source of energy that can have positive effects to help heal the body physically and spiritually.  Music can also be adapted to how you want it. For example, people listen to music at the gym to stimulate their mind and give them power. Then on the other hand when people pray they recite prayers with a melody. Recently I learnt about music therapy that helps heal people – that in itself says it all. This is also how you reached out to me Priya when you heard my song Rain.

If there was anyone you’d like to work with (past or present) who would it be and why?

I would love to work with Naughty Boy, Nitin Sawhney or Niraj Chag. I’m in awe of how creative and emotive their music is. All are such an inspiration in my life. If that chance ever came, I would be happy knowing that I have been able to achieve my ambition.

Your proudest musical moment to date?

It would have to be Teardops. The amount of love and support I got for this song was truly unbelievable and everybody that reached out to me understood the emotion I was trying to portray in this song. It is a great feeling when you are singing live and the audience is singing with you – this is what I experienced with Teardrops. From the videos to the different versions of this song, it just been a fantastic experience overall.
I think it is wonderful to love yourself, so which song of yours do you love the most?
I love Rain because through Rain people heard the rawness of my voice and connected with it. I was accepted as an artist in my own right and it opened the world of being creative. This came from dark place but ironically it brought so much light into my life by introducing me to amazing people and has given me musical memories that I will cherish and always be grateful for.

Me and Rita Morar

What is next for Rita Morar?
I’m working on my own material and have next single coming up soon so watch this space! I also have some interesting collaborations lined up which are quite different for me.  Do keep an eye on www.ritamorar.com

“Much love and music always with you”

 

I would like to thank Rita for her time, for always being there for me and inspiring others. I cannot wait to hear more and more music from Rita.

You can follow Rita in the following ways:

Her website is: www.ritamorar.com

Follow Rita on Facebook

Or on Twitter

 

Priya Mulji 

And relax…

So as you all know (if you don’t where have you been!) I’ve been nominated in the category for the Best Blog at the Asian Media Awards and I am super excited! Amidst all that I started a new job and have had loads on so I decided I needed to chill and go get a massage (fornthose of you who know me it is one of my absolute favourite ways to relax). Now when I lived in Nottingham I had the world’s best masseuse (I kid you not Nina’s Beauty is amazing!) however living in London I sadly do not get the pleasure of Nina’s massages so I have been on the search for a good masseuse for a while. I have had a huge selection to be honest because let’s face it London is full of amazing therapists. However I came across Metta based on Oxford Street which www.wahanda.com rave about and actually they live up to the hype! Lilly really massaged into my neck revealing that there is tension not just in my shoulders but in my neck and head which explains my random sleeping patterns and constant tiredness which I thought was due to low iron. For those of you who have the same issues I really recommend going for her back, neck and shoulder massage.

On another note I’m also loving the Wahanda app (take a look at it here) it’s really good because if like me you’re constantly on the go and don’t have time to scour the internet for reviews you can just browse on there when you’re on the tube or something, read reviews, book and pay for them through it.. I’ll definitely be using the app and Metta again! Also because Wahanda are not part of the ‘daily deals/discounts’ family you can choose from loads of amazing quality places for hair, beauty, massages not just people who trying to ‘sell’ their services.

I think it is really important to take time out of your day to day routine and make time for yourself to relax, recharge and just get some tender loving care. If you’re single like me you don’t have anyone to give you a shoulder rub it is especially important! Also, how often do you ladies with partners get massages from them! So go on.. book a massage and book yourself fabulous!

 

Cookery Class to celebrate The Hundred Foot Journey

To celebrate the release of the tasty new movie The 100 Foot Journey starring Om Puri, Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal I recently attended a cookery class at the grand restaurant La Porte Des Indes and had an amazing time cooking with Chef Mehernosh Mody! Read the article on my experience here:

La Porte Des Indes Cookery Class – Page 1

La Porte Des Indes Cookery Class – Page 2

 

I have also reviewed La Porte Des Indes and you can read my review here.

 

Priya Mulji

Thank you..

So yesterday something absolutely fantastic happened..

The Asian Media Awards have nominated me in the Best Blog category! How bloody exciting! After so many years, the ups, the downs, the happy times, the heart breaks, the cyber bullying and everything else I have been recognised… and you know what. I am extremely proud.  I work hard, very hard. Once when I first start blogging I was asked out on a date but I wanted to stay home and blog that Saturday night, the guy couldn’t understand that but I knew I just would’ve rather have blogged.

Whether I win or not I wanted to say thank you to those that nominated me.

Above all that I wanted to say thank you those people who take the time out and read my blog, to those who comment and leave feedback… good or bad!

