VJ Juhi Pande on what’s next after Channel V

Juhi Pande is a mixture of opposites: she’s bursting with energy, but doesn’t let that translate into recklessness. She encourages people to pursue their dreams, but not at the cost of mainstream sources of stability, such as a degree.

Pande became popular as a VJ on Channel V, co-hosting the extreme reality show Exhausted with Gaurav Kapoor. “I worked there for seven years. I recently quit, and I’m now freelancing,” she said. She now wants to indulge her wanderlust. “I’m looking at working in travel and lifestyle. It’s my dream to do travel shows.” But she doesn’t have a list of destinations to cross off. “It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as I go somewhere,” she said.

She stumbled into the VJ trade; she worked at a model management firm before joining the popular music channel. Her life has been characterised by changing interests and hobbies, she said. “It was mathematics at one point, or learning the guitar.”

Pande was in Bangalore recently for a discussion on alternative careers, to encourage children to pursue their non-academic interests.

“I’ve led this life,” she explained about why she was involved, “where I was encouraged to do what I wanted to do. I just feel that if you keep yourself happy inside, life is pretty much complete then. It’s a very esoteric way of looking at it, but there it is.”

That also means she sees herself as a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. “I didn’t master anything, because maybe I didn’t choose to. But it really made me grow as a person.”

That said, she’s a firm believer in formal education, even advocating it to several confused children at the event. “It teaches you a lot. You might not remember how to solve a particular equation – it makes your neurons work in a certain way. That in turn helps you in many ways,” she said. She speaks from experience, it turns out. “I have two degrees and one diploma. I felt it was important – I’m not applying it to my life professionally but am using it in other ways. Do whatever degree,” she asserted.

Pande, who also writes for a magazine, said she doesn’t fall into a rut because her days never repeat. “I get up and do something different every day. And I can’t complain.”