Listening Chronicles #15
Listening Chronicles is a series where I'm documenting the podcasts I listen to and those I would recommend
I’m back with a new edition. I picked up reading a bit, and I think as a result podcast listening is down. I dislike making these kind of trade-offs and I’m terrible at prioritising. This edition’s list will be long because I’ll be including a whole lot of suggestions from myself and readers.
Let’s begin !
Podcasts I Listened To
Breath | Radiolab
The 2nd wave of the pandemic in India was the one of the most horrifying things I’ve witnessed. I was lucky and privileged to have even survived through it. I saw so many people around me struggling to get oxygen to breathe. Since then, I’ve often thought about the act of breathing.
This episode from Radiolab is an anthology of stories around breathing. There’s a story about babies breathing, about how sales of breath mints went down, about activists after George Floyd’s death, about a patient who breathes through a medical device and a lot more.
As I was listening to the episode, it truly made me become really conscious about our breathing and what a miracle it is, to be able to do it freely.
Definitely worth listening to.
John Green | Taken for Granted
This is a conversation between Adam Grant and John Green. I knew I had to listen to it the moment it came out. The focus of the conversation is John Green’s new book The Anthropocene Reviewed. I loved this episode because they not only discuss the book, but also talk about some of the challenges of writing and what it’s like to switch from fiction to non-fiction (this is John Green’s first non-fiction novel).
Here’s a quote I really liked from the episode
"Think of your work not just as an act of self expression, but also as a contribution to others."
Give it a listen and I’m sure you’ll also enjoy reading the novel (I just got done with it)
Jodhpur and Jaipur | The Musafir Stories
The Musafir Stories is a travel podcast I’ve been meaning to listen to for a while. The premise is that the hosts talk to travellers who will walk you through the exploration of a particular place. It’s like a guided audio tour and I like how actionable all the conversations are. You get to learn about the history of, some hidden gems and a lot more. The guest gives you great suggestions and share their experiences and stories from travelling.
This time, I was listening to their episodes on Jodhpur and Jaipur. I’ve studied in Jodhpur for 5 years so for me listening to the episode was more for nostalgia than the suggestions. To someone not too acquainted with this old rustic city, the episode with Preethi Parthasarthy is really good. (Of course, I can tell you that Jodhpur alone deserves an entire series of episodes)
I also heard their episode on Jaipur. I’ve been to the city multiple times, and I truly enjoy the place. It’s a beautiful city and I think the best part of the episode is how to navigate through the city by walks. I did this the last time I was there. It was a mix of walking and cycling with my friends through the old city in Jaipur. Listening to the episode reminded me of those joyful memories.
Case for Drinking | Today Explained
This episode features a deep dive into how USA has been consuming alcohol over the decades and what we can learn from the consumption cultures from other nations. If you’re someone who’s interested in the history of food or anything quirky - this episode is for you.
Can of Cola and Pillow | Everything Is Alive
I came across this recommendation on another podcast newsletter (it is beautifully written and has great suggestions) This show is about interviewing inanimate objects. Here’s how the show description reads.
Everything is Alive is an unscripted interview show in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. But aside from the fact that things can talk, it's nonfiction: everything the objects tell us is true.
I find the premise itself so fascinating that I was curious about how they’re going about this.
After 2 episodes, I can say that I’m going to be binging through the rest. There’s something really fun and interesting about listening to how possibly the objects that we interact with on a daily basis might be thinking.
Does a can of cola ever face existential dread about the possibility of how the purpose of its existence is to not exist? Do pillows also dream? What kind of dreams do our pillows have?
I personally enjoyed listening to these interviews. They’re done really well. It is also really poignant and thoughtful. There are some moments where you end up thinking about your interactions with these objects, so it might be fair to say that at some level this podcast is more about humans than it is about objects.
I’m sure I’ll try looking more into how they went about thinking and producing this show, and what my thought process was like (will share more thoughts next edition).
RD Burman & Gulzar | Urdunama (Suggested by Neha Sharma)
Urdunama is among my favourite podcasts for poetry. I particularly like it because for someone like me whose urdu is terrible, I appreciate the way Fabeha Syed goes over words and explains some of the poetry. I don’t listen to it as often as I should, so thankful to Neha for sharing this particular episode with me about the legends RD Burman and Gulzar’s relationship over the decades.
Do give it a listen !
Don’t Follow Your Passion | Founder’s Journal (Suggested by Sandesh Atyam)
Alex Lieberman is the founder of Morning Brew, an extremely popular business news media company. This particular episode is a really short but precise explanation about why the advice of - follow your passion is not helpful for most people. The question of “What am I passionate about?” is an incredibly dangerous one.
Sandesh has shared some other episodes from this series too, I think you can pick the topics you want to listen to. They are bite sized insights and won’t take too much of your time.
I hope these will keep you occupied for a while. Do let me know what podcasts you’ve been listening to and what you would suggest. Thanks for reading and take care !