Without you all I would not be anywhere so a very humble thank you. Now on to the next step x

 

Read more about the Asian Media Awards here.

Asian_Media_Awards

If you can’t say anything nice..

I’m sad to say that I have been the victim of cyber bullying. Someone said really horrible, nasty things about me (to someone else and not even directly to me) on Twitter which were entirely untrue and really upset me. The culprits never came forward and apologised for this but I never wished bad on them and I never would. I would however appreciate an apology but that is a different matter.

I wrote a blog post recently called Embrace Your Inner Single Girl and it generally got amazing feedback. However, there is that minority of people who will always make comments like ‘you’re writing this because you’re bitter about being single.’

Actually no.

I have an amazing life and enjoy sharing the fun parts of my life in these blogs and there are so many amazing women who can identify with them. The best feedback I get is that ‘I can really relate to this blog...’  but when it is my time I will have amazing life partner. Those people who leave such comments PLEASE REVEAL YOURSELVES INSTEAD OF HIDING BEHIND NAMES LIKE JO BLOGS (they have used that name I kid you not), you don’t actually realise your comments are hurtful and try and make us think we lack something in our lives – actually you are extremely wrong because it would appear that you may be unhappy in your relationship when we are out enjoying our lives and maybe you’re not. I’m not saying if you’re married/committed you aren’t going out and enjoying your life because on the contary I know so many couples who have an amazing social life but the fact you have time to read and make such comments suggests otherwise……………

My blog which is clearly about single women, dating and relationships so do you really think I am going to be writing about finding the love of my life? Because this would mark the end of this blog.

So I am politely asking you to refrain from making such comments; if you can’t say anything nice please do not say anything at all.

 

The end.

 

Priya Mulji

Apres Review

Apres bar & restaurant Review

Website – http://apres-london.com/

Closest Station – Bond Street

Food – 4.5

Drinks – 5

Service – 5

Ambience/location – 5

***Happy Hour daily from 5-8pm (£5 on selected cocktails)***

It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon and my feet had become tired as I had been wandering around London sightseeing all day. So my friend and I decided to seek solace in Apres bar, based a stones throw from Bond Street station. We wandered in and were shown to a cute, dimly lit corner table. The bar was quiet but it still had a fantastic atmosphere and I almost felt like I was sitting at a trendy underground bar in New York. We started with a couple of cocktails. The cocktail menu is extensive with many cocktails unique to Apres. Happy hour is every day (including weekends) from 5-8pm and you won’t be disappointed by the Happy Hour selection of cocktails. My initial observation of the restaurant/bar was that it had good chilled out music, dimly lit so it has a relaxed ambience where you could go on a first date, girly dinner/drinks or post work drinks. The décor was deeply warm yet vibrant.

I started with the Candice Cocktail and my guest had the Tall, Dark and Stormy. The Candice was a fruity, martini type concoction which went down a treat after a long day. It is made from Gin, Aperol, Sugar and Watermelon among other ingredients. The Tall, dark and handsome is a long cocktail made with gin, blackberry puree, passion fruit, soda and other ingredients. Both cocktails looked classy, well presented, the alcohol wasn’t skimped on so went down a treat!

Apres - Candice & Tall Dark & Stormy

Apres – Candice & Tall Dark & Stormy

Apres Cocktail

Apres Cocktail

During the course of the evening we ordered more cocktails and we were not disappointed by those. We had between us a Negroni, Passion Flower, Lav Me Tander, Katleya and a Pushkin. I could go on and on about these cocktails but I think it would suffice to say each and every cocktail was unique, fruity, alcohol fused and delicious in every single way. You can view the cocktail menu here to read about all the other elements of the cocktails we had.

Apres Cocktail

Apres Cocktail

We then went on to order some food. We started with the Sweet Potato Straws which were thin, nibbly, noodle-like pieces of sweet potato which were lightly spiced and fried. These were absolutely delicious and very more-ish. For those of you who are familiar with Gujarati cooking these were almost Sev like. This dish was a good accompaniment to the other dishes we were about to order.

We then went on to order the Jerk Chicken Arancini and the Chilli Smoked Hot Wings. I think my friends comment on the Arancini says it all ‘the best Arancini I’ve ever had, even better than an Italian restaurant’ the Arancini balls were a generous size, delicately spiced with traditional jerk seasoning, a good crunch, crumbly texture and a good fusion of Caribbean and Italian cultures.

The wings were bite sized hot wings with a smoked spice flavouring, tender and the good quality chicken just fell to pieces in your mouth.

