Episodes

  • In the season finale of Love Matters, we return to the controversial topic of interfaith relationships in India. Such unions are rare: Less than 2% of couples who tie the knot are from interfaith backgrounds. Inter-religious relationships are often shunned, and those who are vocal about celebrating their love publicly can face a backlash — like our listener this week, Krutika Lele. Krutika is Hindu and her husband Tamir is Muslim and they're in a band called Interfaith. The musician says they have dealt with online harassment, prejudice and that she sometimes fears for their lives when they travel around the country. Evelyn speaks to actor Shruti Seth and her director husband Danish Aslam about the social media trolling they've faced for their interfaith marriage, as well as the importance of celebrating love in the face of hate and why their daughter gives them hope for the future.
    Get in touch with your relationship questions or thoughts on this week's show on lovematters@dw.com. Help others find the podcast by liking, reviewing, subscribing and sharing our episodes!

    Show notes:

    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Shruti Seth's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shru2kill/
    Danish Aslam's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dontpanic79/

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck, DW Department Life & Style
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Research: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producers: Nicolas Martin, Charli Shield
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • Dating, relationships and finding love can be tough. But people with disabilities (PWDs) have their own set of challenges when trying to couple up. A lack of accessible spaces, as well as judgement and stereotyping from potential partners, strangers and friends, are just some of the obstacles India's 26.8 million disabled people face. That includes our listener Shagunn Pathak. Shagunn wants to date and find love like her peers but finds herself being labelled as needy or desperate just because she uses an assistive walking device. Why should she be treated any differently, she asks? Evelyn speaks to disability rights activist, motivational speaker and model, Virali Modi, about her experiences of dating with a disability, being in love and exploring one's sexuality. Virali talks about the importance of being unapologetically yourself regardless of whether you have a disability or not – and showing up to make a change in society. Tune in!

    Show notes:

    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Virali Modi’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/viralimodi_/

    Emergency Response Service System (Pan-India Crisis Hotline): 112

    Suicide Helplines: https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/this-is-serious/list-of-suicide-helplines-in-india/

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck, DW Department Life & Style
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Research: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producers: Nicolas Martin, Charli Shield
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

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  • Slim, hairless, flawlessly fair-skinned, cellulite and blemish-free — beauty standards upheld in the media are downright unrealistic. And harmful. Three in four women find the way the media portrays beauty promotes body shaming. At the same time, India's beauty and wellness markets are growing 18% year on year, around twice as fast as in the US and Europe.

    Tired of being made to feel unlovable because of their appearance, many people are embracing body positivity — the idea that all bodies are beautiful, no matter the size, shape, color, gender, or physical ability.

    In this episode, we hear from a listener who has come a long way to accept and love herself, but still feels she alienated in a society where anti-fat bias prevails. And Evelyn talks with yoga instructor and body positivity convert Natasha Noel about how she came to accept herself.



    Show notes:
    Emergency Response Service System (Pan-India Crisis Hotline) : 112
    Suicide Helplines : https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/this-is-serious/list-of-suicide-helplines-in-india/

    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Natasha Noel's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/natashanoel001/?hl=en

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Research: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producers: Nicolas Martin, Charli Shield
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • More single women are living independently in India today than ever before. Many are choosing to be alone not because they cannot find a partner, but because they have found fulfillment outside a romantic partnership and marriage. They're prioritizing a relationship with themselves. In this episode, we hear from a listener who feels singlehood is the best choice for her well-being but she is still struggling with societal pressure to partner up. How can she accept herself and her decision if others around her can't? Journalist and author Sreemoyee Piu Kundu joins the show to answer these questions. Sreemoyee is single herself and has interviewed some 3,000 single women for her book Status Single: The Truth about Being a Single Woman in India. She joins Evelyn to talk about how to deal with the stigma single women in India face and how there is strength in independence.

    Show notes:

    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Status Single Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/statussinglegroup
    Sreemoyee Piu Kundu on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sreemoyeekundu

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Research: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producers: Nicolas Martin, Charli Shield
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Gerd Georgii
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • Women face enormous pressure to not only raise their children to be the best they can be and run their homes smoothly, but also to stay on top of their careers as if they had never given birth. Between these demands, many grapple with feelings of guilt about going back to work post-pregnancy and find there’s a lack of workplace support. Some two thirds of working women in India struggle to resume their careers after starting a family.

    In this episode, we hear from Pooja, a mother of two trying to decide whether she can go back to work — but would that mean abandoning her children? And, if she doesn’t, will she give up her chances of ever returning to the workforce? Evelyn, who is a working mom-to-be, is joined in this episode by celebrity fitness trainer and mum Yasmin Karachiwala to talk about her journey balancing the two careers and to hear her tips for new parents.

    Have any thoughts on the episode? Or would you like your question or concern featured on the show? Write to us at lovematters@dw.com

    Show notes:

    Evelyn Sharma’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/

    Yasmin Karachiwala’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminkarachiwala/

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Research: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producer: Nicolas Martin
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • In this episode, the Love Matters team tell you all about the making of this podcast series on love and relationships. From how the DW and Indian Express collaboration came to be and how we worked together to bridge the culture gap to how we handle sensitive issues, we discuss it all and everything in between.

