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33: In conversation with Puja Changoiwala, author of 'Gangster on the Run' | Part 1
33: In conversation with Puja Changoiwala, author of 'Gangster on the Run' | Part 1
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Available Episodes

EPISODE 248

"The history of tourism is intricately connected to colonialism. Travel writing is a direct descendent of colonial exploratory writing and even today, modern tourism has that DNA. ... Read more

"The history of tourism is intricately connected to colonialism. Travel writing is a direct descendent of colonial exploratory writing and even today, modern tourism has that DNA. Modern tourism, in its internal logic, has a colonial gaze. This idea of "discovering" other places is built into the idea of why we travel" - Shahnaz Habib, author, 'Airplane Mode; A Passive Aggressive History of Travel' talks to Manjula Narayan about everything from wanderlust as consumerism in another form, vacations and the history of work, and medieval Ethiopia to former colonisers sheltering their citizens from their own history of violence and plunder, and how travel is now about the Fear of Missing Out Read more

EPISODE 247

"Stories leave a deep impact on how our thinking is shaped. These stories are challenging some very traditional ideas that still exist heavily in society. There is a power in terri ... Read more

"Stories leave a deep impact on how our thinking is shaped. These stories are challenging some very traditional ideas that still exist heavily in society. There is a power in terrible representations. Somehow, we have representations where the disabled woman is a burden to family, to society, and to her partner. As a teenager you think, "Oh, somebody will have to sacrifice a lot to fall in love with me". Then, the more you grow and learn about yourself, you're like, 'What are these ridiculous representations?' It's almost like how we do funny representations of aliens!" - Nidhi Ashok Goyal, editor, 'And They Lived...Ever After; Disabled Women Retell Fairy Tales' talks to Manjula Narayan about the discrimination and simultaneous ungendering that disabled women face, being infantalised, the fatigue of sensitisation, the neglect and isolation that are often everyday experiences, and the great power of stories to change how people think about themselves and others. Read more

EPISODE 246

"Villages are complicated entities. There's always a power game. Now, money values have come in and villages are also changing. The lives between the village and the city are start ... Read more

"Villages are complicated entities. There's always a power game. Now, money values have come in and villages are also changing. The lives between the village and the city are starting to merge. I don't know what that means for the country. Villages and cities are both equally important for us. Some kind of continuity is what the village offers. People who live in villages and don't want to move or change may have something to tell us in the long run" - Mamang Dai, author, 'In Search of the Indian Village', talks to Manjula Narayan about the powerful stories of OV Vijayan and Mahashweta Devi, the writings of Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar on rural settlements, and the place of the village in the Indian imagination on the Books & Authors podcast. Read more

EPISODE 245

"While we must read histories produced by historians who have different perspectives on the past, it is very important not to get trapped in any particular ideological framework. F ... Read more

"While we must read histories produced by historians who have different perspectives on the past, it is very important not to get trapped in any particular ideological framework. For me, it is important to move beyond them" - Upinder Singh, author, 'A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India', talks to Manjula Narayan on the Books & Authors podcast on everything from the implausibility of the Aryan invasion theory and the place of forests and their inhabitants in the political history of ancient India to the Harappan script, war elephants, the faulty periodization of Indian history and more. Read more

EPISODE 244

"Strangers matter online. We tend to put a lot of weight on reviews. But it is difficult to tell which ones are fake and which are not. Computer scientists are still working on it. ... Read more

"Strangers matter online. We tend to put a lot of weight on reviews. But it is difficult to tell which ones are fake and which are not. Computer scientists are still working on it. But they have figured out certain characteristics of fake reviews – like the use of lots of exclamation marks and quotation marks" - Abhishek Borah, author, Mine Your Language, talks to Manjula Narayan about the influence of language on business, how to tell if an individual is a potential loan defaulter just from the words he uses, the communication patterns of charismatic leaders, how corporates should deal with social media firestorms, and the surprising impact of expletives in online reviews, among other interesting things! Read more

