A passion for drama and the stage run in the family for Trishala Lakhani, so it’s not surprising that her early dental career has gone hand-in-hand with appearances on the pageantry stage and as a TV documentary presenter.

Trishala discusses the stigma around becoming Miss GB, how the opportunity helped highlight the problem of acid attacks against women in India and the reasons behind her BBC documentary on Turkey Teeth.



In This Episode

00.39 – The media, dentistry, and fame

10.05 – Turkey Teeth

21.39 – Miss GB, pageants, and stigma

30.00 – India’s Acid attack problem

34.14 – Dental school

37.55 – God, karma, and spirituality

42.45 – Black box thinking

47.54 – Plans and dreams

57.30 – Recognition and notoriety

01.09.24 – Last days and legacy


About Trishala Lakhani 

Trishala Lakhani has worked with oral cancer and trauma patients and in general practice.

In 2022, she won the public vote to become Miss University Great Britain but left the competition to pursue TV presenting and journalism.

Her first documentary on Turkey Teeth prompted a national conversation on dental tourism. It was nominated for Best Investigation of the Year at the Asian Media Awards and  Most Impactful Journalism at the BBC News Awards.

I don’t know the terminology. Educational supervisor. Is that your boss?

I was just so out of it. You’re just so enlightened. Smiles? No, because.

When I was a dentist, when I was dentist, they had different names.

Like a trainer.

The trainer. And then who’s the one above that?

That TPD. So they take care of.

You don’t even know.

This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Trishala Lakhani onto the podcast. Trishala is suddenly burst onto all our TV screens. We I mean, a bunch of different things. I think you’re on TV every other week. Trishala as well as a history in the pageant world. Lovely to have you.

Lovely to be here.

Thanks for coming all the way. No, not at all. Thanks for.

Inviting me.

No, no, I think it’s an interesting story, and I think you’re probably appearing in front of everyone’s like feeds right now, and people want to know, who is this Trishala. So give us give us a little potted history of like, you know, when did you decide to do dentistry? And from the looks of your career, you’re veering away from dentistry quite a lot now. Was it was it a decision that you made and it wasn’t necessarily the right decision? Or would you have rather done something more media or just give me a little history?

How did it come about? I get asked this a lot, and I think growing up I was very academic. You’d never see me without a book in my hands. I was more kind of like the nerdy kid, but I was always into my media and it was so funny because someone commented on my an Instagram post the other day, a lovely girl. We were friends in secondary school and we kind of lost touch. But she said, I remember you saying you always wanted to be a TV presenter, so it was just so sweet that it kind of felt like a full circle moment. But so growing up again, really academic, really like nerdy. But I always wanted to I always knew that dentistry was not and it would not be enough. I loved dentistry and I still love dentistry. Dental school was tough, incredibly tough, and a lot of people fly through. But I was never one of those people that I can get kind of a lecture done in an hour and then enjoy my evening. It took me five, six hours. I was always the one that had to work a little bit harder. I found it incredibly tough, but dentistry was definitely the right choice for me. I don’t regret doing it at all, and people ask me that a lot. And and what I’ve also something I also always wondered throughout dental school and it was tough. I was I did use to question my choice. And I used to say maybe if I did journalism or English or something that kind of tied in with my media career, would that have been a better choice? But now coming out the other side, I just think I’m so glad I persisted because I don’t think I’d be where I am right now without it, honestly.

But as you were growing up, were you doing school plays and was that the thing?

Absolutely. Oh, my goodness, Yes. I was in every play. Like I wanted to just be on stage. I did Bugsy Malone fame, all of those things. Obviously, the Bollywood dancing, which most of us Indian girls do anyway, but always on stage. And I’m really lucky because I had such creative parents as well who really pushed us into that direction and were so supportive. They were there every show, every weekend. They would also push us for any opportunity. And even when I chose dentistry, my parents were like, Are you sure? Like, are you actually sure? I really wasn’t them. Absolutely not.

Push you?

Not at all. They were the ones who said you really need to think twice because they knew how much I loved the media and how much I wanted to to do the TV presenting and open that that can of worms. And again it was it was tough because it is a choice you have to make. But being from an Asian background as well, I didn’t know anyone that did journalism. I didn’t know anyone who was on TV. And I mean, let’s not kind of beat around the bush. We’re severely underrepresented when it comes to on television and on our screens. So I always thought even if I did go down this journalism route, it’s no guarantee. So I think at that time I made a decision to just go with what I knew. And also my sister was doing dentistry to my older sister. And so I had a good insight on what was what was to come. And again, I think it was the right decision.

Is your older sister also media type or not?

No, but so I’m one of three girls. My youngest sister is actually studying dentistry as well. Yeah, but she’s like she’s like the talented, most talented person you ever meet in your life. She sings. She’s an actor. But my older sister. No, she’s doing what every event I go to, she always comes with me as my plus one. And everyone just knows her as the person who drives Trishala around. But she’s just she works the room so well. But no, she’s not into it at all.

So your parents are creative. What do they do?

So my dad actually works in a he’s a banker, so he’s not actually creative by trade. But when he was younger, he still kind of like the radio presenting. He was an actor when he was growing up in India on stage and and he was a complete non academic growing up, like he always wanted to pursue the acting career and like singing and all of that kind of stuff, which is great. And he’s obviously incredibly talented as well. But I think at that time times were different. He wasn’t. As fortunate as I am to be in a position where we’re in a stable place and I can make those choices for myself. Because, I mean, again, let’s not let’s not beat around the bush when we talk about this. But my especially my generation, our parents had to work ten, 15, 20 times harder to give us the life that we have today. So they sometimes had to make sacrifices. And obviously he had to do that. But I’m very lucky that I am allowed to live out my dream.

I mean, you know, when we were kids, we all have sort of crazy dreams, right? People want to be sports people. People want to be celebrities. And especially these days. Right. These days, you know, you talk to kids, they all want to be famous. What is it about you that, you know, you pursued that and, you know, kind of starting to achieve that and others, you know, sort of give up that innocence and go go off and become a regular dentist. I mean, even now, you’re not doing that many days of dentistry, are you? Two days a week, You told me. Yeah. So is there a determination or is there this sort of unmet sort of feeling that you really, really want to be on stage or on on TV screens and why?

So, you know.

What have you have you thought about it? You gone into anything? Why? Why do I want to be.

You know what? I have.

Famous. I have I want to be famous. So this is the thing.

When I look back at last year. Yeah. And I think to myself, when was I my happiest? It was making the documentary. It was making that the documentary. It was planning the documentary during the research stages. That was the adrenaline that was driving me through. Obviously when it got released, it was lovely to hear how successful it was and everyone’s support, but it’s not the fame that makes me happy. And I really have to you know, when your life gets so busy and sometimes you’re so focussed on the accomplishments, you have to take a step back and think, what part of this has made me happy? And it’s not the fame. That’s why when people say you’re an influencer, you know, because people say, we have an influencer that kind of reach as well. Yes, I can create influence on the Internet. It doesn’t mean I’m an influencer and there is a negative connotation with that as well, because people put you want to be an influencer to go on like reality TV shows and then that’s how you become famous. That’s kind of the circle, they think. But for me myself, the reason I don’t want to say or I don’t want to be in quotation marks famous, I just want to do what I love doing. Yeah. Successfully and to the best of my ability. And and I think that’s what makes me the happiest. It’s not the fame. We talk about innocent dreams, right? Like, I wonder when you were younger, what was your innocent dream?

It’s a good question. I’ve got an innocent dream right now. Being an international DJ, I’m joking. Post-race. I don’t know. I’ve never had a proper I, you know, I never knew for sure. Never knew.

What did you what did you want?

