My Other Life: Gunjan Bhugra, TV Show Host

Hail to the Host: Lucknow, India-based nail tech Gunjan Bhugra is also the host of a regional TV show aimed at women.

You never know where doing nails will lead. For nail tech Gunjan Bhugra, it propelled her in front of a TV camera. The owner of Gunjan’s Nail Art Studio in Lucknow, India, Bhugra has the distinction of being the only nail professional in this city of nearly 3 million people. This fact brought her to the attention of the producers of a regional TV show aimed at women and she was interviewed for the program. “The channel liked my interview well enough to offer me an opportunity to host the show,” she says. “Although I’m not trained as a TV anchor, I had worked in the field before so I knew the basics. And the channel was very supportive in helping me to learn and grow.”

Bhugra is the host of “Sangini for Today’s Women,” which is broadcast on the Network 18-ETV Channel in “Hinglish”— a hybrid of English and Hindi. The word sangini means “dear female friend.” The show, which she terms “infotainment,” focuses on the interests of middle- and upper-middle-class women. “We talk about everything woman-related, including beauty, health, fashion, and lifestyle,” she says. “We also run several contests for women to showcase their talents. On special occasions like Mother’s Day and Women’s Day, we run stories on successful women who are doing well in both their personal and professional lives.” The 30-minute show airs Monday through Saturday and Bhugra alternates hosting duties with one other anchor. “The best part abot working as an anchor is that you end up meeting so many new people every time you discuss a new topic,” she says. “You’re always up to date on global information in a variety of areas. And that really helps me to strike up interesting conversations — with my nail clients as well.”

The show is popular — it’s been on the air eight years — which means that Bhugra, who’s been hosting for about a year, is starting to get recognized. “Sometimes I have nail clients who do take a minute to ask me if I’m a TV person, which is gratifying,” she says. “It’s definitely been a great experience.”

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