Saturday, May 29, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with VJ/Hipster Juhi Pande

In Pic: The one and only Juhi Pande w/ fairy friend (she loves her fairies!)

She's been hosting TV shows on Channel V for years now and you just can't miss her on the idiot box.  Bubbly, sassy, beautiful with hints of mischief and sarcasm, she's pure positive vibes - this is Juhi Pande.  You'll remember her introduction into the VJ big leagues with her bold mohawk (how cool was that? Juhi! Bring back the mohawk!), spelling out: "The TOMBOY is here!" Today, she continues to rock television, consistently putting a smile on our faces with her exuberant and energetic style of hosting. Even if the show sucks nuts (which it rarely does with her around), Juhi will always find a way to keep you interested and keep it fun. Make sure to catch her with VJ Manish on Channel V's Bollywood Nonsensex, to see Juhi doing what she does best - having a right old laugh.

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Channel V's Juhi Pande talks about her childhood, the media industry, television, Lost (baby!), her favourite restaurants and much much more! 

What’s the Juhi Pande life story – what were the key experiences that have led up to you being one of the country’s most successful VJs?
Wow... I don't know how to answer that. There was no plan. I just went along with everything for the ride. Honestly, never thought anything would last and never thought anything would go bust. So, yeah. A more clear answer would be that I am very self critical. So I never sit back... whether it be my job or  anything else

Your father was in the Indian Air Force and you were moved around India regularly during your childhood, can you tell us what this was like growing up?
It was brilliant. I didn't know a different life. For the longest time I just assumed that everybody else was as nomadic as my family, moving every year.  Its only when we moved to Delhi in 1995 did I realise that some kids go to the same school their entire life. Imagine my shock! I was on school #8  and still had a few years to graduate. But it was a fantastic life. We lived in Air Force stations on the outskirts of some obscure city in a different state every year. Made new friends, read a LOT (cable tv came late to us), cycled and bummed around a lot. Fun!

In Pic: Juhi Pande - nomad hipster 4 life

Over your career in television, what have been some of the TV shows you’ve worked on, that you have been genuinely passionate about? 
Basement - my show with Neil. It was fuckinfantastic to work with him and my Basement team.
Launch Pad would be the other one. Great show; we found music talent, raw or otherwise for 3 years. Super platform for new bands and great great music. The Superfuzz won in 2007 - love that band, very punk rock, very edgy. Then in 2009, Reverse Polarity, again a super band.

If you were given full creative control for a one-hour TV show, what would you do and what channel would it be on? 
I'd keep it on V and I'd get back Basement with Neil. Post that, the show would be banned.

Who have been your inspirations inside and outside of the media industry?
Don't have any inspirations. Though I'd want Anthony Bourdain's job and lungs in my next life.

What are the key traits to being a successful VJ in this country?
  • Know.Your.Hindi. 
  • Love.Thy.Neighbour 
Ok, ignore the second one. Replace it with - be comfortable in your skin. Seriously, there are too many people with pre-concieved notions about being a presenter. Look at Lola Kutty... Look at Andy... Manish; these guys are so comfortable with who and how they are. So ease up and have a little fun... that would be it.

You worked with Channel V International early in your career – what was that experience like and how is the approach different from working with Channel V India?
It's the same. V India and V International operate pretty much the same way and are a pleasure to work with. I shot for a show in Australia for a few weeks with V international... then did a stint in Bangkok for a few days... then Hong Kong for a few days, it's always fun. A lot of laughs and a lot of silliness (is that how one spells silliness... or is it sillyness?).

Your thoughts on reality TV and the influx of these types of shows on television?
Two words; it works. It really does. People are hooked on to reality television. Of any sort. So I say, why not?  Though I'm personally not a fan of reality television. Gimme good fiction over reality any day.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I don't know. It's too far away... hopefully bumming around on a beach somewhere.

