All By Myself: Malishka Mendonsa | Verve Magazine
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Verve People
October 21, 2018

All By Myself: Malishka Mendonsa

Text by Meghna Pant. Photograph by Joshua Navalkar

As a society, we often mistake being alone for being lonely. Women travelling alone must be pathetic. Men eating alone must be sad. We forget that silence isn’t empty but rather full of answers. In the last part of our series Radio Personality Mallishka reveals how escaping from her surroundings is sometimes the best way to find herself

Malishka Mendonsa has always gone the extra mile. She hasn’t just been an activist, but also taken on mighty authorities with her viral spoof videos like ‘Mumbai tula BMC var bharosa nahi kay’ and ‘Geli Mumbai khadyat’. She hasn’t just been a feminist, but also taken a chance on herself, something that every woman should do, by turning herself into a brand idol. She hasn’t just joined the media to eke out a living, but also extended her job as a radio host to become a speaker, actor, model, and, the most iconic of all, an Amul girl (circa 2017).

Malishka, who was raised by a single mother after losing her father at an early age, knows what responsibility means, whether it’s to her family, her career, or her city. Heck, she even uses her fame responsibly to raise awareness!

But entertaining and educating people day after day leaves the self-made social media superstar exhausted. “My phone rings non-stop,” she confesses. “It’s exhausting.” So she seeks solace in travel, where she says her biggest source of stress — her phone — ceases to matter. “For that reason I especially love the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as there is no network there!” she says, breaking into her trademark husky laugh.

Where we travel becomes a part of who we become. In her travels, which she does by herself or with friends, Mendonsa seeks moments: of stillness and suspension from reality. “I was in Pahalgam once with my mother, partner and a friend. We were walking in a park between snow-capped mountains when we heard the azan. Because of the mountains it began to echo and it was like god coming to you from all directions. We all belonged to different religions but at that time our religion didn’t matter. We felt unified by god. My friend was so overwhelmed that she fell down on her knees. It’s one of my most beautiful memories.”

While Malishka never repeats a destination because “life is too short” she carries with her a piece of every place she visits. “I remember sitting on a rock by the Parvati River in the Himalayas and reading a book. I remember climbing a mango tree at this verdant place near Mumbai and enjoying using my hands. I remember taking afternoon naps during my vacations, a luxury I find restful and relaxing. Travelling helps me find myself again because it’s not only a way to see new things but also a new way of seeing things.”

Surprisingly, the only other place that brings peace to the media magnate is her home, “There is a balcony in my house that is filled with plants that my mother has grown. It’s like having my own private garden. When the sea breeze drifts in, I feel like I’m in heaven. Like travelling, this spot has become an asylum for me.”

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