Call it a means of entertainment or seek out its power as a medium of communication, podcasts are the new age way of relaxing with a purpose in mind. Mind diverting an exercise but mindful still, letting the narrative play along to your ears even as you continue with your pursuits in action, the play of a podcast is no less than any therapy that impacts the consciousness lying within you, affecting and impacting you in measures beyond measure. And perhaps that is the reason these elements of the audible pertain so intensely well to the agenda of well being that they pursue without seemingly any pursuit in sight. Here’s some of the most soulful podcasts you can lend an ear to, to help yourself calm down along their stirring expression of life-
Kahaani Express with Neelesh Misra
A voice that resonates with a heady mix of the entire spectrum of palpable human emotions, in such exemplary modulations of it that is guaranteed to yield the desired intensity of the effect pursued in just the perfect dose, emanating joy at the mention of laughs while evoking grief with the mere utterance of a couple some words, the captivating enigma of Neelesh Misra is such that embraces you in all wonders of a world conceived utterly realistically out of the fancies of imagination. With his each narration of stories and every recounting of tales, Mishra transports his listeners to a universe conjured up by him as the realms of his many a trail of wordy wonders, encapsulating all and sundry in a warmth that embodies the realisation of every human emotion in heartfelt measure. Stemming from the genius human awareness of such an assertion that holds the magic to instantly guide you along a journey of immersive reality is a certain Kahaani Express by Neelesh Misra.
Currently into its 3rd season, this podcast on Jio Saavn has been striking the right chords in every heart ever since Misra have had the allure of his voice work upon weary souls and teary hearts, gladdening his many a legion of dedicated followers who decipher their own peace in getting lost in the mellifluous medley of his baritone voice. With his flair for storytelling as the catch, Kahaani Express with Neelesh Misra is a beautiful production of the auditory that seeks to take its listeners along a roam across India through such alleys of existence that invariably come to find their own in some way or the other along the romantically nostalgic trails of a train journey. Evoking indeed this sense of the emotion associated with the Indian Railways is the very name of the podcast that plays out therefore as the perfect platform through which a multitude of stories find expression. Intertwined with the adventurous escapades of the travel tales are a play of all range of emotions, of love and hate, of joys and sorrows, of anger and realisation, that drives the human pursuit of life and relationships, delivered in fine measure through the soothing voice of a storyteller who understands the nuances of his trade in passion like no other. As Misra takes his listeners on a journey of self discovery and exploration through stories that are sweet and simple and so relatable, one cannot help but feel every emotion that runs deep in his every reflection of words, making it therefore an experience that is registered in the deepest entrenches of the soul, as a mode of communication that is more veritable than verbal in nature, and one therefore that fosters a connection beyond the awareness of the perception. With the third season though, the journey has sought to take on an even more dynamic route of expression, moving beyond the meandering course of train voyages to instead explore the story residing in every possible journey of life, captured so meaningfully in simplistic artistry through the show’s tagline ‘Har Safar Ki Ek Kahaani Hai’.
The Passion People
Definitely one of the more unique podcasts that you can lend a ear to is The Passion People hosted by Naga Subramanya. While striking up deep but impromptu conversations with people who go about living their passion sounds like rather commonplace a ground of discussion, Subramanya takes it one step further with his interaction with many a successful people of the passionate kind. By gaining insight into the lives and workings of these doers, the podcast tries to encourage its listeners to embark also on the path of pursuing their passions, not just in terms of exploring them however. Himself a finance guy, Chartered Accountant to be precise, and the Senior Finance Manager at virtual event platform Airmeet, Subramanya goes about also the monetizing aspect of passions that is what is so necessary to make professionals out of passionate souls. Shaping up as honest, detailed conversations with those successfully following their passion and making it manifest in really amazing ways are the episodes of The Passion People Podcast that seeks to guide others like them that hold the potential to do big things themselves only if they outgrow their fear and learn to live with faith. And despite this all sounding like something too rooted in technical aspects of finance and sciences and the like, Subramanya’s many a spontaneous conversations have seen everyone from stand up comics and audio artists to cinematographers and entertainers alongside of course entrepreneurs and academicians and similar such figures of stature opening up about their personal tales of life and struggles and eventual success. His inspiration for curating such life stories on a singular platform stemmed from his couple some encounters of a different nature- one of a young girl travelling the country by herself, the other of an older woman seeking to counter stereotypes of body images. In shaping up therefore as a series of conversations that dwell on the realisation of passions of just about any and every kind, The Passion People Podcast makes for one of the most soulful brushes of its listeners with the amazing human capability for passionate persistence and perseverance.
