Thinkers and Link-ers

Our veteran writers on their association with Indian Link and what it has meant to them.

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Telling stories, they say, is an art. And 25 years on, we can say without a doubt that our writers have created for us a canvas that’s as full of colours as it is of substance. This issue, our valued contributors weigh in on their long-standing association with the publication and what it has meant to them.

PREETI JABBAL

My association with Indian Link is over 15 years old, and I am often asked:  ‘Why?’ Why do I want to stay up till late in the night working on stories after a full-on day at my regular job, when I can get a healthy sleep instead? Why do I spend some weeknights and weekends attending events when I can relax and watch Netflix instead? Why do I continue to work for Indian Link when I already have a full-time job?

My response is, why not?

Why should I not want to be associated with one of the most prestigious, multiple award winning Indian magazines in Australia? Why should I not attend events and learn so much with every experience, get quality updates on what’s going on within our Indian Australian community, get better entertained and connected? Why should I not work with the best team led by people like Rajni and Pawan who I respect enormously?

They say the path to progress is when your passion becomes your work, and in this case it is an entire publication/media unit led, driven and fuelled by passion. People and professionals who are dedicated to the dissemination of news, views and analysis with creativity. A dynamic media that thrives on caring for and sharing with the diaspora. A quality product that is designed to connect the Australian and Indian communities.

My years with Indian Link have been exciting, challenging and fulfilling and on its 25th anniversary I wish to thank them for the wonderful association that has enriched my life.

USHA ARVIND

Congratulations Rajni and Pawan. May you grow stronger and achieve many more milestones.

For me, it’s a relationship that began nearly two decades ago and one that has shaped my Australian identity. My association with Rajni, Pawan and Indian Link was the outcome of a casual phone call by my husband to find out if I could write for them. All these years later, as a loyal Indian Linker, I continue to do just that. Not to mention, roping in every member of my family (including my visiting mother) to also contribute. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to delve into so many personal stories, encounter so many unique individuals and forge so many interesting connections. Always aspiring for perfection, Indian Link‘s stellar achievement mirrors that of the community it proudly represents.

FARZANA AHMAD

Indian Link will always hold a very special place in my heart. I joined the list of contributors in 2007 after having a sour experience with one of the biggest national publications of Australia. I was losing hope of ever getting printed and it was a massive shock since I had enjoyed significant success as a freelance writer before migrating to the lucky country. Indian Link gave me a chance to write again and lifted me when I was almost giving up. My confidence in my abilities as a writer was restored, and with the publication of that first article on sun safety, it became a part of my life that I will always treasure. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed immense support from Rajni and the rest of the team. I’ve covered varied topics in my articles, interviewed some interesting characters and felt the adrenaline as I met tight deadlines. Even though I’ve embarked on a new journey recently, Indian Link is never far from my heart and I always look forward to writing a piece or two as soon as I get the opportunity. Thank you Indian Link, for being my literary family to whom I will always be connected, and to whom I’m forever indebted. Power to you and success!

PETRA O’NEILL

While dining at my favourite Indian restaurant in Sydney, I’d always read the latest issue of Indian Link that was delivered there. My daughter said to me one day, “Mum, why don’t you write for Indian Link.” So I did. I always wanted to be a travel writer and it was Rajni who gave me the opportunity to publish my work. Years later, back at the same restaurant, I watched as one of the customers slowly turned the pages of the new issue, taking it all in. It was with enormous pride that I saw him reach for the article I’d written. He paused, then flicked the pages to the movie reviews.

Congratulations, Pawan and Rajni, for all that you do.

VINAYA RAI

The year was 2001. A friend called me from Sydney to say she liked my poem in Indian Link.

“What?!” I was flabbergasted. “What poem? I haven’t sent anything to Indian Link. It must be someone else’s.”

“No, I’m sure it is yours,” she said.

So off we went as soon as we could to get a copy of the paper, and lo and behold, there it was! A few poetic lines that were part of another bit of work!

I called up the editor immediately, very indignant that they had published something without my permission. But Rajni Luthra was ever so nice saying they had actually been trying to locate me as they had liked my original work (in a multicultural radio play).

They had hoped that this exact thing would happen. That they would ‘find’ me after I saw the issue. Rajni convinced me to start writing for Indian Link and I did. I stopped some time later due to lack of time, but started again a few years ago.

I feel very privileged to share my views – and Adelaide news – on Indian Link whenever I can. And very grateful to Rajni for encouraging and pushing me to keep writing.

SANDIP HOR

Congratulations to Indian Link for its 25 years of continued existence, linking the Indian diaspora in Australia with a variety of local and international news and features, ranging from politics, current affairs, business, finance and community matters to sports, food, cinema, entertainment and travel.

As a travel writer, I feel proud to be part of this successful team. My journey began in 2010 when a travel feature of mine on Dubai -‘The World in a City’ – hit the printer for the August-2 edition. Since then I have been regularly contributing to this award-winning fortnightly and hope to continue until my pen dries. My writings here connect me with the Indian diaspora in Australia. It’s a big joy for me when I meet someone for the first time, and they say they know me through my writings in the Indian Link.

During my time I have witnessed many changes with the publication and surely all for the better, such as print version frequency changing to fortnightly, digital platform expanding, social media strengthening, content becoming trendier, format remaining consistent, paper quality improving and much more. All of this has been possible because of a strong and talented professional team behind the scene which works tirelessly to bring out every edition on time.

EMIE ROY

Of all these 25 long years Indian Link has been active amongst the Indian-Australians, my association is rather short yet most fulfilling. I am just a 5-year-old Indian Linker with only 31 articles behind me.

