Ruby's Instagram page has been my saviour during this lockdown - her words resonate with every single one of my emotions I've been feeling over the last few weeks. We talk a lot about how our mental health has been hit by this pandemic and Ruby also gave me the courage to speak up about how I'm feeling during this time - something I never do on the podcast!
Ruby's experience as a writer has allowed her to understand that success will involve many years of tears, let downs, and upset - and she's okay with that, as long as she succeeds in her goal of writing a novel.
Just like many other journalists, Anila is also working at the frontline and bring us all the breaking news.
Journalists have an opportunity to change the course of history during this pandemic and reveal the reality of what's happening inside and outside the walls of the hospital. As a journalist, she talks about how she feels she has a responsibility to help us come out of this as a much more informed, knowledgeable, and united society.
Anila's love for journalism sparked when she interviewed members of parliament as a teenager and the rest is history! She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and is now working on creating an organisation to help other South Asian creatives create their career paths.
One of my favourite parts of this episode is when I asked Anila about her plans for the future - she responded with something very profound. I will let you find out for yourself!
In between challenging the government, protesting, and working in the healthcare system during the pandemic, I tend to forget that I have a baby kicking away inside me!
During the last seven months, I've learnt a lot of lessons about carving my own path and future. Making any big decision in life will never be easy, and there will be plenty of people ready to impose their judgement but I've learnt to treat it all as background noise.
Being selfish and putting yourself first isn't something we have been taught, but it's something we must start learning. I'm still learning, and I hope that through my journey, a lot of you will join and learn with me in this exciting adventure.
You can follow all my updates on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Search: @meenalsworld
This is no time to be silent, and this is no time to be scared. There’ll be plenty of time to be silent after all this is over. If I don’t speak up, many more people could die. Many more health care workers could die, and many more children could be left without a mother, without a father. And that’s not okay.
Some say I was courageous, but anything less would be a dereliction of my duty as a doctor.
This is not a case of COVID-19 in India, in the UK, or in China. This is a GLOBAL crisis and we all play a role in speaking up for other humans who have had to face an unimaginable amount of suffering during this time. Pia Hazarika is an illustrator and graphic designer who has a deep knowledge about how the government's actions have affected the thousands of labour workers in India during this time.
There are so many parallels between this pandemic and what happened during demonetisation - the main one being the lack of consideration for the working class. My own father was once a labourer and he had nobody to speak up for him or his family, and I cannot imagine my father having to go through hunger or fear through no fault of his own. This is why this hits me so close to home.
This episode will give you a REAL insight into the suffering that’s happening and how now more than ever, we need to lift each other up and help our fellow citizens. If you see anybody around you make racist comments, it’s your responsibility to speak up. Do not be a spectator to any injustice.
You can follow Pia's work on Instagram: @pi_alize and on her website, www.pigstudio.in
During this time in lockdown, mental health has been a big topic of discussion. It's a crucial time to self-reflect and understand our own thought processes, triggers and coping mechanisms as this can really benefit us in the future when we do get past this pandemic.
Sonam and I discuss how mental health affects the South Asian community and how we can go about having these important discussions with our family at home. A lot of you may be living with your parents or families right now and may need someone to talk to - Sonam's team at reroute have created a space for everyone regardless of the magnitude of their issues, their age, or gender.
I hope this conversation sparks conversations with your own family, and most importantly with yourself. Are you identifying your own triggers and solutions?
You can follow Sonam's team on Instagram: @reroute2018 and they have a lot of events coming up and it's open to anybody who wants to talk or even just listen!
Rahul works as a pharmacist by day and has been working tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to make sure all his patients have the medications they need during the lockdown. The exhaustion is different from what he usually feels during busy periods of work, it's not physical tiredness he is feeling, it's draining him out emotionally.
Apart from his work as a pharmacist, Rahul set out to start a project he’s had in his mind for almost 10 years - the Apne project. Rahul has always had it in the back of his mind to celebrate the success of creatives in our community and his success was never about the numbers, the views or any social media fame, it’s always been about trying to help others and create a conversation.
His journey of how this idea came about and how this project is funded has inspired me personally and his hard work and dedication come from a place of pure selflessness and hard work. This episode is definitely the pick me up I needed!
You can find more of Rahul's work on Instagram: @apne_project
Tez Ilyas is a stand-up comedian and worked with Jeremy Corbyn during the UK election campaign at the end of 2019. Tez is such a bundle of joy to speak to, you can hear right from the beginning how he made me laugh - something I needed after a day at work!
But Tez is also very aware of what’s happening to the public, the frontline staff, and within the government. He’s publicly offered to help so many people on social media and support people like me in the creative industry during this time, it’s truly incredible to see!
You can find out more about Tez and his upcoming tours here: www.tezilyas.com
This episode will open your eyes to the reality of what healthcare workers are facing during this pandemic and what’s to come in the future. For those of you who may remember Raveen from episode one, I had to bring her back in this episode because like her, many patients are anxious and concerned about their future chemotherapy treatment.
