Those were difficult years, teenage, spent at Kochi’s St Teresa’s. At that age, all a young girl wants sometimes is to blend in, but Aishwarya Ajit Gordon (the Gordon came after her marriage) found it tough to shake off all the attention coming her way. She was not a typical Malayali college student. Her clothes were different, her hair highlighted, and her Malayalam not so fluent.
Not something taken well in Kerala. ‘An NRI girl who finds it beneath her to speak in fluent Malayalam,’ they murmured. But Aishwarya made some friends, picked up all the Malayalam she could and spoke Malayalam on TV hosting shows. It was during those very difficult years that her career started. She soon realised that this was what she wanted to do with her life.
Aishwarya went back to Dubai, where she had come from, and went on to do a live show for Dubai TV, she hosted events and fell more and more in love with beauty and makeup. Today she hosts an online beauty show for Dubai On Demand, and runs her own line of business for hair extensions.
“Lockstresshair.com,” she spells out the name of her website, that’s came live only a week ago. “In this part of the world, everyone wants the big glamorous Jennifer Lopez hair. But prices in Dubai were just too high, they came much cheaper in the UK and the US. So I thought I could start my own line of human hair extensions at affordable prices.” Her love for makeup did not start the way you’d expect. She did not, as a child, put on her mother’s lipstick. “I grew up in a strict home where I was not allowed to wear makeup till I was 16 or 17, and I looked hideous when I did.”
But the television shows and modelling she began doing in Kochi put her in touch with makeup artistes. Everything in her life was changing.
The girl who wouldn’t go on stage as a child because she couldn’t handle more than two people looking at her, was now MCing in front of thousands, making her living out of it, and actually loving it. She also got a chance to act in Chinthamani Kola Case. But movies, she realised, were not her cup of tea.
However, people remember her from that film. “I was not even the lead actor. But even today, Malayalis in the UAE recognise me from that one film I did in Malayalam, the television I did those college years in Kerala —a dance reality show called Vodafone Thakadimi and then the Asianet awards I hosted a few times.” And this is after she has been doing a live show every day for four years in Dubai. “That was a lifestyle show called Studio One for Dubai One TV.”
She left her television job recently and began uploading YouTube videos with beauty and makeup tips. Soon, the online channel Dubai On Demand gave her a beauty show to host. That way her life has once again taken an ironic turn, the girl who wore terrible makeup as a 17-year-old is now a beauty expert with a fan following on YouTube. And supporting her in all that she does is her loving husband, an English banker called Matthew.
“Matt and I were first friends but then this guy was saying and doing all the right things. He has the craziest sense of humour, and I thought I would give it a shot.” Six months later, he proposed. “I got to have two weddings, a church wedding with white gown and a Hindu wedding in a saree.”
For Aishwarya, Dubai is home. Her parents had come from Palakkad and Thrissur, but she moved to the Emirates when she was barely four. It has always been nice to her, it has been safe. “I want to raise my children here.”...