Episodes

  • She's skated down tekdis, played volleyball for her state, run through deserts and wrestled a bear with her bare hands. Ok, not the last one. Shruti Jahagirdar joins Amit Varma in episode 289 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss women's sports in India, fitness, nutrition and a world without limits.

    Also check out:
    1. Shruti Jahagirdar on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
    2. Halomi Fitness, Shruti Jahagirdar's startup.
    3. The Evolution of Cricket -- Episode 97 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Harsha Bhogle).
    4. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya).
    5. The State of Indian Sport -- Episode 238 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya and Nandan Kamath).
    6. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on sport with Ram Guha, Prem Panicker, Sharda Ugra, Ayaz Memon, Snehal Pradhan and Pradeep Magazine.
    7. Wait But Why by Tim Urban.
    8. This Ramesh Nagdev was a blazing bat -- Makarand Waingankar.
    9. Chak De! India -- Shimit Amin.
    10. The Sporting Spirit — George Orwell.
    11. Allah Ke Bande -- Kailash Kher.
    12. Kusha Kapila and the B-Plus Baccha..
    13. Wanting — Luke Burgis.
    14. Atomic Habits -- James Clear.
    15. Barefoot in the Park -- Neil Simon.
    16. Tiger Muay Thai.
    17. Former British Boxing Champ Julius Francis knocks out troublemaker.
    18. Gimme Mo -- Mohit Satyanand's newsletter.
    19. The Bell Hooks quote posted by Shruti Jahagirdar.
    20. Everybody Lies — Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.
    21. The Mary Oliver quote posted by Shruti Jahagirdar.
    22. The Case Against Sugar — Gary Taubes.
    23. The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet — Nina Teicholz.
    24. The Obesity Code — Jason Fung.
    25. Nina Teicholz on The Joe Rogan Experience.
    26. Wheat Belly -- William Davis..
    27. The Four Quadrants of Conformism -- Paul Graham.
    28. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength — Amit Varma.
    29. The Diabetes Code -- Jason Fung.
    30. Hikikomori.
    31. The Confidence Gap — Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
    32. Everything is Illuminated -- Liev Schreiber, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.
    33. The White Balloon -- Jafar Panahi.
    34. Majid Majidi on Wikipedia and IMDb.
    35. Panchayat, Season 2.
    36. Schitt's Creek.
    37. This is Us.
    38. The Playbook- A Coach's Rules for Life.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his podcast, Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • To immerse yourself in literature is to immerse yourself in the world. Chandrahas Choudhury joins Amit Varma in episode 288 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about reading, writing, friendship, Mumbai and the guests at his fantasy dinner table.

    Also check out:
    1. Chandrahas Choudhury on Instagram and Amazon.
    2. The Middle Stage -- Chandrahas Choudhury's blog.
    3. My Country Is Literature -- Chandrahas Choudhury.
    4. Days of My China Dragon -- Chandrahas Choudhury.
    5. Clouds -- Chandrahas Choudhury.
    6. Arzee The Dwarf -- Chandrahas Choudhury.
    7. Bamana Arzee -- Chandrahas Choudhury, translated by Sindhubala Choudhury.
    8. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    9. Two Men Who Left Third Man Alone -- Amit Varma and Chandrahas Choudhury.
    10. The Curse of Knowledge.
    11. Eunice De Souza on Amazon.
    12. House of the Dead — Fyodor Dostoevsky.
    13. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
    14. The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist -- Orhan Pamuk.
    15. The Ferment of Our Founders -- Episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Kapila).
    16. Jai Arjun Singh Lost It at the Movies -- Episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    17. Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert.
    18. How Fiction Works -- James Wood.
    19. Marcel Proust and Karl Ove Knausgaard on Amazon.
    20. Six and a Third Acres -- Fakir Mohan Senapati.
    21. Is There an Indian Way of Thinking? -- AK Ramanujan.
    22. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    23. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes -- Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    24. Cuckold -- Kiran Nagarkar.
    25. Robert Bly on Amazon.
    26. A Meditation on Form — Amit Varma.
    27. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    28. Georges Simenon on Amazon.
    29. Beautiful Thing — Sonia Faleiro.
    30. Two Girls Hanging From a Tree — Episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sonia Faleiro).
    31. Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay on Amazon.
    32. The Business of Books -- Episode 150 of The Seen and the Unseen (w VK Karthika).
    33. The Bear Came Over the Mountain -- Alice Munro.
    34. Against Rang De Basanti -- Chandrahas Choudhury.
    35. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya).
    36. A Godless Congregation -- Amit Varma.
    37. Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek.
    38. The City -- CP Cavafy.
    39. Junoon on Spotify.
    40. Verrier Elwin on Amazon.
    41. The Tribal World of Verrier Elwin: An Autobiography.
    42. Suite Francaise -- Irène Némirovsky.
    43. Taking Stock of Our Republic — Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha).

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

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  • She helped generations of women in India find a voice. She expanded the worldview of countless people. She confronted the horrors of our past and the fissures of our present. Urvashi Butalia joins Amit Varma in episode 287 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about her life and learnings.

    Also check out:
    1. Urvashi Butalia at Zubaan and Amazon.
    2. The Other Side of Silence -- Urvashi Butalia.
    3. Zubaan Books and Kali for Women.
    4. Turning the Page for Feminism -- Nilanjana Roy on Urvashi Butalia.
    5. Episodes on The Seen and the Unseen that touched on feminism with Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Mrinal Pande, Kavitha Rao, Namita Bhandare, Shrayana Bhattacharya, Mukulika Banerjee, Manjima Bhattacharjya and Nilanjana Roy.
    6. The Life and Times of Nilanjana Roy -- Episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    7. Memories and Things — Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra).
    8. Tales from the Kathasaritsagara -- Somadeva (translated by Arshia Sattar).
    9. The Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account.
    10. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    11. The Will to Change — Bell Hooks.
    12. Men Must Step Up Now -- Amit Varma.
    13. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow -- Washington Irving.
    14. Mahadevi Varma and Sheila Bhatia.
    15. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    16. The Ferment of Our Founders — Episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Kapila).
    17. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes — Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    18. The Verdict: Decoding India's Elections -- Prannoy Roy and Dorab Sopariwala.
    19. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    20. What Have We Done With Our Independence? — Episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratap Bhanu Mehta).
    21. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Abhinandan Sekhri).
    22. Towards Equality: Report of the Committee on Status of Women in India (1974).
    23. The Kavita Krishnan Files -- Episode 228 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    24. Manjima Bhattacharjya: The Making of a Feminist -- Episode 280 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    25. Kamla Bhasin on Wikipedia.
    26. Division of Hearts -- Satti Khanna and Peter Chappell.
    27. Heer Ranjha.
    28. Kumar Gandharva sings Nirgun Bhajans.
    29. Reshma sings Bulle Shah.
    30. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Spotify.
    31. Ek Onkar -- Harshdeep Kaur.
    32. Chaudhvin Ka Chand -- Guru Dutt.
    33. Pyaasa -- Guru Dutt.
    34. A Question of Silence -- Marleen Gorris.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • He wrote about cricket for decades -- and also turned his piercing gaze on society and himself. Pradeep Magazine joins Amit Varma in episode 286 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his journey, and how it changed him.

    Also check out:
    1. Pradeep Magazine on Twitter, Amazon and Hindustan Times.
    2. Not Just Cricket: A Reporter's Journey through Modern India -- Pradeep Magazine.
    3. Not Quite Cricket: The Xplosive Story of How Bookmakers Influence the Game Today -- Pradeep Magazine.
    4. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    5. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul.
    6. Some of Satyajit Ray's masterpieces: Pratidwandi, Seemabaddha, Agantuk and Ghare Bhaire.
    7. Memories and Things — Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra).
    8. Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas — Natasha Dow Schüll.
    9. Adam Smith and John Locke.
    10. The Art of Cricket -- Donald Bradman.
    11. Ray Robinson and Neville Cardus.
    12. Rahul Bhattacharya, Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and Anand Vasu.
    13. The Wisden Book of Test Cricket -- Bill Frindall.
    14. Rashomon -- Akira Kurosawa.
    15. Sourav Ganguly and the Politburo -- Amit Varma.
    16. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) — Amit Varma.
    17. The IPL is Here and Here Are Six Reasons to Celebrate It (2019) — Amit Varma.
    18. The Sporting Spirit -- George Orwell.
    19. War Minus The Shooting -- Mike Marquesee.
    20. Annihilation of Caste -- BR Ambedkar.

    This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • Our real heroes are often backstage. Montek Singh Ahluwalia joins Amit Varma in episode 285 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his life, his learnings and the liberalisation of 1991.