I never knew. I never really knew, you know. So because I didn’t know I was like, well, my parents said, Hey, be a dentist. And I thought, All right, cool. My uncle was a dentist. He was a cool guy. Okay? So I did that. But then look at me now look, even this. Yeah, someone could say the same thing about me. I say, Look, why are you doing these podcasts? You’re trying to be famous, You know, there is that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the podcast, at the end of the day, I own a teeth whitening company, right? And so I’m not going to lie to you and say that we didn’t think this was a marketing thing. We started it as a marketing thing. And, you know, we just we started about five years ago doing a content approach to marketing. And this is just content, right? This is this is audio content. But now that I’ve done it, interesting what you said about what bit of it do you enjoy? I really enjoy the conversation. I really enjoy meeting you, really enjoy finding out know I’m curious person Right. So I’m now really interested in just doing it and now it feels like a hobby rather than anything else. And what is a hobby? Like something you enjoy, something you try and get better at or whatever?

Absolutely. It’s not about the obviously the thing is, when we post on social media, we want the traction. We want to have, you know, a successful post or successful real or successful podcast. But that’s the thing. So, you know, you talk about your curious and I think something I think we probably both have in common is we have inquisitive natures. I think that’s what drives people. As soon as the why is missing, like, why is this happening? Why is this happening? So is that why goes for me. I know I won’t enjoy it anymore and I hope it never does.

We should talk about the documentary because it really was groundbreaking in several ways. Yeah. Number one, what you said a dentist who actually leading a documentary. Presenting a documentary. We’ve never seen that before. And then number two, someone had to tackle this turkey teeth problem. I mean, if someone hasn’t seen it, it was it was all about turkey teeth and some of the journeys of people who’ve been there. How did it come about? Was it your idea and you pitched it to someone in media or.

How did it happen? Absolutely.

That’s exactly what happened. So I came up with the idea, I think, of what was I watching Love Island.


So I had to think about that. I knew it was Love Island, so I was watching Love Island and they were talking about turkey teeth and all.

On Love Island. On Love Island between them. Yes. Okay.

Even this year, I don’t know if you’ve seen one of the girls said her type is turkey teeth. Um, and I was just like, okay, that’s interesting. And obviously I looked at it on social media and people were having these obviously full mouth of crowns. Like I was like, Oh my goodness. And they were like, complete healthy teeth, healthy mouths. So obviously I did a bit of research and I during uni I was always kind of dibble dabbling in like radio as well. So I had a few contacts through there. So I was thinking what to do with it, what to do with it. And then I found a producer and I just thought, I have nothing to lose and I just shoot my shot.

Emailed her.

Um, I messaged her on, on social media platform. I think it was Twitter.

What do you mean you found her? As in you came across her on Twitter? Yeah. Send her a message saying I’ve got an idea for her.

It was literally there’s no groundbreaking. Anyone could do it. Absolutely anyone could do it. That’s the thing. Um, and she go.

On and step by step, tell me, what was the process? She messaged you back and said, I’m interested.

Then. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We had a phone call. Yeah. Um, and then we left it. I think I went to Bermuda with my family on a family holiday. I did. I did a lot of research. Now, this is the bit where you have to put your investigative hat on, because what you have to remember is I’m not a journalist, I’m not a qualified journalist. And when I say anyone can do it, and this is why it was actually anyone, I say anyone can do it. And it’s it’s just not true. Because if you have an idea, you need to pitch why you are going to bring that idea. What was different about me to bring that idea as opposed to one of their trained journalists who can do an incredible job, probably even a better job. So when people do when I say anyone can do it, anyone can do those initial steps by coming up with the idea and pitching it. But you need to put that hard graft in after. Yeah, Um, and I did. And then it went kind of radio silence for a few months. I was like, okay, well, I tried. Let’s just move on with, you know, with, with the, with the day job. Um, and then, and this was the year I graduated actually. So it was just after the pandemic. And then she loved it. And within a year we filmed and released the documentary.

But. But the steps. You. You met her?

No, we didn’t meet. You didn’t meet? We didn’t even meet. This was all done via email. Via phone calls.

So you said, I’m trishala. I’m kind of like presenting. This is a problem and.

I want to talk about. I didn’t even say I liked presenting. I just said there is an issue and this needs to be addressed.

Did you even send her a little video of yourself or.

No, I didn’t. I didn’t have a showreel I didn’t have anything, didn’t have an agent, nothing. I was just somebody who just graduated, you know, with the big dream.

I love that. But it’s very interesting. Yeah, because that sounds relatively simple, but that might have been the 99th thing. You tried since you were 11 to, you know, get on a play or get get on a radio. You know what I mean? Like that whole thing about the bottom of the iceberg and what people see and what’s gone into it.


But you know what I will also say, and I think it’s important to acknowledge this luck is a huge part of this. I’ve had people saying to me, I’ve been a journalist. I’ve been trying to get a commission with these massive broadcasters for years and I haven’t been able to do it yet. I’ve studied journalism at the best journalism schools in the country. I’ve pitched the most incredible ideas, the most unique ideas, and here I am. I’ve just come out of dental school, you know, like 25, 26, just excited, like I’ve got an idea. And then I managed to get a commission and a documentary and now the.

Ball is sometimes sometimes the naivety. Naivety itself is an advantage, isn’t it? Yeah. You know, like if, if someone that classic thing, if someone had told me the nightmares, I would have to go through to to start enlighten. I never would have started it. Definitely not 100% not losing money for five years at the beginning. Really legal problems, staffing all 44 staff right now are handling all those people. But the naivety of it, you just think, well, let’s do it. And sometimes it’s your biggest advantage in life, but take me through the process, right? She said, Yes, let’s do this then. Do they then put a bunch of researchers at your disposal? No, you’ve got to do it all yourself.

Basically, I was found.

People online.

Who’d had.

Absolutely, Absolutely. And I’ve carried on doing that even through our projects. I’m currently working on that. That’s what I’m saying. Is that why it’s those conversations which really and and one thing I’ll also say is people see through fakeness and falseness. You need to be so genuine as to why. Like I’ve turned projects away just even if it would be great, whether it would be great coverage or great financially. If I know that my heart is not in it, I will not do.

It because it’s so hard. Right?

It’s and it’s just not worth it. It’s not worth the mental struggle of doing something every day you don’t love doing. And like I said, I’m in a fortunate position where I can say yes and no. I know a lot of people don’t enjoy their day job but feel like they don’t. There’s nothing against that. I completely understand. People need to do what they need to do, but I’m just lucky to be able to have that choice. But I will never do something I’m not committed to. And that’s what I mean. So that tenacity and that drive to kind of do that research, to find the sources, to find the cases, to stay authentic, it’s I think that works the best for sure.

Tell me tell me tell me the stories, then. Is it, as you would expect, is it that people had no idea what they were getting themselves into and got there? And then I mean, let’s let’s start with this. There’s plenty of people who’ve been to Turkey had that done to them come back and are absolutely happy and have no idea. Absolutely. They’ve damaged themselves or whatever.

I will say the.

Documentary taught me a lot. Yeah, a lot. So as obviously a clinician, your first thing is people shouldn’t be doing this to their teeth. You know, it’s so bad. Like, you know, high risk of root canals, extractions. You’re so young, you’re 21. Although I’ve never, ever said people should not go to Turkey. Obviously, we’re minimally invasively trained, right? We just think you shouldn’t be destructing teeth. So our kind of mind as dentists is a bit shifted. But that documentary taught me so much. There are young girls who couldn’t even they don’t have the confidence to smile or even speak or brush their teeth or go out in public. Now, if these people are so low mentally and don’t have the confidence to do those things, and after they go to Turkey, they come back with a newfound confidence, it’s so worth it. They found a reason to live again that to make them the reason to smile again. Who is anyone, whether it’s a clinician or any person, to say you don’t owe that to yourself because everyone owes that to themself. So my biggest thing, and this is what I said in the documentary time and time again, I don’t have a problem with anyone going to Turkey. Just know what you’re getting yourself into. They know the pros, the cons, the risks and what the treatment they’re going to give you. Once you know that and you make that informed decision.


