PODCAST

The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma

Amit Varma

The Seen and the Unseen, hosted by Amit Varma, features longform conversations that aim to give deep insights into the subjects being discussed. Timeless and bingeworthy.
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Ep 260: Sneaky Artist Sees the World
Ep 260: Sneaky Artist Sees the World
What we mean by art has changed in modern times -- and there has never been a better time to be an artist. Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist joins Amit Varma in episode 260 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his journey, and to share his insights on the creator economy. Also check out: 1. The Sneaky Artist -- Nishant Jain's website. 2. The Sneaky Art Post -- Nishant Jain's newsletter. 3. The Sneaky Art Podcast on Apple and Spotify. 4. Nishant Jain on Twitter, Instagram and Linktree. 5. Earlier episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan and Chuck Gopal. 6. The Story of Art -- EH Gombrich. 7. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength -- Amit Varma. 8. The Time a Stiff Caught Fire — Keith Yates. 9. Random BOOMER Journalist Says WHAT About Paul Simon??? — Rick Beato’s magnificent rant. 10. Puneet Superstar interviewed on Dostcast. 11. Only Fans. 12. 1000 True Fans — Kevin Kelly. 13. 1000 True Fans? Try 100 — Li Jin. 14. XKCD -- Webcomic by Randall Munroe. 15. Objects Speak to Annapurna Garimella -- Episode 257 of The Seen and the Unseen. 16. Roam Research. 17. Zettelkasten on Wikipedia. 18. PG Wodehouse and Agatha Christie on Amazon. 19. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 20. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 21. The Citizenship Battles -- Episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 22. The Importance of Being Earnest -- Nishant Jain. 23. Shantaram -- Gregory David Roberts. 24. Supermen of Malegaon. 25. The Existentialism of Tiny People -- Nishant Jain. 26. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 27. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 28. Reddit Gets Drawn. 29. Imaginary Number -- Vijay Seshadri. 30. A path to infinity, and beyond -- Nishant Jain. 31. Art is for everyone -- Nishant Jain. 32. At The Existentialist Café -- Sarah Bakewell. 33. Levon Aronian interviewed by Sagar Shah. 34. After the End of Art -- Arthur Danto. 35. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte -- Georges Seurat 36. Kya Surat Hai -- Bombay Vikings. 37. Fountain -- Marcel Duchamp. 38. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci. 39. Cat's Cradle -- Kurt Vonnegut. 40. Who Broke Our Republic? — Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 41. The Multitudes of Our Maharajahs -- Episode 244 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 42. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 43. r/vancouver, r/mildlyinteresting and r/interestingasfuck. 44. Some Reddit posts by Nishant Jain: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 45. David Letterman and Bill Gates talk about the Internet. 46. Exhalation -- Ted Chiang. 47. Kurt Vonnegut on Amazon. 48. Catch 22 -- Joseph Heller. 49. V for Vendetta -- Alan Moore and David Lloyd. 50. Watchmen -- Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. 51. Alan Moore on Amazon. 52. Identity -- Francis Fukuyama. 53. The Anarchy -- William Dalrymple. 54. Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar -- Tom Holland. 55. The Origins of Political Order -- Francis Fukuyama. 56. Political Order and Political Decay -- Francis Fukuyama. 57. Bluebird -- Charles Bukowsky. 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!
