When you work in the media, one of the habits you develop is the tendency to highlight the unusual, the marketable, and then go on to obsess about it. Nothing sells like fame, and so media organisations around the world find themselves falling back on or even sensationalising the newsmakers – famous and infamous, A or B-grade, noble or preferably ignoble, stars or those who’d do anything to become stars – to jack up their subscriptions and TRPs. Falling short of material on page 16? Let’s do a round-up of red-carpet regulars wearing blue this month. The back page fell apart? There are always Twitter gaffes from members of world parliaments. Nothing to fill the five-minute gap in television programming? How about re-runs of the guests arriving at Saif and Kareena’s wedding?
Fame feeds those who make a living out of feeding fame. The media and celebrity are a symbiotic ecosystem.
That is probably why we have the pretty Sagarika Ghatge on the launch cover of Atelier Diva this month. Her starring role in Chak De! India was unforgettable by those who watched the feel-good film on the Indian women’s hockey team. She’s back this month in a thriller about media and crime. We’re happy and honoured to have her on our launch issue cover, and we wish Rush all the best at the box office.
But along with her story, you’ll find plenty more in these pages. They’re unknown names but their stories are equally unforgettable. These are narratives of strength, pain and heartbreak; tales of inspiration, failures and victories. For a woman in India, a career comes with certain challenges. All women work, whether at home or outside, but only 14 per cent of the urban female adult population in India are paid and are counted amongst its labour force. Add to that a lower salary scale, glass ceilings, social expectations and the inevitable responsibilities at home, and there’s a magazine-worth of stories there. Even if they’re unknown women.
But the picture’s not all grim. We also have innumerable resources within and around us – dreams, courage, faith, joys and maybe a little vodka. And these resources only grow every time we share them. As the song goes, “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.”
We hope to be that friend you turn to when you need an unputdownable pick-me-up. And we hope you’ll reach out through us to share your own journey.
Every woman is an Atelier Diva. What’s your story?