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Curious Cat and Other Stories
62 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Do We Need To Rescue Our Political Freedom?
Tomorrow is the 72nd Republic day of our country. There is a massive rally of farmers planned not just in Delhi but in other parts of the country as well, against government’s farm laws. This dissent is a right granted to us by the constitution. This freedom to express, is a fundamental right. But it comes at a price. I speak to Venkat, a data scientist this week. Together we ask ourselves how this plays out in every day lives and if we can keep this fundamental right undiluted. Neither of us are experts, but wrestle with it in order to make sense. This is the second and final part of the Curious Cat and other stories series on constitution. Come along. Show notes: Article 19 & 21 in Constitution of India https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_expression_in_India https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/article-21-of-the-constitution-of-india-right-to-life-and-personal-liberty/ Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum’s Capability Approach: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_approach https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/capability-approach/ Kundankulam protests https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/seven-years-later-lives-9000-people-booked-sedition-tn-s-kudankulam-112670 Sedition charges on the editors of Frontier Manipur https://theprint.in/india/2-manipur-editors-author-booked-under-sedition-law-uapa-for-endorsing-armed-revolution/587500/ UAPA law: https://www.boomlive.in/law/explainer-what-is-the-unlawful-activities-prevention-act-9819 Sedition law: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/simply-put-sedition-law-what-courts-said-6254972/ The mythological tale of Parashurama’s obedience https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/why-did-parshurama-cut-his-mothers-head/257880
49 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Be Curious, Ask questions. It is your fundamental duty.
In this episode, we are going back to a term India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru coined - “scientific temper.” He may have fallen out of favour in the current times, but this is an important contribution and we had to go back to it given that it was later introduced as a fundamental duty of every Indian citizen, in our constitution. He first talked about it in his book Discovery of India. He was referring to the attitude of logical and rational thinking and it is not restricted to those practising science only. I chatted with Vinay Kumar, and together we try to make sense of this fundamental duty and how we can execute it. Curious cat is doing a two part series on lesser known aspects of constitution in view of the Republic day celebrations coming up. This is the first part. Come along. PS: Apologies for the poor quality audio in this episode. And look out for my impatient furry fellow Noah join in the conversation.) Full introduction of my guest on this episode: Vinay’s interests range from Mars to Mohenjodaro. An aerospace engineer by training and an Intellectual Property consultant by profession, he has worked extensively at the intersection of technology, arts & society. His interest in heritage conservation led him to co-found #InscriptionStonesOfBangalore, a crowd sourced & crowd funded effort to save ancient inscriptions. He is currently documenting the journey of his music teacher, Dr. Gayathri Rajapur, who was one of India's foremost Gottuvadyam players & ethnomusicologists. Show notes: Constitution of India, Citizen’s fundamental duties: https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_of_india/fundamental_duties/articles/Article%2051A Bangalore Science Forum: http://bangalorescienceforum.in National Scientific temper day: https://www.kamp.res.in/Info/Common?Page=ScientificTemper https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/national-scientific-temper-day-remembering-our-duty-to-develop-a-spirit-of-inquiry-4998071.html On Narendra Dabholkar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narendra_Dabholkar On M M Kalburgi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._M._KalburgiUsefulness of useless knowledge: https://www.ias.edu/about/usefulness-useless-knowledge Gandhi on science: https://www.mkgandhi.org/articles/views_on_sci.htm