5d ago
5 hrs 6 mins
Ep 259: The Loneliness of the Indian Woman
Indian women are lonely in the bedroom, lonely in the kitchen, lonely in the workplace. Shrayana Bhattacharya joins Amit Varma in episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the interior and exterior lives of these unseen millions. Also check out 1. Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India's Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence -- Shrayana Bhattacharya. 2. Select Shah Rukh Khan films: Baazigar, DDLJ, Dil Tho Pagal Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Dilwale, Mohabbatein. 3. Shar Rukh Khan interviews selected by Shrayana: 1, 2, 3, 4. 4. The Power to Choose -- Naila Kabeer. 5. Naila Kabeer on Amazon. 6. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth -- Marilyn Waring. 7. The Odd Woman and the City -- Vivian Gornick. 8. Vivian Gornick on Amazon. 9. Future Sex -- Emily Witt. 10. Kamala Das's autobiography, poems and stories. 11. Deborah Levy and Bell Hooks on Amazon. 12. Poor Economics -- Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. 13. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty -- Albert O Hirschman. 14. The Art of Loving -- Erich Fromm. 15. The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford. 16. Selected Satire: Fifty Years of Ignorance -- Shrilal Shukla. 17. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread. 18. Dani Rodrik's tweet thread about the 'jerk quotient' in economics. 19. The Hidden Taxes on Women -- Sendhil Mullainathan. 20. "Academia is a giant circlejerk" -- Amit Varma's tweet. 21. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah (in reverse chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 22. The Universe of Chuck Gopal -- Episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen. 23. Miss Excel on Instagram and TikTok. 24. Bahujan Economics. 25. Raghuram Rajan at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2018. (Minute 5 onwards.) 26. In Service of the Republic -- Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah. 27. Superforecasting -- Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner. 28. Listen, The Internet Has SPACE -- Amit Varma. 29. Raees: An Empty Shell of a Gangster Film -- Amit Varma. 30. The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking -- Amit Varma. 31. Bootleggers and Baptists-The Education of a Regulatory Economist -- Bruce Yandle. 32. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Jai Arjun Singh and Uday Bhatia. 33. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 34. Films, Feminism, Paromita -- Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra). 35. Modi’s Lost Opportunity -- Episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz). 36. Women at Work -- Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare). 37. What explains the decline in female labour force participation in India? -- Urmila Chatterjee, Rinku Murgai and Martin Rama. 38. Why Are Fewer Married Women Joining the Work Force in India? -- Farzana Afridi, Taryn Dinkelman and Kanika Mahajan. 39. India Moving — Chinmay Tumbe. 40. India = Migration -- Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe). 41. House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths. 42. The Right to Sex -- Amia Srinivasan. 43. 'Let Me Interrupt Your Expertise With My Confidence' -- New Yorker cartoon by Jason Adam Katzenstein. 44. The Confidence Gap -- Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. 45. The Ugliness of the Indian Male -- Mukul Kesavan. 46. The Blank Noise Project by Jasmeen Patheja. 47. Why Loiter? -- Shilpa Phadke. 48. The Jackson Katz quote on passive sentence constructions. 49. The Kavita Krishnan Files -- Episode 228 of The Seen and the Unseen. 50. Metrics of Empowerment — Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta and Hamsini Hariharan). 51. Jane Austen and Pico Iyer on Amazon. 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 courses, The Art of Clear Writing and The Art of Podcasting. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!
10-01-2022
3 hrs 57 mins
Ep 258: The Universe of Chuck Gopal
There has never been a better time to be a creator -- but you need to be productive to make use of it! Deepak Gopalakrishnan aka Chuck Gopal joins Amit Varma in episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his journey, and to share his learnings on creation and productivity. Also check out: 1. Earlier episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra and Snehal Pradhan. 2. Chuck Gopal on Twitter, Instagram, LinkTree and his own website. 3. Chuck's podcasts: Simblified, The Origin of Things and Getting Meta. 4. Chuck's newsletter: Things of Internet. 5. Chuck on Spotify where he shares his playlists. 6. Agency Trash Talk -- Instagram account c-authored by Chuck that used cat pictures to make fun of advertising. 7. The Telegram Channel where Chuck and Berty Ashley share a song every day. 8. Chucks comics for Pagalguy. 9. Some of Chuck's writing on Music: a) Making live-streamed concerts better b) The therapy that is Blackstratblues c) The story & evolution of Pink Floyd: A playlist d) Underrated Tracks by Legendary Bands e) Stream of consciousness: Dream Theater live! 10. Chuck's Medium post recommending podcasts and newsletters. 11. Chuck's legendary Twitter thread on freelancing. 12. Episode 1 of Getting Meta (w Amit Varma). 13. Episode 2 of Getting Meta (w Rohan Joshi). 