Malini Agarwal, better recognized as MissMalini, is a digital media influencer, blogger and entrepreneur, and the creator of MissMalini.com, India’s leading platform for all things entertainment, from Bollywood and TV gossip to fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.
Let’s delve deeper into the intricate story of a woman who never lost hope and built a huge platform springing from her smart career choices.
“We live in a generation where anything you want to do, you can do for the rest of your life, that’s what you can make your job,”.
Malini was born on 26th May 1977 in Allahabad, but as a result of her father being a diplomat, she had to move every three years and grew up in disparate parts of the world including Lebanon, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Ivory Coast and the list goes on.
She moved back to India with her family and went to the British School in Delhi, hoping to reinvent herself. Still feeling like a misfit, she never was one to be the life of the party in school.
She then joined Maitreyi College, an all-girls college in Delhi, with extra hopes, and got to explore and dig deeper into her interests and joined dance and theatre as a result.
After having joined a dance troupe called Ronica Jacob and The Planets, she became a backup dancer for Sukhbir Singh, an Indian singer, for 6 whole years. Spoiler alert: she loved it there. Fun fact– Malini appears in the iconic ‘Taare Gin Gin’ music video! [Don’t go search for it before reading the entire post.]
When Malini was 21, she rebelliously decided to move to Mumbai with a mere 40,000 Rupees in her hand. She lived there with 6 roommates and one pigeon. Yes, you read that right. An actual living and breathing pigeon.
The situation was so miserable that she couldn’t imagine herself living there for another minute and wanted to get out of her misery. She got a job at MTV as a copywriter.
Along with that, the first radio stations were gaining decent popularity and her, being an I-want-to-do-it-all person, didn’t miss the opportunity to try out for a job. She got a job at Win 94.6 and GO 92.5. She loved radio enough to stick to it for 8 whole years.
Along with juggling two radio jobs, she started writing a column in a newspaper called ‘Malini’s Mumbai’ where she would typically write about the parties that were going on and the things that she experienced.
She noticed that her passionately written columns were getting cut off due to poor editing. This was when one of her friends kindly suggested she write a blog. Funnily enough, her first words were, “What’s a blog?” She instantly fell in love with the idea and started writing blogs along with the many jobs that she was doing.
Malini wrote her first blog on May 5th, 2008. She says, “I remember my first blog was about Saif Ali Khan’s ex-wife Rosa who was posing at Olive with a piece of cheese and my title was ‘So cheesy’ and I thought that was so cool. And it was so bizarre because within a few hours, I got a comment on it and I was like out of all the billions of web pages, someone has chosen to come and read this page.”
As soon as she started writing blogs, she had a schedule full to the gills— she worked at MTV from 10 a.m. all the way to 6 p.m., came home to write a column and a blog, and again left home to work at the radio stations from 9 pm to midnight.
We’ve painted quite an exhausting picture for you. Imagine how hard it must’ve been for her to was for her to juggle multiple jobs. This was when her boyfriend, now husband, stepped in and she quit her multiple jobs to solely focus on her newfound passion.
She thought, “I’m going to give myself one year to make this work.” Slowly and steadily she started gaining more and more views and recognition for her blogs. “It was amazing that people would read and understand the turn-a-phrase and something that I was really proud of and spent hours doing.”
Fast forward to a decade and a half later, MissMalini.com, which started with her sitting on a sofa with her comfy pyjamas on, is India’s largest one-stop destination for all things Bollywood, fashion, lifestyle and so much more.
She has been awarded Cosmopolitan’s Editors’ Choice Awareness Influencer of the Year 2020 and is named one of the Top 10 Young Businesswomen by CNBC-TV18. She won Social Media personality of the Year at India Fashion Awards in 2021.
Starting a blog in 2008, she knows the struggles of an ‘unconventional’ career path. “Nobody was doing it, and it was really hard to explain to people what I do,” says she.
And now, people are really starting to get it. For the longest time, her mom thought that she was an internet blocker who would block annoying spam messages!
To all the visionaries out there struggling to channel their hardcore passion into a living, Malini has an incredible message for you. “We live in a generation where anything you want to do, you can do for the rest of your life, that’s what you can make your job,” she says.
She then goes on to say, “I want you to close your eyes for a moment, and think about what is the one thing you would do for the rest of your life if nobody paid you to do it. Now that’s what you should be doing for a living. Do what you love, we live in an amazing time where you can do anything. Make any dream your reality and it doesn’t matter if right now at the beginning, you’re not getting paid to do it. Eventually, if it’s your passion and you’re good at it, you can live that world just like I am”.
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