Skip to main content
The Desi Condition

The Desi Condition

By The Desi Condition

The Desi Condition seeks to fill the gap in our emotional education by exploring the aspirations, conflict and emotionality of the Desi and human condition through the eyes of history, sociology, and personal accounts. This podcast explores various topics in mental wellness and how our history and sociology often serves to exacerbate mental health conditions, jeopardize wellness, and delay progress and treatment. The Desi Condition is about creating a sense of relatability, community, and togetherness. By listening to other people's stories, we eventually find we're all one and the same.
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo

Castbox

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Stitcher Logo

Stitcher

Currently playing episode

Episode 2.11: Platonic Heartbreak (Mailbag episode)

The Desi Condition

1x
Episode 4.12: Personal Branding is a form of Self-Advocacy, with Urmi Hossain
Episode 4.12: Personal Branding is a form of Self-Advocacy, with Urmi Hossain
Urmi Hossain, president of the Royal Speakeasy Toastmasters Club, believes the best way to advocate for yourself comes from finding your voice. In her journey to self-empowerment, she set out to find her voice - both figuratively and literally - through public speaking. A Bengali-Italian by birth, Urmi shares her the emotional labor she underwent to overcome the fear of public speaking in her third language, English. What are some of the barriers we all face when it comes to public speaking? What can we all stand to gain from public speaking skills? Why do people and, particularly, women, need to be more confident with public speaking, even if they’re not in public speaking professions? How does personal branding fit into all of this? Urmi shares her experience with this and more, as she reflects on the introspection, and building confidence when coming from a culture that is riddled with double standards. Urmi can be found: Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/urmi-hossain/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZoiI0SGU0Xo9_lNjtLWtgg Blog: myways.ca Instagram: @urmamio Her book on Amazon: Discovering Your Identity: A Rebirth From Interracial Struggle
47:30
January 15, 2023
Episode 4.11: The Birds, the Bees, and the Bitter Truths with Bushra "Apa" Mollick
Episode 4.11: The Birds, the Bees, and the Bitter Truths with Bushra "Apa" Mollick
Bushra Mollick, creator of BD Sex Education, is the elder sister you wish you had growing up. Her web page is a resource for Bengali speaking people for all things sex-ed. What exactly falls under the umbrella of sex education? What kinds of questions do Bengalis need to know about sex education? What's the most shocking? Bushra shares all the bitter truths about sex education in the 'desh. Prepare to be shocked. Link to the BD Sex Education website: https://www.bdsexeducation.com/ Website visits since December 2021 launch: 130,000 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BushraApaEdu/ Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/bdsexeducation/
01:17:17
November 15, 2022
Episode 4.10: The Doubting Disease, with Vardaan Arora
Episode 4.10: The Doubting Disease, with Vardaan Arora
Take all the stereotypes you’ve heard about people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and just throw them out the damn window. Host Tanushree sits with singer-songwriter and actor Vardaan Arora to get a real account of his personal journey with mental health and specifically, OCD. Although OCD looks and feels different for each individual, Vardaan sheds light on the cycle of obsessive thoughts, compulsions, and ritualistic behavior. Calling OCD “the doubting disease” is an apt descriptor; Vardaan opens up about his sense of identity and mental security as a result of the distressing, and sometimes dangerous, nature of ego-dystonic* thought. Finding help for OCD isn’t easy – and Vardaan covers why treatments like talk therapy or an attempt at logicking yourself out of obsessive thoughts only feeds the disorder. Finally, he shares how his OCD has affected his relationships as well as his life and craft as an artist. A longtime mental health advocate, Vardaan has released several tracks on the topic including: “Feel Good Song”, “Obsessive”, “Imposter Syndrome”, “Do You Hate Me?”, and his latest single, “Diamond Tears.” *Ego-dystonic thought refers to impulses, and behaviors that are inconsistent with one’s idea of themselves. They are often felt to be repulsive, upsetting, and unacceptable. NOTE: This episode is only a personal experience. It is not meant to give actual medical advice. If you suspect you or someone you know has symptoms of OCD, always seek advice from a trained, medical professional. Vardaan Arora can be found: Instagram, TikTok, Twitter: @vardaanarora Spotify Apple Music
01:00:49
October 15, 2022
Episode 4.09: I'll Never Be Alive Again, with Anisha Savan
Episode 4.09: I'll Never Be Alive Again, with Anisha Savan
Welcome back to The Desi Condition! After a four month hiatus for the summer, we are back with new episodes. This time, Anu and Tanushree speak with horror filmmaker Anisha Savan about her third short film, I'll Never Be Alive Again. Inspired by themes of COVID-related depression, OCD, guilt, and grief, Anisha uses filmmaking to tell the story of a zombie attempting to come back to life. Though fantastical, viewers may find themes of hopelessness and a dystopian future that feels closer than comfort. Moreover, Anisha uses the film to interrogate the question of whether forgiveness is possible after committing the unthinkable. In the second half of the episode, Anisha speaks to her creative journey with filmmaking. She shares personal influences and thoughts on the future of South Asian representation in horror. Anisha can be found: IG: @anishasavan, @neveralive_film Website: anishasavan.com
01:01:12
September 15, 2022
Episode 4.08: Family Mental Health, with Shelly Sood and Nikhil Torsekar
Episode 4.08: Family Mental Health, with Shelly Sood and Nikhil Torsekar