    Tune in.

  • Although, the right to practice any religion is enshrined in the Indian constitution and the Special Marriage Act allows it, marriages between people of different faiths are rare and often shunned. In fact, less than 2% of marriages in India are interfaith. In this episode, we hear from Alina, born of an interfaith marriage herself, who is juggling the different expectations of her Muslim father and Hindu mother as she dates, while also dealing with judgement from wider society. For guidance and perspective, Evelyn is joined by journalist and co-founder of the India Love Project, Niloufer Venkatraman, to talk about the stories they've gathered of love that transcends religion, caste, ethnicity and gender.

    Show notes:

    Would you like your questions featured on Love Matters? If so, write to lovematters@dw.com

    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Niloufer Venkartman’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/niloufervenk/?hl=en
    India Love Project Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indialoveproject/

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Researcher: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producers: Nicolas Martin
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • In this episode, we hear from listener Kheyali, who is struggling with wearing the "divorcee" label as a young woman in India. The divorce rate may have doubled in the country over the past two decades but at around 1%, it's still very low – and widely frowned upon. Women bear the brunt of society's judgement. They're most often blamed for marriage breakdowns and find themselves penalized for being without a husband even in seemingly simple things like trying to get their own apartment. Kheyali asks how she can overcome labels attached to being single and divorced at 30? How can she stand up to those who blame her for the end of her marriage? To help answer these questions, comedian and actor Kaneez Surka joins Evelyn to provide her insights into tackling the stigma and shame associated with being divorced India, the strength it takes to leave a marriage, and the joy and freedom one can find in learning to be on their own again.
    Tune in!
    Show notes:
    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Kaneez Surka’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaneezsurka/

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Research: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producers: Nicolas Martin
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • This week we hear from a listener struggling with feelings of shame about his sexuality because of society’s narrow and degrading views on homosexuality. While India overturned the colonial-era law that made same-sex relations illegal in 2018, discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community is rampant in the country, and acceptance is a long way ahead. So, in this episode, drag artist and LGTBTQ+ activist Sushant Divgikar joins Evelyn Sharma to give some heartfelt advice to our listener. Sushant also talks about how they overcame their struggles to become a "staunch believer in believing" in themselves and how they stopped letting the opinion of others dictate their life.

    Stay tuned for the surprise at the end.

    Show notes:
    Evelyn Sharma's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evelyn_sharma/
    Sushant Divgikar's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sushantdivgikr/

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Researcher: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producer: Nicolas Martin
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • Our listener has an awkward moment after her mom finds the morning after pill in her bag. She also wonders how to reassure her boyfriend she's having a good time in bed. In this episode, Evelyn Sharma speaks to sex positivity influencer Leeza Mangaldas to get advice for our listener. Leeza, a popular sex-positivity influencer on Instagram, answers questions on everything from female pleasure to safe sex. Her aim is to normalize conversations around sex and Evelyn and Leeza don't shy away from the subject!

    Tune in!

    Show notes:

    Leeza's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leezamangaldas/?hl=de

    Leeza's YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Leezamangaldas1

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Researcher: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producer: Nicolas Martin
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • How do I keep my relationship going when I'm thousands of miles from my boyfriend? How do we communicate and trust each other? Gauri, a 22 year-old student from Bangalore sent us these questions and in this episode, we tried to help her find answers. Listen to host Evelyn Sharma as she speaks to her friends Benny Dayal, the playback singer, and Cathy, his entrepreneur wife, about dealing with the challenges of a long-distance relationship. The couple let us in on the secrets of how they make it work and also give Gauri some advice. And, there's a little surprise at the end of the show.

    Tune in!

    Show notes:

    Benny's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bennydayalofficial/?hl=de

    Cathy's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinedayal/?hl=de

    Studies on long distance relationships used in this episode's quiz:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249719474_Idealization_reunions_and_stability_in_long-distance_dating_relationships

    https://www.kiiroo.com/blogs/articles/how-to-make-your-long-distance-relationship-work-1

    Executive Producer: Melanie von Marschalck
    Lead Producer: Jennifer Collins
    Producer and Lead Researcher: Sana Rizvi
    Assistant Producer: Nicolas Martin
    DW Format and Product Development: Laura Döing
    Sound Engineer: Thomas Schmidt
    Editorial Support: Snigdha Sharma, Anant Nath Sharma, Shashank Bhargava

  • Want to talk about sex openly? Are you figuring out how to be happily single? Or are you at odds with your family over your partner choice? Love Matters is here to help you navigate the ups and downs of love — with the help of celebrity guests and influencers!

    Each week, Bollywood actress, entrepreneur, mother and wife Evelyn Sharma hears from a listener with a relationship challenge and speaks to well-known Indians, who open up about their own experiences of love.

    The podcast provides a space to talk about the love and relationship topics that are important to Indians. So tune in and email us at lovematters@dw.com to have your relationship challenges features!

    Love Matters is a collaboration of The Indian Express and DW, Germany's international broadcaster.