Pune has no dearth of starstruck people it seems. IN the first edition of Punewaali, on a Friday afternoon, they poured in numbers to kick-start the event and meet Pune city’s two most influential women. The actress Sonalee Kulkarni of “apsara ali” fame and the most-loved voice of the city, RJ Shonali in conversation with another Punewaali and an accomplished author, Sudha Menon.

If you think that the audience was divided as fans of Sonalee vs. Shonali then let us make it clear, Sonalee Kulkarni chose her co-guest.

The newly-opened Flour Works provided the perfect setting to celebrate the women achievers of the city. Sudha Menon opened on the note “Dreams do come true”.

On Dreams Coming True

For Sonalee Kulkarni, an army officer’s child, the journey to the silver screen has been a tremendous one. She got an award for her debut movie “Bakula Namdeo Ghotale”. The “Poshter Girl” actress said, “Dreams are an inspiration.” The moment you believe in dreams you believe in the impossible. Sonalee confessed she is quite a weird dreamer as she has a parallel world in her dreams, what she cannot accomplish in real life she completes in her dreams.

On the other hand RJ Shonali’s journey to become one of the most loved voices is a picture book story. The Aurangabad girl, went through various phases before she realised that radio was her true calling. For Shonali, her decision to move from Aurangabad to Pune was the turning point of her life.

Women supporting other women

Both women acknowledge that it is the women in their lives who have been instrumental in letting them pursue their dreams. For Sonalee it is her Punjabi mother who let her perform at Ganesh mandals on popular Bollywood numbers much to the dismay of the elders in the family. And for Shonali her mother-in-law broke all conventional notions about the relationship and convinced her husband to shift with her once she got a job in Pune.

Are RJs Born or Made?

Shonali feels you are born with the voice. But how you talk and what you say are the most important things in being a successful RJ. She says, even if an RJ has a 4-hour long slot it is hardly only 12 minutes that they have to themselves, rest of the content is sadly, pre-decided.

On Bollywood Way

Even though Shonalee has made her Bollywood debut in ‘Grand Masti’ and played a cameo in Ajay Devgn starrer Singham 2”, she believes Marathi Cinema provides her much more substantial roles.

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