It is 2015, and Nikhil and Shelly are staying in a quaint cabin in Wisconsin. They had been fighting for some time, and are hoping that this is a chance to rekindle their marriage. But back at the cabin, Shelly encounters her worst nightmare. Nikhil's face turns to stone as he says, "I don't love you anymore. I want a divorce." Shelly enters into hysterics. Divorce proceedings follow. But Nikhil and Shelly's story takes an unexpected twist when Nikhil is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. On this episode, we discuss their mental health journey as a family; sweeping issues under the rug, their marriage falling apart and coming back together, and coming to terms with seeking help. Shelly discusses her ability to separate Nikhil, the person, from his disorder even in the wake of all the hurt she faced. Nikhil shares his journey with his bipolar diagnosis and how Shelly helped him seek treatment. They describe how their kids and parents dealt with the diagnosis and their contentious divorce -- that never actually went through. Together, they weave a story of unwavering faith in the future and in each other. Shelly and Nikhil can be reached: giostarchicago.com shellysood.com Podcast: The Shelly Story Instagram and Twitter: @theshellystory
01:04:15
May 15, 2022
Episode 4.07: Bad Bitches Beat Burnout, with Niki Aggarwal
Episode 4.07: Bad Bitches Beat Burnout, with Niki Aggarwal
Kahaani's Misrepresented founder and podcast host Niki Aggarwal joins Anu and Tanushree at The Desi Condition for a thoughtful conversation on burnout. More specifically, we approach the topic of burnout as a result of the inability to separate identity and career, as it goes for many, and thus learning to take "acountability" for it. We discuss how to distinguish when you need a break versus when you should actually quit. The conversation turns to why some mainstream self-care is actually just capitalism at work, and share personal self-care tactics that actually work. In addition, we discuss the necessity of mitigating guilt (regarding enjoyment, or time spent not working) as a self-care tactic as well as the power of giving yourself choice. We ponder the question of what makes us feel productive, and how can we make self-care part of that feeling of productivity? Niki can be found: kahaani.io Instagram: @kahaani.io Twitter: @kahaani_io Podcast: Misrepresented
01:16:46
April 15, 2022
Episode 4.06: Interview with Sujata Day and Ritesh Rajan
Episode 4.06: Interview with Sujata Day and Ritesh Rajan
What happens when you combine a stellar directorial debut and an honest, vulnerable portrayal of South Asian mental health within cinema? You get the incredible new comedy-drama film, Definition Please — directed by and starring the remarkable Sujata Day and equally phenomenal Ritesh Rajan.  In this episode, we chat with Sujata and Ritesh about the importance and impact of South Asian representation within mainstream media to highlight mental health stigma. Sujata and Ritesh speak about their relationship with South Asian identity and how it has shaped their respective paths as storytellers who consistently strive to “create their own table.” We get to learn more about their stories as South Asian artists, and their coming up as professional actors in Hollywood. Equal parts inspiring and insightful, Sujata and Ritesh divulge what can only be interpreted as a responsible, modern take on South Asian representation in creative spaces. Personally, we think their stance is a beautiful, raw example of what we’ve always coined as “The Desi Condition.” Learn more about the motivation behind Definition Please and their plans to continue breaking barriers for South Asian creators.
59:30
March 15, 2022
**REMASTERED AND UPDATED** Episode 4.05: Platonic Heartbreak (Mailbag)
**REMASTERED AND UPDATED** Episode 4.05: Platonic Heartbreak (Mailbag)
"Platonic love is the one we choose. That's why it feels so devastating when we lose it." This episode is a throwback to a fan favorite. First published in March 2019 (pre-pandemic!) and always in TDC history's top five, this episode is a collection of stories about the heartbreak of an ending friendship. Though submissions came from across the country and around the world,  somehow, the stories tie together with common themes such as mental health, family, socioeconomic status, trauma, and expectations, creating a greater narrative on heartbreak that is tragic, yet relatable. Special thanks to Ravi (Ravi Ray Audio), who remastered the episode, and the original guests, who were willing to bravely re-open wounds to provide updates on their story years afterwards. - Tanushree
01:32:19
February 13, 2022
Episode 4.04: Metaphysical Healing from Trauma, with Mytrae Meliana
Episode 4.04: Metaphysical Healing from Trauma, with Mytrae Meliana
Mytrae's story starts as a young adult in the U.S. in the 90's; an Indian graduate student in love with an American man. But her family's expectations catch up to her, and she quickly finds herself forced to give up her dreams, trapped in her family's home under house arrest and enduring abuse. Separated from the world she knew, she finds a way to carve a new path for herself. Now a psychotherapist, author, and healer, Mytrae shares her story. She expounds on life with a narcissistic parent and how it can affect family dynamics. Outlining her journey through multiple abusive situations, she talks about finding strength to identify and leave those situations to find her own path. Perhaps most remarkable, she shares her journey healing trauma through the metaphysical. And at the end of it all, she shared how she was able to find forgiveness from the heart. Connect with Mytrae Meliana: Email: mytrae@mytraemeliana.com www.mytraemeliana.com Facebook Instagram Twitter
01:02:55
January 15, 2022
Episode 4.03: Under the Veil and Into the Spotlight, with Mrinal Gokhale
Episode 4.03: Under the Veil and Into the Spotlight, with Mrinal Gokhale
Mrinal Gokhale is the Midwestern-based author of Saaya Unveiled: South Asian Mental Health Spotlighted. In this episode we highlight some of the common themes among the diasporic South Asian mental health stories she highlights in her book; including attitudes towards treatment, parent/guardian reactions, triggers, and much more. Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/Saaya-Unveiled-Mental-Health-Spotlighted-ebook/dp/B092Y9132V
55:57
November 15, 2021
Episode 4.02: Lights, Camera, Ashan, with ABC's Ashan Singh
Episode 4.02: Lights, Camera, Ashan, with ABC's Ashan Singh
Code switching (which sounds like some computer science term) is the art of switching off between languages, behaviors, and jargon according to your surrounding environment. It might sound familiar to you, because almost all Desi people use it as an adaptive mechanism! In this episode, I speak with ABC Nightline's Ashan Singh about his experience as a reporyter, and how he is able to use code switching - which often has a negative connotation - as a means of connection. We talk about storytelling and interviewing, and learning to use code switching to be one with our social and professional spheres. We talk about what it means to be American.