14. Episode 4 of Getting Meta (w Utsav Mamoria). 15. The Beatles: Get Back. 16. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band -- The Beatles. 17. The Dark Side of the Moon -- Pink Floyd. 18. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden. 19. Ne Obliviscaris on Spotify, Bandcamp, Instagram, Twitter, Wikipedia and Patreon. 20. Ongoing History of New Music -- Podcast by Alan Cross. 21. DivyaG's YouTube channel. (She's the Nepali graphic designer mentioned by Chuck). 22. Girl With The Dogs -- The YouTube channel of the pet groomer mentioned by Chuck). 23. Yesterday, the film. 24. Ed Sheeran on the Van Morrison influence on 'Thinking Out Loud'. 25. Dave Gilmour performs Sonnet 18. 26. Hip-Hop and Shakespeare -- Akala at TEDxAldeburgh. 27. The New Basement Tapes on Spotify. 28. Kansas City -- Marcus Mumford for The New Basement Tapes. 29. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 30. The Pocket Gods on Spotify. (This is the band Chuck mentioned that does songs just over 30 seconds.) 31. Video games have replaced music as the most important aspect of youth culture -- Sean Monahan. 32. Roblox. 33. How I Gained 1 MILLION Subscribers — Ali Abdaal. 34. My Top 10 Tips for Aspiring YouTubers — Ali Abdaal. 35. The Bugle. 36. Freakonomics Radio. 37. Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman. 38. Miss Excel on Instagram and TikTok. 39. How an Excel Tiktoker Manifested Her Way to Making Six Figures a Day -- Nilay Patel. 40. Galaxy Brain -- Charlie Warzen's newsletter. 41. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 42. Persuasion -- Founded by Yascha Mounk. 43. Faye D'Souza on Instagram. And also on YouTube and Twitter. 44. A Scientist in the Kitchen -- Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok). 45. Bad Thinking Requires Bad Writing -- Amit Varma. 46. An Adman Reflects on Society & the Self -- Episode 199 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ambi Parameswaran). 47. Blackstratblues and Zero on Spotify. 48. Anuva's Sky -- Blackstratblues. 49. Son of Bosey -- Anand Ramachandran. 50. Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure. 51. Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective -- Philip Kotler, Abraham Koshy & others. 52. Louie -- Louis CK. 53. George Carlin at his website and on YouTube. 54. Zakir Khan on YouTube. 55. Gaurav Kapoor's vlog. 56. Star Boyz, with Kenny Sebastian, Naveen Richard and Mani Prasad. 57. Alchemy -- Rory Sutherland. 58. Irresistible -- Adam Alter. 59. How We Are Enslaved -- Amit Varma. 60. Disregard Work, Acquire Hobbies -- Krish Ashok's TEDx talk. 61. Roam Research. 62. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World -- Fareed Zakaria. 63. Scott Galloway: No Mercy/No Malice, Pivot and The Prof G Pod. 64. Rest of World. 65. This is Your Brain on Music -- Daniel J Levitin. 66. Sum: Tales from the Afterlives -- David Eagleman. 67. The Complete Asterix Box set -- René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. 68. Sapiens -- Yuval Noah Harari. (Also, the graphic adaptation: 1, 2.) 69. The Blank Slate -- Steven Pinker. 70. Cosmicomics -- Italo Calvino. 71. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy -- Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen. 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!
03-01-2022
4 hrs 21 mins
Ep 257: Objects Speak to Annapurna Garimella
The world is what it is -- but no one knows what that is, and we all see different worlds. Designer and art historian Annapurna Garimella joins Amit Varma in episode 257 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe her passage of seeing, remembering, reflecting. Also check out:1. Annapurna Garimella on Amazon. 2. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 3. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 4. Lord of the Flies -- William Golding. 5. Human Behavioral Biology -- 25 Lectures by Robert Sapolsky. 6. On Children -- Kahlil Gibran. 7. The Better Angels of Our Nature -- Steven Pinker. 8. Mamta -- Directed by Asit Sen. 9. 'Rahen Na Rahen Hum' -- Song from Mamta. 10. 'Rahte The Kabhi Jinke' -- Song from Mamta. 11. 'Chupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Pyar Mera' -- Song from Mamta. 12. 'Kuchh Tho Log Kahenge' -- Song from Amar Prem. 13. Clara Barton, Margaret Mead and Florence Nightingale on Wikipedia. 14. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 15. Coming of Age in Samoa -- Margaret Mead. 16. Six Persimmons. 17. Paper Menagerie (the story) -- Ken Liu. 18. The Paper Menagerie (the book) -- Ken Liu. 19. David Shulman, Velcheru Narayana Rao and Arik Moran. 20. Ogata Kenzan on Wikipedia. 21. Sardar Gurcharan Singh: Father of Studio Pottery in India -- Sumita Dutta. 22. A Poetry Handbook -- Mary Oliver. 23. The Red Wheelbarrow -- William Carlos Williams. 24. The Time a Stiff Caught Fire -- Keith Yates. 25. You Can’t Please All -- Bhupen Khakhar. 26. Openly In Total: Bhupen Khakhar’s experiments with truth -- Nakul Krishna. 27. Selected writings of Bhupen Khakhar. 28. Creative Confession -- Paul Klee. 29. KG Subramanyan and Rabindranath Tagore on Amazon. 30. The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor, mentioning Cavendish Bananas). 31. Chhaap Tilak Sab Chheeni -- Ghazal by Amir Khusro. 32. Think Again -- Adam Grant. 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 courses, The Art of Clear Writing and The Art of Podcasting. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!
