Mas­ter of None

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Avril. bra­ganza@ dnain­dia. net @ AvrilBra­ganza

“I was raped when I was five till I was seven. I had so much rage and shame in­side of me. And if you told me I had it, I’d say ‘ I’m fine’. You can’t see psy­cho­log­i­cal wound­ing. I had a friend— a lit­tle bird- like crea­ture who would apol­o­gise for liv­ing— who had been sex­u­ally abused by her fa­ther. One day she had com­pletely trans­formed. She had done so­matic ther­apy, so I fol­lowed in her foot­steps and here I am on the other side.”

Fol­low­ing a one- year course in so­mat­ics and trauma in San Fran­cisco, Prim­lani has been work­ing with child sex­ual abuse sur­vivors, sui­cide cases, klep­to­ma­ni­acs, rape victims, autism and other dis­or­ders.

When some­one goes through trauma, it gets stuck in your body for decades, some­times life­long and it will shape who you are and how you think. So­matic ther­apy takes this trauma out of the body, she ex­plains. She does a bone au­dit; once the trauma is found, the treat­ment be­gins. “When the bones are healthy, if I press it, it will regis­ter as pres­sure. If it hurts, it’s trauma. If they have trauma in their bones, they won’t be able to hide it, they will be scream­ing in pain,” she says. Prim­lani also teaches about main­tain­ing bound­aries— pro­fes­sional and per­sonal— and the power of say­ing ‘ no’.

Lit­tle won­der then that she was awarded the Nari Shakti. “It’s is for all the things I am… If you let a woman be what­ever she wants to be she’ll turn out to be a woman like me. I use my brain, body, heart and spirit for the best pur­poses. I’ve al­ways stood for the rights of any­body, but women par­tic­u­larly.” the char­ac­ters and sto­ry­lines,” he says.

The episodes of Mas­ter of None that Penn men­tions are of spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance; in one, pro­tag­o­nist An­sari looks at the daily strug­gle of deal­ing with very In­dian par­ents in an Amer­i­can world. In the other, In­di­ans on TV, An­sari shows how In­dian- Amer­i­can ac­tors are rou­tinely asked to fake In­dian ac­cents to bag roles.

Does this find res­o­nance? “Of course. What I like about the episodes in Mas­ter of None, es­pe­cially Par­ents, is that peo­ple talk about it in the same way they talk about The Name­sake. That there is this au­then­tic cul­tural speci­ficity, be it Ben­gali in The Name­sake or Gu­jarati in Mas­ter of None. Both th­ese sto­ries are wholly Amer­i­can sto­ries,” says Penn.

“And as far as Aziz’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of what it’s like when you’re in an au­di­tion, it’s pretty ac­cu­rate. I don’t know what else to say. I’m cer­tainly not go­ing to de­fend the cast­ing di­rec­tor who usu­ally be­haves that way, and you have to counter that very rig­or­ously. In the last ten years, we’ve changed things a wee bit,” he says.

Am­rita. mad­hukalya@ dnain­dia. net, @ vi­su­al­ly_ kei

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