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8 minutes | Apr 13, 2015
This is a short and sweet convo from Akaash and Arjun to you letting you know about our move from "Indian, American" to "American Desis" The podcast will be returning under this new name with a awesome new website and dope new interviews! Listen to the episode to find out all the details and we are looking forward to you joining us in the new digs! As always you can tweet @indoamericanpod and reach out on our Facebook page till we switch up.
38 minutes | Apr 10, 2015
We Can Do Better
In the new discussion segment of Indian, American, Akaash and Arjun discuss themes that resonated with them during the interview. In response to this week's interview with Anuvab Pal, Akaash and Arjun discuss how in India there is a community for artists that believes more in the philosophy of "a rising tide lifts all boats" than here in the states. They explore why that is, leaning to the conclusion that our status as minorities leaves us less space to be involved and cultivates a "Fuck you, I'm gonna get mine." mindset The discussion then moves to audiences. Our hosts get confused and heated in discussing how rude and ill-mannered we become as a group and they implore you guys as listeners to chime in as to why. They then engage with the tweets they received in the past week that dealt with Bollywood, sex, why Akaash is so shy, and racism. As always we ask y'all to review and rate. Discuss and share our podcast! We are only as strong as our community and we continue to hope you join!
32 minutes | Apr 6, 2015
Anuvab Pal- Comedy Cowboys
Akaash is a comedian with experience working as a comedian in the states, but what happens when he talks to someone who succeeded in India? Do the jokes work the same way? Are the audiences the same? Can you push the envelope the same way? These are questions we hoped to answer when we spoke to Anuvab Pal, a successful playwright, screenwriter, and is now working in the new frontier of stand up comic in India, helping to define the culture in its infancy. Anuvab grew up in Mumbai, but came to New York in the 90s. After writing plays out here, he wrote a cult comedy classic in India, which pushed him to move back home. His experience living in and working in both countries gave him a unique perspective on the similarities between the two entertainment industries. We hear tales of corporate gigs in uncultured areas, and the history of how stand up started in India, as well as its current state. Are comedians in India as competitive as Desis in America? Or do they have a strong sense of community? As always, the discussion episode will follow in a couple of days. Hit us up on Twitter and Facebook with thoughts on this. Thanks for listening!
39 minutes | Apr 3, 2015
Akaash Thinks You're Stupid
In the new discussion segment of Indian, American Akaash and Arjun discuss themes that resonated with them during the interview. This week, in response to the interview with Seema Aunty, Akaash and Arjun discuss Hindi and their relationship with it, their respective families and how they taught or mocked them when they spoke it, insecurities, and what would allow them to feel Indian enough. They then engage with the tweets they received in the past week that dealt with the language and culture and...that's pretty much it.... As always we ask yall to review and rate. Discuss and share our podcast! We are only as strong as our community and we continue to hope you join!
41 minutes | Mar 30, 2015
Cultural Lessons through Seinfeld
“When a language dies, a way of understanding the world dies with it, a way of looking at the world. ” ― George Steiner. Many of us South Asians in this country don’t speak our mother tongue regularly, whether its Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, or Bengali. Are we losing a way of understanding? Are we already behind the eight ball when it comes to honoring our cultures? Or are we just a process of the evolution of culture and the natural evolution of language? On this week's episode, we welcome a professor of one of the mother tongues of the region: Hindi. Seema Khurana, a family friend of Arjun’s, who our co-hosts refer to in the respectful way of Seema Aunty. Seema Aunty speaks with us about the history of Hindi, the political implications of it and its changes, and addresses her level of concern about the loss of Hindi. She also tells the story of how she herself assimilated and took on the transition from “suburban housewife” to university professor. We tackle the issues presented in both those transitions as she turns the conversation around a bit to our co hosts. Built into this assimilation process was a realization that she was not seeing her story presented by South Asian stories written in English; so she has become an advocate for Diaspora Hindi writers to become more well known in the community. As always, our discussion episode will be in a few days. So write into our Twitter or Facebook page. Catch you in a couple days.