27-12-2021
3 hrs 20 mins
Ep 256: Pramit Bhattacharya Believes in Just One Ism
Data has no ideology, and journalists should always be guided by skepticism. Pramit Bhattacharya joins Amit Varma in episode 256 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey learning the craft and the values of analytical journalism. Also check out: 1. Pramit Bhattacharya's writings in Mint. 2. The Importance of Data Journalism -- Episode 196 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S). 3. Data Journalism and Indian Politics — Episode 136 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Roshan Kishore). 4. India’s Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu). 5. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 6. Growth in a Time of Debt -- The Reinhart–Rogoff paper. 7. Fear the Boom and Bust: Keynes vs. Hayek - The Original Economics Rap Battle! 8. Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek - Economics Rap Battle Round Two. 9. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts). 10. The Literature Machine -- Italo Calvino. 11. Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson on Amazon. 12. Farmers, Technology and Freedom of Choice: A Tale of Two Satyagrahas -- Amit Varma. 13. Vidarbha's Tryst With BT Cotton -- Pramit Bhattacharya. 14. The State of Our Farmers — Ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil, in Hindi). 15. India’s Agriculture Crisis -- Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra and Kumar Anand). 16. Thinking it Through -- The archives of Amit Varma's weekly column for Mint in 2007-8. 17. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Abhinandan Sekhri). 18. Elena Ferrante's interview about her writing process. 19. Niranjan Rajadhayaksha and Manas Chakravarty in Mint.20. Dadabhai Naoroji and the Fight for India -- Episode 187 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Dinyar Patel). 21. Pramit Bhattacharya in conversation with Milan Vaishnav in Grand Tamasha. 22. Demystifying GDP -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta). 23. The Economic Consequences of the Peace -- John Maynard Keynes. 24. The Tamilian gentleman who took on the world -- Amit Varma 25. The Man of System — Adam Smith (excerpted from The Theory of Moral Sentiments). 26. Mohit Satyanand's newsletter. 27. GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History -- Diane Coyle. 28. Dunbar's number on Wikipedia. 29. Modeling Covid-19 -- Episode 224 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gautam Menon). 30. Zeynep Tufekci, Eric Topol, Bhramar Mukherjee and Gautam Menon on Twitter. 31. How to Make the World Add Up -- Tim Harford. 32. Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India -- Rukmini S. 33. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life -- Richard Hofstadter. 34. Understanding Statistics -- Antony Davies. 35. Anthills of the Savannah -- Chinua Achebe. 36. Elena Ferrante on Amazon. 37. A Gentleman in Moscow — Amor Towles. 38. Our Parliament and Our Democracy -- Episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen (w MR Madhavan). 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!