EPISODE 243

I'm not an expert but I am a connoisseur and most of the carpets in this book are part of my collection. Carpets harbour a lot of stories but we seldom read about them because book ... Read more

I'm not an expert but I am a connoisseur and most of the carpets in this book are part of my collection. Carpets harbour a lot of stories but we seldom read about them because books on carpets usually focus on things like the knots used and how they were made. My idea was to keep the stories" - Jon Westborg, author, 'Of Carpets and Carpetwallahs' talks to Manjula Narayan about talims and carpet designs, the history of carpet weaving in the subcontinent, which, apparently, stretches back to 2C BCE, jail carpets in the colonial period, the carpet of a Norwegian who served as a policeman in Belgaum in colonial India, and the genius Kashmiri carpetwallah, the late Sayeed Ali, who could tell the age and province of origin just by looking at a Persian carpet Read more

EPISODE 242

"Every culture's sexual values get imbued into all parts of their thinking, not just into how they think about the bedroom. Under patriarchy, mothers are given this special role of ... Read more

"Every culture's sexual values get imbued into all parts of their thinking, not just into how they think about the bedroom. Under patriarchy, mothers are given this special role of restricting their daughters as sexuality is tied up with the sense of social pride or izzat – the mother's value as a mother, within the family, is partly judged on her daughter's gender performance. I don't blame mothers for doing this because, in their minds, their sense of identity is dependent on their daughters' behaviour. So they groom their daughters accordingly. There is also envy between women of different generations." -Amrita Narayanan, psychoanalyst and author, 'Women's Sexuality and Modern India; In a Rapture of Distress' talks to Manjula Narayan about rejecting victimhood, the universal nature of women's sexual oppression, the difficulty in understanding different sexual tastes, endurance as a virtue, and identifying with myths, among other things Read more

EPISODE 241

"AI doesn't create; it reproduces. AI doesn't know what is good or bad; even in art, it doesn't know. People want to know whether we'll reach a level where AI is as smart as we are ... Read more

"AI doesn't create; it reproduces. AI doesn't know what is good or bad; even in art, it doesn't know. People want to know whether we'll reach a level where AI is as smart as we are. The kids are always asking me that. We won't reach that level the way we 're going because the intuition is just not there" - Appupen, co-author of the graphic novel, 'Dream Machine; AI and the REAL World' talks to Manjula Narayan about collaborating on this book with French scientist and CEO of an AI start-up, Laurent Daudet, AI's huge energy needs, how, since all the big tech is owned by corporates instead of colleges, labs or government set-ups, the focus is just about making profit and not scientific advancement, and how vast quantities of our information is going towards training AI. Read more

EPISODE 240

Crime fiction seems to have a steady presence because of the way in which it is able to address contemporary issues of law and order relating also to the absence of justice, which ... Read more

Crime fiction seems to have a steady presence because of the way in which it is able to address contemporary issues of law and order relating also to the absence of justice, which is a key problem we all face. The attempt is to make amends, sometimes even outside the system, and to deliver justice. That's why, perhaps, the figure of the detective continues to fascinate" - Tarun K Saint, editor, 'The Hachette Book of Indian Detective Fiction Vols 1 & 2' talks to Manjula Narayan about curating anthologies, the emergence of detective fiction informed by feminist consciousness, how writers from the Indian subcontinent contextualise the methods of the classic whodunit and take it beyond the formulaic. Read more

EPISODE 239

"The thrill of the hunt is what fuels all collecting probably and it's certainly so for book collecting. But here the interest is bibliographical so there's a scholarly component t ... Read more

"The thrill of the hunt is what fuels all collecting probably and it's certainly so for book collecting. But here the interest is bibliographical so there's a scholarly component to it as well. It's a very thrilling experience to see that you are a part of a long tradition of book collecting and of a tradition of transactions between dealers and collectors that's been going on for three or four centuries." - Pradeep Sebastian, author, An Inky Parade; Tales for Bibliophiles, talks to Manjula Narayan about his passion for collecting antiquarian books, the passions that drive the international trade, and the great collectors and their obsessions Read more

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