Season 1

In Season 1 of The Curio-City Collective Podcast, we explored how to live deeply in this world by unpacking the idea of well-being in Indian cities and how to practice it in our everyday lives. Over 9 months – from January to October 2020 – we had conversations with people who approach well-being through the lens of mental health, play, sustainable design and waste management. In a year that witnessed one of the biggest health crises of our times, we hope these conversations bring comfort, solace and offer a way to reexamine how we choose to live. 

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All our episodes:
The cover image of episode one with many autos and a buses on the road. It says episode 1: lost connections and TCC logo on a white band.

In the first TCC podcast episode Sonia Thomas and Sandhya Menon join us in a conversation on the growing concern around loneliness in Indian metros and share their wisdom and experience. Sonia and Sandhya have large social media followings where they speak on topics related to mental health with deep honesty and vulnerability.

A cover page art of the second episode with a hand holding a chit that says phone a friend. Below it says: Episode 2: Distress in cities.

Aparna Joshi and Tanuja Babre from Initiating Concern for All or iCALL, a pioneering mental health project started in 2012 by the School of Human Ecology (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), explain the nature and kinds of distress experienced by individuals in cities and share coping methods. 

Cover image of episode 3 - people cleaning the beach with the words below A Date With The Ocean

Lawyer and ocean lover, Afroz Shah, who has led one of the biggest beach clean ups in the world in Mumbai, shares how he has built a well-knit community of volunteers who week after week, come out to clear beaches of plastic waste. Volunteers also share what keeps them inspired and motivated.

Many composting units with the text: episode 4: trashing the waste mindset.

In episode 4 we speak to Poonam Bir Kasturi, founder of Daily Dump, a ‘mindset changing business’ working to transform an urban dwellers relationship with their waste. As a pioneer in the arena of home composting, Poonam shares what inspired her to start Daily Dump, how consumption patterns are contributing to a sharp growth in waste volumes and why composting is an important solution.

A flat surface of compost with the words: episode 5: turning waste to wealth

In episode 5 we meet two individuals, Keshav Jaini from Gurgaon and Savita Hiremath from Bangalore, who have been the driving force behind shifting their large communities to segregating and composting household waste. They share what motivated them to get into community waste management alongside the actual process of making, managing and maintaining the shift.

A hand holding compost in it with some green leaves behind it. Also has the text: returning to soil, episode six on it.

Episode 6 digs deep into the question of why we should segregate and compost. Keshav Jaini, Savita Hiremath and Padma Patil – individuals who have helped convert their communities to greener waste management practices – share how they have journeyed with waste and outline the numerous profound insights it has brought to them about life and living.  

Episode 7 looks at questions of connection and care as we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. Given that the Corona virus has in one way reinforced our shared humanity, it explores what the human response to it will be. Through research, it looks at the potential each of us have to reinforce what makes us human through acts of kindness and compassion. 

Episode 8 looks at how to build and nurture communities of care as we find ourselves in the middle of one of the largest lockdowns in the world because of the Corona Virus pandemic. Through a mix of personal experience and research, it examines who often gets left out of these networks of care, and how to extend them to all kinds of social groups with empathy and compassion.

Episode 9  reflects on the world that’s unfolding outside our windows and doors as we find ourselves restricted to our homes during the forced stillness of the lockdown. As air pollution lowers and animals begin to wander about cities – what are we seeing and experiencing? What is it telling us about who we want to be once the lockdown comes to an end? 

A man standing in front of a beautiful galaxy of stars With the text: Episode 10: Hitched to the universe next to the TCC logo.

Episode 10 enters the terrain of the strange and fascinating scientific world of pandemics, epidemics and zoonotic diseases. The episode moves further down the trail of exploring how our fraying relationship with our planet might have something to do with the current Covid-19 crisis and considers what wisdom we can glean from this experience.

A hand making roti against the background of a woman dressed in pink. The bottom has a white patch with the words: The Invisible Work of Care

Episode 11 explores women’s labour and the impact Covid-19 has had on it through the lens of 2 women living in different cities in India. It looks at the invisible and often unrecognised work of a woman’s day-to-day life and reflects on why re-examining these ascribed roles and functions is critical.

Cover photo of our podcast episode with a truck with people filled to the brim and the words next to Episode 12: Longing to Belong.

Episode 12 maps the ongoing humanitarian crisis of the exodus of migrant labourers from cities in India due to the lockdown and attempts to understand the complex underlying causes that has precipitated it. It looks at the notion of home and belonging and what that means in a globalised world for the millions who live on the margins.

A picture of a mud home with light in the background. Under it, it says: Episode 13: The Frugal City.

Episode 13 looks at the landscape of cities and how to build cities based on principles of frugality and simplicity. Through a conversation with Bengaluru-based architect, Chitra Vishwanath, founder of Biome Environmental Solutions, it examines how we need to turn to local wisdom and techniques as urbanisation increases rapidly. It also looks at what sustainability means. 

A photo of a man rowing a boat with the backdrop of buildings. Below it text reads: Episode 14: Zen and the art of rainwater harvesting.

A NITI Aayog Report in 2019 predicted that 21 cities in India would face severe water shortages in 2020. In Episode 14 we speak with S.Vishwanath, civil engineer and urban planner who has worked extensively over the past 34 years on issues related to water management in Indian cities. He talks to us about the varied roles water plays in our lives and how we can begin to heal our relationship with this resource and build water resilient cities.

A photo of wheelchairs against a colourful mural on the world. It says on it: Episode 15: No child Left Behind. Season 1: With deepika and Arpita.

In Episode 15 we speak with Radhika Alkazi, founder of Delhi-based NGO ASTHA, who has been working with children with disabilities. She talks to us about how the pandemic has made children who were already on the margins, even more invisible. She also tells us about what’s working, what support looks like and how safe spaces can be created for children so that they can access their rights.

Cover page of Episode 16. It has a child's art on it with green tick and red cross. It has images that explain Keep Distance and Stay Indoors. In a green box on the left it reads: Season 1 with Deepika and Arpita. Below it says Episode 16: Children and the new normal. Right corner has the TCC logo.

In Episode 16 we talk to kids and their parents in three metro cities to understand what the pandemic induced ‘new normal’ for children looks like. Through conversations on daily schedules and outdoor play, we get a glimpse of how this time is affecting children. We also hear from parents on how they are responding, coping strategies and the everyday wisdom they have turned to. 

Episode cover for Episode 17 with a smiling ball in the water and the episode 17 title: a question of well being. It also has a green box with the words: Season 1 with Deepika and Arpita.

In Episode 17, we circle back to talk about well-being and the city–the theme that led us to begin this podcast. Through a conversation on the multi-dimensionality of well-being and our reflections and learnings from the past season, we talk about why it is more crucial than ever to build collective well-being.

A photo of a butterfly in a human hand. The cover image of Episode 18: Nurturing Transformative Change

In Episode 18, we revisit the theme that underpins all our conversations this season – transformative change and action. We unpack why this is more urgent than ever and how every action from the individual to the collective carries tremendous potential for change and creating well-being.

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