Ruchi Mukherjee

In conversation with Pooja Batra

b2ap3_thumbnail_main-image_20150105-161857_1For those who are not well versed with Bollywood films, Pooja Batra is that 5-feet-9 inch ex-Miss India who passed her crown to Aishwarya Rai in 1994. As far as her stint with Indian cinema goes, she is that ‘Haseena Maan Jayegi’ girl who also acted in the super hit ‘Virasat’ opposite Anil Kapoor.

Presently, the tall flamboyant model, actress and TV host has made Los Angeles her home while also maintaining a life in Mumbai.

“LA was a little overwhelming initially, the city has it all – the glamour, the food, the canyons, beaches, valleys and to top it all, the weather is amazing. LA is trending,” says Pooja.

I met Pooja almost a decade ago in Los Angeles when I had gone to do a story on the Bikram Hot Yoga. We instantly became friends.

There was something very unique and international about her that convinced me that Batra will soon be taking LA by storm.

Pooja Batra has completed three independent movies, and is currently very busy hosting a TV show called ‘Shakti Kriya’. She has also launched ‘Mera Sangeet’ radio station in Los Angeles for the Indian diaspora.

Blessed with the combination of Indian and western beauty, Pooja has been able to break conventional barriers. She has attended the Emmy’s and the Golden Globes and has had the opportunity to meet all her favorite actors, from Julia Roberts to Will Smith.

“I remember every word that Clint Eastwood spoke to me and will never forget his advice,” says Batra. “I remember Clint told me that respect your efforts, respect yourself, self-respect leads to self-discipline, when you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power,” she shares.

Her company Glowbellinc has been involved in casting Hollywood bigwigs like Sylvester Stallone, Denice Richards for Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Kambaqth Ishq’ while acquiring the Bohemia territory for ‘Chandani Chowk to China’. Glowbellinc helped LA Casting set shop in India. It is one of the biggest actor portals that is widely used by casting directors here in the US.
‘Meera Sangeet’ that had a soft launch six months ago already have over one million listeners, and is growing every day.

Glowbellinc has also produced a TV Show on lifestyle called ‘Styloholics’.

Born in Faizabad, UP, India, Pooja started her career with modeling, then acting and now actively engaged in various entertainment projects.

She also takes active participation in charity by being involved with various orphanages, and some schools that provide free education to the underprivileged in India.

Being an army officer’s daughter, Pooja has learnt the art to compete. After she failed to perform her best in a 400 meter race, Batra’s father gave her rigorous training for six months, after which she went on to represent her school in a national meet. “I’m a national level athlete, and my training helped me a lot, it taught me to focus and it disciplined me mentally and physically,” says Batra. b2ap3_thumbnail_Pooja-batra35

Her outgoing nature has enriched her with some long-lasting friendships, and with the support of her good nature, Pooja revels in her martial bliss. In LA her day starts with yoga and meditation, regular gym, and of course this Punjabi gal loves food. I still remember during my visit to LA, Pooja treated me to a home cooked meal. Gestures like this sets Ms Batra apart. She is certainly a polished chef who did a course in nutrition and really enjoys cooking.

Brought up in a cosmopolitan setting, adjusting to life in the United States was not a big deal for Pooja. “My family was always on the move, I must have been in 10 different schools in 12 years because of my father’s job,” she says. “This whole experience has taught me the art to adjust with people from all walks of life.”

Pooja Batra is most popularly known as a style icon here. Body fitted dresses, saris, to a simple salwar kameez, this beauty knows how to carry herself in various styles. “I love clothes and constantly keep experimenting on different looks. I am a huge fan of colors. My style statement is always comfort and trendy,” says Pooja.

What’s in Pooja’s closet? Her closet has everything from designer labels to causal wear from Forever 21. She loves brands and designers like Yves Saint Laurent , Helmut Lang, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga to name a few. Pooja will not step out of the house without a fashionable handbag.

Undoubtedly in love with India, Pooja is very proud to represent herself as an Indian American. Speaking of the South Asian community in the US, Batra feels very proud. “We should be proud of ourselves. I know our Prime Minister is,” she shares.

Whether in India or US, for Pooja Batra, life is fun where there is work, family and friends.

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