Sumitra smilingly recalls her teenage days when she wanted to become a veterinarian.She found her way to Medical school, but then switched to Language & Communications in what would be the start of a love affair with writing.
While dabbling in theatre, she got an opportunity to work for a television station as a news producer and then later presenter . She took the opportunity in a blink of an eye, and what lay ahead changed her career drastically.
This is where her broadcasting career began, and today she has more than 20 years of experience in broadcasting both in front of and behind the camera, as well as in PR and media relations.
While working with a group of young people, she was inspired to create an account on Instagram and being a saree lover and a creative writer, she blended both of her interests in her Instagram posts. Her Instagram is a perfect blend of creativity and authenticity. When asked why she posts long contents on Instagram, she said, “Why not! I like writing long captions; I like telling stories. If you like looking at the pictures of me in the sarees, if you want to know more about the sarees, please go ahead.”
Every picture that she posts conveys a story. She loves weaving stories in her 6meter sarees. Her Instagram is her aesthetic space and she tries to make alluring use of it.
Alongside sharing personal posts, Sumitra writes for saree brands which she would love to try, but here’s the highlight, she doesn’t charge money for that. She sets her priorities right with the vendors and tells them that she will write only an honest review, and that’s how she goes about it. In Sumitra’s words, “I work with ethical vendors who do have craftspersons’ best interests at heart.” She collaborates with those vendors who are invested in artisanal crafts, who understand that the weaving industry in India is a hard place to be in, and are willing to answer her questions.
Sumitra on Social Media Trolls
“I pick and choose my battles. My foundation is that I call out bad behaviour. I have no space for bad behaviour, and I choose to engage rather than ignore,” says Sumitra. Sumitra has met many creeps sending her obscene DMs; of course, she doesn’t reply to everyone because she doesn’t have the time, but the ones Sumitra does, she keeps track of who they are and uses them as examples to teach other women to recognise patterns. She does not let anyone intrude in her system. She is outright blunt to those creeps because she feels that’s how they will learn a lesson.
And when it comes to people asking her why she is the way she is, her answer to everybody is, “It is my space.” She is very ethical and strict in her approach. She does not let any nuisance ruin her peace of mind.
Sumitra on feminism
Sumitra’s inspiring words on feminism, “I love feminism. It is not about wanting a better life only for a woman. It is about wanting a better life for everyone. To have a conversation about feminism, we need to have a conversation about privilege.’’ She believes that things are not going to change because we want other people’s behaviour to change. Things will only change when we stand up and tell other people to change. She continues, “I want generations of women to be able to walk down the street at 11 p.m. without having keys in their fists as their weapon. Real men have no problem with bad behaviour being called out.”
She staunchly believes in women empowerment and tries to uplift every woman she can. She emphasizes on the fact that women should be given independence and freedom. They have a lot of potential in themselves and as human beings we must unleash it for the betterment of the society, quotes Sumitra.
A Small Piece of Advice for Aspiring Social Media Creators
Once you get on social media, you need to decide your validation source. If you require your source of validation to be external, for example, you want followers, likes, want to be famous, understand that you will need to do anything it takes to achieve that. There is no exact formula, but there are tried and tested things that you can do. However, if your validation is internal, if your validation is how good you feel about yourself, you need to create contents that make you happy, and it’s alright if you have zero engagement. But you have got to pick, and you can’t have both. Decide and go for it.