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Wounded by the Word
Wounded by the Word
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Available Episodes

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

EPISODE 238

Like the pizza, momos are traditional, ethnic, and are loved worldwide" - Rohini Rana, author, 'The Nepal Cookbook; 108 Regional Recipes', talks to Manjula Narayan about the magic ... Read more

Like the pizza, momos are traditional, ethnic, and are loved worldwide" - Rohini Rana, author, 'The Nepal Cookbook; 108 Regional Recipes', talks to Manjula Narayan about the magic of eating with your fingers, the humble potato, magical momos in their many avatars, the flavours of fermentation and smoking, and the subtility and great range of Nepal's cuisine. Read more

EPISODE 237

"Dr Salim Ali told me, if you're not a scientist, don't show off your secondhand scientific knowledge. Just write simply and share that. So that's what I've done" - Bulbul Sharma, ... Read more

"Dr Salim Ali told me, if you're not a scientist, don't show off your secondhand scientific knowledge. Just write simply and share that. So that's what I've done" - Bulbul Sharma, author, 'Sunbirds in the Morning, Grey Hornbills at Dusk' talks to Manjula Narayan about the variety of birds and trees and the dramatic change of the seasons in the capital city. Read more

EPISODE 236

"I've heard its changed but when I was first in Tibetan regions, it was illegal to have a photo of the Dalai Lama. There's a lot of propaganda against the Dalai Lama and other lama ... Read more

"I've heard its changed but when I was first in Tibetan regions, it was illegal to have a photo of the Dalai Lama. There's a lot of propaganda against the Dalai Lama and other lamas in China and I've actually heard Tibetan people there parroting that propaganda. There's also tremendous ecological damage through mining, the building of large dams and other forms of destructive resource extraction. It's not happening only in Tibet. I am trying to communicate a template of what we seem to be witnessing all across the world. I did feel at times that I was physically being pummeled by what I was observing" - Scott Ezell, author, 'Journey to the End of the Empire; In China Along the Edge of Tibet' talks to Manjula Narayan about travelling through Tibet, the vast changes taking place there, the world's move towards uniformity and extreme ecological degradation in the Anthropocene and how we are all implicated. Read more

EPISODE 235

"The community of corpse burners or Doms take pride in their ability to give moksh but it's also a way of justifying their place in a society that otherwise shuns them, humiliates ... Read more

"The community of corpse burners or Doms take pride in their ability to give moksh but it's also a way of justifying their place in a society that otherwise shuns them, humiliates them and treats them as untouchables. They believe they have religious capital. But at the end of the day, there are no privileged caste people who want to do this job. That's why the Doms are continuing to do this job and that's why they are not able to break through the caste barrier" - Radhika Iyengar, author, Fire on the Ganges talks to Manjula Narayan about her book that documents the customs, harrowing work and lives of the keepers of the sacred fire, the Doms of Varanasi Read more

EPISODE 234

I keep thinking of all the other writers who also have these sorts of protagonists. The cops of Karen Slaughter, Ian Rankin and Peter James are not exactly happy guys who are at pe ... Read more

I keep thinking of all the other writers who also have these sorts of protagonists. The cops of Karen Slaughter, Ian Rankin and Peter James are not exactly happy guys who are at peace with the world; their relationships are in shambles; they are eccentric. It's probably like taking the mad genius idea and remoulding it to fit the flawed cop. I know this character, Borei Gowda, so well; I know what he can do and what he can't do. His own flaws allow him to see the world with a certain cynicism. But then every cynic is maybe also a naive idealist. In many ways, Bangalore and Gowda are synonymous with each other" - Anita Nair, author, Hot Stage, talks to Manjula Narayan about writing a police procedural series, how personal agendas often drive even political crimes, and creating believable characters with familiar tics and hypocrisies Read more

EPISODE 233

"Poetry is not instant coffee; that is undrinkable. What is slow brewed coffee or a tea ceremony? Everything is slow, which means you can appreciate the nuances of the sounds, the ... Read more

"Poetry is not instant coffee; that is undrinkable. What is slow brewed coffee or a tea ceremony? Everything is slow, which means you can appreciate the nuances of the sounds, the cadence of the language, the content of the poems. The good young poets and the good older poets are not very dissimilar. That's because the focus of these poets is grounded on the same things and measured on the same framework: originality of thought, width of creativity, good grammar and a cogent argument. These are the elements that make good writing." - Sudeep Sen, editor, 'Converse; Contemporary English Poetry by Indians' talks to Manjula Narayan about writing in English, poetry as a tough space, attempting to build a community of poets, and the effort that goes into putting together a good anthology. Read more

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