Halloween is just around the corner now and many of you will have planned parties or have been invited out by friends to celebrate – by dressing up in different/odd/strange costumes imaginable, to party till late or even trick-or-treating; but as I’m a Muslim, I don’t celebrate it. So I’ll be settling down to watch one of many movies. Sounds boring, you’re probably thinking, but it is not at all boring because I absolutely LOVE watching horror movies! This has become a tradition for me of some sorts.
Even though I don’t celebrate it, I decided to blog and share with you guys these five halloween movies which I have watched and enjoyed.
Ringu (Japanese Version)
World War Z
If you are celebrating Halloween completely different this year than the norm, I would love to know so do leave a comment.
And if you do decide to watch any of these movies from above, or if you have seen them already; let me know what you thought about them.
Here was the situation this morning; I woke up to find it pouring down with rain (what else can be expected from the British weather!) The first thought I had was I don’t want to get up I would rather stay here in my warm bed; it’s going to be a horrible day. I’m sure many of you have felt like this at some point in your lives – whether going to school or to work.
So I had a dentist appointment today and I hate, absolutely HATE going to the dentists, I have a serious bout of dental phobia. I was going to make up an excuse and reschedule it for another day. But then I realised, why was I making the weather an obstacle for myself. It wasn’t going harm me, just get me a little wet which an umbrella could sort out; so I went and I hated it but the important point is that I didn’t make any changes to my plans and got everything done.
Would you let an opportunity slip by? Lets say you had an interview, which could either make or break your career, would you give it a miss just because it was raining?
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.
As long as I can remember I never had any qualms over my weight when I was younger, however all that changed when I started secondary school. As the pounds piled on it affected my confidence, I lost my self-esteem and it made me feel self-conscious all the time. I tried a number of different diets but I never took them seriously and still ate or more so stuffed my face with the odd junk food here and then.
So when I read about people losing so much weight whilst on Slimming World, I was abit sceptical I thought it was the same as the other diets and it wouldn’t work. I still went along to the group with my sister. It won’t be wrong to say I felt daunted, abit apprehensive if I’m honest for that very first group meeting but our consultant, Clair was so supportive and helpful throughout the whole process and pretty soon we were weighed and registered.
It has now been over six months since then and I haven’t looked back since. Losing four pounds in my first week gave me to strength to carry on and it wasn’t long that I had lost my first stone. I was so happy which in turn motivated me and made me more determined to lose weight. So right this moment, I’m so proud to tell you that I have lost over three and a half stones. 😀
Joining Simming World was the best decision I made ever, I feel more active, confident and generally more happier with myself than I was before.
If anyone is thinking about joining Slimming World, my advice is to just do it – DON’T overthink it, make that decision and it’ll change your life. Trust me! 🙂
For more info on Slimming World, you can go on their website:
As I discovered this morning, I had a little too much time on my hands and with that the surfing through old photos albums on Facebook began. Moments later I came across my photojournalism portraits for uni which I hadn’t seen in ages and I thought why not publish them on my blog – seems like a reasonable idea, as that is what my blog is here for; to showcase my skills.
To emulate a photographer’s work was the task.
I chose Yusuf Karsh as I loved his portraits as they were unique and different from the others. Karsh was a master in the use of studio lights and he liked to show a more human side to people via his photos. As Karsh wrote of his own work in Karsh Portfolio in 1967,
“Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world.”
To be honest, I only discovered his work through this module and I’m glad I did.
Yusuf Karsh (1908-2002) was born in Armenia, he moved to Canada at the age of 14 to live with his uncle George Nakash who was a photographer himself. He started off assisting his uncle in his studio and as he showed great talent into photography, Karsh was sent to study as an apprentice for John H. Garo – an eminent portrait photographer. He then went on open his own studio in 1932, Ottawa and rest is history.
From then on, he photographed some of the most famous people in history, from royalty, actors to politicians. To name a few – Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, Mother Teresa, Marilyn Monroe and many more.
From Karsh’s collection, this is my favourite portrait.
“I photographed this rising young ballerina and actress at the beginning of her prestigious career. She went on to dance in the renowned de Basil’s Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and later acted in numerous productions on the New York stage. Today, she still pursues an active career in New York. In a recent letter, she recalled for me how I improvised her turban from the window curtains, which I tore down and draped around her head and shoulders.”| Yousuf Karsh
Two of my friends kindly agreed to model for me, at the time I thought it wouldn’t take that long but going by the amount of shots which came out duds, it took ages. So I will be eternally grateful to them for that. Being it was the first time I was doing any sort of professional studio photography; all in all I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would love to do some more work in this field – perhaps a fashion magazine.
These are the three photos I had a go at emulating and which I handed in as my final photos.
Finally after some 20 attempts I have added all the photos in, *fingers crossed* it comes out right this time.
So anyway I hope you guys have enjoyed this side post. I’ll be back soon with another post, until then!
It’s my second day of fasting today and I want to wish all Muslims reading this – Ramadan Mubarak.
