After reading Eleanor and Park I quickly became a fan of Rainbow Rowell, so I went out and bought some of her other books. In particular I wanted to read Attachments as I remembered reading the blurb and I had found it so interesting that it was instantly added to my to read list.
The blurb goes like this: ‘It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious detail, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange. At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself. After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart . . . and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.’
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is a delightful, unusual yet a very cute love story.
The story is set in 1999 (early 2000), when the internet is still quite new. Two colleagues, journalists – Beth and Jennifer work at the newsroom called The Courier, exchanging e-mails sharing every smallest details happening in their personal lives. Lincoln, a lonely guy working in computer security reading through other people’s e-mails and reporting on any using inappropriate language. He knows he should report them but he sees Beth’s and Jennifer’s e-mails as a pleasant distraction. Before long it is too late for introductions, as he realises he has fallen for one of them . . .
I won’t ruin it for guys, so you will just have to read it to find out who Lincoln falls in love with and if they end up together?
While reading this book, I liked how the story gave me a nostalgic feel of the 80’s, 90’s and there is only one other book that has managed to do that which was Eleanor and Park.
On the whole, Attachments was a fantastic read portraying how two people can fall in love without having met, which I don’t think is really possible but one can dream, right?
I need to recommend this book for you guys to read as it is not one you will forget and it definitely will put a smile on your face. 🙂
Natasha Asghar is a writer, radio Dj and presenter. Graduating with a Master’s degree in Politics, she got a taste of media by chance, and has not looked back since. She offers her pearls of wisdom on getting into the media industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background.
I’m an only child of an accountant/politician and a doctor. I was born in Newport, South Wales and studied there until I completed my A-levels. After school I moved to University in London. Whilst at University, most of my friends were working in the student union or doing temp work to make extra cash as a weekend job. I began hosting a show on a channel called Vectone. After nine months I began studying for my master’s degree, so I could not continue with researching, presenting and doing all of the running around for the show by myself and fulfilling the course requirements.
After completing my Masters in Contemporary British Politics and Media, I took up a job as a banker. But I missed the media buzz, so I started doing little bits here and there on the weekends.
I then left the job at the bank and decided to give media my all. It was at this point I started working for Buzz Asia, Asian Woman Magazine as their Agony Aunt and also B4U Music. I won’t lie, there was a lot of struggle and difficulty as there was not much stability, so I chopped and changed jobs from 2012-13; moved and travelled a lot for work, then out of the blue, I went for an audition at ZEE TV.
The rest is history.
You made a huge change moving from politics into media, do you have any plans going back to politics?
My father (Mohammad Asghar) is still in politics (as the Conservative Regional Assembly Member for South Wales East). I have and always will stand by him, in each and every way I possibly can. I do have a keen interest in politics and with the role I do choose to remain impartial to all political parties.
As for my political ambitions; right now I love my job and have not thought of doing anything along those lines.
But as for the future, who knows? Never say never right?
How difficult was it to present, produce and research your own radio show?
I had never worked in radio, until Buzz Asia and although I knew how to present, I had no idea about the technical side of it?
Admittedly I was very fortunate to have a wonderful station Manager ‘Raj King’ who was really supportive and my fellow presenters Zee Khan and Doni Brasco both very patiently trained me on the technical side of radio.
I quite enjoyed the freedom to talk about things and was able to help countless people through the show with issues they were going through. Although I was getting inundated with emails from listeners for help, it was hard to juggle that with other jobs, but time management is one of my strong points. Plus I really loved radio, so I made time to juggle my other responsibilities too.
There is not a doubt in my mind, radio is a fantastic medium, which I had never really considered before I became a part of it. However when I became more involved, I honestly never looked back and it will always have a very special place in my heart.
What do you like most about your job?, What do you like least?
I love the variety of each day; every single day is different. One day, we may have a top Bollywood celebrity, then a self made billionaire followed by a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) representative talking about a really important health issue. Plus I love everyone at Zee, they are such a friendly bunch of people, the least favourite part of my day is when we have to go home! (As sad as that may sound!)
What has been the happiest day of your life?
There are a few but I would say the most recently was when I hosted the ZEE Bollywood Rockstars concert, at Wembley Arena. It was in front of 6,000 people and my parents were sat in the 3rd row. Their facial expressions were priceless.
What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
World domination – You can interpret that however you like!
What one word would you use to describe yourself?
What would you advise someone who is wondering whether or not to go into media? Say there own radio show?
I will never glamourise the media industry to anyone. I have had a mighty struggle over the years and some of my nearest and dearest can vouch for the times I used to get highly emotional out of sheer frustration. There is a dark side and a wonderful side and I’ve been incredibly privileged to have met some people along my journey who have supported me and stood by me, when I was totally new in the industry and we are still firm friends even now.
For anyone who wishes to get into media, here are some of my pearls of wisdom,
Don’t expect to become Neeve, Bobby Friction, Nihal overnight. It takes time, practice, patience and effort.
Be prepared to WORK from the ground up. I see so many people wanting to get into the media industry, thinking they are already born stars and should be given what they want. It is a SLOW process so be prepared to work for it.
Don’t expect media to pay your bills straight away. It is very hard to find a full-time, well paid job in media and the competition is fierce. My father always taught me, when it comes to work – to have a plan A, B, C and D. It’s something I have never forgotten. When I worked in radio, I worked freelance at B4U, and at the online shopping channel, I hosted various events, then helped my father out with the accountancy whenever I could and also wrote for Asian Woman in my spare time. So if you want to get into radio or TV, make sure you have a few back up plans up your sleeve.
Be prepared to make time for your work TV/radio you may get the role however you won’t be given a researcher to do all the leg work, so be prepared to run around A LOT.
Don’t see any job as small. Some people turn down great opportunities and experience because it’s not a BIG NAME in the industry. Don’t make that mistake you never know, you may end up working for what is to become or will be one of the biggest companies in the media industry.