46 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
Journaling 101 with Sandhya Menon
If you have been curious about journaling but overwhelmed by all the information available, this episode with Sandhya Menon should be your starting point. Sandhya is a Communications professional with over 17 years of experience and uses journals quite regularly. She is breaking down journaling for us. With 2021 continuing to be chaotic on all fronts, I am thinking journaling will be a handy tool to keep us all afloat. At least we can try. Come along. Show notes: Morning Pages: https://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/ Ryder Carrol - the basic bullet journal and the logic behind the the system https://youtu.be/fm15cmYU0IM Different kind of spreads that you might want to include: https://littlecoffeefox.com/13-bullet-journal-spreads/ Minimal Bullet Journal ideas: https://youtu.be/ZK5VUuxGYr0 Journaling for Mental Health https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
15 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
Let's Complicate Gratitude
In this new year, when everyone is feeling grateful (as we should be, we are alive after all in this pandemic of the century), I have decided to complicate this feeling. Because as in any human emotion, gratitude does not come easy. Curious Cat is asking a lot of tricky questions this episode. I do not necessarily have all the answers. But I think these are relevant and important questions to raise. Come along. Show notes: Theological origins of gratitude: https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jscp.2000.19.1.56Gratitude and Well Being The Benefits of Appreciationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010965/Gratitude Questionnairehttps://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/resources/questionnaires-researchers/gratitude-questionnaire
51 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
We Run, Therefore We Connect
One person’s quest to go beyond their own needs started off this community of runners in Bangalore that is now more than a decade old. Curious Cat is running along Santhosh Padmanabhan, the person behind the Runner’s High community to find out what keeps this community growing and how we can build an alternative space where competition gives way to cooperation. This is the last episode in this series on community building. Tell us what you liked about this episode and the series itself. You can connect with me on my Instagram handle https://www.instagram.com/padmaatnanasu/ Show Notes: About Runner’s High : https://www.runnershigh.in Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/rh.runnershigh
92 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
Let's Talk Pleasure
Continuing our conversation on community building, Curious Cat is diving into the world of intimacy with filmmaker, writer and founder of Agents of Ishq website, Paromita Vohra, on its 5th anniversary. I am asking how she got to Agents of Ishq via filmmaking and writing and what the future looks like for this community that is built on shared ideas of love, sex and desire. Come along. Show Notes: Agents of Ishq website: http://agentsofishq.com Agents of Ishq on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/agentsofishq/ Paromita Vohra is a filmmaker, writer and dedicated antakshari player whose work explores feminism, love and desire, urban life and popular culture. She is also the founder and Creative Director of AGENTS OF ISHQ India’s best-loved website about sex, love and desire. Her documentaries include the landmark films UNLIMITED GIRLS, Q2P, MORALITY TV AUR LOVING JEHAD: EK MANOHAR KAHANI and PARTNERS IN CRIME, WHERE’S SANDRA?, COSMOPOLIS: TWO TALES OF A CITY, among others which have been internationally broadcast and also shown at the Tate Modern and Wellcome Art Gallery. She is the writer of the film Khamosh Pani, the comic Priya’s Mirror, the play Ishqiya, Dharavi Ishtyle and several documentaries. She writes a weekly column, PARO-NORMAL ACTIVITY, in Sunday Midday and previously wrote the column How To Find Indian Love in the Mumbai Mirror. Her fiction and non-fiction have been widely published in several journals, periodicals and anthologies and she has created two installation pieces – So Near Yet So Far (NGMA) and A Love Latika (Goethe Institut). In 2012 Time Out listed her as one of 10 people to change how Indians watch films. She has served on numerous boards and juries and spoken at universities around the world.