01:01:39
October 15, 2021
Episode 4.01: Desi Roots and the Music Industry, with Sameer Gadhia (Young The Giant)
Episode 4.01: Desi Roots and the Music Industry, with Sameer Gadhia (Young The Giant)
In this episode, Young the Giant's Sameer Gadhia visits The Desi Condition to talk about South Asian identity, the whitewashing of alternative rock, expressing politics in music, his creative process, and on trying to find “home” in America. We start the episode by discussing his disposition as one of the very few South Asian musicians in the alternative rock scene. Sameer reflects on how his background and history as an immigrant has shaped his journey in music and influences his work. He talks about growing up as an "ABCD," without a playbook to navigate the music industry in the mid 2000’s, and on finding his place among artists in the alternative rock genre given the anonymity inherent to it. Using his experiences, he learned to humanize the rhetoric in his music to reach all kinds of people with different points of view. Sameer also discusses his show on Pandora, Point of Origin, (presented by SiriusXM’s ALT Nation & Pandora) in which he aims to spotlight Alternative and Indie Rock musicians of color past, present, and future. He continues to, as always, implore listeners to acknowledge the roots of rock music in people of color. Listen to hear more of his thoughts on the future and possibilities of emerging South Asian culture, social media and “making it” in the industry, and advice for up and coming artists of color.
59:53
September 15, 2021
Special: Reverse Interview
Special: Reverse Interview
What's up bondhus? In this episode we flip the script and interview Tanushree. She talks about why she created The Desi Condition, how she developed the brand, and how it has impacted her life. She also provides career advice, and spills the tea on her wacky dreams. Did you know Tanushree has dreams of throwing a South Asian Woodstock? Tune in to this special episode. New season starts on September 15.
49:40
August 11, 2021
Season 3 in Review (and so many other exciting thingz)
Season 3 in Review (and so many other exciting thingz)
Tanushree reflects on each episode of Season 3, and takes a look at what’s coming this summer for Season 4, for the podcast and beyond: - New guests, collabs. - The Desi Collaborative, for creative professionals - Lychee, a South Asian diasporic advice column. - Rukus Avenue Radio New episodes coming this September.
29:26
July 21, 2021
Episode 3.22: Interview with Jai Wolf (Part 2 of 2)
Episode 3.22: Interview with Jai Wolf (Part 2 of 2)
We’re here to deliver the second installment of our magical and insightful conversation with the legendary Sajeeb Saha, AKA Jai Wolf! In this episode, Sajeeb dives into everything from his musical influences and inspiration, to the story behind the name Jai Wolf. He provides insight into his creative process, describing one that pulls from many different worlds and experiences to evoke intense emotions and to produce music with movie-inspired theatricality. He also explains how he tries to make his live shows authentically him, placing an emphasis on world-building. He largely credits creative genius and hip-hop visionary Kanye West for his 808s-era visceral and undeniable originality as influential to his music. Sajeeb recounts his love for Graduation and even credits Kanye-inspired beats and synth patterns as being emulated in his track, “Indian Summer.” The conversation takes an amusing turn as Tanushree, and Ravi ask Sajeeb fun questions about his Bengali heritage, cats, and goals for the future. Sajeeb fondly reminisces how fate led him to become a full-time cat dad in 2020. The episode ends with Sajeeb offering words of advice to South Asian creatives attempting to find their way out of adversity and/or to find motivation. If you enjoyed our last installment, you won’t want to miss this dreamy and delightful second half!
55:20
May 26, 2021
Episode 3.21: Interview with Jai Wolf (Part 1 of 2)
Episode 3.21: Interview with Jai Wolf (Part 1 of 2)
What happens when you mix South Asian Bengali and EDM artistry into one? You get the legendary Jai Wolf! In part 1 of a 2-episode installment, Tanushree and Ravi interview the Bangladeshi-born and NYC-bred Sajeeb Saha. They discuss the origins of Jai Wolf, and how historically significant and integral music and art are to South Asian culture. Sajeeb recounts how he broke into the world of electronic music with a classical music background and how his South Asian Bengali identity found its way into his music, leading to the birth of “Indian Summer.” He discusses his artistic evolution and the importance of figuring out who you are as an artist to overcome creative roadblocks and to define what “commercial success” means. In this insightful conversation, Tanushree, Ravi, and Sajeeb dive into the impact of the “immigrant struggle,” including the expectations on South Asian artists and creatives passed on by Desi parents advocating for stable, STEM careers. They explore South Asian representation in the music and entertainment industries and the lackluster South Asian solidarity for/amongst creatives, comedians and artists. Sajeeb credits competitiveness and tribal mentality dating back to colonialism as the foundation for this phenomenon, and the conversation takes a hopeful turn as the three discuss how immigration has helped South Asians become more supportive of one another. The episode ends with Sajeeb and our hosts musing over the hopes of an emergence of a community coming together to form a larger support system for South Asian creatives and artists in the near future
01:03:28
May 19, 2021
Episode 3.20: Men’s Mental Health with Sachit Grover and Suraj Kandukuri
Episode 3.20: Men’s Mental Health with Sachit Grover and Suraj Kandukuri
How do men understand the pressures and challenges of being South Asian and its effects on our mental health? On this special episode of the Desi Condition, Kartik Ramkumar, Blog Writer for The Desi Condition, sits down with Sachit Grover and Suraj Kandukuri to have a frank dialogue on mental health. They discuss their South Asian and American identities and how compartmentalizing them can affect our mental health. They discuss career choices and how their families and society contribute to their pressures and maintaining mental health. They discuss special projects or hobbies that allow then to work on their mental health and continue to spark conversation on this topic.
01:01:54
May 05, 2021
Episode 3.19: Eco-Unfriendliness, with Vibhati Bhatia of South Asians for Sustainability
Episode 3.19: Eco-Unfriendliness, with Vibhati Bhatia of South Asians for Sustainability
What does environmental change and the pursuit of eco-friendliness have to do with mental health? Turns out, a lot! In this episode we speak with London-based founder of South Asians for Sustainability, Vibhati Bhatia, about the climate change issue and how it pertains to South Asians. We discuss why South Asians are not known for their "green" habits, and how immigration and generational trauma can affect these habits. We dispell myths about global warming, including the misleading rhetoric of overpopulation in poorer countries as a main contributor, and why plastic isn't the only problem. Our discussion leads into the question of how decolonization plays a role in eco frinedliness, and ultimately, mental wellness. It comes full circle as we revisit our ancestral roots in ayurveda and natural remedies. Finally, we discuss some tangible ways in which we can start caring and contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Follow @southasiansforsustainability and visit our website at tdcpodcast.com for additional resources on the sustainable movement, including the technical science behind climate change and waste-reducing alternatives.