Apres - Hot wings, Arancini, Sweet Potato

Apres – Hot wings, Arancini, Sweet Potato

We then ordered the sourdough pizza to share. The pizza generally comes ‘Margharita’ and we ordered the pizza with extra olives, jalapeno and mushroom. The pizza was bought out to us by Chef Nino who hails from the Philippines but has worked in some top London Michelin Starred restaurants. He told us that the yeast used in the sourdough is made from scratch and they grow the bacteria for the yeast in their kitchen. They use homemade sauces and the dough is kept for 3 days before making it into pizza. And that was absolutely evident in the taste of the pizza! It was thin, crispy, tasty, fresh and like the other dishes totally more-ish! I could’ve eaten a whole other pizza! (Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, do’h!!)

We ended with the Oreo Brownies which again were a unique take on a brownie. They were more biscuit based rather than the traditional brownie but was still rich and chocolatey. Personally I would have liked the brownie to be served with perhaps a little cream or ice cream but was still the perfect end to a perfect evening.

Apres - Oreo Brownies

Apres – Oreo Brownies

Overall everything was delicious, well presented and in a nice central location. For fabulous cocktails and good quality, fresh food Apres is the place to be!

 

Priya Mulji

Interview with Manisha Tailor

Personally I know how hard it is to overcome norms in the Asian community so when I heard about a female, Asian football coach I just had to speak to her! London based Manisha Tailor has followed her passions and dreams to become an amazing role model to all Asian youngsters out there. It hasn’t been easy for Manisha though and she has become somewhat of an ambassador for mental health issues, I spoke to the talented and beautiful Manisha recently about her life, her passion and what’s next.. 

Where does your passion for football come from and how did you begin coaching?

One of my earliest memories is my twin brother and I playing football when we were about 8 years old. We lived and breathed football and we had an extremely special bond. My parents were not really happy about me pursuing football as a career and wanted me to focus on education; like most Asian families. However I continued to play football during school hours and played football matches at lunchtimes. I loved it. It was my passion from an early age. Then things took a turn though when at 18 my brother was diagnosed with depression due to bullying and traumatic events. My brother has now been non-verbal for 15 years.

I fell into teaching as I didn’t want anything to do with football anymore but the opportunity to coach then arose to coach when I met Rachael Yankey who inspired me to coach and I was able to combine teaching with my passion for football. I’d go home after coaching and would see that my brother is happy. I realised  I was following the right path and he could potentially recover. The rest is history

 

Manisha Tailor at the Asian Football Awards

Manisha Tailor at the Asian Football Awards

Who would you say inspires you most?

I am a huge fan of Arsene Wenger and his youth coaching and development philosophy. His understanding of how to develop young players inspires me as a coach. There’s a coach at Brentford FC called Stuart English who is one of the best coaches I have seen and was in complete awe and hope to learn more from him and the club. The Nabi brothers at West Bromwich Albion and Yan Dhanda at Liverpool will hopefully inspire more Asian players to make it pro”.

 

You must also face comparisons with films like Bend it like Beckham. Is this something you love or hate and do you think it has helped or hindered your path?

It is nice to be compared to a film that proved to be extremely popular as well as one that focused on a subject I love – football.  It has not hindered my path at all and when comments are made I smile!

 

What advice would you give to girls and women who want to play football?

 

Be willing to gain a wide range of experience and volunteer.  Gaining experience at grassroots and community schemes is invaluable as that’s where it all begins.  Setting up and securing a good foundation is imperative if we want to see longer term impact and that’s why I have a lot of passion and love for grassroots football.  It is where my journey began and what has helped shaped me as a person.

 

Manisha Tailor

Manisha Tailor

Do you think people’s attitude to female footballers is changing?

 

Yes I do, I think that the women’s game is gaining more popularity and we can see that via the expansion of the women’s super league in addition to women’s games now being show on TV.  This is most definitely a move in the right direction.  It perhaps is not on par with the men’s game, but I wouldn’t like to compare them as I think each is valuable within its own right. Hearing about women in football having ambitions to work in the men’s game is brilliant, such as mentioned in a recent feature on Emma Hayes, Chelsea Ladies FC manager.  Things have certainly moved on and I feel having male managers within the women’s game, like Mark Sampson managing the England women side illustrates a shift in thinking.

 

What has been the biggest highlight for you in your career?

 

Seeing the smiles on the faces of those that I can make a difference to is my biggest highlight and it really can’t get any better than that; being able to re-shape the lives of others is extremely rewarding.  I did win the Woman in Football award the Asian Football Awards in 2013 which I was over the moon about.  Being recognised for the work you do is a great feeling and to have the support of so many kind people is wonderful.

Manisha Tailor

Manisha Tailor

 

What is next for Manisha?