40 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
How do you build a community where vulnerability, empathy and kindness is in abundance? I speak to members of citylamps, a Bangalore based Playback theatre company. Yep, Curious Cat is continuing talking to folks on what it takes to build community and what different communities look like. Jump in and join this heart warming conversation. Show Notes: citylamps is a theatre group based in Bangalore, India (but currently largely Zoom!) that practises and performs playback theatre and also hosts monthly readings and open playback jams, workshops and corporate trainings. We are steadfast belief in community building and the joyful and transformative power of personal stories. Instagram handle: https://www.instagram.com/citylampsplaybacktheatre/ Apart from playback theatre, Akash Narendran is a singer, corporate facilitator, passionate about social justice movements; and a future filmmaker. He also studies Transactional Analysis in its application to psychotherapy. Deepthi Bhaskar is a trained classical singer who has a soft corner and talent for the culinary arts. She is a regular Playback Theatre artist and facilitator specialising in music for Playback Theatre. Her convection that everybody can and should sing has her conducting music jams and class across the city. She channelises her restlessness through developing and curating music for national and international theatrical productions, and wandering to soulful destinations. Rashmi is a theatre director, actor, translator and facilitator. The intersection of Kannada and English theatre as well as that of playback and proscenium theatre is an area that she loves working with. A Gender Bender grantee, she has directed video series and many acclaimed plays that have toured. Anisha is a student of psychology and cheerleader for early access to the Arts for everyone. When she is not in a group song circle or cycling around Bangalore she enjoys training in playback theatre and improv that she started just during the lockdown. She is excited about the intersection of community building, introspective reflections and spontaneous art that playback chanelizes. She is an avid traveler and pot luck champion Laxmi loves spontaneous theatre, the idea that she will get to the books she has bought and friendships which are easy. She has been described by people as a good listener and annoying plenty of times. Keep yourself updated on all things Curious Cat and Other Stories on my Instagram handle https://www.instagram.com/padmaatnanasu/
25 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
Playbacking Inclusivity & diversity
With the motto 'Theatre For All, Theatre For Life’ Bangalore based playback theatre company, First Drop Theatre has been traversing the arts and community building since 2015. Curious Cat and Other Stories is continuing its exploration of community building with today’s episode where I chat with the co-founder of the company, Radhika Jain. Come along. Show notes: More about Centre for Playback theatrehttps://www.playbackcentre.orgFirst Drop theatre https://www.instagram.com/firstdroptheatre/
76 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
Slowing Down a Maximum City
Slowly Slowly Aslam Saiyad and MS Gopal have built their relationship with Mumbai and its people, beyond the glitz and grit narrative. In the second episode in the series on community building, I talk to them about their Go Hallu Hallu initiative, their love for all things Mumbai, and what it takes to get more people to fall in love with the city that is already a destination for dreamers. Let’s jump right in. Show notes: Original image in the poster courtesy: Sreedevi Jayaprakash Go Hallu Hallu blog: https://gohalluhallu.wordpress.comAslam Saiyad's work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bombay_ka_shana/https://www.instagram.com/mumbai_rivers_photo_project/MS Gopal's work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mumbaipaused/MS Gopal's Bangalore photo blog: https://mainsandcrosses.blogspot.com
76 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Keep showing up - Tara Krishnaswamy
In this episode, Curious Cat is exploring community activism, a form of community building with Tara Krishnaswamy. A known name from the Steel Flyover beda, chukubuku beku campaigns in Bangalore. She is now a co-founder of Shakti, a pan India, non-partisan citizens pressure group that demands more women be sent to parliament. This is an episode you don’t want to miss. Ride long. Show notes: Tara's twitter handle: @tarauk
17 minutes | Nov 9, 2020
Politics of Self Care
Whole of last week US elections kept everyone on tenterhooks. Everyone even India was watching it with baited breath. There were calls for self-care, as the suspense continued before the final results were called. Curious Cat and Other stories is exploring the sidelines of this political drama by diving into the politics of self care. Yes, you read that right. So let’s jump right in. Understanding the radical history of self care by Sadie Trombetta https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/understanding-radical-history-of-self-care/ Politics of self care and feminism https://www.genderit.org/feminist-talk/politics-self-care-and-feminism The billion dollar business http://www.brainblogger.com/2014/05/23/the-self-help-industry-helps-itself-to-billions-of-dollars/ Report on the latest Time Use Survey https://www.livemint.com/news/india/your-caste-and-class-determines-how-you-spend-time-11602657834829.html http://mospi.nic.in/download-reports