38 minutes | Mar 26, 2015
Arjun & Akaash In Bed
In the new discussion segment of Indian, American Akaash and Arjun discuss themes that resonated with them during the interview. In response to this week's interview with Surina, Akaash and Arjun discuss the casting couch and its possible relationship to sexual repression; the banned documentary India's Daughter; and why we started to do what we did. They then engage with the tweets they received in the past week that dealt with the Cricket World Cup again, gender equality in Hinduism, and more. As always: we ask yall to review and rate. Discuss and share our podcast! We are only as strong as our community and we continue to hope you join!
45 minutes | Mar 23, 2015
The Casting Couch Shit Show
The casting couch. We spoke to Omi Vaidya about it, but now we get a female's perspective. One who has been out in the field and lived to tell about it. Surina Jindal come to us from a small town in North Carolina. She was introduced to and fell in love with Bollywood through the dances. Dances she would practice by watching VHS tapes over and over until they wore out. This love was so strong, she transferred rom a Division I University to a technical institute on Long Island because their Bhangra team was better. The conversation ends up bobbing and weaving through many topics as our hosts were feeling loose and our guest was hungover. And yet, because they are so dope, Arjun and Akaash still managed to hit the themes of sexual perversity, displacement of heritage, Bobby Jindal, Bhangra, and Arjun's chest. Make sure to listen to the whole roller coaster of an episode and then comment on our Facebook and Twitter page! Also Rate and Subscribe! Much love and God bless.
38 minutes | Mar 19, 2015
Arjun Can't Understand Twitter
In the new discussion segment of Indian, American Akaash and Arjun discuss themes that resonated with them during the interview. In response to the part 2 of Rajiv and Nitu's interview, Akaash and Arjun discuss their relationship to Hinduism, dating, and marriage. They then engage with the community and discuss tweets they received in the past week that dealt with the Cricket World Cup and the fact that Arjun offended someone (for once). As always we ask yall to review and rate. Discuss and share our podcast! We are only as strong as our community and we continue to hope you join!
38 minutes | Mar 16, 2015
Rajiv and Nitu- Two States (Pt. 2)
For those of you that missed part one…what are you doing?!? Go download it!! For those of you that forgot, Rajiv and Nitu joined the podcast as the first couple to be interviewed together. They are a recently married couple who spoke to the value of cultural compatibility. In part two, Rajiv and Nitu Shenoy continue their discussion with the boys about the fabric of marriage. They explore how logic and practicality balance with love and emotion in what becomes a discussion of Eastern and Western attitudes. The conversation then moves to religion, and the implication it has on a relationship and child-rearing. Is religious compatibility as important as cultural compatibility? Is it even a separate category? The discussion then moves somewhat contentiously towards gender roles. The role of the mother and the father; the role of the husband and the wife. Let's just say there is disagreement on what those roles need to be. Again, the discussion part of the interview is now a different episode that we will release in a few days so please reach out on Twitter and Facebook so we can involve you in that discussion! Thanks guys and girls…or ladka and ladki (how do you pluralize that?)
35 minutes | Mar 13, 2015
2:30 in the Morning
Hey guys. This is the first episode of our newly reformatted discussion episode. Akaash and Arjun tackled many technical obstacles and their own stupidity to get this recorded at 2:30 in the morning. They first discuss their own take on the Rajiv and Nitu interview and then respond to people who reached out at them on twitter and on facebook. As usual they end up probably pissing off one or two people. This is their first one so get back at them on twitter and Facebook and let them know what you think. As always rate and subscribe. Download and Share. Thanks y'all!
