Master of None
“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.