You’ve been a serious Lost fan for a while now… what are your overall thoughts on the show, why is it so good? What did you think of the finale? 
I like anything to do with the space time continuum (I subscribe to Astronomy Magazine - so, you know) and I know that the show was so much more than just that, but that's what got me hooked. I like ( I will NOT use the past tense) that Lost has such amazing characters, with histories backing them up. I like that there is so much suspense and mystery shrouding every episode. Honestly, the character sketches are superlative. I started out with liking Locke, then despising him, then sorta liking him again, to being in love with his character. You go on an incredible ride with this show. As for the finale, Lindelof and Cuse could not have done a better job. It was beautiful. What a way to say goodbye.

You’ve done your fair share of global music festivals, what have been some of the life changing ones?
The Boom Festival, 2006, Portugal! That was probably the peak of my trance phase and there is no festival like the Boom. Seven days of mayhem and every artist I adored. The dance tent could accomodate 15,000 people, so you can imagine the energy on the dance floor.

Tell us about your current projects? TV shows and theatre?
I'm doing four shows with V right now. My favourite is Bollywood Nonsensex which I do with Manish. It's so funny. We shred every celebrity under the sun and its done almost tastefully. A total blast.
Theatre - I'm one play old; Some Girl(s), Neil Labute, adapted by Akarsh Khurana and I've done 17 shows - it's been quite a rush, being on stage. I can see myself doing more of this.

In Pic: Juhi and Manish - tune into 'Bollywood Nonsensex' on Channel V

Some of your favourite clothing brands for everyday wear?
Ummmm... anything goes. As long as it's comfy and short (Bombay is boiling). I am partial to Mango and Zara though.

What’s one restaurant in Mumbai that has yet to disappoint you and why?
Indigo Deli and Basilico; they keep revising their menus and the service and ambience at both places is fantastic. Though I have a new favorite in Pali Village Cafe; their watermelon and feta cheese salad is to die for.

You’ve got some really dope tattoos, who are some of the artists you would recommend? Where can we find them?
I've had some of my tattoos done by artists traveling to India and some I've had done while I've been traveling. The one on my calf was done by Mahyar in Goa in '07 and he's usually in India for a month or two in a year... Super super artist.

List out three of your favourite movies and tell us why.
Fight Club - Because I like Chuck Palahniuk as a writer and then to adapt his book and get David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton to work on it is just a dream, innit?
Point Break - Because it's Point Break!
Terminator 2 - Because I keep going back to the first time I saw this film. It took my breath away. Also, Alien - all of them.

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out six life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you?
  1. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
  2. Kasabian -  West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
  3. Pulp Fiction - OST (Gold Standard)
  4. Bjork - Debut
  5. Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
  6. Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
I should be allowed 12 at least, Sean. Six is unfair!

In Pic: Steve, Juhi and myself on our way to the Radio One station (Too cool for school?)

Had the pleasure of chilling with Juhi in Mumbai last year, while visiting my close childhood friend, Steve Abraham (he's guest blogging soon, doing a review on one of my favourite rock bands, Deftones) and it just so happens he's been dating her for a year now.  Besides being a spectacular host (see what I did there?) in Bombay, she was kind enough to let me share her and Steve's lime light on Miss Malini's now cult 'Pirate Radio' sessions on Radio One, Mumbai. It was awesome; got to make a play list of our all time favourite tunes and then got to talk music and have them played out on the airwaves of Mumbai. The icing on the cake - Radio One is a predominantly Bollywood radio channel, so to have CCR, Kings of Leon, Empire of the Sun, Radiohead, Deftones, Daft Punk, Sasha and more being played out was special. Good times for sure. Links below.

Follow Channel V VJ Juhi Pande on Twitter: Click here
Check out YOUTUBE vids and the all gold playlist of Juhi, Steve and Sailen's (Sean) legendary Pirate Radio show with the equally legendary Miss Malini: Click here

A big big thank you to Juhi for taking the time to do this interview with YHIHF. - SG


  1. nice man - you managed to pack it all in :)

  2. Steve - I think I'm in love with your girlfriend... she's so cool:). Lucky you. Lucky her.

  3. yeah i'm a pretty lucky guy I must say :D (aww much love on your must be doing something right)

  4. i'm a pretty lucky guy I must say :D (aww much love on your must be doing something right)Gold On Runescape
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  5. Thank you for providing this information, your blog are very helpful about Bollywood info...


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