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This week, we bring you our conversation with Kirthi Jayakumar, an Indian women's rights activist, a social entrepreneur, a peace activist, artist, lawyer, and writer among many other things. The list of Kirthi’s achievements is almost endless and to put it simply, her hard work landed her the US Presidential Services medal in 2011. But in this interview, we get into all the influences that made her want to do the work that she does today, especially as a lawyer who left her corporate job within just one month and went on to volunteer with many NGOs including the UN.

Kirthi also revealed right at the beginning of our interview that she is a victim of sexual abuse - and this was a surprise to us. The conversation took a completely unexpected turn and here we have an amazing story to share - stay tuned until the end, we promise you, it’s worth it.

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This Diwali, we bring you a “pattaka” called Karan Talwar a.k.a Bollywood Gandu, who is a comedian based in Mumbai. He shares the story of how he left a boring desk job in the US and returned to India at the age of 28 to kickstart his career in stand-up comedy. This led to the founding of SnG comedy and later, Bollywood Gandu. Over the years, Karan has garnered close to 2.5 million followers on Twitter alone but has also been “unfollowed” by many Bollywood celebrities on the very same social media channel. Tune in to find out how and why it all started.
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We’re kicking off Season 4 with an exclusive interview with Vidya Vox where we accidentally damage her eardrums by singing along with her. We’re the new Desi Spice Girls now and Vidya is leaving her job as a solo artist to join us. That’s once she repairs her eardrums, of course.

We discuss her journey from the age of five when she started training in classical Karnatic music and wasn’t the biggest fan of it, to how she almost became a doctor but then ended up being a superstar instead - basically, Vidya is living Meenal’s alternate reality.
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Jasvinder Sanghera CBE is a UK born and raised Sikh-Indian who narrowly escaped a forced marriage by running away from home at the age of sixteen. She is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages.

She was listed in the Guardian’s top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World in 2011. She was awarded Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution for the victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse. In fact, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that her work “turned his head on the issue of forced marriage” and her work is recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014.
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We couldn’t be more excited to present to you our conversation with the writer Jaishree Misra. Her debut novel ‘Ancient Promises’ which came out in 2000 was a major best-seller, following which, she has written seven books. But apart from her success as a writer, we delve deep into many other aspects of her life and career. Her personal story is one of breaking social barriers to let her passions thrive, especially as she stepped out of an unhappy marriage and a rigid system to reclaim her own life. She talks about arranged marriages, the stigma surrounding divorce, step parenthood, and the many facets of caring for a child with special needs.
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This week, we bring you our conversation with Ajit George who helps run Shanti Bhavan, the institution showcased in the Netflix documentary ‘Daughters of Destiny’. Shanti Bhavan is a free residential school for underprivileged children in India. Every year, the school enrolls 24 children at the age of four and takes care of their needs and expenses all year round, supporting them till they land a job and become capable of taking care of themselves and their families. 95% of these children come from the Dalit or ‘untouchable’ communities in India and almost all of them are from impoverished families that survive on less than $2 a day.

Tune in to hear about the 20-year journey of this institution that starts with Ajit’s father, Dr Abraham George’s dream to uplift the Dalit community in India.
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In this episode, we continue the beautiful story that Nishant shared with us last week. For those of you who are just tuning in, last week, we interviewed Nishant Joshi from AltCricket. Nishant is a full-time doctor who has written his own book, hosted his own cricket TV shows, and even built his Alternative Cricket brand on the internet all with his own two hands.

After the tears from the previous episode, Nishant pulls us all out of gloom by sharing the story of how he wrote a book in just a month during his second year of college, and how a simple twitter account he started to publicize this book later landed him deals with high profile media partners like Star Sports. This time around, we promise there are fewer tears!
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Latest installment of Dear Barb after a short break ;)
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