Psychologists are planning out the next few years on how healthcare workers will be affected by stress, trauma, and anxiety. I also spoke to a radiographer and she is scanning patients at such a high volume that she fears she may have to ration her protective gear between patients.
Despite the uncertainty of the future, Dr. Nirja Joshi tells me how she believes this pandemic has removed a lot of red tape for doctors and has given her a new opportunity to work from home and assess her patients much quicker - something that was impossible just two weeks ago.
This pandemic has created a radical re-ordering of our society and with this, it’s brought about an opportunity for change. Thank you to everyone around the world who is helping out during this time, we need you now more than ever.
We are fighting for you, we are sacrificing our families for you, so please help us.
This week we have no guest, and no script. This one is coming straight from the heart. The last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions and to everyone who has checked in on me, thank you. Now more than ever is when we need to support each other and remind ourselves of the responsibilities we each hold in our society.
Healthcare workers around the world are sacrificing their life to keep you all safe. You can stand on your balconies and clap, you can cheer us all on social media. But when this is over, please remember that we see people suffer on a daily basis. This is the job we turn up to every single day and now more than ever, we are asking you to help us.
I hope this episode fills you in with everything you need to know about this pandemic. You just need to know one thing - STAY INDOORS.
Here are some links to help you make your own mask at home for your loved ones:
How to make a mask: https://mustsharenews.com/cloth-face-mask/Best material to make a a mask: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/
Jaspreet Kaur is also known online as Behind The Netra and is best known for her poetry. She has performed all around the UK and her TED talk, How Poetry Saved My Life is what caught my attention a few years ago. Since then, I’ve seen this lovely lady grow and fight for everything she believes in - a huge inspiration to my own work.
Jaspreet talks about how poetry saved her life as a teenager when she was battling with depression. We also talk about our views on cultural appropriation and this is one big black hole that we jumped into where we almost lost track of time! Jaspreet’s knowledge and passion for our history and our community is truly inspiring. Listen to the lovely lady yourself, and you will see what I mean!
Find out more about Jaspreet's work on her website: www.behindthenetra.com
My guest this week, Reena Kaur, is a Punjabi folk singer and I met her a couple of months ago at a friend's wedding and her performance just blew me away. When I researched more of her music, a whole new side of Reena was revealed to me. She isn’t just a singer, she is so much more than that. Her story brought me to tears and her life lessons are ones that you should write down and pass onto your children and grandchildren! Reena was engaged at the age of 13, and then after that didn’t work, she was engaged at married at 18. This marriage didn’t work out and being a single mum of 2 young boys didn’t stop her from becoming the superstar she is today.
You can follow Reena on Instagram @reenakaurofficial, and you can contact her for bookings on www.ladiessangeetbyreenakaur.co.uk (https://www.ladiessangeetbyreenakaur.co.uk/)
This week, I spoke to Priya Krishna, an Indian American food writer. She recently released her second cookbook, Indian-ish where she celebrates her life as an Indian American. Priya talks about how she fell in love with her mother’s cooking despite spending her childhood feeling too embarrassed to embrace her identity as an Indian-American. So much so, she would only pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for her school lunch. Now, she is famous for her love of sharing Indian cooking recipes and has her own segment on the Bon Apetit YouTube channel and is also a food writer for the New York Times.
Priya’s journey over the last few years from writing recipes at University to releasing her own cookbook was purely one of self belief and passion. She mentions how she never took no for an answer and always found a way to turn a no into a yes!
You can find more of Priya's work and recipes here: www.priyakrishna.me
Isra Zul is a poet, changemaker and at such a young age, her insight into what it means to be a South Asian woman in our generation really struck a chord with me. We talk about what it means to be a woman in our community and the responsibilities that come with it. Isra also talks about her aspirations as a poet and her dream to write a book based on the common phrase ‘log kya kahenge’ - a term that has killed the dreams of many young millennials. This term directly translates to 'what will people say?' Tune in to find out how at the age of just 20, her life experiences have motivated her to help many other young girls in our community.
My first guest, Raveen Sethi, is a cancer thriver and in her early twenties, she was posed with a difficult decision of whether she should freeze her eggs as she was receiving heavy treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma - a topic that's rarely discussed in the South Asian community.
We discuss how her diagnosis first came about and how she has come to terms with dealing with her fears and how she has learnt to create a space where she can protect her parents from her own grief.
This episode will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will give you a whole new perspective on life. Raveen tells us not to see life as a timeline and if the timeline we planned out doesn't work out for whatever reason, it's okay to start again from scratch.
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Welcome to my world and thank you for choosing to be a part of my journey! For those of you who don't know me from my previous podcast, Desi Outsiders, this episode will give you a good idea about who I am and what I have to bring you every week.
If you are looking for an alternative podcast with inspiring and life-changing stories - you're at the right place.
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