53:24
April 07, 2021
Episode 3.18: Fake it 'Til you Make it!, with Hani Anis of Anis Collections
Episode 3.18: Fake it 'Til you Make it!, with Hani Anis of Anis Collections
Did you know that around 70% of ppl experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives? And the numbers are even higher for people who experience stereotypes like women and people of color, or other disadvantaged folks! In this episode, Anu and Tanushree interview Hani, our creative lead, about her successful business in fashion. She talks about her journey, design process, and time management. But underneath it all, is a nagging, intrusive imposter syndrome that she must battle everyday. We discuss how she works against it to garner the confidence to pursue the ideas and goals she has for her company. Finally, the three of us talk about our shared experience in making massive career changes in our 20's: using passion at the propellant to stress and fear management, negotiating wit hopes and dreams, and defining the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality.
01:15:58
March 17, 2021
Episode 3.17: Gender-Based Violence, with Aysha Qamar
Episode 3.17: Gender-Based Violence, with Aysha Qamar
Domestic violence is an issue that impacts all types of people, regardless of background, education, or status. Aysha Qamar is a writer, poet, and advocate based in the tri-state area, with experience addressing issues of violence against women, language access, and Islamophobia. In this episode she shares how people - especially immigrants - end up becoming trapped in domestic violence situations. Aysha offers a top-down perspective on the severity and variety of issues that South Asian and other communities need to be aware of such as finance, immigration laws, family dynamics, limited resources, and more. It is due to these issues that not just women but men face violence as well. Perhaps most surprisingly, we learn why education isn't always the solution to domestic violence situations As a poet and freelance writer, Aysha has been published in various publications including: Brown Girl Magazine, the Huffington Post, The Muslim Observer, Everyday Feminism, The Teal Mango, The Tempest, the New York Post’s Decider, and elsewhere. Common themes in her work include advocating for immigration reform, gender parity, feminism, xenophobia and cultural competency. Visit tdcpodcast.com to learn more about what we can do to help.
01:04:58
February 24, 2021
Episode 3.16: Shapes of Shaadi, with Single to Shaadi's Radha Patel
Episode 3.16: Shapes of Shaadi, with Single to Shaadi's Radha Patel
How do we know when we are ready to find "the one"? Do we know what to look for, and what are our decisions influenced by? In this episode, we chat with Radha Patel, a US based Indian matchmaker and founder of “Single to Shaadi,” a matchmaking service for South-Asian singles in the US and Canada. She gives us insight into the care and thoughtfulness she puts into matchmaking, and what kinds of internal and external pressures individuals tend to experience as they approach matchmaking, such as: timeline, religion, region, upbringing, and more. She also sheds light on how she is able to strike a balance between traditional and modern notions of love and marriage especially when families are involved, as they so often are in South Asian marriages. Through years of experience, Radha has managed to honor the individual first and foremost in the matchmaking process - a stark contrast from traditional South Asian marriages of days past.
55:54
February 10, 2021
Episode 3.15: The Asexual Spectrum, with Vipasha and Rakshitha of Acey Desi
Episode 3.15: The Asexual Spectrum, with Vipasha and Rakshitha of Acey Desi
Did you know that until 2013, asexuality was considered a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association? In this episode, Acey Desi's Vipasha and Rakshitha share their realizations and journey as South Asian asexuals. As two of the six admins of Acey Desi, with the platorm they aim to provide resources, media, and experiences for South Asian Asexuals. We chat about the history of asexuality perception and the LGBTQIA+ spectrum in general. We discuss the validity of measures of sexuality such as the split-attraction model and the Kinsey scale, and assess. They share their point of view on the coming out to South Asian parents and explain their experiences maintaining relationships as asexuals, with allosexuals (people who regularly experience sexual attraction). Oh, and cake. We chat a lot about cake.
48:08
January 20, 2021
Episode 3.14: Redefining ABCD
Episode 3.14: Redefining ABCD
"Am I Desi enough? Am I TOO Desi?" If you're South Asian, chances are you've asked yourself these questions before. In this episode I speak with the ladies of the podcast Redefining ABCD: Sneha & Keerthi!  Two Tamilian-Americans, they question what ABCD culture is, and discuss how to turn the "confused" in ABCD and into "confident." We also discuss the trappings of a "hyphenated identity": having labels such as "oreo" or "fob" assigned to you, and knowing how to distinguish between your and your community's voice in your head. Finally, we talk about preserving culture as a new South Asian microculture, and what our role as overseas Desis is in forging a new collective identity for our communities.  Check out Part 1 of this conversation on Redefining ABCD's podcast for Tanushree's feature, where we talk about career moves and education.
57:13
January 06, 2021
Episode 3.13: Romance? Whoa-mance!
Episode 3.13: Romance? Whoa-mance!
In this episode we hear from a collection of guests about a variety of topics, from dealbreakers and online dating, to interracial dating and family influence. We question whether the voices in our heads are truly our own, or society's. We try to uncover the truth about apathy and ghosting in dating. Naveed: Dating as a brown male, discussing dealbrakers, family influence, and income  Chanda & Loi: As an interracial, interfaith couple, they discuss their story overcoming family pressure, and acceptance. Ravi & Anu: How apps have changed the landscape of dating, and how to stay positive. They also discuss how to deal with ghosting, apathy, and managing first date expectations.