    Also check out:
    1. Backstage: The Story behind India’s High Growth Years -- Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
    2. Breaking Through: A Memoir -- Isher Judge Ahluwalia.
    3. The M Document -- Montek Singh Ahluwalia's legendary note from 1990.
    4. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
    5. The Forgotten Greatness of PV Narasimha Rao -- Episode 283 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati).
    6. Public Choice Theory -- Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    7. Principles of Economics -- Alfred Marshall.
    8. Alexandre Dumas on Amazon.
    9. Gurbani and Heer Ranjha.
    10. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    11. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma.
    12. On Inequality — Harry Frankfurt.
    13. The Cantillon Effect: Because of Inflation, We’re Financing the Financiers -- Jessica Schultz.
    14. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength -- Amit Varma.
    15. State Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century — Francis Fukuyama.
    16. The Origins of Political Order — Francis Fukuyama.
    17. Political Order and Political Decay — Francis Fukuyama.
    18. James Buchanan on Amazon.
    19. Jawaharlal Nehru's speech about our "tryst with destiny."
    20. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
    21. Education in India — Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra).
    22. Fund Schooling, Not Schools (2007) — Amit Varma.
    23. Our Unlucky Children (2008) — Amit Varma.
    24. The Beautiful Tree — James Tooley.
    25. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
    26. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah.
    27. The Business of Winning Elections -- Episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shivam Shankar Singh).
    28. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
    29. Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards — Amit Varma
    30. Minoo Masani, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Isaiah Berlin, John Hicks and Ian Little.
    31. Spontaneous Order.
    32. The Evolution of Everything -- Episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Matt Ridley).
    33. Jagdish Bhagwati and Padma Desai on Amazon.
    34. Elite Imitation in Public Policy -- Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok).
    35. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya).
    36. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mrinal Pande).
    37. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma.
    38. The Lost Decade — Puja Mehra.
    39. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
    40. Managing Climate Change: A Strategy for India -- Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Utkarsh Patel.
    41. Mahabharata.
    42. Ingmar Bergman, Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini and Roman Polanski.
    43. Amit Varma's tweet on velociraptors and turkeys.
    44. The James Bond films.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • A lifetime spent reading, writing and reflecting teaches you a lot. Nilanjana Roy joins Amit Varma in episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about books, feminism, family, memory and the state of the world.

    Also check out:
    1. Nilanjana Roy on Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Financial Times, Business Standard and her own website.
    2. The Girl Who Ate Books: Adventures in Reading -- Nilanjana Roy.
    3. The Wildings -- Nilanjana Roy.
    4. The Hundred Names of Darkness -- Nilanjana Roy.
    5. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discuss reading and writing with Sara Rai, Amitava Kumar, VK Karthika, Sugata Srinivasaraju, Mrinal Pande, Sonia Faleiro, Vivek Tejuja, Samanth Subramanian, Annie Zaidi and Prem Panicker.
    6. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal, Nishant Jain, Deepak Shenoy and Abhijit Bhaduri.
    7. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma.
    8. Why Are My Episodes so Long? -- Amit Varma.
    9. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    10. Jonathan Haidt on Amazon.
    11. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma.
    12. The Ranga-Billa Case.
    13. Sarojini Naidu on Amazon.
    14. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.
    15. The Mahatma and the Poet — The letters between Gandhi and Tagore, compiled by Sabyasachi Bhattacharya.
    16. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    17. Margaret Mascarenhas on Amazon.
    18. The Web We Have to Save -- Hossein Derakhshan.
    19. The Country Without a Post Office -- Agha Shahid Ali.
    20. Wanting — Luke Burgis.
    21. René Girard on Amazon and Wikipedia.
    22. The Silence of Scheherazade -- Defne Suman.
    23. Silver -- Walter de la Mare.
    24. Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister — Amit Varma.
    25. George Saunders and Barack Obama on Amazon.
    26. A life in 5,000 books -- Nilanjana Roy.
    27. Surender Mohan Pathak, Ibne Safi and Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Amazon.
    28. The Power Broker — Robert Caro.
    29. The Death and Life of Great American Cities — Jane Jacobs.
    30. JRR Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin and Terry Pratchett on Amazon.
    31. Forget reading Thomas Piketty. Try a bit of Terry Pratchett -- Robert Shrimsley.
    32. Fifty Shades of Grey -- EL James.
    33. Ankur Warikoo, Aanchal Malhotra, Manu Pillai and Ira Mukhoty on Amazon.
    34. Mahashweta Devi and Naiyer Masud on Amazon.
    35. The former homes of Hurree Babu and Putu the Cat.
    36. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    37. Om Namah Volume -- Amit Varma.
    38. Salman's Sea of Stories -- Salman Rushdie's Substack newsletter.
    39. What Is It Like to Be a Bat? — Thomas Nagel.
    40. The Hidden Life of Trees -- Peter Wohlleben.
    41. An Immense World -- Ed Yong.
    42. The Twitter thread by Sergej Sumlenny that Nilanjana mentioned.
    43. The Inheritance of Loss -- Kiran Desai.
    44. The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck.
    45. Pather Panchali -- Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay.
    46. Gora -- Rabindranath Tagore.
    47. William Shakespeare, Kalidasa, Geoffrey Chaucer and Krishna Sobti on Amazon.
    48. The Cult of Authenticity -- Vikram Chandra.
    49. Meenakshi Mukherjee: The Death of a Critic -- Nilanjana Roy.
    50. Field Notes from a Waterborne Land: Bengal Beyond the Bhadralok -- Parimal Bhattacharya.
    51. Patriots, Poets and Prisoners: Selections from Ramananda Chatterjee's The Modern Review, 1907-1947 -- Edited by Anikendra Sen, Devangshu Datta and Nilanjana Rao.
    52. The City Inside -- Samit Basu.
    53. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan).
    54. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages — Peggy Mohan.
    55. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    56. Manjula Padmanathan on Amazon.
    57. The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy.
    58. If No One Ever Marries Me -- Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
    59. If No One Ever Marries Me -- Natalie Merchant.
    60. Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors -- Episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    61. Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine — Kavitha Rao.
    62. The Memoirs of Dr Haimabati Sen — Haimabati Sen (translated by Tapan Raychoudhuri).
    63. Women at Work — Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare).
    64. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman -- Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya).
    65. Films, Feminism, Paromita — Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra).
    66. The Kavita Krishnan Files — Episode 228 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    67. Manjima Bhattacharjya: The Making of a Feminist -- Episode 280 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    68. I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Dĕd -- Translated by Ranjit Hoskote.
    69. Lal Ded's poem on wrestling with a tiger.
    70. Anarchy is a likelier future for the west than tyranny -- Janan Ganesh.
    71. The Better Angels of Our Nature -- Steven Pinker.
    72. The Ferment of Our Founders -- Episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Kapila).
    73. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes — Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    74. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jayaprakash Narayan).
    75. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    76. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul.
    77. Manohar Malgonkar, Mulk Raj Anand and Kamala Das on Amazon.
    78. Kanthapura -- Raja Rao.
    79. India’s Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu, on VP Menon).
    80. Private Truths, Public Lies — Timur Kuran.
    81. Alice Munro on Amazon.
    82. The Bear Came Over the Mountain -- Amit Varma's favourite Alice Munro story.
    83. The Median Voter Theorem.
    84. The Ice Cream Vendors.
    85. Mohammad Zubair’s Twitter thread on the Dharam Sansad.
    86. The Will to Change -- Bell Hooks.
    87. Paul Holdengraber, Maria Popova, Rana Safvi and Rabih Alameddine on Twitter.
    88. The hounding of author Kate Clanchy has been a witch-hunt without mercy -- Sonia Sodha.
    89. Democrats have stopped listening to America’s voters -- Edward Luce.
    90. From Cairo to Delhi With Max Rodenbeck -- Episode 281 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    91. The Indianness of Indian Food — Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor).
    92. GN Devy.
    93. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha).
    94. Alipura -- Gyan Chaturvedi (translated by Salil Yusufji).
    95. Tomb of Sand -- Geetanjali Shree (translated by Daisy Rockwell).
    96. Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover: The Many Lives of Agyeya -- Akshaya Mukul.
    97. Ashapurna Devi, Agyeya, Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Qurratulain Hyder, Amrita Pritam and Girish Karnad on Amazon.
    98. The Adventures of Dennis -- Viktor Dragunsky.
    99. Toni Morrison on Amazon.
    100. Haroun and the Sea of Stories -- Salman Rushdie.
    101. The Penguin Book Of Indian Poets -- Edited by Jeet Thayil.
    102. These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry -- Edited by Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo.
    103. The Autobiography of a Goddess -- Andal (translated by Priya Sarrukai Chabria and Ravi Shankar).
    104. Ghachar Ghochar — Vivek Shanbhag (translated by Srinath Perur).
    105. Amit Varma talks about Ghachar Ghochar in episode 13 of The Book Club on Storytel.
    106. River of Fire -- Qurratulain Hyder.
    107. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas -- Ursula K Le Guin.
    108. The Left Hand of Darkness -- Ursula K Le Guin.
    109. Mother of 1084 -- Mahashweta Devi.
    110. Jejuri -- Arun Kolatkar.
    111. The Collected Essays of AK Ramanujan -- Edited by Vinay Dharwadker.
    112. The Collected Poems of AK Ramanujan.
    113. Folktales From India -- Edited by AK Ramanujan.
    114. The Interior Landscape: Classical Tamil Love Poems -- Edited and translated by AK Ramanujan.
    115. The Essential Kabir -- Translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