37 minutes | Mar 9, 2015
Rajiv & Natasha Shenoy- 2 States (Pt. 1)
What about that marriage thing? Akaash and Arjun don’t know a damn thing about it personally, but they went out and found two people who did. Enter Rajiv and Natasha Shenoy. One, a native Texan with a powerful stubborn personality, the other with a soft gentility from the DC area. They sound like really different people don’t they? They are- except for their Indianness. We chat with this married couple about their paths growing up and how their experiences brought them to value cultural compatibility in a partner. We explore their relationship and the trials they still had to navigate. How do the issues of assimilation and cultural compatibility affect a new marriage? Also, with one North Indian and one South Indian, is it easy to stay true to your individual cultures, or is it easier find someone from your own tribe? As mentioned in previous podcasts, we are moving our discussion to a separate episode later in the week, so make sure to write in so we can involve you in our discussion!
41 minutes | Feb 23, 2015
Just the Two of Us
In what they hope will become a regular fixture of the show, Arjun & Akaash check in with each other after three months of episodes to see where they are at, as well as respond to listeners tweets and emails.
64 minutes | Feb 16, 2015
Vinny Chhibber- Indian in West Virginia
"When everyone at school is speaking one language, and a lot of your classmates' parents also speak it, and you go home and see that your community is different -there is a sense of shame attached to that. It really takes growing up to treasure the specialness of being different.” Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is communicating about an experience that is well known in this country. And while she is correct that once we move past childhood and “grow up," its much easier to value our differences; she ignores the challenges that it creates in the meantime. The shame she refers to can manifest in many ways, but the main result it is a rejection of that which makes us unique in the first place. Vinny Chhibber can attest to that. Vinny grew up in one of the six Indian families in a two hour radius of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. We talk with him about how that isolation affected him. Did he get stronger? Did his self-worth suffer? Did he get angry? We then explore what happens as he grew up. Has he reconnected with his roots? Does he feel more confident, and if so where did that confidence come from? And what responsibility does he now feel to those who made him feel like that and those who may feel the way he did? Akaash and Arjun then close it out with a discussion of the yin and yang approaches they both hold to community building.
60 minutes | Feb 9, 2015
Adrian Poynton- Interviewing the Oppressor
On this show we are focused on what it means to be Indian in this country, the United States of America. But this week we wanted to throw in a new perspective and explore what it means to be Indian in another country. We wanted to see if the communities would have similar experiences or if maybe there is something unique about American history that informs the experience we have here. In deciding what country we would explore the choice was as clear as the sky the first day the of the Kurukshetra war: England. Enter Adrian Poynton, a born and raised English gentleman who has grown up to become a widely successful TV writer as well as stand up comedian. Akaash and Arjun engage him in conversation about the differences he has seen living in the United States and in England to determine what kind of standing Indians hold over there. They also get a chance to talk to Adrian about his experiences being a producer in the entertainment industry and peel back the curtain as to how Indians are viewed by studio executives and producers. Akaash and Arjun then wrap up the episode with a lively discussion amongst themselves.
55 minutes | Feb 2, 2015
Vineet Khosla- "I'm an Engineer So I Don't Think About this Stuff"
Everyone loves a good spin-off right? Frasier, The Jeffersons, The Colbert Report. Well, Akaash and Arjun unintentionally created their first spin-off episode with this week’s guest. Last week with Arpita, we broke from the usual format of the post interview discussion by turning it into a three-way conversation. During that section you heard Vineet, the famously supportive husband, call our hosts cultural imperialists. We were so intrigued and thrilled with his take that we threw him on the mic as an impromptu guest. He becomes the first engineer on the show and truly brings a different, but important, perspective to the questions our hosts ask. Vineet graciously continues our education with some history of India’s migration and talks about how this is the first time in human history of voluntary migration. The conversation then moves to why he immigrated to America, and through that discussion is born an argument on the Indian Education system. Of course, we could not have Vineet on without stressing him out and having Aunty’s back so we conclude our interview talking about Arpita and Vineet’s non-existent children. Akaash and Arjun end the episode with a short discussion recapping the previous two episodes.