For all the non-Muslim readers; Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which all Muslims fast – from sunrise to sunset. As Ramadan is one of the five ‘pillars’ of Islam, those, who are physically able are required to fast each day for the entire month. Fasting helps teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. It reminds them of the harsh reality of some poverty-stricken families around the world, who go through this on a daily basis. During Ramadan, Muslims say prayers from The Holy Book Qur’an and they have to refrain from distractions and negative habits.
I find the initial days of fasting hard, as it takes time getting used to the long hours; currently I’m fasting from 3:10am to 9:30pm. However, in the next few days I’ll try to update you all with an in-depth post on Ramadan. So until then!
As I stated in my previous post, I’m currently volunteering with the charity Crimestoppers, which is the UK’s only independent crime fighting charity and this year they are marking 25 years of fighting crime.
Working on an ad-hoc basis, I write media appeals to raise awareness of crime in the Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) area. Alongside this, a group of us are working on the Cycle Theft Campaign, in which we are trying to prevent cycles from being stolen.
There are two aspects to the campaign:
1) The prevention of cycle theft – what you can do to prevent cycle,
2) Encouraging the reporting of cycle theft: How to encourage people to report cycle theft.
The main message that needs to be put across is anonymity – that people can give information to Crimestoppers on cycle theft anonymously, and that there are two ways they can do this, one via the Crimestoppers website and two, ringing there 0800 number. People can also claim rewards, up to £1,000 if the information given leads to one or more people being arrested and charged.
So we had a meeting on July 5 and as the campaign is still in its planning stages, this will be a short update – don’t want you guys getting bored.
Bicycle theft is seen as a common problem internationally. Generally it refers to the theft of the entire bike however, this can include component parts and accessories being stolen. Statistics in 2012, have shown that the cycle thefts in Peterborough peak between the months of July – Oct, where people are out and about. Research shows that offenders tend to target cycles in public settings; particularly schools, university campuses and transport hubs as they have a regular supply of unguarded bicycles.
My role in mainly dealing with the PR/media side of it such as writing press releases, news articles and features for the local newspaper and magazines. I can’t wait to get started!
Anyway I’ll update again on this as the campaign moves into its next phase, however at the moment it’s just getting in contact with the right people who can help get the message across.
Summer is finally here! But if the British weather is anything to go by, I’d enjoy it while it lasts!
I hope you’re all are fine and well! I am still alive and kicking and it’s nice to be back on the blogging scene. The reason I’ve been missing is that after writing a 10,000 word dissertation, I’ve lacked motivation to write anything at all and with uni ending I wanted to take a break which went on longer than I expected.
I had planned to write this post last week, however with me being on work experience at Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper it got delayed, anyway better late than never.
So now after four years of stressing out over exams and essays, I’ve completed uni and now I can finally say I’m a qualified journalist with Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a 2:1 in Journalism.
Now that uni has end what’s next?
Rutland and Stamford Mercury Newspaper
In terms of work experience, as mentioned before I was at Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper last week where I had a great time, I remember arriving at the office feeling nervous and excited at the same time. However, the best thing was I wasn’t sitting there fiddling my thumbs for long – I was immediately given work, so in no time I was questioning people over the phone for quotes and comments. I even got a chance to interview people face-to-face regarding the National Care Home Open Day which was rather cool if I say so myself – I felt like a actual news reporter then. In the end, I was fortunate to write several articles even though only two made it into the actual newspaper – I believe it is the experience that counts.
While I was on work experience, I also received my result for my dissertation and it turned out I got 68%, which is a B. I admit I was a little disappointed at first because I was only two marks off a first and I had put so much hard work into it. This only lasted a few minutes because I was way too happy with finishing uni. YAY!!
The Job Hunt
To be honest, over the past few weeks I have been quite lost and alittle worried about the future, as the dreaded job search has begun and so has the process of staying up till 2AM to fill in endless applications, but I don’t mind it as I know it’ll be all worth it in end. While I have been job searching, some websites have been useful, some more than others – Twitter has been really useful for me and I totally recommend anyone on the job hunt to make use of it! Now my everyday routine includes looking for journalism jobs on the internet in either newspapers, magazines or online – I don’t want to be picky at the moment although I’m still trying to steer clear of some editorial assistant jobs as I have heard they’ll have you do all admin duties except writing. I’m still staying positive because it’s easy to give up when you get demotivated, say I can’t do it, I’ll never get a job in journalism – but you got to keep trying. That’s my motto anyway.
Moving on to a different note, I’m currently writing press releases for the charity Crimestoppers to raise awareness for specific crimes in the Cambridgeshire area which should help in getting people to report on crimes and in return catch more offenders. Apart from that, I’m going to be working on a Cycle Theft Campaign with them and other students – but that’s all I know at the moment, however I have a meeting on July 5 where everything should be explained. I think I’ll write another post about that.
Finally on a general note, I’m thinking about changing my blog title to make it more journalism orientated, currently it’s just faltering with History Starts Now so need a more permanent title. Any suggestions are welcome – so go on, leave a comment and I’ll meet you guys in my next post!