    This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • If leaders are to be judged by their actions, PV Narasimha Rao was our tallest leader. Vinay Sitapati joins Amit Varma in episode 283 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how Rao showed conviction and political skill in going against the tides of the day to enable the 1991 reforms, which brought hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty

    Also check out:
    1. Half-Lion: How PV Narasimha Rao Transformed India -- Vinay Sitapati.
    2. Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi -- Vinay Sitapati.
    3. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati).
    4. The Insider -- PV Narasimha Rao.
    5. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
    6. Gandhi's Assassin: The Making of Nathuram Godse and His Idea of India -- Dhirendra Jha.
    7. Ascetic Games and Ayodhya: A Dark Night.
    8. How the BJP wins: Inside India’s Greatest Election Machine -- Prashant Jha.
    9. The BJP’s Magic Formula -- Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha).
    10. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma.
    11. On Inequality — Harry Frankfurt.
    12. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    13. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul.
    14. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    15. The Life and Times of Vir Sanghvi -- Episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    16. The Clash of Civilizations? (the article) -- Samuel Huntington.
    17. The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order -- Samuel Huntington.
    18. Cut the Clutter with Shekhar Gupta.
    19. Headley And I -- S Hussain Zaidi and Rahul Bhatt.
    20. Wanting -- Luke Burgis.
    21. Abhijit Bhaduri Breaks the Algorithm -- Episode 279 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    22. René Girard on Amazon and Wikipedia.
    23. Amit Varma's tweet on winning the Asian Championships of Match Poker.
    24. The Blue Bedspread -- Raj Kamal Jha.
    25. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda's Road to 9/11 -- Lawrence Wright.
    26. Modi’s Domination – What We Often Overlook — Keshava Guha.
    27. India’s Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
    28. The Alchemy of Finance -- George Soros.
    29. Sturgeon's Law and Survivorship Bias.
    30. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Libertarian -- Amit Varma.
    31. Ancient India: Culture of Contradictions -- Upinder Singh.
    32. Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History -- Romila Thapar.
    33. Romila Thapar, DD Kosambi and Irfan Habib.
    34. A Culture of Discrimination Or A Culture Of Emancipation? -- Aravindan Neelakandan on Romila Thapar.
    35. The Wire -- David Simon etc.
    36. Dekalog — Krzysztof Kieślowski.
    37. The Fissures of Modern Hinduism -- Pratap Bhanu Mehta delivers the DD Kosambi Memorial Lecture.
    38. Upinder Singh, Nayanjot Lahiri and Iravatham Mahadevan on Amazon.
    39. The Power Broker -- Robert A Caro.
    40. Robert A Caro on Amazon.
    41. The World Is What It Is -- Patrick French.
    42. Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China -- Ezra Vogel.
    43. Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister — Amit Varma.
    44. Sex tape: Andhra Governor N D Tiwari resigns.
    45. Bad liver and a broken heart -- Sunil Murthy on Leela Naidu.
    46. The Law of Truly Large Numbers.
    47. Unlikely is Inevitable -- Amit Varma.
    48. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln -- Doris Kearns Goodwin.
    49. To the Brink and Back: India’s 1991 Story -- Jairam Ramesh.
    50. Brideshead Revisited -- Evelyn Waugh.
    51. Brideshead Revisited, the TV series.

    This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • He's been an academic who's studied the country, and a businessman who's created wealth and jobs. Now he wants to help India achieve its potential. Naushad Forbes joins Amit Varma in episode 282 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his life and learnings -- and the roadmap that can help India lift its citizens.

    Also check out:

    1. The Struggle And The Promise: Restoring India's Potential -- Naushad Forbes.
    2. Ram Guha Reflects on His Life -- Episode 266 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    3. Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope -- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    4. PG Wodehouse on Amazon.
    5. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
    6. Elite Imitation in Public Policy -- Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok).
    7. The Great Redistribution -- Amit Varma.
    8. Early Indians — Tony Joseph.
    9. Tony Joseph's episode of The Seen and the Unseen.
    10. Who We Are and How We Got Here — David Reich.
    11. Two-and-a-Half Bengalis Have an Economics Adda -- Episode 274 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswaro Sengupta and Shrayana Bhattacharya).
    12. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma.
    13. On Inequality — Harry Frankfurt.
    14. Our Unlucky Children (2008) — Amit Varma.
    15. Fund Schooling, Not Schools (2007) — Amit Varma.
    16. The Beautiful Tree -- James Tooley.
    17. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
    18. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman -- Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya).
    19. Black Beauty -- Anne Sewell.
    20. Enid Blyton and Gerald Durrell on Amazon.
    21. Leave it to Psmith -- PG Wodehouse.
    22. Survival In Auschwitz -- Primo Levi.
    23. Homage to Catalonia -- George Orwell.
    24. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden.
    25. Marginal Revolution.
    26. Econ Talk — Russ Roberts’s podcast.
    27. Conversations With Tyler — Tyler Cowen’s podcast.
    28. Deirdre McCloskey on Amazon.
    29. Manmohan Singh's budget speech on July 24, 1991.
    30. Government's End: Why Washington Stopped Working -- Jonathan Rauch.
    31. The oddest entry in Business Week's 2009 list of the 50 Most Powerful People in India.
    32. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
    33. The Lost Decade — Puja Mehra.
    34. State Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century -- Francis Fukuyama.
    35. The Origins of Political Order -- Francis Fukuyama.
    36. Political Order and Political Decay -- Francis Fukuyama.
    37. James Buchanan on Amazon.
    38. Public Choice Theory -- Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    39. Public Choice: A Primer — Eomonn Butler.
    40. Wonder Woman, the God of War and Public Choice Economics -- Amit Varma and Kumar Anand.
    41. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy -- Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    42. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah).
    43. Why Children Labour (2007) -- Amit Varma.
    44. Becoming Modern -- Alex Inkeles and David H Smith.
    45. The Overton Window.
    46. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty — Albert O Hirschman.
    47. India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy -- Ramachandra Guha.
    48. Wealth And Poverty Of Nations -- David S Landes.
    49. The Uncommon Reader -- Alan Bennett.
    50. On Liberty -- John Stuart Mill.
    51. Patriots and Partisans -- Ramachandra Guha.
    52. Democrats and Dissenters -- Ramachandra Guha.
    53. 1984 -- George Orwell.
    54. The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph -- Albert O Hirschman.
    55. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin on Spotify.
    56. Brahms: Second Piano Concerto in B Flat.
    57. Beethoven: The Piano Concertos.
    58. Beethoven: Symphonies 1 to 9.
    59. Schubert: Impromptus.
    60. The Philadelphia Story -- George Cukor.
    61. Casablanca -- Michael Curtiz.

    Check out Amit’s online courses, The Art of Clear Writing and The Art of Podcasting.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.
  • He grew up in Cairo, spent many years writing on the Middle East, saw the Arab Spring coming, and was bureau chief of the Economist in South Asia. Max Rodenbeck joins Amit Varma in episode 281 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his experiences in journalism, the lessons he learnt in India, and the troubling ways in which it resembles Egypt.

