Soul Sutras Press

The Guardian

Sangeeta Pillai in the Guardian, talking about conscious singledom and choosing to have sex with herself

So until I meet a man who knows his own power, I’m staying single.

I was single. He was cute. Our eyes met across the burnished oak dinner tables in a manor house hotel in the New Forest where I was staying.

I’d booked myself a solo pampering weekend in a fancy hotel, as I do a few times a year. Luxurious countryside setting. Spa treatments. Lavish dinner for one at the restaurant.

Here’s the thing you need to know about single women in our 40s and 50s. We are not driven by our biological clock, settling for someone because we want babies. We don’t need a partner to do things with. We are happy going on holidays, going to the theatre, eating dinner, all by ourselves. We don’t need a man to “complete” us – we are complete in ourselves.

I’d love to meet someone to share my life with, but it won’t be just any man. I will not settle for someone unless they are worthy of my time, my love, my energy, my body. So until I meet a man who knows his own power, I’m staying single.

Sangeeta Pillai writes in The Guardian about making the choice to not be a "good Indian woman" and choosing the feminist path instead.

I was supposed to grow up to be a ‘good Indian woman’. I chose freedom instead

I was told to listen to my parents, find a husband and ignore my own needs. But I decided to take my own path.

As a young girl growing up in a very traditional Mumbai family, I knew I was expected to grow up to be a certain sort of woman.

Here’s what I was taught. A good Indian woman is obedient and lives the life her parents and society tell her to live. A good Indian woman gets “married off” early and becomes a mother quickly because that is her primary purpose. A good Indian woman doesn’t reveal any part of her body or her sexual desires. A good Indian woman ignores her own needs and lives her life serving others. My mother, my grandmother and many women before them had lived…

Brown Girl Magazine

A feminist guide to celebrating Diwali, an article by Sangeeta Pillai in Brown Girl magazine

I’m single, a feminist and the founder of Masala Podcast  — tackling those taboo subjects South Asians shy away from. I chose not to follow the traditional Indian path of getting married and having kids. This means that Diwali, with its usual traditions, can be a tough time for me. Because if you don’t meet the quintessential South Asian expectations of having a husband, kids and extended family, it is assumed that you’ll miss out on all the Diwali magic. Who do you burn firecrackers with when you don’t have kids? Who’s going to make all the Diwali sweets when you have a busy career and social life? Who’s going to fight you for the last chakli in the Diwali tin if you’re not that connected with your siblings?

The Guardian

Masala Podcast, top feminist podcast, from Sangeeta Pillai is featured in the Guardian, UK.

Best podcasts of the week

What is it like to challenge cultural expectations of gender and sexuality to become the first out British Muslim drag queen? In the illuminating sixth episode of Masala, the founder of south Asian feminist network Soul Sutras, Sangeeta Pillai, speaks to Asifa Lahore to find out…

BBC Woman’s Hour


Hear me from 37:09 to 44:00 mins


Sangeeta Pillai wears a sparkly blue dress, smiling into the camera, in the Metro talking about Masala Podcast

How do you learn about sex when you have ‘zero’ sex ed? Ask podcaster Sangeeta Pillai

When Sangeeta Pillai realised she was receiving ‘zero’ sex education, she took matters into her own hands, so to speak.

Now a boss podcaster and host of the award-winning Masala Podcast, Sangeeta is a feminist activist, who is behind platform Soul Sutras, and is breaking down taboos for South Asian and British Asian women…


Sangeeta Pillai in the Guardian, writes about dancing with strangers in New York

What to do when alone at a posh party in New York? Dance with strangers!

I decide that I’m here to make friends, and do memorable things in New York – not just stand around. I join the girls I just met on the dancefloor, and they look happy to see me.

We dance. And we dance. We are joined together in that moment, all of us mouthing the words of the songs we know so well.

Suddenly, New York’s streets don’t look so scary.

Sometimes, the scariest and the most liberating thing you can do is just “turn up”. And trust that the world is a good place. Sometimes, life is about dancing with strangers, grabbing moments of joy even in the middle of all the darkness and the fear.

Cosmopolitan UK

Masala Podcast, top feminist podcast for South Asian women featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Listed as the top ten feminist podcasts by Cosmopolitan, winner of British Podcast Awards.

22 best sex and relationship podcasts of 2022

Hosted by Soul Sutras founder Sangeeta Pillai, Masala Podcast won a British Podcast Awards in 2020…

“Sangeeta Pillai is a one-woman powerhouse…”


The Guardian

Sangeeta Pillai featured in The Guardian for her South Asian feminist podcast/

Best podcasts of the week

Sangeeta Pillai’s award-winning Masala Podcast has grown from indie production to Spotify Original, and is as vibrant and plucky as ever as it airs cultural taboos and speaks to South Asian women about everything “they’re not supposed to”.

