India Booked is a podcast that uses literature as a lever to bring multiple facets of India alive. A perfect podcast for bibliophiles, trivia junkies and people interested in learning more about India. Every episode focuses on a different theme and takes place via a conversation between the host with celebrated authors.
India Booked | The Story of India's Most Popular Prayer
An appeal to the Lord to arise and save the world, the Venkatesa Suprabhatam is the first of four recitations that are sung together every morning in the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala, where it was originally sung.
Prativadi Bhayankaram Anna, who composed this prayer in the fifteenth century, was a saint, a poet and an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. The poet’s devotion shines through, most unforgettably in M.S. Subbulakshmi's rendition, which rings through many south Indian homes in the mornings.
Venkatesa Suprabhatam: The Story of India’s Most Popular Prayer is a translation of the prayer, a journey through its verses. This episode finds host, Ayushi Mona in a deep dive into the history of its composition and the circumstances with author Venkatesh Parthasarthy.
India Booked | Farm Income: Myths and Realities
The Green Revolution resulted in spectacular advancements in Indian agriculture. Having achieved food security for its citizens, the country has now become a net exporter of different agricultural commodities. But sadly, this does not reflect the real state of the Indian agricultural sector. In truth, our farmers are plagued by crop failures, poor income, and indebtedness. Such is their misery that they are of late driven to commit suicide.
Join the author Prof. Narayanamoorthy in conversation with host Ayushi Mona where we dive into temporal and spatial data to figure what's right and what's gone terribly, terribly wrong!
India Booked | Colaba: The Diamond at the Tip of Mumbai
Colaba, the southernmost tip of Mumbai, is Mumbai's most iconic neighbourhood. This bustling locality—with the Gateway of India, the world-famous Taj Mahal Hotel, and the Colaba Causeway, a shopper’s paradise—is an unparalleled tourist attraction. But barely 200 years ago, it was a rocky, jackal-infested island, separated from the rest of Bombay by a temperamental creek. In this episode, host Ayushi Mona discusses the compelling biography of the neighbourhood with author Shabnam Minwalla. The podcast much like the book unravels accounts of colonial rivalries and dowry negotiations; and of shrewd industrialists who transformed this doomed island into the centre of trade during the cotton boom of the 1860s. She navigates through the sometimes charming, sometimes seedy streets to track its evolution from a spiritual and recuperative retreat for British soldiers to a coveted residential area for the Brits and Indians alike. Tune in!
India Booked | The Indian Banking Story with Madan Sabnavis
Do you often wonder— ‘Is my money safe in banks?’ India is grappling with its worst banking crisis ever, and we are still trying to figure out what landed us here. This podcast episode with economist Madan Sabnavis analyses the role of the government and RBI in allowing the problem to reach the dimension it has assumed today.
When will the never-ending NPA issue be resolved? Does it make sense to merge two PSBs when the culture and governance structures are alike? Should the RBI reserves be used in times of crisis? Should the tenure of a CEO be long or short? The book ponders and debates on some of these questions.
Hits and Misses presents the two sides of the Indian banking story by giving an account of the reforms as well as quandaries in times of extraordinary economic and political challenges. The podcast just like the book, answers many relevant questions by highlighting the highs and lows of the banking sector, which became subjects of debate in media and financial circles today.
India Booked | The Climate Story
In this episode of India Booked, host Ayushi Mona talks to Rajat Chaudhuri about 'The Butterfly Effect', on how his work as a climate activist is reflected in his fiction, the necessity of "enveloping scientific ideas in a story" to make it more accessible, the interconnected roles of technology, politics, public health and the environment, especially in India, and more. Listen in for a scathing yet succint breakdown of how consumption and corporate lobbies work, and the role activism can play in correcting injustice. The Butterfly Effect reveals a grim picture of humanity, it brings to life an eco-dystopian story revolving around the threats of technology and genetically modified crops. It goes on to show the disastrous circumstances that may befall humanity when scientific experiments go horribly wrong. Humans are thus pushed into a bottomless pit of dystopia and dejection; and with the theme of a pandemic running through the narrative, it is a timely adventure story to watch out for.
It simultaneously addresses classism, capitalism, extreme poverty and inequity, as well as the rise of autocracy (none of which is unimaginable or restricted to the pages today).
India Booked | Waiting for the Dust to Settle
In this episode of India Booked, host Ayushi Mona talks to Veio Pou, about his brilliant new debut novel, Waiting for the Dust to Settle, published by Speaking Tiger Books. Set in Manipur, the book is a moving novel about the human cost of the violence that the Naga. The podcast discussed what people have endured since the 1980s telling the story of Operation Bluebird—one of the darkest yet little discussed moments in the history of the Indian Army in the northeast. Above everything else, this is a deeply human portrait of an entire people the novel talks about the human cost of the violence that the Naga people have endured since the 1980s. It tells the story of Operation Bluebird—one of the darkest yet little discussed moments in the history of the Indian Army in the northeast. A moving, timely book that is surely to arrest and impress you in the way that Veio intersperses fictional narratives with the stark reality of life. Tune in!