    Also check out:
    1. Max Rodenbeck on Twitter, The New York Review of Books and Wikipedia.
    2. Cairo: The City Victorious -- Max Rodenbeck.
    3. Selected stories on India by the Economist: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
    4. The Power of Arabic -- Max Rodenbeck.
    5. The Father of Violent Islamism -- Max Rodenbeck.
    6. How She Wants to Modify Muslims -- Max Rodenbeck.
    7. Bin Laden’s Death: Why the Arab World Shrugs -- Max Rodenbeck.
    8. The Long Wait -- Max Rodenbeck.
    9. Max Rodenbeck interviewed on What I Did Next.
    10. Top Gun -- Tony Scott.
    11. The Godfather -- Francis Ford Coppola.
    12. Once Upon a Time in the West -- Sergio Leone.
    13. Creature Features.
    14. Godzilla and Creature From the Black Lagoon.
    15. Agatha Christie on Amazon.
    16. Tintin on Amazon.
    17. Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.
    18. Enid Blyton on Amazon.
    19. The Golden Age of Murder -- Martin Edwards.
    20. $41,754,153! -- Brandon Sanderson.
    21. Brandon Sanderson's record-breaking Kickstarter campaign ends with $41.7 million -- K Holt.
    22. Brandon Sanderson on Amazon and YouTube.
    23. In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones — Pradip Krishen.
    24. Gell-Mann Amnesia.
    25. A Nile Journal -- Thomas Gold Appleton.
    26. Lawrence Wright on Amazon.
    27. Roam Research — and Zettelkasten.
    28. US-Bangladesh blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death -- BBC.
    29. Inside Bangladesh’s killing fields: bloggers and outsiders targeted by fanatics -- Emma Graham-Harrison and Saad Hammadi.
    30. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul.
    31. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    32. The Incredible Curiosities of Mukulika Banerjee -- Episode 276 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mukulika Banerjee.)
    33. The Pathan Unarmed — Mukulika Banerjee.
    34. The First Assault on Our Constitution — Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh).
    35. Nehru’s Debates — Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain.)
    36. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes — Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    37. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
    38. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
    39. The Generation of Rage in Kashmir — David Devadas.
    40. Radically Networked Societies -- Episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane).
    41. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on agriculture (in reverse chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
    42. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
    43. Education in India — Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra).
    44. Njáls saga.
    45. Honoré de Balzac on Amazon.
    46. The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee -- Honoré de Balzac.
    47. Michael Pollan on how coffee enabled the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.
    48. The Lives of Others -- Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
    49. Yol -- Şerif Gören and Yılmaz Güney.
    50. Baden Powell on Spotify.
    51. Le Bureau.
    52. The Anchoring Effect.
    53. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy -- Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen.

    This episode is sponsored by Paradigm Shift, a new podcast by Microsoft India, produced by ATS Studios and hosted by Harsha Bhogle..Listen to it on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music or any podcast app of your choice.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • The world is changing for women -- but is it getting better? Manjima Bhattacharjya joins Amit Varma in episode 280 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe her journey as a feminist and why she believes in the long arc. She also talks about her book Intimate City, and the changing face of sex work in India.

    Also check out:
    1. Manjima Bhattacharjya on Twitter, YouTube and Google Scholar.
    2. Intimate City -- Manjima Bhattacharjya.
    3. Mannequin: Working Women in India's Glamour Industry -- Manjima Bhattacharjya.
    4. Jhumpa Lahiri on Amazon.
    5. Empire of the Sun -- Steven Spielberg.
    6. In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones — Pradip Krishen.
    7. Farouk Abdul-Aziz and Kuwait Cine Club.
    8. Nancy Drew on Wikipedia and Amazon.
    9. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    10. Some episodes on The Seen and the Unseen that touched on feminism with Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Kavitha Rao, Namita Bhandare and Shrayana Bhattacharjya,
    11. Kali For Women.
    12. Jagori.
    13. Mrityudand -- Prakash Jha.
    14. The Ferment of Our Founders -- Episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Kapila).
    15. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes — Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    16. Bargaining with Patriarchy -- Deniz Kandiyoti.
    17. On the Road to Change -- A conversation between Kavita Krishnan and Amit Varma.
    18. If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai — Srinath Perur.
    19. One Bad Law Goes, but Women Remain Second-Class Citizens -- Amit Varma.
    20. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
    21. Who gains from the new Maternity Benefit Act Amendment? -- Devika Kher.
    22. Here’s What’s Wrong With the Maternity Benefits Act -- Suman Joshi.
    23. Why Children Labour (2007) -- Amit Varma.
    24. Metrics of Empowerment — Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta and Hamsini Hariharan).
    25. The #MeToo Movement -- Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Supriya Nair and Nikita Saxena).
    26. An Economist Looks at #MeToo -- Episode 92 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
    27. Superforecasting — Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner.
    28. The Problem that Has No Name -- Betty Friedan.
    29. Kamla Bhasin and Abha Bhaiya.
    30. Live Sex Acts -- Wendy Chapkis.
    31. Beautiful Thing — Sonia Faleiro.
    32. Two Girls Hanging From a Tree -- Episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sonia Faleiro).
    33. Daily Rituals — Mason Currey.
    34. Daily Rituals: Women at Work — Mason Currey.
    35. Thin Places -- Ann Armbrecht.
    36. Cheryl Strayed on Amazon.
    37. Mahanagar — Satyajit Ray.
    38. India = Migration -- Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe).
    39. India Moving — Chinmay Tumbe.
    40. Abhimaan -- Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
    41. Natasha Badhwar on Amazon.
    42. Parenthood -- Episode 43 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Natasha Badhwar).
    43. Yuzvendra Chahal's bullying.
    44. Memories and Things — Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra).
    45. Temporarily Yours – Intimacy, Authenticity and the Commerce of Sex -- Elizabeth Bernstein.
    46. The Girlfriend Experience.
    47. Everybody Lies — Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.
    48. The Truth About Ourselves — Amit Varma.
    49. Literotica stories archive.
    50. The news article about a journalist and some artists forced to strip to their underwear.
    51. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator economy with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal, Nishant Jain, Deepak Shenoy and Abhijit Bhaduri.
    52. 11th Lane: Kamathipura -- Sudharak Olwe.
    53. Tawaif -- Episode 174 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Saba Dewan).
    54. Notting Hill and Pretty Woman.
    55. An Educated Woman In Prostitution -- Manada Devi.
    56. Factory Girls -- Leslie T Chang.
    57. Gangubai Kathiawadi -- Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
    58. Elles -- Malgoska Szumowska.
    59. The Unbearable Lightness of Being -- Philip Kaufman.
    60. Roger Ebert's review of Unbearable Lightness.
    61. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty, That Obscure Object of Desire — Luis Buñuel.
    62. The Discreet Charm of the Savarnas -- Rajesh Rajamani.

    This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • If you make space for serendipity in your life, good things happen. Abhijit Bhaduri joins Amit Varma in episode 279 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey from the corporate life to the creator economy -- and the lessons he learnt along the way.

    Also check out:
    1. Abhijit Bhaduri on Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and his own website.
    2. Dreamers and Unicorns -- Abhijit Bhaduri.
    3. The Digital Tsunami -- Abhijit Bhaduri.
    4, Selected talks on YouTube by Abhijit Bhaduri: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    5. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal, Nishant Jain and Deepak Shenoy.
    6. A Meditation on Form — Amit Varma.
    7. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    8. The Curse of Knowledge.
    9. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    10. The Invisible Gorilla.
    11. When Daddy Was a Little Boy -- Alexander Raskin and Lev Tokamakov. (Original cover.)
    12. Tuntunir Galpa/The tale of The Tailer-Bird -- Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury.
    13. The Complete Adventures of Feluda -- Satyajit Ray.
    14. Mukh Chai Mukh -- Milan Mukhopadhyay.
    15. Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Ashapurna Devi, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, Banaphul, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Shivani and Munshi Premchand.
    16. Ravi Shankar, Bhimsen Joshi and Kishori Amonkar on Spotify.
    17. Haré Rama Haré Krishna -- Dev Anand.
    18. The Charm of Raga Des - Abhijit Bhaduri.
    19. SD Burman and Nikhil Banerjee on Spotify.
    20. Is Old Music Killing New Music? -- Ted Gioia.
    21. The Universe of Chuck Gopal -- Episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    22. Brave New World -- Episode 203 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vasant Dhar).
    23. Wanting -- Luke Burgis.
    24. Khushwant Singh and Mulkraj Anand on Amazon.
    25. RK Laxman, Mario Miranda and Ajit Ninan.
    26. In Search of Excellence -- Tom Peters.
    27. Mirch Masala -- Ketan Mehta.
    28. Ek Ruka Hua Faisla -- Basu Chatterjee.
    29. 12 Angry Men -- Sidney Lumet.
    30. Housefull Economics.
    31. Manu Pillai and Ramachandra Guha on Amazon.
    32. Episodes of the Seen and the Unseen w Manu Pillai: 1, 2, 3, 4.
    33. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen w Ramachandra Guha: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    34. The Hedgehog And The Fox — Isaiah Berlin.
    35. Are you a career3.0 person stuck in a career1.0 Job? -- Abhijit Bhaduri.
    36. Miss Excel on Instagram and TikTok.
    37. How an Excel Tiktoker Manifested Her Way to Making Six Figures a Day — Nilay Patel.
    38. In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones -- Pradip Krishen.
    39. How Social Media Threatens Society — Episode 8 of Brave New World (Jonathan Haidt speaking to host Vasant Dhar).
    40. Elite Imitation in Public Policy -- Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (on isomorphic mimicry, with Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok).
    41. Skeuomorphic Design.
    42. The New World Upon Us -- Amit Varma on Alpha Zero.
    43. Google's AlphaZero Destroys Stockfish In 100-Game Match -- Mike Klein.
    44. Dicing An Onion -- Gordon Ramsey.
    45. Satyajit Ray on Amazon.
    46. Feluda @ 50 -- Edited by Boria Mazumdar.
    47. Days & Nights In The Forest -- Sunil Gangopadhyay.
    48. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha).
    49. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages — Peggy Mohan.
    50. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan).

