From Saturday Morning, 11:45 am on 1 July 2023 
In her own words, Ankita Singh came to New Zealand as a fat, nerdy seven-year-old From India. Bookish and bespectacled, she says she was a prime target for bullying.
Nowadays, Singh has a sell-out play, Basmati Bitch, which celebrates her love for, among other things, martial arts and “women beating the crap out of people.”
Playwright Ankita Singh, creator of Basmati Bitch on at Q Theatre Photo: Julie Zhu & Todd Karehana
Playwright Ankita Singh, creator of Basmati Bitch on at Q Theatre Photo: Julie Zhu & Todd Karehana
Singh is an Auckland-based writer hailing from Chandigarh and Kirikiriroa. She’s the founder of Asian theatre producers Oriental Maidens and has an animated series in development with Taika Waititi’s Piki Films. 
Basmati Bitch has nightclubs doubling as fight clubs, dairies with rice bunkers and aunties scheming away in mahjong dens.
Singh also has an anthology episode due out on TVNZ about a mother-daughter mixed martial arts duo, she told Kim Hill.
“I was always obsessed with martial arts just because when I was growing up, I used to watch a lot of anime that had martial arts, but I was like a really fat kid, very unfit, nerdy type.
“And I never really got to do anything at school. So, when I got the opportunity at university, my good friend convinced me to come with her because she'd been doing it for a few years.
“And yeah it took one lesson going into this underground gym and putting on hand wraps to get me hooked.”
The Muay Thai that Singh practises is good for mind and body, she says.
“I know a lot of my friends do martial arts specifically for their mental health and a great side benefit is you get ripped, and you can probably learn how to beat people up.”
Basmati Bitch has proven so popular it's already sold out and had an extended run, she says
“We added another week. And I think we were trying to add some matinees as well. Not sure how the actors feel about that, because it's quite a physical show.”
Singh says one day she’s like to make a political drama based on South Asian history.
“I think that would be like my dream project. Because I think Indian and South Asian history is so rich and interesting and full off Game of Thrones-y moments where people get their eyes gouged out, and there's epic battles at sea and sieges. And I think it's a really interesting history that not a lot of people know about.”

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