01:12:45
December 23, 2020
Episode 3.12: Body Shame and Dating (Mailbag)
Episode 3.12: Body Shame and Dating (Mailbag)
Ever felt like you don’t fit society’s definition of “attractive,” or “desirable”? Or like a second choice option, because of your size? What are you supposed to do? How are you even supposed to feel? Or perhaps you’ve perpetuated these standards - unintentionally or not - by rejecting potential partners due to appearance. What opportunities are you missing out on due to your conditioning? This episode is a collection of conversations around body shame and dating, confidence, mental health, and how desi culture contributes to it. We focus on fatphobia among women and height discrimination among men, and explore the conditioning that makes people dismissive of these particular physical traits. Although we focus on two broader topics, the takeaway remains the same: we are larger than our bodies Special thanks to everyone who contributed to the episode: Zubi Ahmed (@damnzoob), Ravi Lad (@itsravilad), and Anu Upad (@anu_upad)
01:20:57
December 09, 2020
Episode 3.11: Migrant Mental Health, with Joseph Kolapudi
Episode 3.11: Migrant Mental Health, with Joseph Kolapudi
In this episode we hear from Joseph Kolapudi (ReachAcross, ARMCare, World Economic Forum), about refugee and migrant mental health. We chat about how migration can affect second and third generation mental health, and the specific challenges that migrants can face. He shares ways in which the younger generation can involved in the conversation about mental health. Joseph is a young professional who currently works as the project director of an international nonprofit. He also serves at the 2020 Multicultural Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation. He also is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, and serves on the board of ARMCare. In his spare time, he writes as a contributor for the SAARI Collective, an emerging South Asian media platform; as well as the South Asian Philanthropy Project; in addition to being an online contributor for the South Asians for Black Lives movement.
54:20
November 25, 2020
Episode 3.10: Civic Engagement vs. Mental Health, with Kartik Ramkumar
Episode 3.10: Civic Engagement vs. Mental Health, with Kartik Ramkumar
Did you know grocery stores use census data to stock their shelves? In this episode, Kartik and Tanushree talk about the importance of civic engagement including why it's important to fill out the census, who can do it, and why we should all vote. We also explore the effect that partaking in civic duties can have on mental health, particularly during this pivotal moment in the U.S's political history. Civic engagement can help you to discover your own voice and empower you to create change during these times. We discuss how it affects every aspect of your life, and how every small step counts.
48:19
October 28, 2020
Episode 3.09: South Asians in Therapy, with Dr. Vijayeta Sinh
Episode 3.09: South Asians in Therapy, with Dr. Vijayeta Sinh
Dr. VijayetaSinh, Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Expert helps people uncover the hidden rules of relationships that can build a more peaceful and satisfying life. Founder of TherapyCouchNYC, Vijayeta uses unconventional wisdom to help clients get to the next level in terms of closeness, trust, and commitment. In this episode, Vijayeta provides insight into the way South Asians tend to approach therapy, and some of the reasons they choose to seek it. She talks about how our relationship with our culture and families can negatively affect our sense of self and identity. We discuss why reparenting is a crucial responsibility we should undertake as adults. For many, without therapy, we may be unable to realize the wounds our inner child needs to heal in order to have healthy relationships with other people and most of all, with ourselves.
53:49
October 14, 2020
Episode 3.08: He Comes From A Good Family, with Anisha Savan
Episode 3.08: He Comes From A Good Family, with Anisha Savan
Having minimal experience in film, Anisha Savan took a chance on herself and created the short film “He Comes From A Good Family.” Drawing a connection between a mother’s desperation to see their daughter settled and cultish behavior, she uses the film to express her frustration with societal pressure to get married at near any cost. Through filmmaking, Anisha has been able to learn to be more authentically herself despite the many creative barriers and challenges she faced throughout her 20’s. By following her lifelong passion of storytelling, she has learned to negotiate her creative energy with her religious background, and the anxiety of whether she’s made her family proud.
55:02
September 30, 2020
Episode 3.07: Comedy and Migration, with Shafi Hossain
Episode 3.07: Comedy and Migration, with Shafi Hossain
Shafi Hossain (@shafistandsup) is a Bangladeshi immigrant, chemical engineer, comedian, and fellow podcaster. In this episode, we discuss his mental health journey through migration. He talks about acclimation and seeking therapy as a response. We learn more about how for him, comedy is not just a coping mechanism but a means for self discovery. The conversation veers towards Shafi's minimalist approach to life, and we launch into a discussion of the power of limitations and boundaries  Shafi recently launched a podcast called Americanized. His podcast, comedy, and contact info can be found here.
01:00:40
September 16, 2020
Episode 3.06: Divorce and Self Worth, with Nausheen Farishta
Episode 3.06: Divorce and Self Worth, with Nausheen Farishta
Divorce is such a taboo in South Asian culture, that it is almost unheard of. But for many people, it can be the healthy decision. Unfortunately in South Asian culture, people often assume it must be a result of violence or cheating.  In this episode, Nausheen reflects on her own experience with divorce. She speaks about staying true to herself throughout the process, and how she improved her relationship with herself pre-and post-divorce. Through examining her relationship with herself and her background she explains the decision to get divorced, converging on the fact that South Asian culture encourages the act of settling for relationships that are unhealthy and unfulfilling. Nausheen runs a travel, food, and wellness blog at globe-gazers.com. She also recently launched a podcast, The Self Worth Edit, about personal growth topics such as self love, mental health, relationships, and confidence for South Asian women primarily, and beyond.
54:57
September 02, 2020
Episode 3.05: Financial Health vs. Mental Health, with Mohammed Faisal (Founder of MoneyHub)
Episode 3.05: Financial Health vs. Mental Health, with Mohammed Faisal (Founder of MoneyHub)
Financial issues and mental health issues often go hand in hand. In this episode, Mohammed talks about some of the ways the two can overlap. He shares his personal experience with financial and mental health, and how it inspired him to start MoneyHub, which works to educate youth on making healthy financial decisions. We also talk about some of the reasons immigrants have a difficult time with finances. Mohammed then talks about the importance of perseverance, especially in light of a traumatic brain injury he suffered. Finally, he shares his experience on how to keep motivation as an entrepreneur: "It's not my wins that define me. It's my losses."
