Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
Bangalore-based Rashmi Vasudeva's journalism has appeared in many Indian and international publications over the past decade. A features writer with over nine years of experience heading a health and fitness supplement in a mainstream Indian newspaper, her niche areas include health, wellness, fitness, food, nutrition and Indian classical Arts.
Her articles have appeared in various publications including Mint-Wall Street Journal, The Hindu, Deccan Herald (mainstream South Indian newspaper), Smart Life (Health magazine from the Malayala Manorama Group of publications), YourStory (India's media technology platform for entrepreneurs), Avantika (a noir arts and theatre magazine), ZDF (a German public broadcasting company) and others.
In 2006, she was awarded the British Print-Chevening scholarship to pursue a short-term course in new-age journalism at the University of Westminster, U.K. With a double Masters in Globalisation and Media Studies from Aarhus Universitet (Denmark), University of Amsterdam and Swansea University in Wales, U.K., she has also dabbled in academics, travel writing and socio-cultural studies. Mother to a frisky toddler, she hums 'wheels on the bus' while working and keeps a beady eye on the aforementioned toddler's antics.
How often do we ask someone how they are feeling, just to receive a bland 'fine', never mind if things are actually okay or terrible? And once that word is uttered, we move on (or die inside). Familiar, isn't it?
With this premise at its heart, this podcast series wants to achieve the seemingly impossible: get people to be frank about their pains, troubles, frailties and awkwardness. You cannot blame it for lack of ambition, and to give it its due, the episodes (I’ve listened to two and plan to listen to more) achieve a fine balance between the genuinely sad and the really funny. Be warned, the podcast may also make you uncomfortable in places. I felt rather distressed when I was listening to the episode on speech impediment in which host Nora McInerny has a heart-to-heart with Erin who lives with stuttering and continues to hear jokes about it everywhere in popular culture as well as in her own life.
But the episode I recommend here is one for the holidays. Ideally, holidays ought to be a time of reflection and anticipation as Nora puts it, instead of the frenzy and anxiety it too often manages to generate. The episode gently tells us that it’s okay to not force yourself to be jumping with joy because you are expected to. It lets us know that expectations and hopes can be dreadfully scary sometimes and it is okay to admit that to oneself.
In this context, comedian and writer Alyssa Limperis shares a moving story about the Holiday letter she wrote when her dad died from brain cancer. This story, among others in the podcast, examines how moments of despair and darkness need to be looked in the eye so that we know how to glean lessons from them without feeling hopeless, reshape ourselves continually and maybe even find replenishment in the most trying situations. Perhaps then we could enjoy happy holidays in the truest sense.