#ELLEDigitalCover: Karuna Nundy, Shweta Tripathi And Dolly Singh Are Living Their Best Lives And We’re Here For It
Did someone say superwomen?
We talk to three women who have embarked on unique journeys of fulfilling careers and in the process become role models to many. They’ve fought criminals in the court, essayed unorthodox roles in films, and acted as a catalyst to mental health conversations.
Lawyer Karuna Nundy is a force of nature. As a leading voice fighting for gender equality, constitutional rights and freedom of speech, her prolific career is decorated with some of India’s most famous cases like the marital rape case, the gay marriage case and the Bhopal gas tragedy. She wants women and queer folks to know their rights about dignity, privacy and bodily integrity. “The arc of the moral universe bends towards justice, and one day, someday there will complete justice,” says Karuna on the slow march to equality.
Besides the court cases she fights, Karuna uses her public engagement and social media as a catalyst to establish a culture where citizens learn and respect fundamental rights even before it reaches a court of law. Before she found her true calling, Karuna tried her hand at reporting and almost ventured into filmmaking, but her desire to work for marginalised communities and bring change took precedence over the other two options. Her work has come with frequent glory and applause, but the tough days navigating the system are frequent too and then she turns to other nourishment. “Nature, meditation, family, friends, the love that I receive and give and hearing about someone somewhere being generous and inspire, that fuels me onward.”
Shweta Tripathi has successfully carved an identity for herself, showcasing her acting chops in unconventional films. Whether it’s one of her first films Masaan, Gone Kesh (she played a bald alopecia patient) or Cargo, a unique sci-fi film, Shweta has announced—she is going to be ‘choosy’ in picking her roles. Giving the word a positive spin, Shweta feels being choosy is important. “Our job as an actor is physical, and while it’s also very emotional, our job is psychological.”
That Shweta is supremely comfortable in her own skin and her energy is infectious, comes across as clear as day during our interview. “My on-screen roles are dark and gravitated. If you look at my Instagram profile though, I think that’s more me,” she says. She carries this idea of comfort to her style, actively favouring sustainable fashion. A NIFT graduate, her fashion philosophy is to dress up the way that makes her happy. And surprisingly for an actress, she’s an advocate of repeating and sharing outfits with friends.
Does she ever feel forced to hustle her way into larger projects? “The mainstream pressure doesn’t get to me at all because I’m happy,” she smiles. Currently, afflicted by the problem of plenty—“I’m doing three projects at the same time and between cities, there are projects that I have to say no to, not because I don’t want to do them but because I have no dates”—Shweta is cherishing this phase of her life.
Content creator / Youtube personality/everyone’s favourite South Delhi girl Dolly Singh’s formula for success is simple. “I like to keep it real and honest with my audience, and that’s how we connect with each other,” she says matter-of-factly. And anyone who’s seen her get continually candid on video will agree. A self-confessed jack of all trades, she fears regretting not trying everything—a fact that shines through her personality.
A vocal mental health advocate, Dolly has a couple of lines for young women who might be struggling with such issues. “Get help if you can, in the form of therapy or a friend. Don’t bottle up your feelings; express them through writing or share them with close ones,” she emphasises lovingly. As someone who lived with Imposter Syndrome over the last couple of years, Dolly laughs that her advice to celebrate and enjoy life is more to herself than others.
A joyous work in progress, her days are currently spent in training workshops, copious writing, and a little late to the party, but she’s finally discovering The Big Bang Theory. Hesitantly acknowledging her success so far, Dolly is raring to achieve more.
As curious onlookers, our takeaway from the lives of these wonderful women is to follow your passion, have your heart in the right place and remember to enjoy the process.
Content Director & Editor: Kamna Malik; Photographer: Sahil Behal; Fashion Editor: Zoha Castelino; HMU: Bishnupada Sinha, Paromita Sinha, Jean-Claude Biguine (for Shweta Tripathi); Production: GoStudio Productions, Peanut Butter; Marketing Head: Ekta Ashar; Assisted by: Siddhi Dolas, Rajvi Jhaveri (styling)