Written by Shivangi Vaswani | Updated: September 25, 2018 12:08:14 am Kalki Koechlin
There are bound to be many different perspectives in a country as diverse as ours. And each of them has a great story to tell,” says Kalki Koechlin, “My Indian Life does just that. We look at social taboos by interviewing different people, from all over the country, who have broken these taboos.” BBC World Services Kalki Presents: My Indian Life is a podcast on which the actor explores real-life stories that address issues of child sexual abuse, harassment, caste discrimination, victim shaming, sex education and gender identity. The show is positioned as an examination of what it means to be young and Indian in the 21st century.
BBC held a special live recording session among a gathering of students last week at St Xaviers College, Mumbai, for which Koechlin was joined by three of her podcast guests — Insia Dariwala, who campaigns against child sexual abuse, Rahul Sonpimple, a Dalit activist fighting against caste injustices, and ice hockey player Diskit Angmo, who talks about the misogyny and ignorance she and her team encountered. The session will be released as a special episode at the end of the series in October.
My Indian Life is the first time that Koechlin has been on a podcast. The first episode features Eshan Hilal, a male belly dancer who narrates his experience of growing up in a conservative Muslim family and how his gender-identity, dreams and ambitions shattered his relationship with them.
“The child sexual abuse episode was extremely moving for all of us in the room,” she says referring to the episode with Dariwala, who is a child sexual abuse survivor.
Although there were some initial worries about backlash against the podcast because of the sensitive topics it broaches, Koechlin says the feedback has been positive.“Maybe it is because podcasts are a new concept and are just picking up now.” The response has also been encouraging because the team has begun to receive more stories from listeners who have struggled with similar issues. “We are currently sifting through those stories for a possible second season,” says Koechlin.
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- Kalki Koechlin