    This episode is sponsored by Knest Manufacturers, India’s largest and the world’s fastest-growing formwork company, which has made real estate development in India more efficient, sustainable and scalable.

    This episode is co-sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

  • To fight climate change, we need to reform the power sector. Right now, it's dysfunctional. Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah join Amit Varma in episode 278 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their roadmap for change.

    Also check out:
    1. Akshay Jaitly on Twitter, Linkedin, Nicheless and Substack. Ajay Shah on Twitter and Substack.
    2. The lowest hanging fruit on the coconut tree: India's climate transition through the price system in the power sector -- Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah.
    3. Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah's aggregated pieces on energy and climate.
    4. The Time To Privatise India’s Electricity Sector Is Now -- Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah.
    5. Root cause analysis for the electricity crisis -- Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah.
    6. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah.
    7. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah).
    8. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    9. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma.
    10. Naren Shenoy's fancy dress competition.
    11. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy -- Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    12. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    13. The Chronicles of Narnia -- CS Lewis.
    14. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- Roald Dahl.
    15. Alistair MacLean and John Steinbeck on Amazon.
    16. Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck.
    17. Of Mice and Men -- John Steinbeck.
    18. André Gide and Albert Camus on Amazon.
    19. Another Country -- James Baldwin.
    20. Warren Mendonsa Plays the Universal Pentatonic -- Episode 273 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    21. Jonathan Haidt on Amazon.
    22. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan).
    23. Hind Swaraj -- Mohandas Gandhi.
    24. Politics and the Sociopath -- Amit Varma.
    25. Google Scholar.
    26. Roam Research and Zettelkasten.
    27. Discom Privatisation Challenged (Dec 2020) -- Akshay Jaitly.
    28. Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance -- Edited by Devesh Kapur and Madhav Khosla.
    29. The Use of Knowledge in Society -- Friedrich Hayek.
    30. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    31. History of UN Climate Talks.
    32. The Evolution of the UNFCCC -- Jonathan Kuyper, Heike Schroeder and Björn-Ola Linnér.
    33. The COP List.
    34. The Road From Rio (1993) -- Prodipto Ghosh and Akshay Jaitly.
    35. William Nordhaus versus the United Nations on Climate Change Economics -- Robert P Murphy.
    36. Hotter than the human body can handle: Pakistan city broils in world’s highest temperatures -- Ben Farmer.
    37. Price Controls Lead to Shortages and Harm the Poor -- Amit Varma.
    38. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah).
    39. Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister -- Amit Varma.
    40. Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All -- Michael Shellenberger.
    41. Nuclear Power Can Save the World — Joshua S Goldstein, Staffan A Qvist and Steven Pinker.
    42. Kim Stanley Robinson on Amazon.
    43. Death at Intervals -- José Saramago.
    44. The Shape of Water -- Andrea Camilleri.
    45. The Terracotta Dog -- Andrea Camilleri.
    46. 12 Bytes: How artificial intelligence will change the way we live and love -- Jeanette Winterson.
    47. The Singularity Is Near -- Ray Kurzweil.
    48. Report to Greco -- Nikos Kazantzakis.
    49. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics -- Carlo Rovelli.
    50. Michael Dibdin on Amazon.

    This episode is sponsored by Knest Manufacturers, India's largest and the world's fastest-growing formwork company, which has made real estate development in India more efficient, sustainable and scalable.

    This episode is co-sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

  • He grew up breathing Kannada literature -- and he also embraced the globalised world. Sugata Srinivasaraju joins Amit Varma in episode 277 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss this confluence of the old and the new, the near and the far, his society and the world.

    Also check out:
    1. Sugata Srinivasaraju in Outlook, ToI/Mumbai Mirror, New Indian Express, The Wire, Mint, Twitter and his own website.
    2. Furrows in a Field -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    3. Pickles from Home: The Worlds of a Bilingual -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    4. Keeping Faith with the Mother Tongue -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    5. Sugata Srinivasaraju on his father, Chi Srinivasaraju: 1, 2, 3.
    6. Maharashtra Politics Unscrambled -- Episode 151 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sujata Anandan).
    7. Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree).
    8. GP Rajarathnam, AR Krishnashastry, P Lankesh and KS Nissar Ahmed on Wikipedia.
    9. The Tell Me Why series of encyclopedias -- Arkady Leokum.
    10. Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire on Amazon.
    11. Rayaru Bandaru Mavana Manege -- The KS Narasimhaswamy poem Sugata translated.
    12. Phoenix and Four Other Mime Plays -- Chi Srinivasaraju (translated by Sugata Srinivasaraju, who tweeted about it here.).
    13. Ahobala Shankara, V Seetharamaiah, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, KV Narayana, Noam Chomsky, DR Nagaraj, Jorge Luis Borges and Tejaswini Niranjana.
    14. Lawrence Weschler on how Akumal Ramachander discovered Harold Shapinsky.
    15. AK Ramanujan and Gopalakrishna Adiga.
    16. The Penguin Book of Socialist Verse -- Edited by Alan Bold.
    17. Gandhi as Mahatma: Gorakhpur District, Eastern UP, 1921-22 -- Shahid Amin.
    18. Kraurya -- Girish Kasaravalli.
    19. Deconstructing Derrida -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    20. Yaava Mohana Murali -- Gopalakrishna Adiga's poem turned into a song.
    21. Ram Guha Reflects on His Life -- Episode 266 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    22. Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas — Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha).
    23. Understanding Gandhi. Part 2: Mahatma — Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha).
    24. Modern South India: A History from the 17th Century to our Times -- Rajmohan Gandhi.
    25. Ki Ram Nagaraja at Book Brahma.
    26. A Map of Misreading -- Harold Bloom.
    27. The Singer of Tales -- Albert Lord and David Elmer.
    28. ಪಂಪ ಭಾರತ ದೀಪಿಕೆ: Pampa Bharatha Deepike -- DL Narasimhachar.
    29. The Open Eyes: A Journey Through Karnakata -- Dom Moraes.
    30. Dom Moraes on DR Bendre's love for numbers.
    31. DR Bendre, Kuvempu, Shamba Joshi, MM Kalburgi, Shivaram Karanth, VK Gokak and Chandrashekhar Patil.
    32. Da Baa Kulkarni, Sriranga, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Bhisham Sahni, Kartar Singh Duggal and HY Sharada Prasad.
    33. His Will Was His God -- Sugata Srinivasaraju on HY Sharada Prasad.
    34. Jeremy Seabrook on Amazon.
    35. Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope -- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    36. The Rise and Fall of the Bilingual Intellectual — Ramachandra Guha.
    37. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    38. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    39. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha).
    40. Negotiating Two Worlds, Bilingualism As A Cultural Idea -- Sugata Srinivasaraju delivers the HY Sharada Prasad Memorial Lecture.
    41. Karunaalu Baa Belake -- A Kannada version of 'Lead, Kindly Light'.
    42. Liberal impulses of our regional languages -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    43. Why Resisting Hindi is No Longer Enough -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    44, The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor).