57:29
August 19, 2020
Episode 3.04: Toxic Conditioning, with Smita Chand
Episode 3.04: Toxic Conditioning, with Smita Chand
In this episode, Smita and I discuss the influences of toxic conditioning in South Asian culture and its effects on our self-image, personal values and cultural expectations around career choices, relationships and parenting. Smita discusses her past experiences with domestic violence and abusive relationships with vulnerability and how her life ultimately came together after confronting and processing her trauma and truly showing up for herself. We discuss the ways in which unhealthy relationships manifest from comparison culture and the importance of deprogramming ourselves from toxic masculinity and patriarchy to realize our authentic personal values non-contingent upon "what others may think." Her story is one characterized by deep introspection and self awareness used as tools to acknowledge, dismantle and disown trauma bonding behaviors. We dive deep into topics such as learning how to practice vulnerability in relationships with ourselves and others and understanding the need for validation being rooted within South Asian culture. Our conversation sheds light on the effects of toxic conditioning and how to recognize and divorce ourselves from beliefs that do not serve who we truly are. This is an episode that so many of us can relate to, as it addresses multiple stages of our lives and belief systems ingrained within us and passed down from those before us.
01:07:12
August 05, 2020
Episode 3.03: Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health, with Nafisa Islam
Episode 3.03: Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health, with Nafisa Islam
Have you been told to pray your mental illness away? Nafisa (founder of Children of 1971) and I chat about our experiences with religion and mental health. In this episode we relate the reasons that we rejected religion due to mental health stigma, sexuality, misogyny, and more. Over the course of the episode we dive into how we eventually found spirituality to be useful in our respective mental health journeys, learning to overcome the taboos and stigma of mental health and redefining it in ways that work for us. We also talk about the Hindu/Muslim conflict in India and Bengal (West Bengal and Bangladesh), and how the divisive nature of it from both of our communities pushed us away from religion, along with the effect that the current event political climate in India has had on us, including Hindu supremacy and nationalism. This episode was recorded during the month of Ramadan, but it's release was delayed due to current events and the need for relevant and healing discussions about race, accountability, and COVID.
01:03:11
July 22, 2020
Episode 3.02: POC and Provider Relationships in Emergency Care
Episode 3.02: POC and Provider Relationships in Emergency Care
We know that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people of color for various factors including wealth gap, environmental racism, underlying health disparities, and more. What are the ways in which this manifests in the emergency room, and what does it look like from a healthcare perspective in terms of the relationship between patients and providers? --- In this episode, we hear from two NYC Emergency medicine physicians: Dr. Gaurav Bhargava and Dr. Debashree S. about how race plays a factor in the patient/provider relationship during COVID-19, as well as more generally. They talk about how their responsibilities in regards to end of life care have shifted with patients and their families during the pandemic. We also discuss cultural barriers to treatment, why there is mistrust in the medical community among communities of color, and ways to address implicit biases in medicine. --- For further questions and comments, Gaurav can be reached via email at falconsfan3@gmail.com and Debashree at ds2658@columbia.edu. --- Notable time stamps: 49:45: The statistic that Gaurav quotes refers to Black males matriculated in medical school in the U.S. only - not all Black graduates - which is approximately 500 per year. According to the AAMC, there were 1,238 Black graduates in 2019, which comprises only 6.2% of all graduates. 1:57: a special performance sung by Tanushree's cat Pippin.
58:09
July 08, 2020
Episode 3.01: South Asian Accountability and Action Items for Black Lives (Mailbag episode)
Episode 3.01: South Asian Accountability and Action Items for Black Lives (Mailbag episode)
This episode is a collection of excerpts from Instagram Live events between The Desi Condition team and members of the community in response to the eruption of the #BlackLivesMatter protests and movement across the country. These excerpts scenario map having conversations about the movement when they are met with resistance, and how to keep the movement going after the hashtags and protests die out. We discuss why it's necessary to decolonize the mind, and what role intersectionality plays in being an effective ally. We draw parallels between Hindu supremacy and white supremacy, reflecting on how South Asians treat their own minorities and why it's relevant to current events. We dispel the model minority myth and talk about the media portrayal of protests. But most of all, these conversations ask South Asians to reflect on and hold themselves accountable for anti-Blackness biases in their communities, while keeping the focus on police brutality and #BLM. You can listen to full versions of each conversation on our IGTV page. Follow us on @thedesicondition for more on the continued fight as allies of #BLM.
01:02:39
June 24, 2020
Episode 3.00: Season 2 In Review
Episode 3.00: Season 2 In Review
New intro, new season, new team. New. Episodes. In this trailer, host Tanushree discusses what's ahead for season 3, and reflects on season 2. Jump ahead to 4:22 - 11:34 for the full recap of Season 2's fifteen episodes. Tune in on June 24th for Episode 3.01: South Asian Allyship with Black Lives.
13:49
June 12, 2020
Episode 2.15: Mental Health In The Workplace, with Yamini Bhandari from Millenial Jobs
Episode 2.15: Mental Health In The Workplace, with Yamini Bhandari from Millenial Jobs
What is it that we think we owe our bosses? Why do we think we owe them something? What can we do to support our own mental health as employees? What has employment (or lack of) looked like in the middle of this pandemic? In this episode I speak with Yamini, founder of the Millennial Jobs newsletter, which posts job boards and resources on a monthly basis. We hear from Yamini about various polls she has conducted through their Instagram page @millennialcareerpolls, and talk about why we need to reframe the job narrative around satisfaction and happiness. Catch up on the May issue here.
59:12
May 06, 2020
Episode 2.14: Bipolar Disorder, with Subrina Singh
Episode 2.14: Bipolar Disorder, with Subrina Singh
TW: Death, suicidality Subrina Singh (@subrinaksingh), mental health advocate and writer for Brown Girl Magazine, shares her experience with bipolar disorder. She talks about her road to diagnosis and treatment. We talk about the intersection of different mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and mania as it relates to bipolar. Finally, she tells us with how she learned to not just accept but fall in love with having bipolar disorder. To read more on this topic from Subrina, visit tdcpodcast.com.    ---   Coming soon: Submit yourself to the creatives directory
54:30
April 15, 2020
Episode 2.13: The Sociology of Love, with Sabreet Kang Rajeev
Episode 2.13: The Sociology of Love, with Sabreet Kang Rajeev
"Imagine being born and being told you're not going to matter, because you're a girl."  Up-and-coming author Sabreet Kang Rajeev (IG: @sabreetkangrajeev) shares her experience growing up as a girl in the Punjabi Sikh community, with a father who preferred a first-born son. She analyzes why her relationship with her parents was fraught, and how she learned to look beyond her gender in her journey of self discovery. She shares how their relationship changed when she found her voice, and the conversation with her father that changed everything.  Finally, she tells us how order to truly understand love, she needed to look within to see where and why she was hurting. We discuss why love is a particular challenge for Desi females, and how gender inequality can affect all types of relationships. We also talk about the dangers of imposing your own narrative and standards onto others, and the importance of healing the "inner child" - so that we can all learn to love, unfiltered.  Sabreet's first book, Generation Zero, is set to release this fall. Visit sabreetkangrajeev.com for more information.