So was that your experience that people had been it had been explained to them what was going to happen to them, the pros and cons or generally? No.

So generally no. Generally no. And that’s the problem. And that’s what we’re that’s what we that’s what we kind of mean by Turkey when we say and again, I got a lot of backlash for this against like the darker side of media. Right. Not everything can go swimmingly well. So I had a lot of clinics in Turkey saying, we want to speak to you, you know.

Because some of the top dentists in the world are from Turkey. Right. Let’s not forget.

That I have.

I said that’s the first one of the opening lines of the documentary. I said with some of the best clinicians in the world in Turkey and that was never, ever, ever not going to be the case. And that’s why I never even said in documentary, you shouldn’t go. I all I was saying was.

Know what you’re getting.

Yourself into yourself.

Getting yourself into when you’re having these full mouths of crowns as an 18 year old with a with a healthy, healthy mouth. But yes, some of the best clinicians in the world are in Turkey. And when you’re going to have these kind of like implants or composites or when, you know, minimally invasive ethical dentistry, great. But when it’s the kind of being sold as a holiday being sold as a week away will take you to the airport, we’ll drop you. Yeah.

So tell me, what are the packages?

So a typical one, what’s the cost? Typically, I guess the treatment is all crowns on the uppers. Is it upper and lower?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Which one. And lower. Both. Really? Yeah.

And what’s the cost? How much are they charging for that.

It varies. It really does vary. So it could be from hundreds to thousands, obviously a lot cheaper than it is here. But obviously when you’re selling it so people let’s be honest, no one likes going to the dentist. Yeah, absolutely no one. So when they sell it as you’re only, you know, you’re going to have a holiday at the same time you only see the dentist twice for at the beginning when you have your treatment, when you land and right at the end when you leave, I have a brand new teeth. They make it just sell it as a dream. That’s the issue. It’s not a dream. You’re having a surgical procedure done to your body. You need to see the dentist more than twice. You need to be discussing all your treatment options, you know, gaining consent informed ethically so when those things don’t happen, that’s the problem. Um, but you know, it’s not just the young people that are going and that’s what, again, that really surprised me. We spoke to Lisa, who’s in her 40s or 50s. She went her and her mom went and just bless her. She’s had root canal since and she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Um, and she broke down in the documentary as well, and so did I. I got very emotional with her because she, she just thinks I’m going to have dentures now. And obviously she’s very conscious about her teeth. That’s why she went. And those. The cases where I’m like, I wish somebody would just explain what it is that you’re getting yourself into and if it’s the right thing for you. And so those are the problems, really.

And what’s happened when someone’s had problems, they what have they done? They’ve contacted that clinic and what’s happened.

Has happened.

Lisa, actually. So they won’t do anything about it. Nothing, Nothing, nothing. That’s what happened with one of the ladies we spoke to in the documentary. Some people do go back. So we spoke to Jack from Laval and Jack Fincham. Um, I don’t know if you watched. Do you watch Love Island?


Okay, fine. Jack Fincham from Love Island. We spoke to him in the dock and he went back to Turkey to, I think, to fix it. Yeah. No, no. So I think he wanted a Whiter Shade when we spoke to him. Okay. So he was going back the next month, but again, he’s really happy with his teeth. So good for them. You know, if they know what they’ve got themselves into, the pros, the cons, the risks and they’re happy with that, then who are we? Who are we to judge?

Yeah, no, you’re right. If there’s consent, you know, informed consent.

That’s that.

Is the main thing. Informed consent. That was my biggest issue. Otherwise, go for it. Who are we? Who are we to judge?

No, I agree with you. I agree with you on that. Um, so you got into sort of the public eye with the pageant, sort of what do they call that contest? Sorry? Pageant pageantry. Yeah, tell me about that. Because there’s there’s a kind of a stigma attached to that.

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely there is.

And you must have had some sort of backlash about that from what, Denters or whoever. Yeah, but but I also know that, you know, in those pageants, they a bunch of good stuff comes out of them. Right. Because people have a platform to push whatever agenda is important to them. And so talk to me around that. What was the first time you thought I’m going to go for Miss? What was it? Sorry.

So as Miss Universe, Great Britain. Yeah. So when growing up so I don’t know about how how it is really in other countries, but in India, pageantry is huge. Oh, is it? Yeah. You know Priyanka Chopra. Jonas. She was.

She came from pageantry. Yeah. Yeah.

Ashwarya Rai. People like Molly Mae came from pageantry. Um, loads of big names, I guess, that are in the current media came from pageantry, but people don’t really speak about it as much, like you say, because of the stigma attached. So growing up, I was I grew up watching pageants and it was like, wow, especially the Indian ones. Then I didn’t really think about it for many, many years. And I remember I was doing some research. I do a lot of charity work, and I found a charity in India called Stop Acid Attacks. Incredibly, just the most amazing, amazing charity. Um, but they affiliated with Miss Universe, Great Britain, I saw on the website and I was like, Oh my God, that’s that’s actually incredible. And I was in a bit of modelling at the time, just double dabbling during uni as like a hobby.

And how do you model.

As a hobby? How does that work?

It’s kind of like Indian bridal.

Model, that kind of thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Not awful. No. Gigi Hadid Let’s. Let’s get that straight. But, um, I just applied for it. I went for the interview, and like you said, the naivety, everyone was there just looking so polished. I went with my mum and my dad, like, sitting next to me. It’s just so encouraging. And then we all watched the presentation of what it was all about and the charity, and we all had just tears in our eyes when we found out about this stop acid attacks. And I was like, I just want to go for this because it meant that as well, that if I raise a certain amount, I could go to India to visit these these ladies who have been victims of acid attacks, which I did last year, just the most incredible week of my life. I can’t it was just it gives me goosebumps just thinking about honestly insane, but it gives you those types of opportunities too. So then I did apply for it, and that was actually during my last year of uni in 2020.

And what did what did your.

Parents, your friends say about it? Did anyone say, Hey, I don’t think that’s a good idea because it’s because of the stigma?

Absolutely. So were.

They supportive?

Parents were just unbelievably supportive. They always have been. They always just teach me, do what makes you happy in life as long as you’re not hurting other people. So that’s literally the motto I go by. I don’t really care what anyone thinks, and that’s just the way I’ve always been, even as a child. Um, so parents unbelievably supportive. I think with friends we had conversations about kind of it was tricky because no one wants to say anything directly to be like, isn’t that really, you know, you know, like, I know the stigma attached to it. You know, you can be fake or you could be fake. It’s very superficial. It’s about the way you look.

Yeah. So the stigma, I guess, is to do with sort of objectifying.

Objectifying women.

Women, women. It’s going to be women. But then I guess to counteract that, the pageantry itself is full of all this important, impressive stuff like charity work and and so forth. But somehow that side doesn’t come through, does it? People still still think of it as, I don’t know, a bikini contest or something.


And in some of the. Hudgens The bikini contest doesn’t isn’t there. But what I will say is I think if we try and shy away and say it’s not a beauty contest, pageant girls are lying. It is a beauty contest. Yeah, okay, it is. And one thing that does not it doesn’t annoy me as such. But, you know, when you see these girls talk about, you know, how empowering pageantry is and you can look like anything and it is a beauty competition. Okay. And people say as well, the bikini rounds, it’s a way for women to kind of focus on their fitness and it makes them feel confident, which once you get on the stage in a bikini, you feel like you can do anything in life. But what I will say about pageantry in the UK is excellent because the girl that won, she was five foot. Five foot one. Five foot two. So she wasn’t the kind of five, 58595 10s six foot that we normally used to see back in the day. Um, just a normal girl. And it just makes you think that pageantry has come a long way. And we have definitely become a lot more inclusive. People who competed there were all sizes ranging from size six to size 1820. Oh, really? Absolutely. In the UK it gives you a platform. But again, like I say, it is a beauty contest. So although it has that inclusive element, it does have that. I understand when people where the perspective comes from, when people say it’s superficial because it is about, you know, it’s about how you talk. But we believe not the heaviest weighting in it is actually your interview because there’s an interview aspect. So that actually weighs for more than the other parts, which again, people don’t realise. And by doing that I had to fundraise. We don’t have to. But I did fundraise thousands for this charity in India.