    45. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden.
    46. Roam Research and Zettelkasten.
    47. Sixteen Stormy Days — Tripurdaman Singh.
    48. The First Assault on Our Constitution — Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh).
    49. Nehru’s Debates -- Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain).
    50. Speaking of Siva -- Ak Ramanujan's translations of the Vacanas.
    51. Not Waving but Drowning -- Stevie Smith.
    52. Pictures on a Page -- Harold Evans.
    53. Notes From Another India -- Jeremy Seabrook.
    54. Good Times, Bad Times -- Harold Evans.
    55. John Pilger on Amazon.
    56. Sugata Srinivasaraju's pieces in Outlook in 2005 on the Infosys land scam: 1, 2.
    57. ‘Bellary Is Mine’ -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    58. Deca Log: 1995-2005. A history in ten-and-a-half chapters, through the eyes of Outlook -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    59. The Sanjay Story: From Anand Bhavan To Amethi -- Vinod Mehta.
    60. Lucknow Boy: A Memoir -- Vinod Mehta.
    61. Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker -- Ved Mehta.
    62. Off the Record: Untold Stories from a Reporter's Diary -- Ajith Pillai.
    63. A Town Offers Its Shoulder -- Sugata Srinivasaraju.
    64. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction -- Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.
    65. Dhanya Rajendran Fights the Gaze -- Episode 267 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    66. The Story of an Income Tax Search — Dhanya Rajendran on Instagram.
    67. George Plimpton, 76; 'Paper Lion' author, longtime literary editor, amateur athlete -- David Mehegan.
    68. Does The Paris Review Get a Second Act? -- Charles McGrath on literary magazines as "showcases of idealism."
    69. My Father's Suitcase -- Orhan Pamuk's Nobel Prize lecture.
    70. Gandhi's Assassin: The Making of Nathuram Godse and His Idea of India -- Dhirendra K Jha.
    71. Harmony in the Boudoir -- Mark Strand.
    72. Of Human Bondage -- W Somerset Maugham.
    73. Man’s Worldly Goods -- Leo Huberman.
    74. Autobiography -- Bertrand Russell.
    75. Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens and George Orwell on Amazon.
    76. Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert.
    77. Reflections on Gandhi -- George Orwell.
    78. The Tyranny of Merit -- Michael Sandel.
    79. Home in the World: A Memoir -- Amartya Sen.
    80. Living to Tell the Tale -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    81. Ayodhya - The Dark Night and Ascetic Games by Dhirendra Jha.
    82. Team of Rivals -- Doris Kearns Goodwin.
    83. My Last Sigh -- Luis Bunuel.
    84. Interview with History -- Oriana Fallaci.
    85. Ryszard Kapuscinski on Amazon.
    86. Journalism as Literature -- Salman Rushdie on Ryszard Kapuscinski.
    87. Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi and Kumar Gandharva on Spotify.
    88. Vachanas sung by Mallikarjun Mansur and Basavaraja Rajguru.
    89. Outlander, Knightfall and Money Heist on Netflix.
    90. Sugata Srinivasaraju's Twitter thread on the songs of DR Bendre.

    This episode is sponsored by The Desi Crime Podcast. You’ll find them on all podcast apps.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.
  • How did one of the greatest nonviolent movements in history emerge from within the supposedly violent Pathans of the wild frontier? Why do poor people in India vote even though there seems to be no point to it? Why does an ancient garment like the sari endure -- but democracy seem in peril? Mukulika Banerjee joins Amit Varma in episode 276 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the questions that kept her up at night -- and the lessons they hold for us.

    Also check out:
    1. Mukulika Banerjee at LSE, Google Scholar, Amazon and Twitter.
    2. The Pathan Unarmed -- Mukulika Banerjee.
    3. Why India Votes -- Mukulika Banerjee.
    4. Cultivating Democracy -- Mukulika Banerjee.
    5. The Sari -- Mukulika Banerjee and Daniel Miller.
    6. Muslim Portraits: Everyday Lives in India -- Edited by Mukulika Banerjee.
    7. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    8. Thomas Hardy on Amazon.
    9. Maxim Gorky, Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov on Amazon.
    10. The Proposal -- Anton Chekhov.
    11. Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew on Amazon.
    12. The House of the Dead -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
    13. An American Werewolf in London -- John Landis.
    14. The Emergency: A Personal History -- Coomi Kapoor.
    15. Where Have All The Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma.
    16. India’s Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu, on VP Menon).
    17. The Complete Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett.
    18. Abdul Ghaffar Khan: Faith Is A Battle -- DG Tendulkar.
    19. Kabuliwala -- Rabindranath Tagore.
    20. Kabuliwala (1961 film) -- Hemen Gupta.
    21. 'That Killed Cat Lives With Me' -- Isaac Asimov's quote.
    22. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock -- TS Eliot.
    23. The Life and Times of Nirupama Rao -- Episode 269 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    24. The #MeToo Movement -- Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Supriya Nair and Nikita Saxena).
    25. Urban Governance in India -- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
    26. 'Tell a Sanghi/Bhakt at a job interview...' -- SirKazamJeevi's tweet.
    27. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan).
    28. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul.
    29. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    30. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra).
    31. Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope -- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    32. Modeling Covid-19 -- Episode 224 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gautam Menon).
    33. Can the Subaltern Speak? -- Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
    34. Gangubai Kathiawadi -- Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
    35. Nehru’s Debates -- Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain).
    36. Mahanagar -- Satyajit Ray.
    37. Everybody Lies -- Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.
    38. The Truth About Ourselves -- Amit Varma.
    39. Electoral Politics in the Time of Change -- Yogendra Yadav
    40. The Economics of Voting -- Amit Varma on Rational Ignorance.
    41. The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking -- Amit Varma on Lal Bihari Mritak.
    42. Well Done, Abba -- Shyam Benegal.
    43. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes -- Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    44. The Ferment of Our Founders -- Episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Kapila).
    45. Women in Rajniti and Lokniti -- Mukulika Banerjee (Go to page 19 to read).
    46. Nick Hornby on Amazon.
    47. The Business of Winning Elections -- Episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shivam Shankar Singh).
    48. Collective Effervescence on Wikipedia.
    49. The Manchester School of Anthropology.
    50. Desert Island Discs on BBC.
    51. Deshe Bideshe (Bengali) (English) -- Syed Mujtaba Ali.
    52. Uday Bhawalkar performs Raag Bhairav.
    53. Dhrupad by Ustad Mohiuddin Dagar.
    54. Songs of the Earth -- Soumik Datta.
    55. Messengers -- Soumik Datta.

    This episode is sponsored by Paradigm Shift, a new podcast by Microsoft India, produced by ATS Studios and hosted by Harsha Bhogle..Listen to it on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music or any podcast app of your choice.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

    Illustration by Khyati Pathak.

  • We live in times when all Indian Muslims are forced to be aware of their Muslimness. Hussain Haidry joins Amit Varma in episode 275 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his life, his art and these difficult times we live in.

    Also check out:
    1. Hussain Haidry on Twitter, Instagram and IMDb.
    2. Hindustani Musalmaan -- Hussain Haidry.
    3. Lat -- Hussain Haidry.
    4. 10 Poems recommended by Hussain Haidry -- Chalchitra Talks.
    5. Being Muslim in India -- Episode 216 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ghazala Wahab).
    6. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi).
    7. The City and the City -- China Miéville.
    8. Nida Fazli and Dushyant Kumar at Rekhta.
    9. Maximum City -- Suketu Mehta.
    10. Shantaram -- Gregory David Roberts.
    11. A Fine Balance -- Rohinton Mistry.
    12. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel).
    13. Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope -- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel).
    14. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India -- Akshaya Mukul.
    15. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    16. Private Truths, Public Lies -- Timur Kuran.
    17. Muslim Portraits: Everyday Lives in India -- Edited by Mukulika Banerjee.
    18. Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley’s Father’s Scooter -- Episode 214 of The Seen and the Unseen (w RSJ).
    19. Mohammad Zubair's Twitter thread on the Dharam Sansad.
    20. Malevolent Republic -- Kapil Komireddi.
    21. The Life and Times of Vir Sanghvi -- Episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    22. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati).
    23. Arvind Kejriwal's tweet after the abrogation of Article 370.
    24. The tweets by Atishi Marlena and Raghav Chadha.
    25. Sangham Sharanam Gachchami -- Vijai Trivedi.
    26. Ranga Hari on Amazon.
    27. A People's Constitution -- Rohit De.
    28. Narendra Modi takes a Great Leap Backwards -- Amit Varma.
    29. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
    30. Hussain Haidry's Twitter thread on blocking.
    31. Alishan Jafri on Twitter.
    32. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    33. Aadha Gaon -- Rahi Masoom Raza.
    34. Chai Coffee -- Hussain Haidry.
    35. You're Missing -- Bruce Springsteen.
    36. Hussain Haidry interviewed by Ravish Kumar.
    37. Imtiaz Dharker on Amazon.
    38. Dugg Duggi Dugg -- Song from Jugni. Lyrics by Shellee, music by Clinton Cerejo.
    39. Qarib Qarib Singlle on Spotify.
    40. Tanha Begum -- Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Rochak Kohli.
    41. Mukkabaaz on Spotify.
    42. Haathapai -- Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Rachita Arora.
    43. Blond Balma -- Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Rachita Arora.
    44. Tu Kahaan Hai -- Song from Tripling. Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Nilotpal Bora.
    45. Patang -- Song from Tripling. Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Nilotpal Bora.
    46. Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare -- Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Vishal Dadlani.
    47. Bandar Baant -- Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Bandish Projekt.
    48. Bahut Hua Samman -- Lyrics by Hussain Haidry, music by Rachita Arora.
    49. Ankahi Kahaniya -- Amnibus film that includes Madhyantara, with a screenplay by Hussain Haidry, and directed by Abhishek Chaubey.
    50. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie -- Luis Buñuel.
    51. Laakhon Mein Ek, Season 2 -- Written by Hussain Haidry.
    52. लोहे के स्वाद -- Hussain Haidry.
    53. Talkhiyan -- Sahir Ludhianvi.
    54. Sahir Ludhianvi, Nida Fazli, Ahmad Faraz, Jaun Eliya, Rahat Indori, Waseem Barelvi, Munawwar Rana, Abbas Tabish, Rehman Faris, Azhar Faragh, Ameer Imam, Naeem Sarmad, Nomaan Shauque, Ali Zaryoun, Tehzeeb Hafi and Umair Najmi on Rekhta.
    55. Fahrenheit 451 -- Ray Bradbury.
    56. Rangeela -- Ram Gopal Varma.
    57. Ghulam -- Vikram Bhatt
    58. On the Waterfront -- Elia Kazan.
    59. Get Out -- Jordan Peele.
    60. Fandry -- Nagraj Manjule.
    61. Where is the Friend's Home? -- Abbas Kiarostami.
    62. Soiyega Mat - Hussain Haidry.