However, what these five years and a few thousands of printed words have taught me is way beyond these numbers. I have observed the team pioneering a dream – bringing the Indian community in Australia together, while fostering its assimilation with the mainstream society. The second generation is always welcome to join the party too – several innovative initiatives await them.

On a personal level, the team at Indian Link empowered me to voice my opinions. The space and comfort my editor, Rajni Luthra, provides me is ineffable. Always open to new ideas, she has given ears to many of my late evening calls. It may not always be ‘yes’ to some of those over-the-top ideas. But no matter what the answer is, it is always fair and perfectly aligned to the team’s vision. I believe it is this clarity of her vision that keeps Indian Link a champion in its field.

Over these years, I have developed a strong sense of bonding with her. Of late, Rajni made a passing comment, “I know how your mind works”. Such a profound comment, it refuses to leave my thoughts even after a few weeks’ time. An editor with the ability to read the mind of the writer – isn’t that the best thing to ever happen in a media house? I wish you never lose this adeptness.

March on, Indian Link, to a future well above and beyond these 25 years!

ANEETA MENON

Being part of the Indian Link family means having the privilege to write for a truly independent news outlet. This is something that young journos both yearn for and find near impossible in Australia’s extraordinarily concentrated media landscape. The success of Indian Link is surely credited to the quality of its content and the integrity of its editors in their pursuit to report, represent and celebrate the world around us.

LP AYER

Congratulations on the occasion of your Silver Jubilee. It is no mean achievement to run a news magazine covering the interests of a wide-ranging community, more so in a foreign country. In a span of 25 years you have already stacked your trophy cupboard with a number of awards. I wish you another 25 successful years.

SHAFEEN MUSTAQ

As a contributor to Indian Link for over a decade, I am in equal parts proud and inspired by the growth and journey of the Indian Link family and brand. Since my very first contribution, Rajni and Pawan have been supportive and encouraging of contributions that were diverse, thought provoking, funny and/or serious. In addition to providing my eclectic writing a platform, the Indian Link family also provided me opportunities – the most memorable of which was the chance to not only meet but also interview Rani Mukerji when she came to Sydney. Thank you Indian Link and congratulations on this significant milestone. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

RITAM MITRA

My involvement with Indian Link began in 2009 – to capture, in the furtherance of my own self-interest more than anything, the emotion of my last days at high school. But it quickly became clear that this was not to be a brief dalliance.

Over the years, it is the variety and calibre of people I’ve been fortunate to meet that has made my time with the paper truly remarkable. From interviewing sporting royalty in my first year as a member of the accredited cricket media, to speaking with prominent chefs, inventors, an aspiring astronaut and internationally renowned photographers, my experience has been a wealth of diversity at every stage.

In many ways, diversity is what makes Indian Link so special; its focus on quality content, creative storytelling and its willingness to embrace new media sets it apart from other community papers. In fact, the high editorial standards – and the team’s innate sixth sense of what will make a good story – has seen the paper edge out even mainstream media outlets at marquee awards functions.

Having been part of the family for nearly a decade now, I have no doubt there will be decades more. Happy 25th to us!

MOHAN DHALL

Being of part North Indian heritage I have always celebrated the best of Indian culture in my own life. Of relevance to my calling in education, scholarship is a valued part of Indian culture. That I contribute to Indian Link to the conversation around education, parenting, schooling and the like, makes me feel like I may be able to help families navigate the complexities of education as they raise their children.

As scholarship is highly valued, sometimes we can forget about the child and focus too much on their performance or how well they achieve. Indian Link provides an opportunity to bring insight into how valuing effort over outcomes will achieve the same results without estranging our children from themselves.

In this way my association with Indian Link means that we can together discuss what we truly value in the pursuit of scholarship within our communities.

JYOTI SHANKAR

Congratulations on your 25th anniversary, Indian Link! Great to be part of this publication that brings us closer to India and Australia. The professionalism and love that Rajni and Pawan impart to this free magazine’s publication is commendable. They work tirelessly each fortnight to get yet another issue out on time.

Being a writer for Indian Link has been an important part of my life in Australia. It gives me a voice to reach out to the community and tell stories of people I meet along my life journey – amazing stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, as well as stories of amazing people visiting Sydney such as Vandana Shiva, Atul Gawande and Madhu Trehan. It feels nice to be introduced, “Meet Jyoti. She writes for Indian Link”.

Once an Indian Link writer, you never cease to disconnect from the mindset. Wherever in the world you travel, you see the Australian-Indian links everywhere. I email Rajni excitedly, “Can I write about this”? These chance ‘stories’,  triggered by such encounters are my favourite – an Australian who painted portraits of patients in a hospital in Kerala, a Salman Khan poster in Shanghai, a Daler Mehndi song in an Aboriginal performance in Sydney.

YOGENDRA BHATNAGAR

Congratulations to the Indian Link for completing 25 years of success in providing yeoman’s service to the vast Indian community in Australia! Only a dedicated team bonded with passion and devotion, can cross such a long journey and continue to outshine others in business and become the number one Indian newspaper in Australia.

Indian Link has become a shining example for serving the community with unbiased, quality, selfless and dedicated services. With your commitment and sincerity, you have time and again proved your worth and have been decorated with much-deserved accolades, awards and fame.

I take pride in saying that I was one of those fortunate people to have been with this great institution since its inception. Indian Link has worked against all the odds that occurred in these 25 years to make what seemed impossible, possible!  I extend my heartiest felicitations to the team for reaching this Silver Jubilee milestone.

May you continue to reach greater heights in the years to come and continue to strengthen the bond between the two truly great democratic and multicultural nations of the world.