There’s only so much Netflix one can watch given the current lockdown extension. While we’re clear about reading being our favourite hobby, participating in a literary community can also be a lot of fun.
There are numerous online literary events and panel discussions going on at present, but nothing can beat one-on-one interactions, right? That’s where literary podcasts step in. Not only are they personal (they’re right in your ear, after all!), they also discuss books and get you to listen to stories. Here’s a list of seven Indian literary podcasts that are sure to get you hooked.
If you need your fix of crime and horror stories set in India, and love listening to audiobooks, then give Indian Noir a go. Podcast host Nikesh Murali, the author of the award-winning short story collection The Killing Fields, does a great job in grasping your attention from the very beginning. There are even some tales that are relevant to the times we are living in, including an interesting one that begins with – ‘In the aftermath of a viral pandemic, a desperate father goes on a dangerous quest to save his daughter’s life’.
Books And Beyond With Bound
Tara Khandelwal & Michelle D’Costa
If you’ve ever wanted to know about the inner lives of your favourite Indian authors, then this podcast is for you. Guests on this podcast include Manu Pillai, Avni Doshi, Amrita Mahale, Arshia Sattar and others. Along with the personal, they discuss the realities of publishing and the steps that have led them to where they are today. Tara Khandelwal and Michelle D’Costa are the podcast hosts, writers and editors, and bring their love for books and knowledge of the industry to these conversations, which are full of banter and unique insights.
Raachyeta Sharma & Satyajit Roy
This podcast interviews people from all walks of life and asks them about their favourite non-fiction book recommendations. Guests include entrepreneurs, nutritionists and experts from different industries who talk about the books that have helped them on their respective journeys. Hosts Satyajit Roy and Raachyeta Sharma have also featured the founders of The Curious Reader in two of the episodes! Tune in for some deep insights into the lives of the featured guests as well as some great book recommendations.
Books That Speak
Books That Speak
This podcast is aimed at helping children fall and stay in love with books and stories. It has over 258 episodes and has stories in English, Marathi and Hindi. These are traditional as well as contemporary versions of Indian folktales and mythology and are exciting and engaging for children. And, the stories can become a great fun activity with your children right now – get them to listen to a story and then draw a picture inspired by it or make up a game about it.
Supriya Nair & Deepanjana Pal
This 12-episode podcast has journalists Supriya Nair and Deepanjana Pal discussing books, literary festivals, awards, Jane Austen, mythology and much more. Filled with insightful observations, this is another great podcast for lovers of the written word. The banter between the two hosts is fun and entertaining, making listeners feel as though they are silent participants in the chai-time conversations between these two friends. Tune in with a cup of chai or coffee and listen to them dissect different aspects of literature.
This is a great podcast for poetry lovers. Curated by Namita Gokhale, this podcast features live readings and interviews of poets in multiple languages, right from English and Hindi, to Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi and many more. The podcasts go beyond simple readings and interviews and discuss the process of creation of each poem as well as what inspired the poet to write the poem.
Natasha Malpani Oswal
Hosted by Natasha Malpani Oswal, this podcast takes its listeners into the world of poetry by sharing behind-the-scenes stories of creating and publishing poetry, and more. Oswal discusses the stories and secrets behind the very raw poems in her book Boundless, while also talking about her own journey. Her podcast also explores themes and topics like the ups and downs of living in a foreign country, the age of content creation, turning 30, and so on.
Tara Khandelwal is an editor and writer who has worked with Penguin India, BloombergQuint and SheThePeople.TV. She works with Writers' Side and Eyewear Publishing as an editor and is the founder of Bound. She graduated from the Columbia Publishing Course and completed her undergraduate studies in Economic History from Columbia University.
You can read her articles here.