    This episode is sponsored by The Desi Crime Podcast. You’ll find them on all podcast apps.

    The illustration for this episode is one-off offering by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram, Substack and episode 260 of The Seen and the Unseen.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

  • India is in bad shape. Bad economics is one reason why. Economists Rajeswari Sengupta and Shrayana Bhattacharya join Amit Varma in episode 274 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock of the mess. You don't like dissent? Too bad. We're Bongs, and you cannot shut us up.

    Also check out:
    1. Shrayana Bhattacharya on Twitter, Instagram and Google Scholar.
    2. Rajeswari Sengupta on Google Scholar and her own site.
    3. Demystifying GDP -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta).
    4. Twelve Dream Reforms -- Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta & Vivek Kaul).
    5. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman -- Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya).
    6. Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh -- Shrayana Bhattacharya.
    7. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
    8. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
    9. The Lost Decade — Puja Mehra.
    10. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah).
    11. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes -- Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    12. The State of Our Economy (Nov 2021) -- Episode 252 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra and Mohit Satyanand.)
    13. Taking Stock of Our Economy (May 2021) — Episode 227 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ila Patnaik).
    14. Two Economic Crises (2008 & 2019) — Episode 135 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satynanand).
    15. The Indian Economy in 2019 — Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
    16. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah (in reverse chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
    17. Everything That Was Broken -- Mary Oliver (from Felicity).
    18. I Boiled My Buttocks for a Week -- Amit Varma on how we normalize everything.
    19. Dekalog -- Krzysztof Kieślowski.
    20. What the Economy Needs Now -- Various authors.
    21. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma.
    22. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal, Nishant Jain and Deepak Shenoy.
    23. The Anti-Defection Law — Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra).
    24. Our Parliament and Our Democracy -- Episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen (w MR Madhavan).
    25. Urban Governance in India -- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
    26. Emergent Ventures.
    27. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma.
    28. On Inequality -- Harry Frankfurt.
    29. We Must Save Our Farmers — Amit Varma.
    30. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on agriculture (in reverse chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
    31. Intent to Implementation : Tracking India's Social Protection Response to COVID-19 -- Shrayana Bhattacharya and Sutirtha Sinha Roy.
    32. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.
    33. Modi’s Lost Opportunity — Episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz).
    34. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
    35. What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been — Episode 188 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arvind Subramanian).
    36. The Median Voter Theorem.
    37. The 'bloated and grotesque' tweet by @mrjohndarby.
    38. ASER, CMIE and SWAN.
    39. The Billion Prices Project.
    40. Pramit Bhattacharya Believes in Just One Ism — Episode 256 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    41. In Bollywood, women get screen time but very little talk time -- Mohua Das.
    42. A Woman, Thinking -- Paromita Vohra.
    43. Lost in the Shallows -- Amit Varma on Dear Zindagi.
    44. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    45. Mrinal Pande’s pieces for Pragati on women in Indian agriculture: 1, 2.

    This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

  • He's that Blackstratblues guy. He's done rock, blues, sessions work for Bollywood, and you can't put him in a box. Indie music legend Warren Mendonsa joins Amit Varma and guest co-host Chuck Gopal in episode 273 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his career, how he only aims to make music that makes him happy, and the common thread that binds us all.

    Also check out:
    1. Warren Mendonsa on Instagram and Twitter.
    2. Blackstratblues music and community. Also, on YouTube and Spotify.
    3. Anuva's Sky and Ode to a Sunny Day.
    4. The therapy that is Blackstratblues -- Deepak 'Chuck' Gopalakrishnan.
    5. Warren interviewed by Chuck and Varad Wategaonkar: Part 1 & Part 2.
    6. Warren Mendonsa: The Universe Has The Blues -- Interview by Michael Limnios.
    7. 2018 interview of Warren by EveryoneLovesGuitar.
    8. The Universe of Chuck Gopal -- Episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    9. Ted Gioia on Music as Cultural Cloud Storage -- Episode 79 of Conversations With Tyler.
    10. The Great Man Theory.
    11. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden.
    12. 1000 True Fans — Kevin Kelly.
    13. 1000 True Fans? Try 100 — Li Jin.
    14. What is Internet? -- Bill Gates on the David Letterman Show.
    15. Why Old Music is Killing New Music -- Rick Beato.
    16. The viral TikTok video by doggface208 featuring Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams.'
    17. The Volkswagen commercial featuring Nick Drake's 'Pink Moon.'
    18. The Time a Stiff Caught Fire -- Keith Yates on Billy Joel.
    19. PSP 12" -- Zero.
    20. Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale.
    21. Derek Trucks talks guitar and plays incredible slide.
    22. Turbo Killer -- Carpenter Brut.
    23. Afrique Victime -- Mdou Moctar.
    24. Tinariwen on Spotify.
    25. Dungen on Spotify.
    26. The Dungen albums, Ta Det Lugnt and 4, with the song Mina Damer Och Fasaner.
    27. Josh Fix on Spotify.
    28. This Town Is Making Me Angry -- Josh Fix.
    29. The Formula Behind Every Perfect Pop Song -- Seeker.
    30. Why We Choke -- Amit Varma (on the Yips).
    31. This is Your Brain on Music -- Daniel Levitin.
    32. Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality -- TED Talk by Anil Seth.
    33. What Colour Is Your Raindrop -- Tajdar Junaid.
    34. Dastaan -- Tajdar Junaid.
    35. 10 Things I Wish I Knew when I started playing Guitar -- Warren Mendonsa.
    36. This Is Spinal Tap -- Rob Reiner.
    37. Monty Python's Life of Brian.
    38. Masala Lab on Instagram.
    39. Krish Ashok on Spotify and Apple Music.
    40. A Scientist in the Kitchen -- Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok).
    41. Bill McClintock on YouTube.
    42. Derek Trucks and Michael Landau on Spotify.
    43. Nadia - Nitin Sawhney with Jeff Beck live.
    44. Where Were You? -- Jeff Beck.
    45. Arinjoy Sarkar and Rudi Wallang on YouTube.
    46. Achint on Instagram and YouTube.
    47. Tejas, Komorebi, Rohan Rajadhyaksha and Sandunes.

    Also, do check out Chuck Gopal's specially curated playlist of Indian rock and metal for listeners of The Seen and the Unseen. (Here's a YouTube version.)

    This episode is sponsored by The Desi Crime Podcast. You'll find them on all podcast apps.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

  • Our freedom fighters didn't just fight the British. They also grappled with each other in the marketplace of ideas and actions. Shruti Kapila joins Amit Varma in episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how so many of our founders were also innovative political philosophers -- and how we still fight their battles today.

    Also check out:
    1. Shruti Kapila at Cambridge, The Print and Twitter.
    2. Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age -- Shruti Kapila.
    3. An Intellectual History for India -- Edited by Shruti Kapila.
    4. Political Thought in Action: The Bhagavad Gita and Modern India -- Edited by Shruti Kapila and Faisal Devji.
    5. The Death and Life of Great American Cities -- Jane Jacobs.
    6. Nehru: The Debates that Defined India — Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain.
    7. Nehru’s Debates — Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain.)
    8. Tryst With Destiny (Text) (Video) -- Jawaharlal Nehru's speech at Independence.
    9. Jawaharlal Nehru on Amazon.
    10. Carl Schmitt on Amazon, Wikipedia and Britannica.
    11. Junoon (1978) on IMDb and Wikipedia.
    12. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India -- Akshaya Mukul.
    13. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    14. Hindutva -- VD Savarkar.
    15. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva — Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel).
    16. Malevolent Republic — Kapil Komireddi.
    17. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi).
    18. The Multitudes of Our Maharajahs -- Episode 244 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai).
    19. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan).
    20. Sigmund Freud on Amazon, Wikipedia and Britannica.
    21. An Anthropologist Among Historians -- Bernard S Cohn.
    22. The Birth of the Modern World -- CA Bayly.
    23. CA Bayly on Amazon.
    24. Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar on Amazon.
    25. Hilary Mantel on Amazon.
    26. Song of Myself, 51 -- Walt Whitman.
    27. Indian Unrest -- Valentine Chirol.
    28. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes -- Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    29. Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Rahasya -- Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
    30. The Indian War of Independence, 1857 -- Veer Savarkar.
    31. Hind Swaraj -- Mahatma Gandhi.
    32. Meatless Days -- Sara Suleri.
    33. Rohinton Mistry and Salman Rushdie on Amazon.
    34. Aguirre, the Wrath of God -- Werner Herzog.
    35. Masaan -- Neeraj Ghaywan.
    36. Khayal Gatha -- Kumar Shahani.
    37. Mirzapur on Prime Video.
    38. Paatal Lok on Prime Video.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

  • Deepak Shenoy wants to ask Amit Varma about the creator economy. Amit wants to talk to Deepak about finance and his new book. Episode 271 of The Seen and the Unseen is a crossover episode with the Capital Mind Podcast in which Amit and Deepak get a jugalbandi going.