Yeah, yeah.

And imagine just from doing this pageant, I’ve improved the lives of so many girls in India who are obviously less fortunate, and you just think, how can pageantry be that bad? How everyone says when actually we’ve improved, we’ve improved lives of other people, How is that ever bad? No one’s being hurt by doing it. So you have that aspect too?

Well, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I’m interested in. Were you aware of the stigma when you went in or did you not care about the stigma or was it something you’d wanted so much since you were seven and you were just going to go for it? Was it the charity element that made you blind to the stigma? Because the stigma is there?

I think it was the charity element that made me blind the stigma. I never went into it thinking there was a stigma associated. And again, you can call me naive. No, not not at all.


Not at.

All. Because you were a fan? I was not even a fan.

I just grew up because that’s the norm, you know? And you think to yourself like.

So did it shock you then? Yeah. I can’t be the first person to say this, but when people started saying this.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. A bit surprised. I was.

Surprised. The thing is, it’s very strange, isn’t it? When you model, it’s, Wow, that’s so cool. Yeah. All of this, that and the other. But when you do it for a pageant, you know, there’s a good cause associated with it. There’s an uproar. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You’re absolutely right.

You know, and we talk about filters on social media. People use them to make themselves look better.

Look, I think. I think you should do whatever you want to do. Absolutely. And you seem like the kind of person who’s cool with that concept. But but I’m interested in I’m interested in the stigma. Actually.

There is.

A stigma. And one thing, again, I will say is, as a clinician, yeah, I would never after start talking to patients about pageantry, you know, and you talk to patients just about, you know, this, that and the other, because one thing I did realise so I had a conversation with a consultant actually, and I said to her, Oh, like I’m just so ask me what I’m doing this weekend. I said, Of course I’m catwalk training because we trained for obviously Miss Universe, Great Britain. She was like, for what? And I was like, Oh, I’m just doing a pageant. And she said that us women have worked so hard, especially in a career as a consultant, to like play a level, you know, have a level playing field with men and you’re going to do a pageant so that you’re intelligent. You came like within the top like 30, 40in the country for your post because I had a good post and she knew that she was like, Why are you doing this? So there is a stigma associated.

But you’re right, if you’d said, I’m doing catwalk training for modelling, but you know.

Also also la-di-da about it, I was like, Yeah, like, you know, just what are you doing? That kind of thing as if it was just the norm. But it’s interesting, isn’t it?


Tell me about the acid stories. Is it a massive issue? Is it does it happen a lot? And what happens?

So it happens more in the kind of the less more in the poverty areas, right? Yeah, in kind of main in Mumbai and in the areas where it’s quite affluent, it happens a lot less, but it is definitely still an issue. So, so many stories.

But what’s a typical one? Is it like some someone divorces someone or someone cheats on someone or so Do you.

Know what’s really interesting and why? I think it works? What with pageantry, because its beauty is often the driving factor. So there were some cases I have on my Instagram as well. I’ll send you the video later where I put a summary of some because when I went out there, they just let me film a little bit and of them sharing their stories. So sad. So one of the girls was 13. The man was 65.

Oh, my goodness.

And you just think like he was married. A lot of divorces happen. Mother in law’s sister in laws. Someone’s own dad did it on her.

Oh, Why? Oh, just.

What’s she done? Married a guy she didn’t.

Like or something.

But you what really got me? There was one story where when I told my dad, he literally had tears in his eyes because he’s a father of three girls and a husband did it. It’s disgusting. Poured acid on his wife because she was only conceiving girls.

Oh, my God.

And you just think. And the bait that she had newborn baby, the newborn baby died as well in the process. And you just said guy just makes me feel a bit heavy. You just think to yourself like.

The newborn baby died in the attack.

In the attack. God.

And when, when where do they get acid?

Find the markets.

It’s all black market. You can get acid there for cheaper than you get clean water.

Because it’s a.

Very particular kind of attack, isn’t it? It’s an attack to change the way someone looks forever. I mean, you can kill someone, you can, you know, hit someone, but there’s a very particular thing to do to someone.

It’s a crime you live with.


It’s almost like you will never forget that. And people will always see that. And I guess you get blinded and stuff as well.

Oh, absolutely. Blinded. Oh, man. Burns Obviously the burns victims like it’s.

And so what’s the work that they do in the charity? Is it education? Is it helping these people who’ve had the attacks?

Why is it.

So we raise money for them so they can live a better life. But I’ve kind of gone one step further. I’ve become an ambassador for them, which is not anything to do with the pageantry side of things. So what we do so I’ll tell you what they do. So why this charity is incredible. It’s called sheroes, which is a combination of the word she and Heroes put together. They’ve set up cafes across India, okay, in Lucknow, Noida, Agra, Delhi. So they have these cafes, which are like they’re run by acid attack survivors. So the food is made by them. It’s just incredible. And it gives them a place to work, a place to earn some money to build their livelihoods. And and what this charity also does, it kind of puts them on beauty, hair and beauty courses. So after they’ve, you know, a livelihood, it’s just incredible. And what is also really sad about this is, again, these girls are stigmatised. These attacks weren’t any fault of their own. But sometimes they’re kind of like, oh, she must be cursed. And there’s just ridiculous ways of thinking. And they’re kind of outcasted from society and their kids are. Then they have that same knock on effect. So the charity just really does support them in every way, whether it’s financially, emotionally, it builds that community to bring them all together. And when I went, they again, just absolutely amazing. They treated us so, so, so well. And they you know, they did dance performances for us and they’re just the most lively, jolly people you’ll ever meet. And they’re just an inspiration to all. So I don’t like calling them victims. They really are survivors because we could all take a leaf out of their books 100%.

And what’s the.

Sense? What’s the sense of the the scale of the problem? I mean, is it how many people do you know?

I can’t I don’t really know a number, but it’s declined over the years, which is good. We’re heading in the right direction. But it still happens. It still happens.

It still happens now happens. It’s such a tough thing. Let’s talk about teeth.


We are in enlightened smiles. Hq would be wrong not to with my black coffee it is.

The show is called Dental Leaders.

I’m a dentist.

So look, you qualified at the I mean, you went through Covid as a dental student, I guess, right? So you qualified 20.

20, 2020.

So you were one of those very unlucky ones who. Yeah.

Although although you say unlucky.

Yeah. Or lucky.

But my sister, my youngest sister, she’s in Leeds right now and she’s in fourth year going into fifth year. She’s just like Trishala. You’re so lucky you got to sit your finals from home. And I’m like, Oh, is that right? Because she’s going into fifth year. She’s facing the brunt of it a bit. But it’s just funny because you say lucky but not lucky.

But but so let’s let’s start with that. How much did you miss? So is your cohort. You know, they must be.

Yeah, I think.

Stunted a bit.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah. So I was quite lucky because obviously we have quotas at Kings, obviously Endocrines. I think every uni does. Yeah. I actually hit all of mine before that march. Oh wow. And all the denture. So I was quite lucky. That being said, being non-clinical from. March and then going into the foundation year job in September. I think the educational supervisors did did find that we were a lot more lacking than previous had to hold our hands a bit more.


I don’t I don’t know the terminology. Educational supervisor is that your boss.

Was just so out of it.

You’re just so enlightened.

Smiles No, because.

When I was a dentist, when I was dentist, they had different names.

Like a trainer.

The trainer. And then who’s the one above that?