20-12-2021
3 hrs 35 mins
Ep 255: Sara Rai Inhales Literature
In India, we inhabit many worlds, and we live in many languages, many literatures. Sara Rai joins Amit Varma in episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about her rich life learning to write, learning to read, learning to live. Also check out: 1. Sara Rai on Amazon. 2. “You will be the Katherine Mansfield of Hindi” -- Sara Rai's essay in Caravan. 3. Other Skies -- Sara Rai. 4. Wilderness -- Sara Rai. 5. Premchand's Kazaki And Other Marvellous Tales -- Munshi Premchand (translated and with an introduction by Sara Rai). 6. The City -- CP Cavafy. 7. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 8. The World of Premchand: Selected Short Stories -- Munshi Premchand (translated and with an introduction by David Rubin). 9. Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions From South Asia -- Sheldon Pollock. 10. Blue Is Like Blue -- Vinod Kumar Shukla (translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Sara Rai). 11. Vinod Kumar Shukla on Amazon. 12. Collected Stories -- Naiyer Masud. 13. Naiyer Masud on Amazon. 14. Georges Simenon, Charles Dickens and Guy de Maupassant on Amazon. 15. The Aim of Literature -- Munshi Premchand. (Another version.) 16. Testaments Betrayed -- Milan Kundera. 17. Jealousy -- Marcel Proust. 18. The Abyss and Other Stories -- Leonid Andreyev. 19. So Much Water So Close To Home -- Raymond Carver. 20. Short Cuts -- Robert Altman. 21. Limits -- Raymond Carver. (Scroll down on that link to find the poem.) 22. Cathedral -- Raymond Carver. 23. Raymond Carver on Amazon. 24. Jean-Paul Sartre, Anton Chekhov, Franz Kafka and WG Sebald on Amazon. 25. Rings of Saturn -- WG Sebald. 26. Umrao Jaan Ada (English, Urdu, Hindi) -- Mirza Hadi Ruswa. 27. Jyotsna Milan on Amazon. 28. In Absentia: Where are India’s conservative intellectuals? -- Ramachandra Guha. 29. Young India -- Episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Snigdha Poonam). 30. Dreamers: How Indians are Changing the World -- Snigdha Poonam. 31. Meghadutam -- Kalidasa. 32. Humans of New York. 33. Sturgeon's Law on Wikipedia. 34. Random BOOMER Journalist Says WHAT About Paul Simon??? -- Rick Beato's magnificent rant. 35. The Time a Stiff Caught Fire -- Keith Yates. 36. Hindi Nationalism -- Alok Rai. 37. A House Divided: Origin and Development of Hindi/Urdu -- Amrit Rai. 38. The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 39. Early Indians -- Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph). 40. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan). 41. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 42. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India -- Akshaya Mukul. 43. East West Street -- Philippe Sands. 44. Group Polarization on Wikipedia. 45. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind -- Gustave le Bon (on crowd psychology). 46. Private Truths, Public Lies -- Timur Kuran. 47. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w  Jayaprakash Narayan.) 48. Don’t think too much of yourself. You’re an accident -- Amit Varma. 49. Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors -- Episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kavitha Rao). 50. The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy -- Michael McCarthy. 51. H is for Hawk -- Helen Macdonald. 52. The Genius of Birds -- Jennifer Ackerman. 53. Nirmal Verma and Ismat Chugtai on Amazon. 54. The Hidden Life of Trees -- Peter Wohlleben. This episode is sponsored by Intel. This episode is co-sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
13-12-2021
2 hrs 54 mins
Ep 254: The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri
He carried cables on a film set. He teamed up with friends named Arvind and Manish to save Delhi. He started a media company that said Boo to advertisers. Abhinandan Sekhri joins Amit Varma in episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about the many things he's learned during his rich and unconventional life.  Also check out: 1. Abhinandan Sekhri on Twitter, Instagram and Newslaundry. 2. Subscribe to Newslaundry. 3. PG Wodehouse on Amazon. 4. War and Peace and The Thorn Birds. 5. The Return of the Native -- Thomas Hardy. 6. Far From the Madding Crowd -- Thomas Hardy. 7. Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare on Amazon. 8. Mills and Boon on Amazon. 9. Rang De Basanti. 10. Amusing Ourselves to Death -- Neil Postman. 11. It is Obscene -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 12. Highway on My Plate. 13. Gustakhi Maaf on NDTV. 14. The Barkha Dutt Files -- Episode 243 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barkha Dutt). 15. The Dark Side of Indian Pharma -- Episode 245 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Dinesh Thakur). 16. Dinesh Thakur interviewed by Madhu Trehan. 17. Monsoon Wedding -- Mira Nair. 18. Uday Mahurkar's books on Savarkar and Modi. 19. MSK Vlogs -- Mohammed Salim Khan's YouTube channel. 20. The Power of Imagination -- Mohammed Salim Khan. 21. Public Opinion -- Walter Lippmann. 22. Filhaal -- Meghna Gulzar. 23. Luck is All Around -- Amit Varma. 24. Luck by Chance -- Zoya Akhtar. 25. Accident on the Sets of Devdas. (And then another one.) 26. 'Journalism is a Combat Sport' -- Abhinandan Sekhri. 27. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jayaprakash Narayan.) 28. Our Parliament and Our Democracy -- Episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen (w MR Madhavan). 29. India After Gandhi -- Ramachandra Guha. 30. Em and the Big Hoom -- Jerry Pinto. 31. Shame -- Salman Rushdie. 32. The Ground Beneath Her Feet -- Salman Rushdie. 33. Shalimar the Clown -- Salman Rushdie. 34. Brighton Rock -- Graham Greene. 35. The Great Gatsby -- F Scott Fitzgerald. 36. Real Dictators. This episode is sponsored by Intel. This episode is co-sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