01:07:25
April 01, 2020
Episode 2.12: Why Eating Disorders? With Vaidehi Gajjar
Episode 2.12: Why Eating Disorders? With Vaidehi Gajjar
Eating disorders are the #1 cause of death among all mental health disorders. And yet, South Asians have very little awareness about them. Why? What are eating disorders? Are they a pattern of restricting, binging, or purging food? Or are they actually a symptom of some greater unaddressed mental health issue and/or past traumas? In this episode, I speak with writer Vaidehi Gajjar (@vgajjar95, Brown Girl Magazine, We Are Saath, Circuit Sehat, The PFA Institute) about our past shared experiences as South Asians with an eating disorder. We talk about the unique ways our culture can feed into and/or delay treatment of them, as well as intimate details about how it personally affected our illnesses. In addition, we break down how we think they developed, the recovery process, relapse, and the slippery slope of comparisons in mental health. We also discuss why it's difficult to predict the future of the Desi condition of E.D.s and suggest ways to reframe the question of eating disorders especially as it pertains to the Desi condition. For further reading on eating disorders, please visit tdcpodcast.com.
59:13
March 18, 2020
Episode 2.11: Platonic Heartbreak (Mailbag episode)
Episode 2.11: Platonic Heartbreak (Mailbag episode)
The end of a friendship can be devastating. Some say it can have even more negative effects than the end of a romantic relationship. Yet, platonic heartbreak isn't given nearly the same significance as a romantic one. Let's change that. This episode is a collection of stories from people who have suffered such a loss. They share why their friendship ended, how it felt to navigate life without their friend, and how they grew from it. Contributors dissect their lost friendships and explore how factors as mental health, socioeconomic status, trauma, lack of boundaries, and of course, the ubiquitous Desi norm of suppressing emotions, can affect friendships negatively.
01:26:10
March 04, 2020
Episode 2.10: A Slave To The Music, with Naveed Stone (from band "In Loving Memory")
Episode 2.10: A Slave To The Music, with Naveed Stone (from band "In Loving Memory")
When was the last time you saw a brown body at the front of a rock concert? In this episode, Naveed (@naveedstone) and I sit down and talk about the importance of representation in music. Naveed is the lead singer and creator of the urban-alt band "In Loving Memory" (@inlovingmemoryny). We discuss his upbringing, addressing and overcoming insecurities as a brown body in a predominantly white space, how he came to realize his passion, fruition, and about being a "slave" to music. Naveed shares how he and bandmate Tom (@inlovingtom) have worked to connect with fans and curate their unique sound amidst various barriers.
01:01:24
February 12, 2020
Episode 2.09: Girls Are Never Alone, with Aria Mustary (President of Mai Soli Foundation)
Episode 2.09: Girls Are Never Alone, with Aria Mustary (President of Mai Soli Foundation)
Every minute, 23 girls are being forced into child marriage. Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 59% of girls getting married before the age of 18 (UNICEF). Mai Soli Foundation is working to end this staggering statistic. In this episode Aria Mustary, the president and founder of Mai Soli Foundation, discusses the social and economical roots of the child marriage issue and their recent pilot launch in schools. Mai Soli is working to empower young girls by introducing an entrepreneurial curriculum that encourages self sufficiency and giving back to the community. The curriculum works to show girls that marriage is not their only option by teaching them to become leaders. She also tells us more about the resources Mai Soli provides them to start their own entrepreneurial pursuits, which will ultimately break the cycle of child marriage. Aria's inspiration for Mai Soli comes from her own mother's experience as a child bride herself, who overcame her circumstances and is now a successful business owner. She expands on what it was like having to start from scratch with her mother and sister, as well as the entrepreneurial qualities that allowed them all to do so - which ultimately sparked the curriculum for Mai Soli. To support this mission or to learn more, please visit: GoFundMe: gf.me/u/w2p4wx Website: maisolifoundation.org Instagram/Facebook: @maisolifoundation Twitter: @maisolifnd For further reading related to this topic visit tdcpodcast.com
51:14
January 29, 2020
Episode 2.08: From Desk to Stage, with Comedian Anish Mitra
Episode 2.08: From Desk to Stage, with Comedian Anish Mitra
What does it feel like to pivot mid-career? To leave a stable job in pursuit of happiness and passion? How do you manage the expectations you have for yourself, and what does success then start to look like? It can be difficult to take control of your own future in spite of what you expected or were conditioned to believe your future would look like. In this episode Anish (@mitranyc) discusses his decision to leave Goldman Sachs for comedy, and how it affected his mental health. He tells us what it's like to have to start from scratch, and the importance of learning to trust yourself in a mental hurricane. @mitranyc serves on the board of @sapnanyc and produces @thesurpriseshownyc where he's worked with Jim Gaffigan, Hasan Minhaj and Nikki Glaser
01:05:39
December 19, 2019
Episode 2.05: ADD/ADHD is a Desi Public Health Issue
Episode 2.05: ADD/ADHD is a Desi Public Health Issue
What is ADD/ADHD? What does it look like to the Desi immigrant community, and how do Desis treat it? In this episode I take a historical look into how Desis have come to understand (or misunderstand) ADD. I explore different philosophies for treatment between socioeconomic classes in the Desi community, and environmental factors that can lead to the development or worsening of symptoms of ADD. Finally, I talk about my personal experience with ADD: my 8-year journey exploring my diagnosis, coping, and treatment. To read additional material on this topic visit tdcpodcast.com.