The Musafir Stories
An Indian couple dishing out stories from every nook and corner of their homeland that just about accentuates the rich diversity of this land steeped in experiences and episodes and exploits galore, The Musafir Stories is a travel podcast that will have you falling in love with the vast expanses of an incredibly intriguing India all over again. Commencing its journey through the hinterland of the nation way back in 2017 is this travel documentation by Toronto based Saif Omar and Faiza Khan, who aspires through their efforts to entice one and all to explore the exotic beauty of India through vivid retelling of personal travel tales. The Musafir Stories embodies in fact this very facet of the uniquely fascinating Indian identity in its very name, embodying perhaps a certain sense of mystique that plays out more to the imagination.
With travelers from far and wide- travel bloggers and entrepreneurs and ordinary folks alike- relating their journey of myriad experiences across the length and breadth of India, listeners get to unearth the beauty of the country in all its true hues. From experiences of the ordinary that still are exciting enough to unsettling accounts of mystery and indeed as authentic validations of the beauty permeating through every strand of what makes up this utterly unimaginable place on earth, The Musafir Stories offers all that it takes to make explorers out of tourists and wanderers out of people. And what makes this podcast an absolute delight to listen along to and chart out one’s own path along the Indian travel trail is what marks the very essence of its name- conjuring up a world of unparalleled beauty in imagination through stirring narratives of destinations and locales and adventures and escapades alike that sure ignites the wanderlusting spirit of the soul like no other.
One of the few silver linings to have emerged from the cloud of unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic is a certain Assamese podcast by the name Ojaantric. While podcasts in this regional language of the northeastern Indian state of Assam is indeed a rarity to come by, there is more to Ojaantric than its potential drawing on the power of a particular lexicon that has managed to lend this what is a very evocative pouring out of hearts the mass popularity it has come to encompass. With young director Oasis Talukdar at the helm of affairs of this venture produced under his label Oasis Motion Pictures and ably hosted by talented Assamese actor Udayan Duarah, popularly known as UD, Ojaantric has driven itself to hold a swaying place in the imagination of its largely Assamese listeners by virtue of the informal but informative still mode of conversation it has chosen to pursue its leanings through.
With celebrities of the Assamese entertainment industry expressing themselves in person along the duration of the show, the podcast has offered an altogether different inroad into the life of these people on the screen. In its format that allows for a very engaging, light hearted yet effective talk with these idols of public life, Ojaantric has managed to bring into fore not just the personal identity of these celebrities residing beyond their essence oft encountered in glamour but also effectively portrayed many a issue affecting the fraternity at large. Affording the general masses therefore a understanding of this world of adulation that the entertainment industry resides in, Ojaantric has provided a rare but real insight into the alleys of fame, both in terms of the people who reveal their true, unfiltered selves through the trails of talk along the course of the show as well as the reality lurking in the shadows of this world of lights and spotlights. A very candid portrayal of larger than life celebrities, a refreshingly enjoyable mode of communication and a hitherto unexplored premise of exploration at least in the Assamese context, is what has lent this podcast its really remarkable and long haul reach among the elated masses deprived for so long of such quality of regional content.
A very assertive message delivered through the very name of it, GayBCD is a podcast that seeks to cater to the lesser addressed domain of the queer existence, which however should not be an identity so exclusively eked out that it ceases to thwart its residence still in the larger human scheme of things. Hosted by two creatively inclined blokes, Farhad Karkaria and Sunetro Lahiri, GayBCD comes across as a rather interesting take on all things queer, with the duo trying to discover a little more about what marks also their own identity in today’s world. And the innovative manner in which the two men go about their quest on deciphering the (g)A(y)BCDs of it all by attempting to acquaint one and all with this language alien for many among the masses of the world is one of the factors that make this bantered freewheeling conversation of sorts a revealing of the times.
Aiming indeed to be ‘the dictionary of all things in life from a queer perspective’, this show of equal part laughs and (en)lightenment focusses on deciphering the queer issue that lay under cover beneath every letter, overshadowed though by the understanding of the ‘straight’. While both Farhad and Sunetro offer their own insights and relate their own realisations of the queer experience first hand, the podcast also hosts guests along its course of the streaming to dwell still on the ‘place of pride’ of the queer community of humans, evolving as an identity of its own that aspires to understand all orientations of sexuality as one as naturally embedded into the collective human psyche.