AwokenWord is a long-form, conversation style podcast hosted by writer, poet, and music composer, Anuj Rastogi. Through nuanced and thoughtful dialogue with an incredible array of guests, Anuj explores the worlds of society, culture, art, music, science, current events and all things that comprise the human experience.
"I want to challenge and evolve ideas, intuitions and convictions. This world, is quite simply, nuts, and often terrifying. Yet, this same world is incredibly beautiful, inspiring and mesmerizing. I want to get to know people who are interesting, who hold varied opinions and have life experiences different than my own.
This podcast is my humble attempt to bring a grain of sand of goodness, conversation and inspiration to the beach of human experience. This podcast is my love letter to the world, and to what it means to be human."
~ Anuj Rastogi
#020: Shree Paradkar - "Casting Light"
Anuj and Shree Paradkar sit down for an unflinching conversation about race and self refection. Shree is a Toronto Star race and gender columnist, and the 2018-2019 recipient of the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. Shree's writing takes on charged issues with a critical and unwaivering approach. Shree shares the role of Black feminism in her own journey, and the debt that we all owe to indigenous and black communities. Shree also raises the question of who defines the "norm" in society, and sheds light on how these challenging forces come into her world as a mother.
Special Guest: Shree Paradkar.
#019: G Yamazawa - "Way of The Shogun"
Anuj is joined by G Yamazawa, in this conversation deep into the COVID19 pandemic. G Yamazawa is an innovative rapper, spoken word poet and hip hop artist. Originally out of Durham, North Carolina, G is now based in Los Angeles.
G shares a lot about his life growing up, how hip hop entered his life, and the path that spoken word poetry opened up for him to find his own voice in the world of hip hop. Anuj and G unpack life in the US at the early stages of the COVID19 pandemic, as well as the worlds of artistry, social media, creativity and evolving as an artist. This is a fresh glimpse into the mind of a prolific artist.
Special Guest: G Yamazawa.
#018: Jeff Teravainen - "Acting Human"
In this episode, Anuj sits down with Jeff Teravainen. Jeff is a well-loved actor, voiceover artist, and musician. He's played the role of Lieutenant Anders on SYFY's hit "Dark Matter", as well as roles in SYFY's "12 Monkeys" in Season 2 along with movies such as the 2019 Netflix hit, "Christmas Chronicles". Jeff has also given his likeness and voice to characters in popular animation and video games such as "Far Cry", "Splinter Cell" and "Resident Evil". Most recently, you can find Jeff as the recurring character Gerald on the new HULU / CBC series "Utopia Falls" which debuted in 2020.
Jeff shares a lot about what inspires him, what influences his work and what the actual life of an actor and creative is like today. Anuj and Jeff also explore fatherhood and family, as well as what it means to be a man today, the value of boredom, and our hopes for the future. This is an honest, intimate and inspiring glimpse into Jeff''s world, and a conversation that will resonate with his fans and all aspiring actors and creatives around the world.
Special Guest: Jeff Teravainen.
#017: Sammy Chand - "Genesis Man"
Live from DASH Radio studio in Los Angeles, Anuj Rastogi sits down with Sammy Chand. Sammy is the founder of Rukus Avenue Radio, a rapper, producer, record label exec, entrepreneur and man of the people. In this conversation, Anuj and Sammy explore the impact of Hip Hop, the genesis of Indian Hip Hop and its ties back to Sammy's group KARMACY. The two discuss identity, the evolution of music, fatherhood, the current political climate in the US and what we can do to shape the world for better.
Special Guest: Sammy Chand.
#016: Barkha Madan - "Lights, Camera, Introspection!"
Anuj Rastogi is joined by Barkha Madan at the AwokenWord studio. Barkha Madan is a former Indian model, film actress and film producer who has also appeared in television serials and hosted TV shows in India. Barkha had risen to prominence through major film and fashion projects, while undergoing her own inner exploration and journey. In November 2012, Barkha finally made the leap into her self-described "calling" and underwent ordination to become a Buddhist nun and changed her name to Ven. Gyalten Samten. Barkha shares her incredible journey from the runway and silverscreen, and the experience of immersing herself in new characters, before eventually following through on her true spiritual calling. Anuj and Barkha discuss the challenges of a modern life in a modern, materialistic and social media driven world, as well as the joys of travel, meeting people, looking back across her experiences, and the ways in which her path has impacted countless others.
Special Guest: Barkha Madan.
#015: Shantanu Pujari - "Hip Hop India"
Anuj Rastogi reconnects with Shantanu Pujari, a multi-talented artist and fighter. Shantanu is a professional competitive mixed martial arts fighter, yoga instructor, action director for film, activist, b-boy, beatboxer and hip hop label artist manager. Shantanu is also the host of the "Shakahari Show" on Rukus Avenue Radio. Shantanu shares his incredible personal journey, and a deep respect and knowledge of the history of Hip Hop as well as India. This conversation is an inspiring and exciting journey through the eyes of India's youth which is on course to transform the country and the world in positive ways.
Here, quite literally is how Shantanu and Anuj met...
And here's Shantanu in action...
Special Guest: Shantanu Pujari.
Anuj is a very captivating host and he is great at creating quality conversation. His conversations are very philosophical and they really entice the listeners to think beyond the surface. The guests on Awokenword are very interesting and provide some interesting perspectives on life. I really enjoy listening to this podcast and I recommend it to everyone.
The world needs more of this!
Honest conversations, coming from a place of good intent. Each and every guest has been an incredible source of thought provoking insights...I’ve learned so much from their experience. The host, Anuj navigates through diverse conversations bringing out something completely new and unexpected from each guest. Highly recommend if you are commuting!
U'll Love it.
Full disclosure, I am huge fan of the man known as Anuj, AND had the honour of being a guest on AWOKENWORD - none of which changes the fact that his podcast is AMAZING, intimate, in-depth, insightful, and passionate.
If U care deeply about LIFE, LOVE, and BEING; subscribe, delight and thrive! BLESS ON!