30:43
November 09, 2019
Episode 2.04: The Kids Are Gonna be Alright, with Ashraf Ali
Episode 2.04: The Kids Are Gonna be Alright, with Ashraf Ali
Desi households are often strict, with many rules and restrictions. Parents have high expectations for their kids, as our culture is particularly competitive. Family obligation and loyalty is enforced while boundaries are blurred. Self sacrifice, obedience, and upholding a legacy are paramount. All of these reservations impede a child's ability for self expression and the discover of identity. In this episode, Ashraf, a community organizer in NYC, and I discuss how bad practices in adult versus child relationships can lead to difficulties in identity, confidence, and self discipline. We discuss what it looks like when adults do children's emotional "heavy lifting" for them and how it impedes on a child's natural development through the stages of emotional crises. We discuss the importance of cultivating free thought within children and giving them the tools that set them up for self exploration. You can find additional material on this episode and related topics at tdcpodcast.com.
42:53
October 30, 2019
Episode 2.03: A Structured Approach to Recovery from Addiction with Nita Basu (Part 2 of 2)
Episode 2.03: A Structured Approach to Recovery from Addiction with Nita Basu (Part 2 of 2)
Recovery is a process that requires daily emotional upkeep of anxiety, boundaries, and resentments. In the second part of this mini-series on addiction, Nita and I continue talking about her personal journey as a recovering alcoholic. We discuss the benefits of establishing structure as a recovery plan to ensure long term sobriety. We also talk about what quantifying successes in recovery looks like; such as why she finds it helpful to measure sobriety through personal milestones rather than by months or years. Finally, we discuss how being part of a Desi community can pose certain challenges in recovery.
57:24
October 16, 2019
Episode 2.02: Exploring Anxiety and Boundaries through Addiction with Nita Basu (Part 1 of 2)
Episode 2.02: Exploring Anxiety and Boundaries through Addiction with Nita Basu (Part 1 of 2)
Often times anxiety and a lack of boundaries with Desi culture and families can play into destructive behavior leading to a delay in treatment, or being blind to emotional conflict. In this episode, we hear from Nita, a recovering alcoholic, about how these issues manifested themselves into a substance abuse problem for her. The first of two parts, in this episode we delve into the development of her illness by exploring underlying issues of anxiety and boundaries. Tune in next week to hear more about the recovery process, in which we'll discuss her unique challenges having to confront resentments and learn to reckon and deal with emotional conflict.
01:01:45
October 09, 2019
Episode 2.01: A Clinical Approach to Grief with Unsha B.
Episode 2.01: A Clinical Approach to Grief with Unsha B.
Welcome back! In this first episode of the new season, I speak with Unsha about why therapists are equipped to deal with grief in a way our family and friends cannot. We also discuss Unsha's personal experience opening up the conversation of seeking therapy to family. Finally, we discuss why we should be the generation that breaks the cycle of emotional suppression and stigma around mental help (see what I did there? 😉). Thanks for tuning in and be sure to subscribe :)
58:18
October 02, 2019
Episode 2.00: Season Two! A People's Podcast - Coming Soon
Episode 2.00: Season Two! A People's Podcast - Coming Soon
In this transitional episode, I discuss how the focus of this podcast is shifting more towards emotional education, in addition to awareness of mental health and wellness, what the key differences are, and why. New, full episodes coming October 2nd.
08:06
September 25, 2019
Episode 1.06: Boundaries
Episode 1.06: Boundaries
Have you ever been asked invasive questions from an auntie or uncle such as, "How much do you make?" or "When are you getting married?" Or have your parents urged you to touch the feet of an elder even if it made you uncomfortable? A lack of boundaries can be damaging to one's sense of self worth. In this episode, we talk about the power imbalance this creates, and how to assert your boundaries. We delineate the concept of ownership vs caretaking as it pertains to parents and elders, friends, and more.
33:27
July 01, 2019
Episode 1.05: Trauma Bonding with Tabashshum J. Islam (Part 2 of 2)
Episode 1.05: Trauma Bonding with Tabashshum J. Islam (Part 2 of 2)
In this episode we continue the conversation about trauma bonding and domestic violence from last week. We talk about how the lack of structure in a dysfunctional family affected by domestic violence can affect youth, and the challenges posed by language barriers when reaching out for help. We define how trauma bonding transcends relationships and nests inside an individual, and can often become the root of mental health issues.
25:30
June 24, 2019
Episode 1.04: Trauma Bonding with Tabashshum J. Islam (Part 1 of 2)
Episode 1.04: Trauma Bonding with Tabashshum J. Islam (Part 1 of 2)
Trauma bonding is a serious and often unrecognized psychological concept that is behind a lot of the continual cycles of abuse and violence within the desi community. In this episode, we identify and break down the components of trauma bonding and how it leads to repetitive cycles of abuse. Our guest speaker who has experience working with victims and survivors of domestic abuse gives us a look into what goes on in these types of desi families.
37:59
June 17, 2019
Episode 1.03: Anxiety
Episode 1.03: Anxiety
This episode is about anxiety and how it relates to the Desi Condition. We discuss ways in which anxiety manifests as a result of being desi living in the diaspora and reasons for why it has such a negative impact on quality of life.
36:27
June 10, 2019
Episode 1.02: Cognitive (Desi)nance
Episode 1.02: Cognitive (Desi)nance
In this episode, we discuss the prevalence of codependency and it's impact on desi culture. We explore the roots of codependency, trace it back through history on the subcontinent, and touch on colonization and famine culture. Understanding codepency and how it affects our lives on an every day basis is a way for us to grow and heal as a society.
25:29
June 03, 2019
Episode 1.01: (Desi) Shame Culture
Episode 1.01: (Desi) Shame Culture
As a desi, have you heard the phrases "sharam nahi!", "besharam", or some variation of that? Most of us are familiar with the sentiment. Shame can be crippling for one's mental and overall health and is a frequent reference for what is acceptable behavior in desi society. But why is shame such a large factor of desi culture? In this episode we explore shame and its ties to South Asian history, mental illness, and the desi condition as well as ways to take our power back and cope by silencing shame.
41:23
May 27, 2019