    Also check out:
    1. Deepak Shenoy on LinkedIn and Twitter.
    2. Money Wise: Timeless Lessons on Building Wealth -- Deepak Shenoy.
    3. Capitalmind, Deepak Shenoy’s investment research and wealth management company.
    4. The Capitalmind Podcast and YouTube channel.
    5. Lessons in Investing (and Life) -- Episode 208 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Deepak Shenoy).
    6. If You Are a Creator, This Is Your Time -- Amit Varma.
    7. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal and Nishant Jain.
    8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty -- James Thurber.
    9. Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne (on Wikipedia and YouTube).
    10. The Truman Show -- Peter Weir.
    11. Losing My Religion -- REM.
    12. With or Without You -- U2.
    13. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts).
    14. Econ Talk (by Russ Roberts) and Conversations with Tyler (by Tyler Cowen).
    15. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prem Panicker).
    16. The Connell Guide to How to Write Well -- Tim de Lisle.
    17. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    18. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    19. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes -- Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
    20. Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas — Natasha Dow Schüll.
    21. When Harry Met Sally -- Rob Reiner.
    22. Dil Dhoondhta Hai Phir Wohi Fursat Ke Raat Din -- Bhupinder Singh.
    23. Dave Barry on Amazon.
    24. Indian Society: The Last 30 Years -- Episode 137 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Santosh Desai).
    25. Gurpriya Sidhu's tweet thread on sitting alone at cafes.
    26. Self-Esteem (and a Puddle) -- Amit Varma's post with Douglas Adams's puddle quote.
    27. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    28. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus -- John Gray.
    29. The Blank Slate -- Steven Pinker.
    30. $800,000 to Zero - The FASCINATING History of DaVinci Resolve -- Alex Jordan of Learn Color Grading.
    31. Casey Neistat and MrBeast on YouTube.
    32. 1000 True Fans — Kevin Kelly.
    33. 1000 True Fans? Try 100 — Li Jin.
    34. Sinocism -- Bill BIshop's Newsletter.
    35. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden.
    36. Blueprint for Armageddon -- Episode 50-55 of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History.
    37. The Universe of Chuck Gopal -- Episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    38. Miss Excel on Instagram and TikTok.
    39. How an Excel Tiktoker Manifested Her Way to Making Six Figures a Day — Nilay Patel.
    40. AR Rahman on Spotify.
    41. Nuclear Power Can Save the World — Joshua S Goldstein, Staffan A Qvist and Steven Pinker.
    42. Beware of Quacks. Alternative Medicine is Injurious to Health -- Amit Varma.
    43. Dave Chappelle on Netflix.
    44. Ideas of India -- Shruti Rajagopalan's podcast.
    45. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy -- Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    46. Superforecasting — Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.
    47. Dunbar's Number.
    48. Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand).
    49. So it’s now 20,000, is it a big deal? -- Deepak Shenoy's famous ghazals post from 2007.
    50. Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya -- Jagjit Singh, from Sarfarosh.
    51. Tum Ko Dekha Toh Ye Khayal Aaya -- Jagjit Singh, from Saath Saath.
    52. La Pila De Sharab Ai Saqi -- Jagjit Singh.
    53. How I Made $4,790,000 in 2021 -- Ali Abdaal.
    54. The Power of Imagination — Mohammed Salim Khan.
    55. Don't Get Fooled By Success (2005) -- Amit Varma.
    56. The Life and Times of Nirupama Rao -- Episode 269 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    57. Zerodha Varsity.
    58. The Motley Fool.
    59. The YouTube Channels of Rachana Ranade and Ishmohit Arora.
    60. Stock Market For Beginners (Hindi) -- Pranjal Kamra.
    61. Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour -- William Ackman.
    62. Liar's Poker -- Michael Lewis.
    63. Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist -- Roger Lowenstein.
    64. When Genius Failed -- Roger Lowenstein.
    65. Peter Lynch on Amazon.
    66. Market Wizards & The New Market Wizards by Jack D Schwager.
    67. The Complete TurtleTrader: How 23 Novice Investors Became Overnight Millionaires -- Michael W Covel.
    68. Invest Like the Best — Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s podcast.
    69. Books we Like: On Investing, Trading & More — The Capitalmind team.

    This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

  • Things are bad -- so bad that he's written two books about it. Aakar Patel joins Amit Varma in episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss politics, the media and his reasons for being hopeful in spite of all the doom and gloom.

    Also check out:
    1. Aakar Patel on Twitter, Amazon, Deccan Chronicle, Business Standard and the Times of India.
    2. Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here -- Aakar Patel.
    3. Price of the Modi Years -- Aakar Patel.
    4. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel).
    5. The Tank Man video. (And the Wikipedia page.)
    6. August Landmesser, who may have been the man who didn't salute.
    7. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    8. Amit Varma's Twitter thread on Westland shutting down.
    9. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty -- Albert O. Hirschman.
    10. Selected episode of The Seen and the Unseen on the economy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    11. Nehru: The Debates that Defined India — Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain.
    12. Nehru's Debates -- Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain.)
    13. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul.
    14. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
    15. A People's Constitution -- Rohit De.
    16. Narendra Modi takes a Great Leap Backwards — Amit Varma on Demonetisation.
    17. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
    18. India's Undeclared Emergency -- Arvind Narrain.
    19. The Silent Coup: A History of India’s Deep State — Josy Joseph.
    20. India’s Security State -- Episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Josy Joseph).
    21. Colours of the Cage: A Prison Memoir -- Arun Ferreira.
    22. Sixteen Stormy Days — Tripurdaman Singh.
    23. The First Assault on Our Constitution -- Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh).
    24. Integral Humanism -- Deendayal Upadhyaya.
    25. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind -- Gustave le Bon.
    26. Crowds and Power -- Elias Canetti.
    27. The Life and Times of Nirupama Rao -- Episode 269 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    28. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan).
    29. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden.
    30. State Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century -- Francis Fukuyama.
    31. The Origins of Political Order -- Francis Fukuyama.
    32. Political Order and Political Decay -- Francis Fukuyama.
    33. The Great Man Theory of History.
    34. Modi’s Domination – What We Often Overlook — Keshava Guha.
    35. My Country, My Life -- LK Advani.
    36. Modi’s Lost Opportunity -- Episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz).
    37. A Rude Life — Vir Sanghvi.
    38. The Life and Times of Vir Sanghvi -- Episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    39. Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi — Vinay Sitapati.
    40. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati).
    41. Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister -- Amit Varma.
    42. Excerpts from Narendra Modi's interview by Madhu Kishwar.
    43. Obituary of a Culture -- Ashis Nandy.
    44. The Second Coming — William Butler Yeats.
    45. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma.
    46. Joy Das's tweet thread about Indian Muslims being called Pakistanis.
    47. Television Price Controls -- Episode 27 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashok Malik).
    48. Fighting Fake News -- Episode 133 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratik Sinha).
    49. Dhanya Rajendran Fights the Gaze -- Episode 267 of The Seen and the Unseen.
    50. Aakar Patel's tweet on protests as a craft.
    51. Here Comes The Groom: A Conservative Case for Gay Marriage -- Andrew Sullivan.
    52. Radically Networked Societies -- Episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel).
    53. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Kumar Gandharva on Spotify.
    54. The Histories -- Herodotus.
    55. Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Julius Caesar on Amazon.
    56. Baburnama: A Memoir -- Babur.
    57. The Life of the Bee -- Maurice Maeterlinck.
    58. Edward O Wilson on Amazon.
    59. NASASpaceflight on YouTube.
    60. Ludwig van Beethoven on Spotify.

    Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

    And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!