Sunday, November 29

Shak's Choice: Gursharonjit Grewal

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (and perhaps the rest of you who know me too) will probably wonder why this has come so late. Well the truth is that I wanted to see just how genuine her portrayal on Channel 4's The Family actually was; and after four episodes and numerous radio and television appearances I think we all know who Gursharonjit, or Shay, really is.

I have to (respectfully of course) admit that she's not super stunning in the celebrity sense, but then she's hardly ugly. I'd say she has a more "real and practical" good looks, you know, the type that doesn't need an airbrush to pass our now high standards. But regardless of her looks she's actually made the illustrious status of Shak's Choice for much more important reasons: she's really here because of her ace personality and character.

Every Wednesday we see how devoted she is to her family. She finds happiness and contentment in the simple things: whether it's in playing simple games of noughts and crosses with her soon-to-be husband, wordsearches with aunty or messing around with Tindy. She's responsible and gladly so, making sure the dogs are fed even though she's late for her own hen party and finding it an honour to massage her in-laws head/feet or even thread uncle's nose - she both allows everyone to rely on her but equally doesn't find it weak to rely on others. She's smart in a real, experienced way, yet wonderfully simple: she won't feel that she's wasted her life if she doesn't get to publish a book or influence government policy.

Genuinely nice and friendly, undemanding and never a headache; her happiness stems from that of those around her, a selflessness which is depressingly rare nowadays. Shay just goes to show that you don't need to be a tarted up celeb or popstar to be uniquely, yet massively, attractive. I just hope that Sunny doesn't track me down and kick my arse.


  1. mash01:02

    She's old skool is what she is.

  2. Sunny is gonna sooooooo kick your bum hole.

    Shay Rocks!

  3. Anonymous14:15

    Fair enough. However, I do feel we're not getting the whole story on her relationship with her (biological) mother and immediate family. I tend to reserve judgement until I hear both sides of the story. I can't imagine them being too pleased with their dirty laundry being aired on prime time Channel 4.

  4. To be fair we never really know everything about any of the celebs we hold at such high esteem; we only have what we know to go with.

    I wonder if her side knew about the show while it was filming?

  5. sounds and looks lovely!

  6. quite fancy her myself.

  7. Anonymous13:03

    She finds "it an honour to massage her in-laws head/feet or even thread uncle's nose" but has no contact with her own parents.

    No woman can do it all: be beautiful, undemanding, smiley, do the housework, have ambition (but not too much, mind, that's unattractive), rub her in-laws feet etc. Something has to give. In this case, it's her relationship with her own parents. I hope no man would think this sacrifice worth it.

    I wonder what people's opinions would be if the roles were reversed and he had no contact with his family and putting all effort into his wife's family. Would he be admired so?

    P.S. She's very pretty!

  8. Anon,

    Quite a cynical attitude, and I'm not sure how you can so confidently make the association between her current behaviour and her relationship with her mum (her dad has passed away and from what she says she'd have had a pretty good one with him even now).

    To say that a girl can only be these things if they leave their parents sounds like a cop out to me, or even an excuse for the opposite behaviour. In fact to call it a sacrifice, as if it's something she's chosen to do deliberately, is a bit insulting.

    That's not to say that I disagree with the idea that a person can't be everything and of course there are things missing in Shay; perhaps she's not as professional or career minded as her peers or the most academically intelligent or socially outgoing. Whether or not these things are relevant is a matter of personal preference - it's clear that for a lot of us they simply aren't.

  9. @ Anon. I don't think anyone is saying Shay has it all, as we know she doesn't, her relationship with her own family isn't great. But I guess the reason we warm to her so much is because she's trying to make amends, we 'see' the struggle and credit her for that. And it is a bit cynical to say she's attentive towards her inlaws and not her own family. But isn't it obvious why? She has to make the best out of her new situation. And I am sure she'd be just as attentive to her own if they would see/meet her.

    Of course we don't really know the real extent of the story but I don't think Shay leaving her family demeans her character.

    Also, agree it would be interesting to see if the roles were reversed but guys don't end up in situations like that. Mothers are usually more accepting of their son's choices/faults than their daughters. Kind of the harsh reality of the Asian coomunity.

  10. Anonymous23:46

    Anyone else notice that "Shak" and "Shay" is only a single letter different? Fate or coincidence?


  12. Anonymous23:34

    shay is actually quite manipulative and a creep; nothing genuine about her. But as a male you obviously wouldn't see it.

  13. Anon, I'm 'a female' and I don't 'see it'.

  14. Anonymous10:32

    "I have to (respectfully of course) admit that she's not super stunning in the celebrity sense,..."

    Totally disagree. I think she is absolutely beautiful and she came across as a warm, sincere, intelligent young woman facing an immensely painful issue with great dignity.

    People who want a role model for young women, British-Indian or not, need look no further.