A pensive woman looking at her laptop. Behind her are posters, including that of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan

When Bollywood Superstar Aamir Khan Came Calling, And I Said... No 😩

Written on July 6, 2023
Published June 3, 2024

Soon after we moved back to India from the US, someone from Bollywood Superstar Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate team reached out to me. They had stumbled across a rather hard-hitting post of mine called "Rape: Myths and Reality." And they wanted me to come on the show as an expert. 

So did I accept this amazing opportunity to come on national television with one of India's biggest superstars? And have a discussion with him, and with the rest of the nation, about how sexual assaults can impact women, often for life?

Of course, not. I immediately choked out a "no," slammed down the phone, went into my bedroom and curled up in a stress-ball under the sheets. 


Before we moved back to India for a few years, I worked as a tech consultant in the US. Life had been so good to me, so I decided I wanted to give back to society. I enrolled in a rape crisis counselor training offered by the Bay Area Women Against Rape. And when I moved to India, I used all I'd learned from the training, and from the time I offered phone support to survivors of sexual assaults, I wrote that hard-hitting piece that caught the attention of Satyamev Jayate

Fast forward many years. To 2023, in fact.

I've been back in the US for a few years now, and I'm reading Shonda Rhimes' Year Of Yes. Shonda Rhimes, if you don't already know, is the brains behind hit TV shows such as:

  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Bridgerton
  • How To Get Away With Murder

So, a woman of phenomenal talent. We have much in common, Shonda and I:

  • We're the same age.
  • We're both writers (except for, ahem, the canyon-level gap in our respective successes).
  • We've both said "no" to various opportunities because of intense stage fright.

I didn't call 2023 my Year Of Yes, but I did give it a name. 23 and Me (tacky and unoriginal. I know, I know). But it has worked for me, and I have a lot of exciting things ahead of me. 

So, thank you, Shonda Rhimes, for not giving us the Athlete Talk, for being so brutally honest.

And Aamir Khan, if you do a show about gritty issues that impact the world again, I'm available. 

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