SKYN: So Ruchika, you just landed your own show, and are literally on the fast track to success. We'd love to know a little more about who you are. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
RB: I find this question somehow always the toughest to answer, haha. I’m somewhere between being a curious journalist, media junkie and a full-time dreamer.
SKYN: Ha, fair enough. But can we ask, what the heck is a media junkie?
RB: I’m a media junkie: my world literally revolves in and around the media world. Between print and broadcast journalism (hosting and writing), I also work in the advertising and sales sector of Canadian Media.
SKYN: That's fantastic! Sounds like you're really honing all of your skills! Not only that, but we hear you've got a new talk show called #NoFilter, could you tell us a bit about that?
RB: The show is organic in its approach, it’s a platform where teens and I discuss and engage in conversations about diverse issues which relate to them. We feed off each other and go into discussions, and explore different viewpoints on issues. I love the fact that it is not scripted at all, it’s authentic! We pick one topic every week and invite an expert on it to add some insight and help facilitate our discussions.
SKYN: That's so neat! We're all about promoting authenticity. It's so rare in todays society to just have a real conversation with anyone, let alone teens. It's amazing that you can do it all so naturally! Talking to teens and opening the dialogue on teen issues seems to be something that you're really passionate about. Where do you think that came from? What made you so drawn to this subject matter?
RB: I literally grew up in two different parts of the world, Dubai and Montreal. The cultural changes were so drastic and I always look back and wish I had more of an opportunity to get answers, knowledge and explore questions which would linger in my mind. I realize that even today, teens are constantly bombarded with so many influences and it’s nice to have space which addresses that and helps widen their thinking and exposure. The more you talk, network and explore, the broader your mindset will be.
SKYN: Absolutely! It's amazing what happens when you allow yourself to learn from all that's around you. One of the coolest things about your show is that not only are you talking to teens, but you're actually talking WITH teens. How did that idea come about? And why do you think it's so important to actually have the teens on the show with you.
RB: That is my favorite part of being associated with #nofilter! I realized that in the past 5-8 years, our media industry is so cluttered with information. I wanted this show to be something teenagers would actually want to watch and relate with. It’s nice to have teens who are from different walks of life and different backgrounds come in and feed ideas off each other. The debates are real and viewers can build a connection with the teens as it is their own age group. I wanted the show to be more approachable and as organic in its production as possible.
SKYN: That's so cool. Not only are you providing a really great platform for youth to speak up about what's important to them, but you've also stepped up on some platforms yourself - for Miss India Canada! What was that whole experience like?
RB: Oh my, that was my first ever stage appearance in front of a large crowd with such a national level of recognition. I was honestly shocked when I was selected to represent Montreal that year (2013), such an honor. The whole Miss India Canada pageant gave me so much confidence in public speaking, stage presence, and it was great to meet so many talented women from all across Canada.
SKYN: We can imaging! What was your most memorable experience there?
RB: The most memorable experience was winning the national Miss India Canada Photogenic Title that year. Prior to that, I wanted to be a journalist and work on camera but I was never sure if I was made for the camera. Winning that title pretty much came at a great time in my life, it helped remind me that I could enter this competitive space. The highlight was that some of my favorite south Asian journalists (Sangita Patel, ET Canada, Gurdeep Ahluwalia, TSN) were on the judging panel that year and selected me!
SKYN: That's so neat! Ok, so if you hadn't done anything like this before, what made you want to compete in something like Miss India Canada?
RB: You know what’s funny? My mom sent this application on my behalf without telling me. I was actually finishing my master’s thesis when she called me to say I had an interview. I was shocked. She wanted me to build public speaking, confidence skills and network with south Asians that want to make a difference in their community. Oh and off course, my mom is all about cultural connections and wanted me to immerse myself much more with my Indian heritage.
SKYN: Ha, that's hilarious! What a sweet and sneaky mom. Well, from pageants to television sets, you've certainly made quite the shift. What made you want to take that big leap?