I want to continue to learn and develop as a coach and tutor and now work towards my UEFA B Licence.  I passed the Module 3 Youth Award early this year which I was really pleased about and thoroughly enjoyed my year long journey working towards the award.

 

I would like to thank Manisha for taking the time to speak to me about not just football but issues which people sometimes do not like to talk about in the Asian community. Manisha is an extremely wonderful role model for us all and I wish her all the best for her future. Go Girl Power!

Follow Manisha on Twitter

 

 

 

Embrace Your Inner Single Girl!

So in an ideal world my mum would have me married with a kid by now (note ‘a’ because I have always stated I am only having one child).

Recently I have been feeling a little lost and don’t know what I want or what I am looking for, I don’t know what I want and have been questioning certain things like if I ever want to get married or have children.

And then I realise that of course I do, it is just that right now is not the right time.

Recently I was reading an article by one of my favourite writers Katy Horwood about why being single totally rocks! And then I got it. I’m not lost but I am just not looking for anything because I have everything I need. An amazing family, fabulous friends, a potentially fantastic career, a column in a national newspaper and if I want to have….erm…an intimate encounter…well I’m sure I could have one! (Not that I will because I’m not that kinda girl but let’s face it that is the only bad thing about being single!) but basically I think at the moment I am so content with being single that there perhaps isn’t room for a significant other in my life.

Katy states in her article reasons why being single rocks is for instance being able to have a gin n tonic in the bath on a Wednesday at 3pm and here are my reasons why being single totes rocks:

  • I can eat my dinner whenever I like. If one day I want to eat at 7pm as soon as I get home from work and the next day not eat until 10pm then I will
  • If I want to have a bottle of wine and tweet shit, on a Monday night, I can and will
  • I can flirt with whomever I like
  • I answer to no one (well apart from those who continue to question why I am single)
  • I can write blogs like this
  • You don’t have to pretend you like the movies/films/friends/restaurants and everything he likes!
  • If I want to go to the gym I will. If I don’t I wont
  • I can drink wine in the bath. Or in the shower. Everyday.

One day I will find a guy, live with him, get married and have kids (perhaps not all in that order) but until that day embrace your inner Bridget Jones. Eat, drink and be merry!

Interview with Author Bekki Pate

It is wonderful when you have a talent for writing and even better when you have the chance to share this with the world. To get caught up in a whole different world full of  where imagination takes over with characters, fantasy and story telling is something phenomenal! I recently reconnected with a wonderful writer Bekki Pate whom I used to work with. She is on her way to becoming a world famous author and I really wanted to have a little chat with her. So here is what we spoke about:

Bekki tell us a little about yourself..
I grew up in Nottingham and recently moved to Cannock in Staffordshire. I have been writing all my life and my latest books – The Fragment Trilogy – are my most ambitious and the work I am most proud of. I work full time in admin, and in my spare time I love reading – I am really into Stephen King at the moment.

How did you discover you had a passion for writing?
I have always written fiction, ever since I can remember, so it was just something that always was, rather than something I discovered or fell into. It started with silly ghost stories at school, and then a few crappy teenage novels that make me cringe. Finally, this book was written and I am immensely proud of it.

Where did you get inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to write a book about strong characters, and I have always loved horror and paranormal, as well as romance, so something that encompasses all these things was the basis for my story.

Bekki Pate

Bekki Pate

You’re very close to getting your first novel published? How do people go about pre-ordering?

The book sadly will not be published unless I can get a good number of supporters for it. All the supporter needs to do is click here: https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/index.php/book/index/TheFragmentTrilogyTheWillowTree

Then click the “pre-order” button fill in the delivery details and email address – That’s it! The supporter pays nothing until mid September when the campaign ends, and that is ONLY if I am published. The book is £8.99 and with that the supporter gets: a signed copy of the book, a FREE bookmark and their name listed inside the book as an official supporter.

How did you go about speaking to people to get your novel out in the public domain?
I created a facebook page and set myself up on Twitter and tried to reach out to as many people as possible. It’s been a steep learning curve for me as I really didn’t know anything about marketing, so it’s been fun and emotional. It’s also surprising and humbling that I have had so much support from people.

Without giving too much away tell us a little about the story…
It’s rather dark and gory – not for the faint-hearted! But alongside the disturbing basic plot, emerges a love story, a story of friendship, of loss and mystery, and through the perspectives of three different protagonists.

What’s next for Rebecca?
I am currently drafting chapters for a fourth book, as well as sending a few short stories to creepy pasta. I have also entered into the Costa Short Story Awards, so fingers crossed!

 

I’d like to thank Bekki for her time and wish her all the success in her future writing career! Do let me know if you purchase the book and what you think of it!

 

Priya Mulji 

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