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Sonali on living life with no regrets and turning pop culture stories into important life lessons in her own quintessential way!
Sonali D is the voice of the articulate, confident Indian woman today. She delivers hard truths with her unique wit and humour. Her writing makes one feel empathy for the trials faced by the modern Indian woman. Sonali often uses celebrity news and pop culture to us show us how they reflect the state of society today. She is has the amazing ability to turn stories of celebrities so far removed from our ordinary lives into important life lessons.
This June we celebrated twelve years of Women’s Web, a community built by you – our readers and contributors.
On this joyful occasion we present to you a stellar line up of our most popular and beloved authors and their most widely read contributions. Happy reading! #12YearsOfWomensWeb Next in the lineup of our amazing authors is Sonali D, an unapologetic voice of the modern Indian woman.
A psychologist by profession, Sonali self admittedly is also an educator by vocation and a reader and traveller, foodie by heart and spirit, who currently resides in Canada. She hopes to get more inspiration while from that side of the world and continues contributing with us.
Sonali’s publications include Kunti’s Confessions & Other Short Stories – 15 Exciting Stories Inspired By India’s Best Women Authors. She is the founder of the Global Stories Initiative – ‘Women in the Arts’ and Thrivers Web India – A community for mental health support.
“There is a simple rule I have followed all my life – If it adds value to my essence as a person, I do it! Whether it be my education choices, my work as an educator, the psychologist space or as a writer, I took on every role knowing it was meant for me. It wasn’t about seeing what would work, or lead to success or be profitable monetarily – it was just that initial feeling – “Do I like this idea? Does it make me feel happy just thinking about it? Does it make me feel like me?”
Sonali takes full ownership of her decisions and has no regrets. “This has been the biggest driving force as there is not a decision or moment I regret in my choices knowing that I took it on with this thought.”
Motivation ebbs and flows depending on the day but what keeps her going that she was meant to help others, be it through education, mental health or the written word. “Or just my massive and ridiculous meme collection shared daily with my poor friends! I knew from a young age I was meant to be in such a space, no matter what I chose professionally. And might I add, I LOVE everything I chose for me.”
Sonali is an experienced writer, for she started writing at a young age. She’d write for her school and college magazines and loved it. “If I remember, it was the Facebook era, before Instagram made us ‘cool’ when I came across the Women’s Web page and immediately liked the articles I read. I found it different from most websites I had seen till then, as it seemed to bring together so many diverse topics for women, in all spheres of life and demographics.”
The first article Sonali ever wrote for us was on the topic of love vs arranged marriage which was an instant hit, and incidentally put her on this list. “I chose this topic, as back in the day (in my mid 20s basically), that was the time most friends were getting married and a lot of conversation would be around this topic.
For me who had zero interest in a wedding and marriage I was always super curious to understand perspectives on this. I wrote this piece which I thought was absolutely idiotic in terms of writing and sent it off to the website. What I do remember was receiving the ‘your article has been approved email’ while I was in Hong Kong on a holiday and scaring people in the market by breaking out into impromptu dance moves! Never stopped writing since then!”
Sonali’s father was a pilot in the Indian army and always encouraged her to be confident, take risks and go see the world. This led to a love for adventure sports and travel.
Her mother was an educator with Loreto Convent and her love for teaching passed on to Sonali. “I was always an excellent student as I genuinely enjoyed learning and was always found lurking in the library. Something I do till date at work when I want to hide from being in meetings.
However I remember getting yelled at by my school librarian in Grade 8 or 9 once when she discovered that while we were each allowed to take one book a week on our student card, I had all the boys in the class take a book each and hand these over to me later so I had about 10-15 books per week. Bliss!
Well she asked one of them why they were reading these ‘feminine’ books (aka Danielle Steel) and he said it was for me. Lost my reading rights for a week – but already had 9 stacked away so it was fine ! Whether it be the school / college or work librarians they all knew what I was upto and let me get away with it thankfully. At least I was keeping libraries alive, is how I see it!”
When Sonali started working at 22, she was often asked about her marriage plans during interviews. This soon became a pet peeve for her. “More than a decade later, I spoke to my Dean from that first academic institution and said ‘Sir, still not married, see I stuck to my word!'”
“For the ones who take time to read my articles whether you may agree with them or not – Thank you for reading. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do so and I hope it impacted you positively when you did.
In general – What I believe has always helped me in life is being true to myself and good to those around. Getting in touch with your authentic self: the good, the flaws, gets you closer to being at peace with yourself. No one can do that for you.
And being good to others too stems from this. Appreciate those who add to your life. And remove or limit those who don’t.
Time is the gift we all have in equal capacity – what we choose or whom we choose to spend it on, impacts how we feel about ourselves.
So choose and spend smartly! And for the website – writing for Women’s Web changed me for the better so all I could suggest is keep doing what you do and keep giving women the space to be heard as you always do!”
In her most popular post with us, Sonali sheds new light on the age-old debate of love vs arranged marriage and the importance of individual choice Love marriage vs arranged marriage: Which one is better?
On how two celebrities with controversial backgrounds are treated differently due their gender Why A Sunny Leone Will Always Be Lesser Than A Sanjay Dutt
On Sushmita’s indomitable spirit Sushmita Sen: Being A Mom Is A Calling, Not To Be Confused With ‘Having A Baby’
A hard hititng piece about the media’s silence about the famous singer Papon’s molestation of an 11-year-old. Papon May Be A Celebrity, But There’s Zero Excuse For Kissing A 11 yo
An timely piece on the importance of raising children with empathy Your Child Is More Than A Marksheet – Parents, It’s Time To Remember This!
On the trolling Zaira faced after meeting Mehbooba Mufti, the ex CM of Jammu and Kashmir Why Must Girls Apologise For Success? Dangal Actor Zaira Wasim’s Letter Shows How Bad It Gets
An interesting piece on how Indian women are capable of locker room talk too! The Indian Women’s ‘Locker Room Talk’ Can Be Heard From Women At Weddings
On the lessons the film Dear Zindagi taught us about mental health and getting help What Dear Zindagi Tells Us About Therapy….Is Good, But A Little Troubling Too!
On how women are judged for the simplest choices like deciding to eat a meal alone Why Does A Woman Eating Out Alone, Enjoying Her Own Company, Make People Uncomfortable?
On the importance of accepting LGBTQ+ relationships We Need More Of The Conversations Started By Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga #LetLoveBe
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
At one point, she confesses to her mother that the beatings are no longer physical, they have started affecting her mentally as well, and she wants to break free of this cycle of abuse.
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors.
I recently watched Darlings on Netflix. It’s a quirky, dark satire featuring the dynamite duo of Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah. The movie depicts domestic violence and the psychology of abuse.
Even though the subject matter is dark, there are light moments and humour, which make it immensely watchable. It stands out for its powerhouse performances and unique storyline.