RB: I always wanted to work on TV. Since I was young I would watch anchors on the news, TV hosts on MTV and Much Music, and I desired that. I used to stand in front of the mirror for hours and create narrations and stories. Somehow the idea of telling a story, sharing it with people was so attractive to me. This is a medium which has the best of it all for me. It’s more frequent than film and it’s not as fast paced and voyeuristic as digital. In the media space of today, I love the fact that it is an in between medium. I always wanted to have my own show, and it’s really cool to see this finally develop.
SKYN: That is definitely really neat. Sounds like it's really been a dream for some time, and we're sure we're only going to be seeing more of you living out your dreams for years to come.
RB: Ha, absolutely, my favourite saying is, “Grew up in front of a TV, so I figured I might as well grow old in one”.
SKYN: Chuckle, might as well! Being a beautiful, brilliant, and ambitious woman with a Master's Degree, her own hit TV Show, and the world at her feet, it's pretty safe to say that you've got a lot of people looking up to you, but we'd love to know - who do you look up to? Who does Ruchika Bindra look to for inspiration?
RB: Aww, thank you! I’m stumped. Haha, I feel old hearing that people look up to me. I don’t have one specific person or idol. I think everyone has their own journey; success is measured differently and means something different to everyone. Some special inspirers that come to mind : My mom for her strength, my best friend, Alisha for her ability to handle situations with ease, my sister for her hard work and drive, Peter Mansbridge for the way he extracts information from his guests, and Ashwariya Rai for her style and the way she carries herself. I look up to different people for different aspects about them… I like to take something inspiring from everyone I meet.
SKYN: That's amazing. Ok now that we know all that, could you tell us something random about yourself? Something we may not already know.
RB: Oh my, good question! Something random about me is that I am actually a shy and reserved person. No seriously, ask me to go up to a random stranger on the street or do something random I hesitate. It’s ironic given the fact that I’m on tv and the fact that I work in media. But as long as you put a camera in front of me, then I am fine. Something about lights, camera, and action just makes me get lost into another world. But when the camera is off, I am actually super reserved. My personal life is very closed off, I have a handful of dear friends and family and I really do not allow too many people in my space. Most people that meet me find that so random and opposite of what they would expect of me.
SKYN: Interesting how life works in dichotomies like that. We also hear you’re a firm believer in giving back to your community- why is that? Why is community so important to you?
RB: It’s something which I think should come naturally to everyone? Your community is a large extension of you, and there is so much help and work that needs to be done. Giving back means you are just bettering your own surroundings. You just need to find something that connects with your heart. For me education is so important, especially child education. From participating in child workshops to my show #nofilter, education is always something I believe strongly in.
SKYN: That's so great to hear.
RB: With #nofilter I am literally spending time helping educate teens, and in a small way contributing to the future members of our community.
SKYN: Amazing. What are you most proud of that you've done so far?
RB: Ok so heads up I’m a bit of a tough cookie on myself. I constantly feel like I am not doing enough. However, in Montreal, I worked with the Adtiya Youth Trust Fund and spent weekends teaching kids confidence, public speaking and interpersonal skills. When you see them come out of their shell and you see the changes in their personality and growth, it’s truly heartwarming. I was really proud of their journey and thankful to God that I was able to help be a part of that.
SKYN: Sounds like it was really a really rewarding experience, and quite meaningful at that. Where do you see yourself going in the next year? What do you hope to accomplish?
RB: I hope by next year we can be signed on for a 2nd season of this show! There is nothing more exciting than knowing viewers want and like you and the content you are delivering. We have so many ideas, and I would love to make it a Canadian wide show eventually. That would be the dream!
SKYN: That would be a very cool thing indeed. It seems like you’re really in this for the long haul, so we’d love to know, what do you hope your legacy will be? What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
RB: Legacy….. Tough one. I am not sure yet, but I hope to go down in history as an engaging media personality that did some good work, be it behind or in front of the screen.
SKYN: Sounds like a great plan! To check out more of Ruchika, or to watch her new show #NoFilter check her out here.
@ruchika.b | #NoFilterTV
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