78 minutes | Jan 26, 2015
Arpita Kumar- My Dear Americans
What is it like to idolize a country and then move there? Do the realities you face stand up to the fantasy you created? How do you now identify? Because they have lived in the US for the duration of their lives, these are questions that Akaash and Arjun don’t have to face; however, there are many people within the South Asian American diaspora who do. Meet Arpita Kumar: a Lucknow native from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Arpita left home to come to America and is now an exciting new filmmaker. Arpita came here 11 years ago and has been a staunch lover of the United States ever since. So as you imagine, there were some fireworks in this interview. Akaash and Arjun ask how her journey to the US shaped the creation of her award winning short film My Dear Americans, as well as how it shapes her marriage and general identity. In a departure from their normal format, a captivating discussion post interview sparked our hosts to include Arpita in their usual one-on-one discussion.
73 minutes | Jan 19, 2015
Dr Varun Soni- An Untethered Soul
We have talked about Bollywood, we have talked about language, and we have talked about gender: but what about religion? Often, religion is the single biggest influence on how people live their lives. So that lends the question: when we all come from such different faiths, what is the role of religion in the South Asian American community? And not only that, Hinduism (which a majority consider themselves to be a part of) is a decentralized religion with little to no organization, that sometimes can even be called a science of thinking. When their religion is so hard to define, how do members of the Hindu community approach being the standard bearers for their faith in this new world ? To help Akaash and Arjun approach these questions, we welcome the esteemed Dr. Varun Soni. Dr. Soni graduated from Harvard Divinity school and got his phD at the University of Capetown. He is an author, who aside from writing books, edited a journal about Islamic and Near Eastern Law and is currently the Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. In other words, he schooled the shit out of Akaash and Arjun, and they couldn’t have been more pleased. After the interview Akaash and Arjun engaged in a humbling discussion about our responsibilities as first generation South Asian Americans, and their hope for the future.
60 minutes | Jan 12, 2015
Timothy DeLaGhetto- Asian Pride
Assimilation. Shame. Pride. Heritage. Cultural Lineage. Gender Roles. Mental Stigmas. These are issues we have explored in respect to how they have affected the South Asian American community; but what about other immigrant communities? Do people who have immigrated from other countries, and are similarly first generation experience the same things? If so, how has their community dealt with it and can we learn from each other? Meet Timothy DeLaGhetto. Timothy is a first generation Thai-American who has carved out a niche for himself as an internet, and now television, star. We discuss with him the journey that led him to this point, and how his Thai upbringing has affected that journey. We also discuss how it created the platform and start for him in this world, but then became somewhat of a cage. Akaash and Arjun then follow this up with a thought provoking discussion about defining success through our audience and its cultural make-up.
61 minutes | Jan 5, 2015
Samara Bay- Sound How You Look
They say a first impression can be formed in under 2 seconds. If that is true what elements that create that impression? So far in this podcast we have spent time focusing on one of them: the visual. But this week, we dive into the second element of a first impression: the voice. What expectations do we have for people who look a certain way? What images or connotations are created by a particular accent? How does it feel to speak in a way that goes against these expectations? To get to the bottom of some of these queries we invited practicing dialect coach Samara Bay to talk with us. We get to hear her perspective from years of coaching both foreign students to talk with an American accent, as well as American students to talk in foreign accents. She breaks down many of the misconceptions that Arjun and Akaash have and helps guide them through a deeply personal subject. For many of us, including Arjun and Akaash, when we were growing up, Apu was the sound of people associated with people that looked like us. It was used to harass us and put us down. And during the discussion portion of the interview, the guys discuss their views and Arjun makes a couple surprising discoveries.
56 minutes | Dec 22, 2014
Peter Islip- Texan Forever
For 3 weeks now, you guys have been listening to interviews with fascinating South Asian Americans who have generously opened up for y’all and us. But who are the people doing the interviews? You know the basics of what we do and why we started this podcast, but we thought it would be fun and insightful to peel the curtain back a little more. Meet Peter Islip. Peter joins us this week so we can tap into how a white Texan upbringing affected the way he views Indians. But more fun, as his best friend, Peter may know co-host Akaash Singh better than anyone outside his family. We get to dive into the history of the area the history of their friendship. And through their telling, we get to better understand a part of America and Akaash himself. As always, we have a discussion post interview that this week focuses on identity.
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