19 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Caste Shadow on Mental Health
This is the 4th and final episode in the series on Mental health. Curious Cat is exploring the intersection of caste and mental health. Caste is a difficult and emotional subject to unpack, which means it has a direct line to one’s mental health. What does the existing set up look like? What more do we need to do? Curious Cat and other stories is asking these very questions in this episode. Let’s jump right in. Trigger Warning: Talks about caste violence, rape and traumaShow notes: Residential segregation in urbanising India https://www.dropbox.com/s/nwa1cvkwoo59v0w/urbanPreprintBMR.pdf?dl=0 Fractal urbanism: City size and residential segregation in India https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/3ycrb Creating accessible mental health services to Bahujans https://thebluedawn.org Number of psychiatrists in India: Baby steps forward, but a long way to go https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341936/ Assess the Relationship of Caste with Depression and Anxiety in Nepal https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3907946/ Explaining Caste discrimination in Bengaluru https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ynPVWWeQjo
76 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Rainbow At The Far End Of A Charmed Circle
All of October, Curious Cat and Other Stories is exploring various aspects of Mental Health. In today’s episode, we learn about the history and consequences of erasing queer identities and how we can start to remedy this. Curious Cat is diving into the world of Queer Affirmative Mental Health Practice; come along.Trigger warning: Trauma, murder and suicide (Today's episode comes from a farmland far away from 4g network, so look out for buzzing cricket sounds, doggies and oh construction sounds, the charms of working from home)
41 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
Parenting during the Pandemic
Are you a parent exhausted from playing the teacher, friend, and a punching bag for your bewildered child in this lockdown? Then this podcast is for you. Listen to Dr Maitri Goplalakrishna a drama therapist who shares her learnings on parenting during the pandemic.
19 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
Investing in Mental Health
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY SPECIAL!In this episode of Curious Cat and Other Stories, I am giving you a quick summary of India’s mental health care policy and the issues we are facing. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is “Investing in Mental health.” What will it mean to do so here in India? Listen to this quick explainer to understand more. Bonus: Poetry by Chandrama Deshmukh! Trigger warning: Suicide statistics.
70 minutes | Oct 2, 2020
Feminism, Fun and Forging Ahead
Today's episode I talk to Neha Singh, a Mumbai based Women's rights activist, children's author and theatre practitioner. She was named one of the 100 women of impact in the world, by BBC in 2016. She has won awards for both her writing and acting. Enjoy the conversation!
32 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
Addiction: Personal failure? Or Collective responsibility?
Use of narcotics and its problems are at the forefront of the news cycle and hence our living rooms for the past few weeks. In this episode, the curious cat dives in to understand the history of intoxicants in India, the definition of addiction, how we as a society are dealing with this issue and the path to recovery.
40 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
The 3 Cs of Success!
I talk to Vasanthi Hariprakash about navigating social media, building your social capital and why it is absolutely imperative to tell your story to the world.
19 minutes | Sep 4, 2020
The Productivity Conundrum
In this episode I explore how we have come to conflate self worth with net worth in our quest of being productive human beings. I delve into the economic, sociological and psychological perspectives of this productivity conundrum. I will also share with you how feminism views this whole idea. This is a 19 minute long podcast; at the end of which if you can tell me how many times I say the word productivity, there is a grand prize to win. Okay there isn't a prize but I am hoping it will get you till the end! Show notes: COVID-19: A Feminist Killjoy’s Rant On Toxic Productivity In The Academy https://feminisminindia.com/2020/04/07/covid-19-feminist-killjoys-toxic-productivity-academy/
40 minutes | Aug 20, 2020
Writing and the myth of writer's block with Andaleeb Wajid
My first episode is a deep dive into the writerly life of Bangalore based author, the very prolific Andaleeb Wajid. I read her book More than just Biriyani a couple of years ago and simply fell in love with it. I have since then read a few other books of hers, she writes them faster than I can read. I am not kidding. I interviewed Andaleeb some time last year, in the pre-covid era when it was possible to meet over a hot chocolate and talk about things. Since then Andaleeb has written 4 more books! Taking the total number of books she has authored to 25. Let’s jump right in and ask her all the questions related to her craft, her inspirations and how she has eased into self publishing her books.
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