Interview | Our own voice isn't heard through din of others misrepresenting us: Aparna Shewakramani

Aparna Shewakramani speaks to Trisha Mukherjee about how her experience on the Netflix docu-series Indian Matchmaking propelled her to pen her debut book.
 

Published: 26th June 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2022 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

AparnaShewakramani

Aparna Shewakramani (Photo | Instagram)

Express News Service

Q.What made you realise that you wanted to write this book?

A. The book was spurred on by the thousands of DMs I received weeks and months after Indian Matchmaking from women around the world asking one simple question, “But how did you become like this?” They saw me on the show, but they wanted to know more about what shaped me as a woman. So this book is the answer to their collective question–– these are the lessons of grit and fortitude, but also the moments of triumph, that made me who I am today.

Q. How familiar were you with the process of writing, especially the kind that goes behind writing a book? What kind of research was required?

A. As a lawyer for 10 years prior to writing, 'She’s Unlikeable', authoring my first book was an unprecedented project for me. It was such an empowering experience to write my truth and to craft my own story for the world to read. Often our own voice is not heard through the din of others misrepresenting us, so it was important to me to be authentic and raw in sharing myself in a memoir. No research was needed since what better story do we know than our own. 

Q. What kind of impact do you hope that your story would have?

A. I would tell readers, that your own story matters and you deserve to tell it. Perhaps it won’t be a book but it should be shared in your own bubble––WhatsApp groups, school yards, workplaces and with friends. Reclaiming your own narrative is the ultimate power move.

Q. What made you sign up for Indian Matchmaking, and what went wrong?

A. My goal in signing up for the show was its core purpose of attempting to find me a life partner. Personally, while Indian Matchmaking didn’t conclude with me finding a partner, I believe the larger and more enriching story for myself was of a woman who stood her ground, spoke her truth and refused to settle for matches that were not suitable life partner for her. My goal remains to find a man that is my teammate and ultimate companion, but it will always be on my terms. 

Q. How has your experience on the show changed you as a person? 

A. The show really propelled me to reconsider the path I was on––a corporate America job as a lawyer, living in Houston, Texas, and being in a city I had lived in for almost 30 years. I realised I wanted to choose a career that was more fulfilling for me, so when I started writing She’s Unlikeable, I took a sabbatical from my job as an attorney. I then realised I could live anywhere in the US, since I was no longer tied to a job. So I followed a lifelong dream of mine to move to New York City. The career and city change has been a wonderful experience for me, and I feel I am truly living life on my own terms. 

Q. Will you continue to be part of the second season of the show?     

A. I cannot confirm any further participation in the future seasons of Indian Matchmaking. However, it seems to me that the world was asking for “more” at the end of the first season, and I, for one, can’t wait to watch the second season. I always hope that viewers are better consumers of what they’re watching but ultimately, I also hope they enjoy following more South Asian singles as they hope to find love through matchmaking. 

Q. Do you plan to continue your journey as a writer? 

A. My desire is to continue living a life on my own terms, outside of what society pressures women 
to do, be and achieve. I definitely hope that includes more writing and it’s certainly in my plans.  



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