India has only recently begun to get in on the surging popularity of podcasts around the world; as our Internet speeds and penchant for creative expression increases, more and more local podcasts are popping up, as well as the number of Indian podcast hosts globally. Platforms like IVM and Audiomatic have taken the lead on proving high-quality content that arguably rivals podcast hits like Slow Burn and Revisionist History. Essentially just series of .mp3 files that can be downloaded onto any of your devices (many of which are now available on Apple/Android stores and even Saavn), podcasts are a great medium to get diverse, personal content that caters to exactly what you’re craving – from light political satire to wild conspiracy theories to heartwarming human interest pieces.
Whether you’re the kind of person who loved radio shows on your morning drive to work – that is, before they got clogged with annoying advertisements – or whether you simply want to add something extra to all those hours spent waiting amidst traffic and crowds, we’ve put together a list of awesome podcasts that will make all your days a little brighter.
I. Cyrus Says
From TV anchor to comedian to political satirist, there’s only a handful of people who don’t know about the infamously funny Cyrus Broacha. His breathtakingly broad knowledge on urban India and all its intricacies is what propelled him into the man he is today, and there’s a podcast where you can listen to all his thoughts under one roof. Cyrus Says has been on air since 2015, but with great episodes being released every few days, this one is hard to put down. He features a wide range of guests with an even wider range of questions to be asked – should self-driving cars have ethics? Should the BJP be using magicians in their political rallies? What’s it like to grow up under partition? The show is an interactive mesh of politics and society – just the insight you need to understand our current urban climate.
II. The Intersection
A gripping, fascinating blend of interviews, anecdotes and original research, The Intersection is a fortnightly podcast hosted by Padmaparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian. Together they bring to life India’s rich history of science and culture; effortlessly taking on everything from tribal astronomy in Ancient India, to the evolution of regional languages, to how a Cold War-era spy mission impacts us even today. Their sharp wit and nuanced grasp on science and technology will leave you as informed as it will curious – this podcast is certainly one for the books.
III. Keeping it Queer
Keeping It Queer is an all-things queer podcasts hosted by comedian Navin Noronha, which dives deep into the lives of India’s expanding LGBTQ community – bringing to the table a whole range of beautiful stories and interesting histories. From a candid discussion on the politics of shame with one of India’s first gay activists to the ups-and-downs of young gay couples setting up new online communities, Navin’s show is a thoroughly captivating and educational experience for all.
If you’re a travel buff, this podcast is a quick and insightful guide to the myriad of unexplored journeys you could be taking in India. Three years ago, Hoshner and Ambika quit their jobs to travel across the country and engage in its breathtaking history. They talk about all the moments that make their experience so worthwhile – from the wonderful communities they encounter to the gorgeous places they discover. Unlike many other travel podcasts, reDiscovery can easily double up as an audio tour should you choose to follow in their footsteps, or can be a light-hearted and touching story to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside on particularly boring days.
V. Kaan Masti
A comedy podcast based on the real misadventures of Hoezaay and Suresh Menon, this slightly-NSFW podcast is filled with funny, adult, between-work conversations of colleagues working at a radio station. “Trust us, you don’t want your grandmother walking into the room when you’re listening to KaanMasti. Or you might have to tell her it’s porn, because that would be easier to explain,” their description teases. If your work/life balance is anything like the average millennial in India today, trust us – you probably need this hit of relatable hilarity to unwind.
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