That tp’d. So they take care of.

You know, even the one who takes care of the trainers district.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That region.

Okay, cool. So. So you’re saying the educational supervisors had a much bigger job to get people through? Absolutely. I bet they did.

I bet they did. It was.

Tough. It’s tough on us as well, you know, because the whole like I know people said the PPE, but it was hard because we had to wear all the PPE and the fallow times and. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We were seeing a lot more people obviously, who had issues because of Covid. It wasn’t like leftover issues. Absolutely. You’re picking up the pieces as opposed to starting off fresh, you know? So it was definitely very, very challenging. But again, I’m not someone to kind of keep my hands still. So during Covid, again, I did a lot of fundraising. I sourced PPE from a warehouse. I went to collect it, I went to distributed to Care homes. So I did keep myself busy during Covid as well.

So we’ve always done charity.

I think it’s a huge part of me as a person first and foremost. I think, yeah, first and foremost.

When did that start?

When did that start?

I just think as a young, young girl, I was very emotional, honestly. So I stood. You lost my parents always. Y y y you went through a phase of like, is God real? And my parents are like, What? I was so young when I asked this and they were like, Why? I was like, Because God hurt so many people. How could God be real? You know? And like I always said, growing up, I was young, I was like six. And I was like, If I had one wish in the world, it’s everyone in the world has clean water. Because again, and that’s probably my number one wish now and everyone has three meals on the table. I’ll give everything I’ll take, take everything. I would I would happily do that. And so it was always something that was embedded within me that I always wanted to make the world a better place.

Yeah, but why?

It’s just something that I just thought that I’m so lucky in life.

Was it something.

Your parents did? Was it something in your community? Were you. Are you religious?

I’d say I’m spiritual. I’m a Hindu. I’d say. I’d say I’m religious. Do you believe in God? I do believe in God. I do. But younger. I used to when I was younger, I really used to. I couldn’t fathom that. How could there be a God? But there could be suffering, suffering in the world. I just couldn’t understand it. So what’s.

Your what’s your understanding of that.


My understanding of that now and I don’t have an answer. I don’t have an answer.

So some I mean, I’m not a massive expert on this subject, but some people say some religions say some belief systems say that let’s say let’s say a baby that that that poor baby that died in the acid attack. Yeah, that that that baby is going directly to heaven. Yeah. But you who saw that and didn’t then go ahead and help people and be nice to other babies for the sake of the argument it’s now incumbent on you because you saw what happened to that baby to be even better than you were before. And so that’s part of God’s great plan, too. I don’t buy it. But but, but but that’s what what some people say, for instance. So what’s yours know? You’re not sure?

I don’t know. And my parents used to tell me.

So why do you believe in God then?

I believe in God because there was also so much good in the world. Like, I don’t know what I’ve done in my life to be so blessed with everything I have. I don’t know my family. I just touchwood incredible. I know you said don’t move, but I believe in this touchwood thing.

That’s weird. Sorry.

I just have to, like, I’m healthy. I’ve been able to chase my dreams. I know. Obviously, the health can change any second I’m not. But I’m just saying, so far in my life, I’m speaking for most supportive parents. I’ve never been struggling whether it be financially. I’ve never had a struggle to find clean.

Water with God.

But I just feel like God has been so kind to me, so kind. And I just think that has to be and also greater being like I just think God has given me so much in my parents and in my family and in my sisters and in my life. I just think, wow, like there is a greater being there. And also God is like a synonym for the universe for me. So the universe has also given me this. But the part of life where I think, why is there suffering? I’ve read a lot around it, especially in Hinduism and reincarnation and karma and all of this.

And do you believe in karma?

Do I believe in karma?

I’ve asked this question a lot on this podcast.

Do you know what I do?

All right. So. So do I.

Yeah, I do.

But I believe in in a practical sense. Okay. Some people believe in it in a supernatural sense. So I believe, hey, if I’m nice to you one day when you want something and whatever, you’ll come back to me. And it makes sense to be a good person practically. Yeah. So people who do good things end up with good things because nice things happen that way. Other people think if I don’t know if I find this £5 note on the ground and I pick it up and I don’t give it to charity and I spend it, the thing I spend it on will come back and get me like in a supernatural karma way. So which one are you?

You know, is this so I can go to bed peacefully at night? I can’t categorise it. It’s just if I know that I’ve done something intentionally to say, upset somebody, I’ve done something where I’ve hurt somebody else or taken something from somebody else. I just can’t sleep peacefully. And that goes the same with, say, if something’s on my mind. And I really want to tell you something that you’ve done to upset me. I will tell you because again, I won’t sleep peacefully. I just want to sleep well at night. That’s it.

It’s interesting, You know, your your answers to most questions are simple. And simple is a funny thing. Yeah, because you can. You can be, you know, the simple can be a beautiful thing to say about something. Or it can be. It can be like you can say something simplistic. Yeah. Which doesn’t sound so great. Yeah, but with you, it’s kind of like simple. Yeah. Simple. Not uncomplicated. Which is. Which is really refreshing, right? It’s refreshing to hear. And it’d be interesting. I’d like to, to to, to see that your sisters and your parents and see like, is it something that was like the you get it sometimes in a household you know, is it a culture of the household or is it just like sometimes people go opposite to the way they were brought up? You know, like people go opposite to their parents, you know, so you can’t you can’t necessarily tell. But but looking at it and I’ve been obviously watching a lot of your content just leading up to to today.

Yeah, absolutely. It’s very.

Simple. Very nice. Simple. Yeah. Yeah. I say it’s a compliment. I definitely do. I definitely do. Let’s let’s get back to teeth. Okay. Not not much experience. First day PPE. You must have made some mistakes. We like talking about mistakes on this pod.

Well, I’ve made so many share them.

Yeah, because in dentistry, we don’t tend to share our mistakes. And there’s going to be many people listening to this who are one year behind you or 12 years in front of you. Yeah. Yeah. But share. Share a mistake that someone else can learn from.

Do you know what I. I think something what I used to do is just because I didn’t want to look stupid is not ask for help. Especially as a qualified clinician. At dental school, I had imposter syndrome majorly. And the fact that like I remember I was saying to you, like, I used to take six hours to finish a lecture and understand it and it would just, Oh, it’s so difficult. So I think asking for help is super important. Yeah, whether it’s with a root canal or my first endo molar, I was like, Where am I? When I drilled through the tooth, I was like, Is this the pulp chamber? I haven’t even gone through the roof of the pulp, those types of things. I was just so just oblivious to. But again, I was always so scared to ask for help because I just felt a bit. Because you.

Felt qualified.

And qualified, but.

You’re not qualified.


Yeah. And one thing I will say that has led into my clinical now is say no when you do not feel comfortable. Yeah, okay. I’m two years qualified. I did one year in obviously foundation year, second year. I did a restorative post and I was in the oral cancer unit, special care and sedation, all of that stuff. Okay. And then this is my year in practice. I’ve not done any cosmetic courses. So when people ask me for full mouth rehabs and they see me from television, they just, you know, it helps a little bit. Sure. But I say, no.

Of course.

I will not do.


Yeah, yeah. And I think saying no is so powerful in life, not in just clinical dentistry, but just generally in life. You know, say no when you do not feel comfortable. That’s one thing I’d say.

You’re quite.

Right. You’re quite right. I mean, clinically you’re going to refer right, like knowing, knowing when to refer.

Knowing when to refer.

And it’s a funny one. Yeah. Because you don’t know what you don’t know at the beginning. Absolutely. And I’ve been in that situation back in the day where, you know, I had no idea what was what. Yeah.

Can I ask you, when you were younger.

Practising clinically, did you know you want to like wanted to have a business? No. Let alone in.