06-12-2021
3 hrs 56 mins
Ep 253: Our Parliament and Our Democracy
A democracy is not just about voting, The rules of the game have to protect individuals, and institutions have to keep the government accountable. MR Madhavan joins Amit Varma in episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his efforts at empowering MPs and MLAs with knowledge -- and why we should not lose hope in our nation. Also check out: 1. PRS Legislative Research. 2. When You Could Only Buy Two Litres of Milk -- MR Madhavan. 3. The Functioning of the Indian Parliament -- MR Madhavan. 4. Dilli Door Nahin: Engaging With the Policy Process -- MR Madhavan. 5. Ulysses and Dubliners -- James Joyce. 6. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 7. Education in India -- Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra). 8. Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma. 9. Taxes Should Be Used for Governance, Not Politics -- Amit Varma. 10. Battles Half Won: India's Improbable Democracy -- Ashutosh Varshney. 11. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan). 12. A People's Constitution -- Rohit De. 13. The First Assault on Our Constitution -- Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh). 14. The Right to Property -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 15. The Federalist Papers -- Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. 16. The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution -- Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla and Pratap Bhanu Mehta. 17. The Ideas of Our Constitution -- Episode 164 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhav Khosla). 18. India’s Founding Moment — Madhav Khosla. 19. India’s Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu). 20. The Anti-Defection Law -- Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra). 21. Speech to the Electors of Bristol -- Edmund Burke. 22. A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game -- Episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 23. Bindra's Wishlist -- Amit Varma. 24. The Business of Winning Elections -- Episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shivam Shankar Singh). 25. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know -- Adam Grant. 26. The Gray Man -- Mark Greaney. 27. PG Wodehouse on Amazon. 28. The Three-Body Problem -- Cixin Liu. 29. Project Hail Mary -- Andy Weir. 30. A Gentleman in Moscow -- Amor Towles. 31. The Lincoln Highway -- Amor Towles. 32. The Paper Menagerie -- Ken Liu. This episode is sponsored by Intel. This episode is co-sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
29-11-2021
3 hrs 3 mins
Ep 252: The State of Our Economy
Winter is here.The pandemic has receded, but our economy was already in bad shape before Covid struck, which made it plummet further. Where do we stand now? Can we recover? Puja Mehra and Mohit Satyanand join Amit Varma in episode 252 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock. Also check out: 1. The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra. 2. Gimme Mo -- Mohit Satyanand's newsletter. 3. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 4. This is All Because of Rupal Ben -- Episode 5 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand.) 5. Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand). 6. Two Economic Crises (2008 & 2019) -- Episode 135 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satynanand). 7. India’s Start-Up Ecosystem -- Episode 171 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand). 8. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 9. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on agriculture (in reverse chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 10. Previous episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. 11. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 12. Taking Stock of Our Economy (May 2021) -- Episode 227 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ila Patnaik). 13. The Indian Economy in 2019 — Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 14. Demystifying GDP -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta). 15. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah). 16. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah. 17. The City and the City -- China Miéville. 18. The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. 19. On Bullshit -- Harry Frankfurt. 20. India: Redeeming the Economic Pledge -- Bibek Debroy. 21. The Anti-Defection Law -- Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra). 22. The Business of Winning Elections -- Episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shivam Shankar Singh). 23. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma. 24. Pandemonium in India’s Banks -- Episode 212 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tamal Bandyopadhyay.) 25. Goodbye Solo -- Ramin Bahrani. 26. The desire to help, and the desire not to be helped -- Roger Ebert's review of Goodbye Solo. 27. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma. 28. Fooled by Randomness -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb. 29. Women at Work -- Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare). 30. Kashi Ka Assi -- Kashinath Singh. 31. The Dharma Forest -- Keerthik Sasidharan. 32. The Better Angels of Our Nature -- Steven Pinker. 33. The Blank Slate -- Steven Pinker. This episode is sponsored by Intel. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
