Lekha Menon’s CuppaLife

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Lekha Menon Deputy Editor Masala!

 

Sharing the CuppaLife of Deputy Editor, Masala!

“Think differently and never become bigger than the story. Journalism is about stating facts and not changing society.”

Resident of Dubai for the last 4 and a half years, Lekha Menon is originally from Kerala, Palakkad District which is known to be potpourri of Tamil and Kerala culture. But many of us wouldn’t know that she has lived in Gujarat and Mumbai and can fluently read and write in Gujarati.
She has worked for media giants like Times of India, HT and lifestyle publications like DNA, Mumbai Mirror, Marwar. Currently she is Deputy Editor of Masala, a Dubai based lifestyle and Bollywood publication.
Lekha has been a journalist for the last 15 years and it was an easy interview for her. When I met her, I told her I would like to feature her on my blog. She smiled and said it was strange because “I am the one who is always interviewing others”. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing her over a cup of tea and I am sure you will enjoy reading it too!

UrCuppa: The meaning of Lekha is “writing”. There is a strange connection between your name and your profession?
Lekha: (Laughs) When my parents named me, they had no idea I would enter the profession of writing one day. It’s pure destiny and co-incidence that my name means ‘content’.

UrCuppa: Is it, meeting new people or is it purely pleasure of writing that excites you?
Lekha: I am a journalist and writing is just one of the many skills required for the profession. Where you work, what kind of writing you do, where your articles appear, are you writing a news report, column or analysis, these are all factors that determine what kind of journalist you eventually turn out to be.
Secondly, working for a newspaper and working for a magazine or a web edition is vastly different. They all require different skill sets. Basically, what excites me is the process of learning something new each day and the challenge to put that across in a nice, coherent manner so that others get informed too.

UrCuppa: Do you think writers and journalist are dreamers and boring; the typical “Wear Kurta and Carry Jhola types?
Lekha: (Frowning!!) – Of course not! Today journalism has evolved and we are working for new media under strenuous deadlines. How can we be boring? And there is hardly any time to dream. We are intelligent people, with a unique perspective and an ability to think and look at an issue differently.
All journalists cannot be defined by their clothing. During my newspaper days, I used to wear jeans or anything comfortable because we were always out and about. But now, when I am working for a lifestyle magazine, I have many meetings scheduled in a day therefore, I wear western casuals mostly dresses.

UrCuppa: Do you still use a pen and paper to write your thoughts?
Lekha: Only to take notes while I am interviewing someone, or if I am at a press conference. For putting my thoughts together, I just need a keyboard. The words flow easily.

UrCuppa: Do you write for yourself like your personal blog or a book?
Lekha: I want to write for myself and I am working on it. Something should start soon. ( Smiling)

UrCuppa: Any of your projects that you would like to talk about with our readers?
Lekha: (Trying to recall) The Gujrat riots of 2002 was a life-changing experience. It completely altered my personality and perspective. Then there were many such interesting episodes I’d covered. The 2008 Mumbai terror attack is also close to my heart as I got an opportunity to witness the horror from pretty close quarters.
As for projects, I co-edited a special Collector’s Edition on the 100 Years of Indian Cinema, which turned out to be a rich book. I love cinema and I am really passionate about it.


Nawazuddin-SiddiquiUrCuppa : As a film journalist, it is an important part of your work to interact and interview eminent personalities from the world of cinema. Which personality was most interesting and why?

Lekha: There are many, but it was a great experience to meet and interview Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shahrukh Khan, Shekhar Kapoor and Aamir Khan. They are intelligent actors, very different from your run-of-the-mill actors.

UrCuppa: Do you have a piece of advice for the upcoming journalists?
Lekha: Think differently and never become bigger than the story. Journalism is about stating facts and not changing society.
Only education is not enough, you need on-field and practical knowledge to be successful in this profession. Journalism is not about writing a story, but it is bringing together perspective and depth to the story within correct timelines. We at ITP provide internships for students to understand the practical aspect of journalism.

Rapid-fire with Lekha

  • UrCuppa: Would you choose a cup of tea over a Nap?
    Lekha: Of course a Nap!
  • UrCuppa: Which is your favorite cartoon character?
    Lekha: Tom and Jerry
  • UrCuppa: What is that one bad habit you would like to give up?
    Lekha: Procrastination – I want to be more result and action oriented in my personal life.
  • UrCuppa: If you were not a feature writer what would you be?
    Lekha: I would be a psychologist
  • UrCuppa: Would you choose a cup of tea over a Nap?
    Lekha: Of course a Nap!
  • UrCuppa: Which is your favourite cartoon character?
    Lekha: Tom and Jerry
  • UrCuppa: What is that one bad habit you would like to give up?
    Lekha: Procrastination – I want to be more result and action oriented in my personal life.
  • UrCuppa: If you were not a feature writer what would you be?
    Lekha: I would be a psychologist

 





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