No, no, no. We were going to open a practice. Okay. And that may make something different, you know, like a whitening practice. And then we there was four of us who said, okay, four of them then. And then we were going to call four of them enlighten centres. And then we said, Go, let’s find the products, you know, for find the best teeth whitening product. And then when we were looking for the best teeth whitening product, one of them said, Oh, we don’t have distributors in Europe. So happened that way. Really? Yeah. Um, but you know, when you said to me, what did I want to be when I was young, when my school friends, my best friends, who’s still my best friends now, many of them that had like multinational conglomerate companies. Yeah. So a lot of the conversations with my best even today, my best friends today are about factories, distribution, design, you know, marketing, HR. I mean, these guys have got proper gigantic businesses. I did 3000 employees, you know, 40 employees, 3000 employees. You know, factories all over the world and all that. It must have had some sort of impact on me in that sense of, hey, let’s do a company. And Sanj, my partner who we started the company with, we used to live together in university and we used to joke. We used to joke about this giant business we’re going to open, but we thought it would be like dental practices or something, you know? So, yeah, I guess everything comes from somewhere, doesn’t it? It’s a it’s a funny thing.

Do you believe in fate?

Not really.

Not really.

Because a lot of people would say that you and Sanj were living together at uni. You used to joke around and then miraculously, you’ve got a successful business together.

Yeah, it’s interesting.

Not really. Do you believe in fate? I mean, have you ever have you heard about this company that arranges coincidences?

You give me their number if you have it.

Do you know what I mean? So, you know, like. Like it’s an idea of like, if. Let’s say I want to get this girl. Yeah. They’ll arrange two coincidences to happen so that the girl thinks that it was fate. Like. Like I’ll be sitting next to the girl in the ballet, and then I’ll be sitting next to the girl on a flight. It’s awful, isn’t it?

Social media, Isn’t it social media?

Just such an awful idea.

My God. It’s a documentary of this. Cut this bit out. Don’t anyone’s stealing this idea. That’s incredible. What are your.

Plans going forward?

So again, like, very simple to be happy. Sure. And I need to figure out what is making me the happiest. And I have a few things that I’m working on.

Obviously, I can’t disclose media stuff, media.

Stuff which I can’t disclose, which is very exciting. But one thing, television takes time. Yeah, yeah. Television takes a lot of time. Obviously, you can imagine how much red tape and just like hoops you have to jump through.

And sometimes, I mean, when we’ve done PR back in the day, I remember they’ll say this afternoon, Can you come and do something?

Oh, that happens so much.


Is your boss understanding? Yeah.


So my boss is going to watch this. And I took the day off actually today because I was like, I’ve got this that let me work Monday.

It’s been a nightmare to get you here.

I know. I’m so sorry.

You’re so busy.

Because I know this is the thing. Yeah.

So we’ve come to some sort of arrangement of, you know, maybe cutting down. I’m cutting down my times and my hours to make sure that at least I get my evenings free, because that’s when a lot of events do happen. And but yeah, they’re quite understanding. And sometimes I’ve had to say no to things. I won’t lie about that. And that’s also been a bit difficult as well because but then you have to prioritise. And I have taken the job as a clinical dentist and when I’m a clinical dentist, my patients do come first. Regardless of what’s going on in my personal.

Life, you must.

Have had people wanting you to be their dentist because of your media side. There must be a massive element of imposter syndrome there because you’re so junior as a dentist.

This is the.

Thing. What do you do? Do you when they, you know, see you on TV thinks she must be brilliant. She’s on TV. I want my teeth done by you. Yeah. Do you explain that? You know, I’m just two years out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or do you not?

What do you do? So what.

Happened? A lot. And now I just prefer to practice and say if there’s another dentist who’s qualified to doing or, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. Um, but last year when I was in hospital as like a DCT as a dental corps trainee, obviously you’re five days a week there. Like I said, cancer departments, you know, hypodontia, sedation, those types of things like endo. It was nothing like what people were asking me to do. Yeah. So that’s when you get bit scared because I was like, Actually, you want to have a full mouth of veneers and I can’t do that. That’s what I do. I just refer them in the right direction. Well, I personally am not carrying out treatment. I’m not actually clinically practising in practice right now, but here you can take a look at X, Y, Z.

But from from the tactical perspective, isn’t it? Well, if I was advising you, I advise quite a lot of young dentists, right? If I was advising you tactically and I and I get you want to be in media. Yeah, but you’re going to get loads of patients.

I know.

My sister said the same.

She was like, you might.

As well get really good at one aspect of if you’re going to talk about cosmetic dentistry, then get good at cosmetic dentistry. If you want to talk about something else, get, get, get good at that, you might as well because, you know, it’s a dream come true from the perspective of patients. Yeah, let’s let’s put to one side the perspective of being on TV and being an influencer and being famous and all of that stuff. Right? Put that to one side. The other side of it is Milad. The singing dentist.


Hundreds of patients saying, I want you to be my dentist. Yeah. And with him, you know, he’s a 20, 20 year veteran, right? He can handle most situations. And I’m sure he’s doing very well out of something like that. Yeah. Or Rona. Yeah. Who? You know, I’ve done plots with her. She gets loads of patients from her media and, you know, she’s a full on cosmetic dentist and has a cosmetic centre and all that and has a massive business because of it. Yeah. So it would be amiss. You’d be missing out, you’d be missing a trick if you didn’t, you know, convert the exposure.

To a to a business.

To a business you would be missing a trick.


Tactically, it’s something I’ve thought about, especially having siblings who are dentists.

And it works.

That’s an interesting point.

Yeah. Like push them to your siblings. Yeah.

So we have thought about it, but I need to figure out my next steps. I know it’s like I’m 27. I’m just trying to figure it out right now. And but I do I hear what you’re saying because I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve had a lot of conversations about it too. Um, maybe something in the future. And I do, I do think is I do want to get better clinically, too.


You’re nowhere so far. Yeah. It’s so early.

It’s so early.

So it’s like, you know, when you say focus on one thing, I think that’s an excellent idea. An excellent piece of advice taken.


You know, also, media is a very fickle thing, right? Yeah. It’s one minute right now you’re. You’re on fire four years down the line. Who knows? Like what? What will be what?


You know, the platform shifts I or whatever it is.


Who knows what would be in four years time. But you know, you could have a long lasting business. I mean, you know, they say this thing about you start a squat practice and I’ve had someone on here he said because of one patient that they treated really well. His whole business is based on this one patient because this was a Qatari patient from the embassy and now the embassy just sends them loads and loads of patients so that one patient can do that.

That’s amazing.

Then now let’s imagine 300 come from some media appearance that you do that could set you guys up with a practice or with whatever it is. It would be a shame. It would be a shame if something like that didn’t come out of it. But I think it’s a very interesting problem that I’m sure people come to you thinking you’re the super duper dentist just because you’re on TV. And then you’ve got to explain to them that I’m just new.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it happens a lot. And I think.

When we filmed the documentary, I was 26, so I was very, very fresh. Very fresh. Um, and that’s when the imposter syndrome kicks in.

Like you said.

Because you’re just like, Actually, I can’t do a full mouth rehab. I’m sorry. But then it’s. Then you just feel like, am I actually credible, a credible clinician. I like. The way I also see it is I’m a good GDP. I’m like, I do everything in the best interest of patients.

Not many not many people can do full mouth rehabs to a high standard anyway. Yeah, don’t worry. I mean, even if in the next five years you can’t do one, that’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. That’s. That’s a advanced level of dentistry. Absolutely. I’m talking Invisalign bleach bond, you know. Yeah. Which is still hard work. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to do that. Well, yeah, but. But do that well and or veneers or whatever it is, you know, that sort of minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry. You’re right. Start with bleaching.

Well do that. Well, enlightened smiles.

Tell me.

What would be your.

Dream scenario going forward? It must be something like media, right? It must be.

I think my dream scenario would be to continue how it is currently. That’s what I think. What’s really important for me is to make sure I’m happy right now and I’m really happy right now with where I’m at.

