Life & Style

A podcast to heal and evolve

Natasha Malpani Oswal’s new podcast, ‘Boundless’ explores the pressure to look perfect and more

Few things can be as therapeutic as a heart-to-heart conversation, believes Natasha Malpani Oswal. When she talks to people about their lives and hers — of love, life, money and struggle — a narrative emerges. And as it evolves, she says, it draws more people into its fold.

Natasha’s show, ‘Boundless’, launched by IVM Podcast recently in connection with World Mental Health Day (October 10), addresses the stress of fitting in, and matching up to ideals created by society in an engaging, yet compelling way. These would include body image issues, the dark sides of relationships, beauty and money. The poet, who is also the creative producer of the show, says it is an extension of her eponymous book of poetry, which came out earlier this year. “I take people behind the poems in the book, and talk about the stories and secrets behind them. We talk about everything, the dark side of family, love, beauty and money,” she says, in an email interview with MetroPlus.

As a writer, what are your thoughts on making podcasts, which are a new platform for you?

Podcasts are an exciting new medium. They’ve exploded in the US, and I have no doubt that India is going to catch up soon. Audio is an increasingly important format: it’s much easier to have a personal conversation and you feel connected to someone when you hear his or her voice. I think this is a beautiful way to deepen an already vulnerable conversation.

Could you describe your journey to Boundless?

When I was moving back to India after living abroad for 10 years, I actually had no intention of writing a poetry book. I’d experimented so much with careers and geographies — from being an immunologist to investor to producer, and lived in the UK and California — that it felt like I was adjusting to a new world. I chose to write down my feelings and the poems were a personal diary. The core message of my book is: take the time to find your own voice and identity.

I met Kavita Rajwade, the co-founder of IVM when I was a guest on one of their shows, Cyrus Says, and she suggested we use audio to push the conversation on Boundless further.

A podcast to heal and evolve

Who is the target audience for the show?

This show is aimed at anyone who wants to have a more honest conversation about family, falling in love, making mistakes and privilege. It’s also for anyone who is dealing with or wants to make a change. I think we don’t talk enough about our feelings as a society.

How do you address topics that might be sensitive when you’re discussing mental health?

I think it’s important to be sensitive, but also honest, when addressing mental health. Everyone struggles from time to time. Working on yourself takes ongoing time and effort. This is a frank and humorous take on my journey: but it’s one perspective. I think we need to have many such conversations, and showcase multiple perspectives. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when it comes to understanding yourself and taking care of your mental and emotional well- being.

How do you prepare for the show? Or is it spontaneous?

I definitely prepare for each episode. I pull together a relatable message for the audience. For example, one episode is called ‘Calling All Aunties’: where we address that as women, we are constantly defined by our appearance, partner and children—and if we’re lucky—by our work. There’s so much pressure to follow a certain timeline and a path, while looking perfect. Is it really possible to be beautifully dressed, have your nails and hair done all the time, remain slim and manage work, family, your social life and stay mentally healthy? We need to lower the bar for ourselves.

If you would like to be part of this show, log on to https://ivmpodcasts.com/

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 2:46:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/natasha-malpani-oswals-podcast-boundless-explores-the-pressure-to-look-perfect/article29734547.ece

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