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9: In conversation with Namita Gokhale, author of Jaipur Journals
9: In conversation with Namita Gokhale, author of Jaipur Journals
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Available Episodes

EPISODE 173
07 Oct 2022

"In India when someone does a menial job, he isn't respected. But I'm so inspired by Jodie Underhill who founded Waste Warriors in Himachal Pradesh and is cleaning the mountains. W ... Read more

"In India when someone does a menial job, he isn't respected. But I'm so inspired by Jodie Underhill who founded Waste Warriors in Himachal Pradesh and is cleaning the mountains. We have to kill the ego to do such things. In all kinds of menial jobs, the caste system figures. I have always been fascinated by Varanasi but I have also always been afraid of dead bodies. It's almost impossible fora sane person to work at the cremation ghats burning 100 bodies in a day. You have to be high to forget what's happening around you; you need to be in a non-conscious state! I had the smell of burning flesh in my nostrils for a month after that," says Jubanashwa Mishra, author, 28 Jobs, 28 Weeks, 28 States, a fascinating memoir-travelogue. He talks to Manjula Narayan on the Books & Authors podcast about his adventures doing everything from selling condoms in rural Bihar to working on a houseboat in Kerala, assisting at a Bullet workshop in Aizawl, and burning bodies in Varanasi Read more

EPISODE 172
30 Sep 2022

"India's southern states have diverged to an impossible extent compared to the rest of the country. The problem in health, for example, is that the union government wants to centra ... Read more

"India's southern states have diverged to an impossible extent compared to the rest of the country. The problem in health, for example, is that the union government wants to centralise much of its policy but it has within its borders one state which is like sub-Saharan Africa - MP's Infant mortality rate is comparable to Afghanistan's; and another that's like the United States - Kerala's IMR is comparable to the US. No reasonable person would argue for a single health policy for the US and Afghanistan. It is absurd, but more importantly, it is mathematically impossible to arrive at a single policy. And this is true for education, economy and population as well" - Nilakantan RS, author, 'South vs North; India's Great Divide' talks to Manjula Narayan on the Books & Authors podcast. Read more

EPISODE 171
22 Sep 2022

"When the British decided to try the INA (Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army) soldiers at Lal Qila, it was the last nail in the coffin. Intelligence reports of the time ar ... Read more

"When the British decided to try the INA (Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army) soldiers at Lal Qila, it was the last nail in the coffin. Intelligence reports of the time are very clear that the Indian soldiers could not be relied on any more if there was a widespread insurrection. Then, the whole focus from February 1946 onwards after the Naval mutiny was how to ensure the safety of European life and limb in India. And that was why the British wanted to get out of India as quickly as possible. This is so obvious when you read the accounts but it is not what we've been told either in India or in the UK.Had the British had the confidence that they could use the Indian army to put down an insurrection, which they had until the late 1930s, they would have stayed on. They lost that confidence in 1945-46" - Ravindra Rathee, author, True to Their Salt talks to Manjula Narayan about the soldiers of the British Indian army on the Books & Authors podcast. Read more

EPISODE 170
16 Sep 2022

"Most people who use fountain pens today use foreign ones because they are not even aware that Indian fountain pens are made. We have a serious marketing and distribution problem," ... Read more

"Most people who use fountain pens today use foreign ones because they are not even aware that Indian fountain pens are made. We have a serious marketing and distribution problem," says Bibek Debroy, author, 'Inked in India', which looks at the long history of the fountain pen in the country, points the reader to the best inks, and talks about the remarkable Dr Radhika Nath Saha, who obtained 14 patents on fountain and stylo pens between 1900 and 1927. In this conversation with Manjula Narayan on the Books & Authors podcast, he highlights such factoids as BR Ambedkar's fondness for Parker pens, MK Gandhi's belief that fountain pens were extravagant and unnecessary, and talks about his own extensive collection Read more