And one thing.

There’s happiness and acceleration.

There’s acceleration, you’re accelerating.

So anytime you’re accelerating, it’s a happy feeling. It’s a.

Happy period. Now, what I don’t and this is again, what I want to I had a conversation with my sister last week, so I’m stuttering on this because I said she said to me. So I basically did a run. I was just doing a ten K Park run. Um, but I was like, No, no, no, I want to do a 15. So I ended up doing a 15. It was actually a Saturday ago, so it was 30 degrees. And then I was like, and that night I signed up for a half marathon, which I’m doing in September. Bearing in mind last year I could barely run A5K, But anyway.


She said to me, You feel the need to keep. She was like, It’s excellent. But she’s like, One thing I’ve noticed is you’ve done this as a child. If you’re not accomplishing, you don’t feel satisfied or content in life. And she’s so right.

Do you think you trying to prove someone wrong or prove.

Something to yourself? What am I what am.

I trying to prove? So I’m really and it’s a daily task now. I just am really trying just to be content and say God’s given you so much more than he’s given to most of most of the population in the world. So I really just want to make sure that I am happy in my professional life, my personal life being the biggest one. Because what I’ll tell you as well is last year when when everything was going on, I probably wasn’t the best daughter. I probably wasn’t the best sister, I probably wasn’t the most present friend, all of those aspects of my life.

Right. But I.

Was lacking. And when you think about it, at the end of the day.

What matters?

I mean, I hear you. Yeah, but last year we were launching the latest version of Enlighten, and I wasn’t the best of any of those things either. I wasn’t the best husband, not the best dad. I was. I was busy. I was busy because we were, you know, all the different aspects of it. And, you know, you owe it to yourself to when when the when the iron’s hot to strike as well. But let’s let’s get on to the personal thing. You must have loads of men saying, hey, you know, tell me about that.

Yeah, I mean.

Yeah, but do you know what I did.

You get do you get.


Sometimes I do. Sometimes. How does that feel? I wouldn’t say. Like I say, I’m.

No, no, no. But sometimes.

Harry Styles.

But I imagine it’s a bit weird. Like a bit.


It’s a bit strange. And it’s, it’s lovely because most people have or everyone’s been pretty lovely, but I think.

There’s an element of.

Risk in it, isn’t it?

There’s a huge element of risk and there’s a huge element of stigma.


That because you do television, you’re into media and you live a completely different life. And yeah, people.

People think they know about you.

Before. Yeah.

Even I thought I knew you before. We just. Seriously? Yeah.

Yeah. I watched a lot.

Of content the last 4 or 5 days.

Oh, you know me now.

But it’s true. There’s a stigma attached. And I think especially when it comes to, obviously, the opposite sex. Yeah. They think they know you.


And they just don’t. And I think it makes again, people see the pageantry thing. Yeah. She must be fickle. She must be, you know, superficial.


But then I also think if somebody like that does approach me and wants to be in my life, then you don’t deserve to be in my life because we don’t share the same values. Because I would never the one thing I’ve never also done is look at somebody on TV and think, Wow, like you must have such a perfect life. I think there’s good and bad in every profession. There’s good and bad in dentistry. I think everyone talks about the bad, but there’s also good. We’re very well paid for what we do, of course. I mean, and that’s just and again, when people try and shy away from that, they shouldn’t. Okay. So dentistry also has their good and their bad. It’s very rewarding. Job media has the good and it has the bad. And with everything that’s going on right now in the media, you can see that right from people on television. So there’s a balance with everything. That’s how I see it as well. So but like you say, it’s very strange. It’s nice, though. It’s nice when people do recognise you for doing something.

Good, of course.

When was the last time you were recognised? Was it like in Sainsbury’s or whatever?

Like it’s actually it was a patient that was and that was the worst part. And do you know what? Obviously I got a bit of makeup on on TV. I do my hair a little bit, but then in practice, oh my God, I literally like Hagrid. And they were like, well, sorry. I think they were watching this morning and they saw me on there and it was just last week. And you just think to yourself, Oh dear, oh dear. I’m like, I’m so sorry that I look like this in.

Front of you right now.

But yeah, it happens a lot.

But I mean, I don’t know. I kind of like anonymity, right? Going where I want, when I want. No one knows that. The same reason why. Like you’re right. Everything has. Let’s say I drove a purple Lamborghini here. Every time I leave my house, all my neighbours would know I’m leaving my house. Yeah, I know, Driver But.

It’s good to say I.

Didn’t see you on parked.

But what I.

Say, what I’m saying is there’s that element of, you know, worry around being recognised. Do you like, you know that that’s there there, does it weigh on you or is it.

I think it does in certain settings. So. Yeah, it does in certain settings. And I think for me the safety aspect is the most important. I think and one thing I’ve done on my Instagram, I’ve deleted anything that was involving my like my family or like my extended my family. Okay? My sisters, my mom, my dad, they don’t mind it. But once I tell you what happened, the India Times posted an article about me, which I didn’t know about. Um, and one of my friends who’s really, really private, they took a picture of her and me from my Instagram, and she was, she was not happy about that. And I just I was so apologetic because obviously when back in the day you’re at university, you’re posting pictures together, it’s all fine. But to have that picture.

In front of.

Millions of people to see when it wasn’t even no one, I didn’t even know that article was a.


People think that that if you’re in the press, you’ve somehow sanctioned everything that’s in the press. And what I’ve noticed about any time that we’ve we’ve done something with the press and it hasn’t been me, I’ve always tried not to be part of it. But anytime we’ve done anything with the press, anytime, it’s a subject that you know something about, they basically get everything wrong, you know, So there’s very little checking up of like fact checking. And the quotes are all wrong. Everything’s wrong. And then and then they’ll use a picture and then and then let’s say I’ve had this where one of my ex bosses, he had a piece in the Daily Mail or something and the GDC got on to him and said, Why did you say X, Y and Z? And why did you allow the article to go out? And he went back and said, Do you really think they run the article past me before they put it out?

Some don’t.

But most don’t, right? Like, you know, newspaper, National newspaper. Yeah. They don’t say, Hey, are you happy with this? Before they put it out, they put out whatever the hell they want, Right? So I bet your friend was your friend understanding what happened.

I just. I just was so apologetic because it was an invasion of my friend’s privacy. Because of.

Me. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And you just think. And the worst. Do you know what It’s not? Thank you. It wasn’t sweet. It was a nice article about the charity work, so it was very nice. But then they just take, like, pictures. And we were. I think we were on a holiday somewhere. It’s like a girls holiday, like we were, you know, it was just it was just just bizarre. And she was understanding. She still one of my best friends. And she when she listens to, you know, who she is. But in those situations, you have to be so careful. And what I also I was very naive at the beginning when I was doing the research stages. You know, I was telling you, I do a lot of my own research before because, like I say, journalists, any any journalists can do the job. Otherwise it’s why me, I have to bring something that’s different. So when I used to do that and message people from accounts which were my personal ones, very stupid, very naive. So you grow, though, right?

A couple of.

Other things I kind of want to get from you. One is what are the other charities that other pageant people, because your sounds so amazing. Does each person have their own charity or does everyone focus on this?

