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Three Desi Things
76 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
#10 - In Dialogue with Ira Mukhoty, author of books on amazing Indian women from the Mughal era and beyond
To quote Veda, "double digits, baby!" We are in dialogue with Ira Mukhoty, an author who has penned two books on the history of amazing Indian women and has an upcoming book that view the Mahabharata through a feminist lens. We talk to her about her book Daughters of the Sun and how the colonial Orientalist gaze has given us a lopsided view of the women from the Mughal period -- and why she refuses to use the word 'harem'. She breaks our hearts about the beloved Akbar and Birbal (yes, Jodhaa Akbar also comes up). But she also shows us how desi women have been denied the stories of powerful role models. We also talk about her upcoming book Song of Draupadi, which will feature the strong women of the Mahabharata.
72 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
#9 - Cricket in the US, the origin of filter coffee, and a desi man who was America’s first celebrity chef
We explore the rich history of cricket in North America and how the first ever cricket match in the world was between US and Canada. We also talk about some of our personal favorite cricket moments. We take a deep dive into the history of filter coffee and how it became inextricably linked with caste in South India. And finally, we talk about America’s first celebrity chef, a charismatic young man of Indian descent by the name of J. Ranji Smile. He was allegedly responsible, among other things, for teaching the women of America how to properly cook rice. Find detailed notes on our episode page!
56 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
#8 - India's first car, a South Asian goes viral in 1950s America, and the story of a South African snack
In this episode, we take a dive into the history of the first car manufactured in India and how it became the "king of the Indian roads." We talk about Kuldip Rae Singh, an Indian student in the US who became famous in 1950s America after he stole the show on national television. Finally, our food thing for this episode is the history of South Africa's favorite snack, bunny chow and its connection to South Asia. Intrigued? Find show notes, pictures, and more on our episode page!
45 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
#7 - In Dialogue with Beth Watkins (@bethlovesbolly), Bollywood blogger, expert and general film enthusiast
Our second in the “In Dialogue” series! Our guest for this week is Beth Watkins, a museum professional and popular Bollywood blogger and film enthusiast. She goes by @bethlovesbolly on Twitter. Beth is a treasure trove of film trivia and Bollywood films in general. We talk to her about how she got into Bollywood, what you should watch if you want to start watching Bollywood films, and we play our “Guess the inspiration” game with her. But most importantly, we talk about her amazing Bollywood family trees — the Kapoors, the Mukherjees, and many others — in which she finds links between several big Bollywood families and dynasties. Also, Satyajit Ray. As always, show notes and references are on threedesithings.com/episodes/7
59 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
#6 - The origins of Indo-Chinese food, Punjabi-Mexicans, and an Indian spy who fought the Nazis
We look at the origin of Indo-Chinese food and how it is so different from native Chinese cuisines. We talk about the Punjabi-Mexican community of California. And we discover the amazing story of Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian spy who fought the Nazis in Paris. Find our show notes on the episode page!
57 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
#5 - In Dialogue with Krish Ashok, the author of Masala Lab, a book on the science behind desi cooking
Introducing our “In Dialogue” series! This is a little different than our usual episodes. In these episodes, we'll interview experts, authors and generally cool desis about things that interest them! In this episode, we speak to Krish Ashok, the author of “Masala Lab”, a fascinating book that documents the science behind Indian/South Asian cooking. Ashok also comes armed with great desi food facts.
50 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
#4 - Bollywood-Hollywood "inspirations", the world's first female head of state, and samosas
Did you know Tarantino took inspiration from an Indian film for Kill Bill Vol. 1? Or that the world's first female head of state was from South Asia? Or the samosa, the quintessential Indian snack, is not actually Indian? Find out more on episode #4 of Three Desi Things. Wondering how we did it? Read our episode notes!
52 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
#3 - A rebel queen from Tamil Nadu, English words that are not really English, and how the British got desis addicted to chai
Did know that the phrase “dam it” or the word shampoo has its roots in colonial India? Ever heard of Velu Nachiyar, the first queen in the subcontinent to wage war against the British? We also explore how chai came to India and how the desis got addicted to it. As always, show notes on threedesithings.com!
44 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
#2 - Jewish origins of Bollywood, an African military mastermind in India, and millets
Did you know that the first female superstars of the Bollywood were from the Jewish community? Or how an African slave became a military mastermind in 17th century India? We also talk about how the way India's diet changed in the 1960s and how it's affecting people's lives now.
46 minutes | Dec 25, 2020
Gin and tonics, the world's first vaccines in India and why hill stations exist
Did you know that the gin and tonic was invented in India? Or that two Indian queens posed for the first ever poster to promote vaccines? Or the story of how the British built towns to escape heat and disease? Come along with us on this journey of unknown stories from India and South Asia.
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