EPISODE 169
09 Sep 2022

"Gardening is not about spending lots of money. You can basically start from your kitchen, and that's what I've tried to convey in this book. And don't be scared. Even if you fail, ... Read more

"Gardening is not about spending lots of money. You can basically start from your kitchen, and that's what I've tried to convey in this book. And don't be scared. Even if you fail, it's ok; you can try again." - Dr Ekta Chaudhary, author, Garden Up, talks to Manjula Narayan about her handy guide to growing plants at home. Read more

EPISODE 168
01 Sep 2022

"The Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Buddhist epics like the Manimekalai all recognise that it's a random universe and that anything can go wrong at any t ... Read more

"The Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Buddhist epics like the Manimekalai all recognise that it's a random universe and that anything can go wrong at any time. What can a frail human being do but control their own response to what has happened? I was trying to collect a bandwidth of responses to the inevitability of the human condition - things fall apart, we suffer, we grieve. But then what do we do? How do we pick up ourselves and go on? That really was the spine of this book." - Renuka Narayanan, author, 'Learning from Loss' which includes retellings of stories from Hindu and Buddhist texts talks to Manjula Narayan on the Books & Authors podcast. Read more

EPISODE 167
25 Aug 2022

"What stood out for me about Shivaji is that a man who was believed to have no hope at all emerged as a giant killer. There are numerous instances when previous biographies have go ... Read more

"What stood out for me about Shivaji is that a man who was believed to have no hope at all emerged as a giant killer. There are numerous instances when previous biographies have got it all wrong simply because they have not accessed Marathi documents. Also, Shivaji was traditionally disregarded by people who wrote Indian history. My book is part of the attempt to restore the balance." - Vaibhav Purandare, author, 'Shivaji; India's Great Warrior King' talks to Manjula Narayan about Shivaji's long tussle with Aurangzeb, his rise from minor nobility to sovereign of the Maratha empire, his dream of building a navy, and the sack of Surat. Read more

EPISODE 166
18 Aug 2022

"The Sindhi language of the common people, which encompasses wonderful ways of thinking, is now lost. For Sindhis in India, the language is gone, the culture is gone, and the histo ... Read more

"The Sindhi language of the common people, which encompasses wonderful ways of thinking, is now lost. For Sindhis in India, the language is gone, the culture is gone, and the history is also gone. That's something that I realised only recently," says Saaz Aggarwal, author, 'Losing Home Finding Home', a collection of personal accounts of the Sindhi experience of Partition, life in the refugee camps, and the subsequent process of recovery and rebuilding. Read more

EPISODE 165
11 Aug 2022

"Since 2018, the Chinese have been preparing for an AI war. Today they are in the Tibet Autonomous Region and their robots also have real data sets which they have acquired from th ... Read more

"Since 2018, the Chinese have been preparing for an AI war. Today they are in the Tibet Autonomous Region and their robots also have real data sets which they have acquired from the operational area. They will leapfrog the US military, which is their peer competitor, by gaining first mover advantage in the new warfare." - Pravin Sawhney, author, The Last War; How AI Will Shape India's Final Showdown With China, talks to Manjula Narayan on the Books & Authors podcast. Read more

EPISODE 164
04 Aug 2022

"Being female puts you at a much higher risk of depression. Typically, the challenges that women face in each decade are really different - from puberty to childbearing and menopau ... Read more

"Being female puts you at a much higher risk of depression. Typically, the challenges that women face in each decade are really different - from puberty to childbearing and menopause. Now, for men, testosterone itself is a very potent antidepressant. But even if they do suffer from depression, in the Indian scenario, it is tough for them to admit it because men are expected to be strong." - Dr Pallavi Joshi, author, 'Fast but Lost; Overcoming Depression in City Life' talks to Manjula Narayan about virtual fatigue, avoiding negativity, the growing incidence of depression in India and ways to cope with the stress that could lead to it on the Books & Authors podcast. Read more

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