So this is this is why it’s incredible. This is their main one that you get to go on this trip to India if you fundraise a certain amount. But they do have charities that are people do focus on. And obviously, if people are closer to some charities and some like eating disorders or cancer. So there are those things too. So you can really pick and choose. It’s impactful. Yeah, Pageant is pageantry is impactful. But again, we’re also dislike about it is when people have surpassed a certain level of say, fame. So people like I obviously I love Priyanka Chopra Jonas she’s put representation for Asians, especially Asian women on the map big time. I think she’s great. But you don’t see them sometimes speaking about pageantry in that also positive and empowering way. I understand everyone has their personal experiences, but like you say, with the stigma, people don’t want to say, Oh, I came. I originally came from pageants. It’s everything else they’re doing now, whether it’s Unicef or the bigger things. But no one wants to go back to how they actually got to that position in the first place. You know, So that’s my thing with people going through pageants. Be proud, be proud of the choices you’ve made. You know, and sometimes if you’re not proud of the choices you’ve made, say, look, if I could go back, maybe I would have done that a bit differently, but embrace it. Embrace yourself. We live one life, and this is where I go on to like these blue ticks on Instagram. Right? You know how you can buy blue ticks now? Yeah. So I got mine, I think shortly after. Obviously this was before you could buy them. This was the organic way, I think shortly after I came on television.

Were you pissed.

Off when everyone else could just buy them?

Do you know what? No, Believe it or not.

And even when I had the blue tick, it was what I didn’t like. I think people started speaking and treating me differently.


I noticed these small differences, especially when go to bigger family events, people are like, Oh, so like we saw you got the blue tick on Instagram and it’s like, That doesn’t change my value as a person. I’m still the same person. I’m still.

Were they not looking up to it?

No, but they were just.

More jealous of it.

Somehow, I don’t.

Know. Inquiring. About it, you know. But my problem now with this whole blue tick situation is not that people can buy it. I think if somebody has worked so hard to build a business, say, for instance, I say if you I don’t know if you guys have a blue tick, but say if you did or didn’t did or didn’t, no idea.

No, no. I think we.

Can buy one right now.

You can buy one now.

But for example, a brand you’ve worked so hard to build your brand. And if you want to protect your brand or make let people aware that, look, we are the enlightened smiles.

That’s what it is. Yeah.

Absolutely. Yeah. But if people are also buying blue ticks, they influencers to make themselves a bit more credible, they know it will give them a bit more business, a bit more PR then if you want to do that, go for it. But the problem occurs when people are not disclosing when they are asked or won’t openly speak about the fact that they have bought it.

Who cares who.

A who cares? And b.

But why do.

You care if they.

Don’t disclose it? Because it’s not.

A problem, but it’s more a self. I think it’s a it’s a form of self deprecation. Because if you when somebody is just about honesty, honesty on the Internet, if anyone asks me anything, I’ll be completely honest. I think if in certain situations.

I know, I know.

What you’re saying. If someone if someone says I’m so like makes out that they didn’t pay for it.

Yeah, yeah.

Like they’ve woken up and I’ve seen this so much on Instagram, whether it be Dental. I’m really.

Happy. I’m really.

Happy. Thank you so much. We’ve finally been recognised for my work and you think to yourself, why lie? You don’t need to lie. You don’t need to make that up. Having a blue tick does not associate yourself with being as of value as it doesn’t make you a more a better person. It doesn’t make you a more uplifted person.

It doesn’t. But the.

Thing is, a lot of these platforms are pure marketing platforms.

Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

By the way, that’s how I see them. Yeah.

Absolutely. Yeah. So. So absolutely.

So if, if you’re, if you’re making your money from brand deals. Yeah. And to be honest with you, like how, how, how, how deeply do brands look into some of these influencers when you, when you look at I was talking to an influencer agency and she was telling me, yeah, one brand came in and just took 10,000 influencers. Micro influencers. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re looking into it properly. So. So that person might have made a smart business move to make it look like.

They’re an influencer.

They. They got the blue tick.

Absolutely. And you.

Should. Do you. Yeah, absolutely. But what I’m saying when I say there’s a little issue with it, I say if my younger sister. Yeah right. So if she bought a blue tick she hasn’t. But say if she did I’ll say rushali. Why have you bought a blue tick. What does that make you feel like? My problem is with these younger generation of girls, especially like, obviously I know with men this happens as well. But with the girls, you don’t need to have a blue tick to make yourself feel more validated. I think it’s a form of self validation and that’s where my issue comes.

But you do because.

That’s what it is, isn’t it? I’m like, She’s the real rushali.

She is the real Rushali There’s only one rushali in this world. But she is. But the point is, it’s a validation in themselves to feel like. Do you feel a bit more valued as a person? Is it do you feel someone of status as a person? And I don’t want these young girls thinking they need a blue tick because they need to look a certain way or I think that falls in the same category that you don’t need to conform to societal pressures or like I say, look a certain way or fit a certain bill. And that’s the same category as having a blue tick. You don’t need that blue tick to make you feel better as a person. You are perfect the way you are and who you are. That’s the problem. So I think when people are blind buying blue ticks and lying about it, I think it’s a form of a really low self esteem and they need to look for within as why, you know.

Yeah, no, I understand. Of course I understand.

I’m playing devil’s advocate, of course, what this podcast is about.

Let’s, let’s, let’s we’re running out of time. What about the final, final question, perhaps the final question that he likes to ask. Yeah, it’s a bit weird with the 27 year old deathbed, your nearest and dearest around you, three pieces of advice you would leave them.

I think one thing is saying the value that I brought up is do whatever makes you happy in life as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Because so far, obviously I’m very young. Like I’m 27. I don’t have as much life experience. I’m not going to pretend like I do either, but it served me well. Um, that’s one thing. Be blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine any brighter. Don’t go through life bitter. Don’t go through life. Resent resenting other people’s successes and happiness because that won’t make you happy. It’s like focus on your own happiness and focus on yourself thriving. Um, and see, I’ve said this before, but don’t be afraid to say no. And a lot of people say never say no as their final thing. But also don’t be afraid to say no. I think in this, especially in our generation, we’re also with social media. We’re also pressured into always wanting to kind of go to this cool place or doing something and pushing ourselves to going like doing things that we think were supposed to be doing to make. Ourselves online look like we’re living our best life. You don’t have to do that. If something doesn’t make you happy, say no. I think this is quite a generational thing as well, and I see that a lot within my generation. We feel like we say yes to everything and we need to be going 100mph because of social media. And I think I’ve seen a lot of people, especially in the media, who will do this. But you just need to say no. If it’s not serving you, not making you happy, say no.

I think that.

Comes from a place of success, though. You know, I hear you. And you’re right. And many times I’ve thought years down the line, why didn’t I just say no to this thing right at the beginning? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It didn’t feel right. I hear where you’re coming from at the same time at the beginning, saying yes really does work. And you said yes to a lot of stuff.

I did say yes to it.

But it’s interesting that you’ve learned that lesson early because so much has come for you so quickly.

Yes, I think. Do you know what it is with the saying no thing? Sometimes I think I feel pressured to do certain things to please other people. That’s where no, when it comes to opportunities and that’s going to make you grow, always say yes because you don’t know if one person is listening to you or 10 or 100 or a thousand in opportunities. Life. I think that way, yes. But I say when I say say no, it’s to more those other things. When you feel pressured to do something that you do not want to do, but you just do it anyway. And I think we’re a generation of that. And the same with social media. I think we’re all pushed. I don’t know how many 27 year olds you follow. Everyone looks the same going on the same holidays. It’s all the same, same, same, same. I think that comes from a pressure from social media. I think social media is driving the way our generation live their lives. And I think it’s true.

I mean, I was on my team and if you look at their social, they look like these amazing worldwide travellers, wonderful lives and they’re quite Well, yeah, you do. Um, so yeah, it’s been a massive pleasure. It’s been really refreshing.

It’s been lovely speaking to you.

You’re very authentic. Very authentic. Like, like you said, you know, you form a preconception of someone and then when you sit with someone, you know, it’s been. It’s been really lovely.

Oh, no, it’s been lovely chatting to you.

Thanks for having me.

Thanks for doing this.

This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.

Thanks for listening, guys. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune in for future episodes. Hit subscribe in iTunes or Google Play or whatever platform it is. And you know, we really, really appreciate it. If you would give us a.

Six star rating.

Six star rating. That’s what always leave my Uber driver.

Thanks a lot, guys. Bye.

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