Culture

Episode 9: Nothing In Particular about Censorship

In the ninth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly side of Censorship. And we are joined by a returning special guest N Madhu – known to many of this blog’s readers as the Reluctant Bookworm.

Together, we discuss how censorship has a growing role to play in the classic literature taught in classrooms and popular movies to the everyday social interactions. The Charlie Hebdo incident is debated. Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses is trashed. And the question arises – how liberal is liberalism if it denies freedom of speech and expression? Or is there a line where we need to control the content that is out there?

Listen: Episode 9: Censorship

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Episode 7: Nothing in Particular about Hobbies

In the seventh episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we start off by talking about the racist subtexts in drop-down menus of Indian matrimony websites, and the things that people did with horses during the 14th century. Then, we keep it together and discuss hobbies.

Is a hobby supposed to be a gateway into a more meaningful activity? Or just something to stop you from becoming homicidal? We offer some tips to help you find one that can be sustainable. And find out which exhilarating hobby helped in spreading camaraderie, during the 80s, in South India.

The episode also features new music by Hari Ram Narayanan.

Listen: Episode 7: Hobbies

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Episode 6: Nothing in particular about Work-Life Balance

In the sixth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we talk about Work-Life Balance. Why it is probably one of the most elusive creatures, along with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, in modern society.

But, what on earth is this odd and mysterious balance? Why do many of us feel like amateur tightrope walkers who can’t seem to cross over to the other side? We discuss the ways in which harmony can be pursued at the workplace and outside of it. Also, this episode features an uninvited guest who is loud, rude and runs after cars for no reason whatsoever.

Listen: Episode 6: Work-Life Balance

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Episode 1: Nothing in particular about death

Alright, here we go. The first episode of the Nothing In Particular (NIP) is up and running. We kick things off by talking about death.

Listen: Totally Killing It

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We are all made of sawdust: Nilgiri Tahrs

Nilgiri Tahrs (or Ibexes) are goat antelopes exclusively reside along a 400 kilometer in-between the Nilgiri Hills and the Ashambu Hills. Found at elevations of 1000 to 2500m above sea level, they are cautious, tough as nails and dashingly-handsome. The last time I saw them was early this year in Valparai. It was unexpected since it was late in the morning. They are known to disappear into the thickness of shola forests during these hours.

The three years I spent in college felt about two-and-a-half years too long. Since I possessed none of the characteristics of the Tahr, I needed a happy place to survive. A shola forest would have been perfect. Not to escape the soulless drudgery of the modern education system. Just to hide behind a tree. Stay there until the smoldering heap of embarrassment that was my pursuit of individualism turns into sawdust.

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No more Mr. wise guy

After finishing a solo trek in Tada Falls last February, I saw physically-disabled man begging for change at a local tea stop. Govind couldn’t have been older than 45 years. He looked disheveled and desperate. The men at the tea shop seemed to either ignore him or make impolite gestures.

I offered to buy him a cup of tea and struck up a conversation with him. Govind was reluctant to say much at first but after a while, we sat down on the bench to talk. It wasn’t an act of kindness. I had been walking alone all day. The weather was hot and humid. I was feeling a little miserable. And we know what misery loves.

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