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He carried cables on a film set. He teamed up with friends named Arvind and Manish to save Delhi. He started a media company that said Boo to advertisers. Abhinandan Sekhri joins Amit Varma in episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about the many things he's learned during his rich and unconventional life. Also check out: 1. Abhinandan Sek…
 
A democracy is not just about voting, The rules of the game have to protect individuals, and institutions have to keep the government accountable. MR Madhavan joins Amit Varma in episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his efforts at empowering MPs and MLAs with knowledge -- and why we should not lose hope in our nation. Also check out: 1…
 
Winter is here.The pandemic has receded, but our economy was already in bad shape before Covid struck, which made it plummet further. Where do we stand now? Can we recover? Puja Mehra and Mohit Satyanand join Amit Varma in episode 252 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock. Also check out: 1. The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra. 2. Gimme Mo -- Mohit Sa…
 
History is often told in such a boring way that it might as well not have happened. And then, there are those who bring it so alive that the present seems so much clearer. Amit Schandillia joins Amit Varma in episode 251 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how his historical storytelling made him a Twitter sensation -- and why both history and…
 
Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy are cult figures who transcend the universe of ordinary podcast guests. One of them, a renowned storyteller, joins Amit Varma in episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen. Which one? Who knows? Schrödinger's Shenoy. Also check out: 1. Simblified, co-hosted by Narendra Shenoy. 2. Why Are My Episodes so Long? -- Am…
 
C is for Cricket. C is also for Creator. Snehal Pradhan, former fast bowler for the Indian team and current superstar creator, joins Amit Varma in episode 249 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights on both these ecosystems. Also check out: 1. Snehal Pradhan's website, newsletter, YouTube Channel, Instagram and Twitter. 2. An Equal Hue -- …
 
The Congress Party once dominated Indian politics. Today, it's on the outside looking in. Rahul Verma joins Amit Varma in episode 248 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the complex social and political factors behind this massive decline. Also check out: 1. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 2.…
 
Our political parties suck at governance but excel at narratives, as that's what wins them elections. Shivam Shankar Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his experiences at the heart of different political machines. Also check out: 1. How to Win an Indian Election -- Shivam Shankar Singh. 2. The Art Of Conjur…
 
Over the last few decades, India has changed, cricket has changed, our media has changed -- and one man has seen it all. Ayaz Memon joins Amit Varma in episode 246 of The Seen and the Unseen to reflect on some of what he has seen and learnt. Also check out: 1. Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947 -- Edited by Ayaz Memon. 2. Crick…
 
When we pick up medicine from our nearby chemist, we assume that we are getting what we pay for. That trust may be misplaced. Dinesh Thakur joins Amit Varma in episode 245 of The Seen and the Unseen to share the story of the Ranbaxy fraud, and the shoddy state of Indian pharma today. Also check out: 1. Dinesh Thakur's foundation, blog and Twitter. …
 
India's Maharajahs get a bad rap. Both the British empire and our freedom fighters pushed wrong stereotypes about them. Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 244 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about the multitudes of our maharajahs -- and much else that matters. Also check out: 1. Manu Pillai's Website, Twitter and Instagram. 2. False Allies:…
 
In the last 25 years, India has changed, journalism has changed and Barkha Dutt has been at the frontlines. She joins Amit Varma in episode 243 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about how we got here, and the lessons of these years. Also check out: 1. Barkha Dutt on Twitter, Instagram and the Washington Post. 2. Mojo Story on YouTube. 3. This Unq…
 
We are subjects, not citizens -- and India's state is designed to keep us that way. Josy Joseph joins Amit Varma in episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the astonishing ways in which India's security state misuses its powers. Also check out: 1. The Silent Coup: A History of India's Deep State -- Josy Joseph. 2. A Feast of Vultures: The…
 
The gangster film and the city film are two genres that took a while to evolve in Bollywood. Uday Bhatia joins Amit Varma in episode 241 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why Ram Gopal Varma's Satya was a seminal moment, shaped by what came before it, and changing the course of Hindi cinema. Also check out: 1. Satya -- Ram Gopal Varma. 2. Bulle…
 
You can learn life lessons by actually living life -- or you can take a short cut and learn them from those who have done the living for you. Prakash Iyer joins Amit Varma in episode 240 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his journey rising to the top of the corporate world, and then sharing the lessons he learnt. Also check out: 1. Prakash Iyer…
 
If you're a creative person, there is no better time to be alive. Roshan Abbas joins Amit Varma in episode 239 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his remarkable journey as a creator -- and to explain why the best is yet to come. Also check out: 1. Roshan Abbas on Twitter, Instagram and his own homepage. 2. Kommune on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter …
 
Indian sport has never been healthier. Joy Bhattacharjya and Nandan Kamath join Amit Varma in episode 238 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their inside view on what has happened behind the scenes to bring us here. Also check out:1. GoSports Foundation. 2. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya).…
 
The liberalisation of 1991 lifted more than a quarter of a billion people in India out of poverty. And yet, we often don't recognise their importance, and have gone backwards in the last decade. Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah join Amit Varma in episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss what life was like before 1991, where we had gone wro…
 
The task of a journalist is to document the present moment. And there have been plenty of crazy present moments in India in the last 40 years. Vir Sanghvi joins Amit Varma in episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on how our society, politics and media have been transformed over the course of his career. He also looks inwards.…
 
Back in the 19th century, women were supposed to stay home and learn cooking and needlework -- but some dared to fight the odds and get an education. Some even became doctors. Kavitha Rao joins Amit Varma in episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss her new book on six pioneering lady doctors. Also discussed: the craft of writing and storyt…
 
What exactly is going on between India and China? When cooperation would lead to a win-win game, why is there conflict? Kanti Bajpai joins Amit Varma in episode 234 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his Four Ps framework for understanding this conflict. Also discussed: academia, public intellectuals, how one learns, and why writing and teaching m…
 
Public policy may seem like a dull subject fit only for wonks, but it matters: our lives are deeply affected by what our governments do. Pranay Kotasthane joins Amit Varma in episode 233 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about his intellectual journey, his private beach and why public policy can be so stimulating. He also answers racy questions fr…
 
The problem with the past is that it's over. How can we enter distant history and understand what happened? Language is one way. Peggy Mohan joins Amit Varma in episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights on what the evolution of our languages reveals about how we got here. Also check out: 1. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story …
 
Bollywood lost him, journalism wasted him, and thank goodness for that. Manoj Kewalramani, the foreign policy analyst also known as The China Dude, joins Amit Varma in episode 231 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his brilliant new book on post-Covid China, Smokeless War. Also discussed: Lokhandwala Cafes and the art of building narratives. Als…
 
His writing is self-reflective, his humour is self-deprecatory, and he's one of our finest writers on cinema. Jai Arjun Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how he to came to love cinema -- and how that love changed shape as he did. Also check out: 1. Jabberwock -- Jai Arjun Singh's blog. 2. Jaane Bhi Do Yaar…
 
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