Those blue topics include coming out aged 50, ending female genital mutilation, feminism, menopause, mental health, “nipple hair”, and whether the Kama Sutra is still relevant…


“As a South Asian woman, my relationship with sex is complicated”

How do you ask for an orgasm when you don’t know the words for it in your language? How do you develop your sexual technique when you’re not supposed to even have any sex until you’re married?

My relationship with sex as a South Asian woman is complicated. I literally do not know the words for vulva, vagina, orgasm or masturbation in any of the three Indian languages that I speak. Because sex wasn’t part of my language or my culture when I was growing up.


Metro newspaper article featuring Sangeeta Pillai, founder of south Asian feminist network Soul Sutras

The trauma of growing up seeing my dad abuse my mum turned me into a feminist

My earliest childhood memories are of my father bashing my mother’s head against the wall of our ramshackle Mumbai home. 

Thud. Crack. Bang.

The scene plays in my mind like a stuck record. Over and over again. I see it as if it were happening now. The blood dripping, meandering red and muddy down the wall. All our cries and shrieks are disembodied, distant…

Stylist Magazine

Celebrating the festival of Diwali as a feminist, Sangeeta Pillai writes an important article for Stylist magazine.

Diwali: “Why I’ve created my very own feminist festival of lights”

As a child-free South Asian woman, writer Sangeeta Pillai found she didn’t fit in with traditional Diwali celebrations. So, she decided to create her very own feminist festival. 

The heat of just-warmed oil against my sleepy skin for the traditional bath on Diwali morning. The stiffness of a sparkly new salwar kameez dropped off by the tailor the evening before. The smoke of firecrackers. The excitement of lighting a rocket and dashing off before it explodes high in the sky…

BBC Radio

“I want Soul Sutras to be a place where South Asian women feel heard – a safe space where we can celebrate our culture and challenge the cultural taboos that hold us back.”



Women’s Health Australia

Sex was the ultimate taboo

Sex was the ultimate taboo growing up in India. We never talked about it. In South Asian culture, traditionally, sex is seen as being ‘for men’. We’re told Indian womxn are chaste. When I moved to the the UK, I saw that womxn lived differently. But it’s phychologically diffcult to reject things you think are part of your culture. Then I read books like the Kama Sutra and realised ‘Hang on, our culture doesn’t say sex is bad!’ After learning to embrace my sexuality, I started my platform to help other South Asian womxn…

Sunday Times, Pod Bible Podcast supplement

Homegrown Magazine

Listen To A South Asian Diasporic Podcast On Cultural Taboo & Intersectional Feminism

India is one of the biggest economies in the world yet is currently far behind the so-called ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries. Along with challenges like poverty, pollution, illiteracy, corruption, unemployment, terrorism and communalism, it’s also one of the leading countries in gender-based crimes like rape, sexual assault, kidnapping, abduction, cruelty by intimate partner or relatives, trafficking, persecution for dowry and dowry deaths. We’re known to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women…

“With Soul Sutras, she wanted to create safe spaces for South Asian women to tell their stories…”


Huffington Post

Sangeeta Pillai, Huffington Post

Sangeeta Pillai

Activist, writer and speaker Sangeeta Pillai is the founder of the South Asian feminist network Soul Sutras which is all about tackling taboos within the culture. She’s the creator of the Spotify award-winning Masala Podcast, the show for South Asian womxn dealing with sex, sexuality, shame, periods & other taboos…

Featured In ‘I May Destroy You’ on BBC One

Linktree Blog

Shattering the Stigma: Meet the educators taking on sexual health

Growing up with a very traditional family in Mumbai, India, Sangeeta Pillai was taught that sex was wrong and not to be discussed. “We never talked about sex, it was never a part of any conversations. When there was a scene on TV where someone was kissing, my parents would turn off the TV,” Pillai tells us over Zoom. It wasn’t only her family that shared this notion, Pillai says that centuries of patriarchy have normalized shame around sex in most South Asian cultures…



Too taboo to handle

The words “Besharam! Bathameez!” are the opening lines to Sangeeta Pillai’s widely popular Masala Podcast. It’s a sneak preview of the podcast’s unfiltered, raw, and deeply empathetic conversation with women from South Asia…


14 Women Pioneers of Podcasting to Follow Right Now

Sangeeta created Soul Sutras as a feminist platform for all South Asian femmes to counter the stigma and talk openly about cultural taboos like sex and sexuality, periods and menopause, and even mental health, shame, and sexual harassment. Their flagship audio project is the Masala Podcast, which features interviews with fierce South Asian womxn about such taboo topics. Sangeeta provides this safe space while also maintaining a connection to her South Asian cultural identity…

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