A Not-So-Lonely Planet

Ten years ago, a cheeky-faced British man stole the heart of a young girl in Delhi. Enamoured by his charm and wit, 12 year-old Richa Yadav would spend hours glued in front of her television to watch Ian Wright host “Lonely Planet.” Discovery Channel had just made its way to India’s airwaves, and its factual entertainment documentaries fascinated Yadav. Watching that first program was the spark that set her on the path to journalism.

The now 22 year-old student laughs as she pulls out her mobile, which has the “Lonely Planet” theme tune on it.

“I was obsessed with this show! I loved that it was all about travelling and exploring cultures around the world. It’s what made me want to pursue this career.”

22 year-old student, Richa Yadav

22 year-old student, Richa Yadav

Coming from a family of doctors, she was the first to pick a career path in the humanities.

“My dad was so mad when I first told him!” she recalls with a nostalgic smile.

“But now I’m the guinea pig for the family. They give me the freedom to do what I want, and they watch and see how I do.”

The support from her family has helped her achieve many milestones in her short career as a journalist.

Before the age of 20, she already had two documentaries under her belt, including an expose on public displays of affection.

“I would hide behind trees to film people kissing! My best shot was filming a couple making out in their car, from the view of their rear view window. They had no idea I was filming them!”

Discovering Her Path

Her documentaries, which appeared in an inter-college film festival in India, landed her a job as a bulletin producer at NDTV, a news station in Delhi.

“My boss had seen my documentaries and offered me a job that I hadn’t even applied for,” she says with the same shocked expression usually reserved to lottery winners.

Despite working for a television station, she felt that she needed to explore a new path in life.

“I’d always wanted to come to London, and I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere in my job so I decided to study here,” she says.

Since coming to London, she feels that it’s more important to experience life and culture outside of school, rather than sticking to the books.

“The course is good, but I don’t feel like I’m learning anything new,” she admits. “I think a big part of being a good journalist is to explore and meet new people.”

And how do her parents, who are funding her education, feel about her relaxed attitude?

With a cheeky grin of her own, she says, “My dad tells me to go out more! I’m just like, ‘what happened to you dad?’”