22-11-2021
3 hrs 8 mins
Ep 251: Amit Schandillia, History Communicator
History is often told in such a boring way that it might as well not have happened. And then, there are those who bring it so alive that the present seems so much clearer. Amit Schandillia joins Amit Varma in episode 251 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how his historical storytelling made him a Twitter sensation -- and why both history and storytelling matter in these times. Also check out: 1. Select Twitter threads by Amit Schandillia: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. 2. Amit Schandillia on Storytel. 3. Nina’s Journey -- Nina Markovna. 4. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Manu Pillai: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Srinath Raghavan: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6. Early Indians — Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph). 7. Early Indians — Tony Joseph. 8. Who We Are and How We Got Here -- David Reich. 9. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan). 10. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages — Peggy Mohan. 11. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 12. Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi — Vinay Sitapati. 13. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi) 14. Churchill's Secret War -- Madhusree Mukerjee. 15. Churchill and the genocide myth -- Zareer Masani. 16. Churchill: Walking with Destiny -- Andrew Roberts. 17. The Expanding Circle -- Amit Varma. 18. A History of European Morals -- WEH Lecky. 19. The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress -- Peter Singer. 20. Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America -- John McWhorter. 21. John McWhorter interviewed by Bill Maher and Vasant Dhar. 22. PN Oak on Wikipedia. 23. Tawaif -- Episode 174 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Saba Dewan). 24. The Seen and the Unseen episodes with Ira Mukhoty, Parvati Sharma and Rana Safvi. 25. Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors -- Episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kavitha Rao). 26. Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine — Kavitha Rao. 27. The Memoirs of Dr Haimabati Sen — Haimabati Sen (translated by Tapan Raychoudhuri). 28. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel). 29. Archive.org, Google Books, Jstor and ResearchGate. 30. The Big Deal About Blogging -- Amit Varma. 31. The Book Club -- Amit Varma's old show on Storytel. 32. Two Girls Hanging From a Tree -- Episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sonia Faleiro). 33. Typefully. 34. Sake Dean Mohamed at Internet Archive and Wikipedia. 35. The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 36. Public Opinion -- Walter Lippmann. 37. The World Outside and the Pictures in our Heads -- Walter Lippmann. 39. Irfan Habib on Amazon. 40. Pilgrim Nation: The Making of Bharatvarsh -- Devdutt Pattanaik. 41. History of Western Philosophy -- Bertrand Russell. 42. The Gulag Archipelago -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. 43. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. 44. Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire -- Alex von Tunzelmann. 45. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich -- William L Shirer. 46. Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. This episode is sponsored by Intel. This episode is co-sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
15-11-2021
3 hrs 28 mins
Ep 250: Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy
Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy are cult figures who transcend the universe of ordinary podcast guests. One of them, a renowned storyteller, joins Amit Varma in episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen. Which one? Who knows? Schrödinger's Shenoy. Also check out: 1. Simblified, co-hosted by Narendra Shenoy. 2. Why Are My Episodes so Long? -- Amit Varma. 3. The Hunter Becomes the Hunted -- Episode 200 of The Seen and the Unseen. 4. EconTalk (hosted by Russ Roberts) and Conversations With Tyler (hosted by Tyler Cowen). 5. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 6. A Scientist in the Kitchen -- Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok). 7. Getting Meta, hosted by Deepak Gopalakrishnan. 8. Why I Am Not a Christian -- Bertrand Russell. 9. A Godless Congregation -- Amit Varma. 10. It is immoral to have children. Here’s why -- Amit Varma. 11. The Paperclip Maximiser. 12. Self-Esteem (and a Puddle) -- Amit Varma. 13. Dekalog -- Krzysztof Kieślowski. (And Roger Ebert's essay on it.) 14. Restaurant Regulations in India -- Episode 18 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhu Menon). 15. We want Narendra Shenoy to write a book. 16. Masala Lab -- Krish Ashok. 17. Deep Work -- Cal Newport. 18. How to Escape From the Shallows -- Amit Varma. 19. Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative. 20. Collected Poems -- Mark Strand. 21. Duty Calls -- XKCD. 22. Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity. 23. On Bullshit -- Harry G Frankfurt. 24. Sample SSR conspiracy theory: He’s alive! 25. Kashi Ka Assi -- Kashinath Singh. 26. Sam Harris on Amazon. 27. 3Blue1Brown on YouTube. 28. TheBackyardScientist on YouTube. 29. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan). 30. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages — Peggy Mohan. 31. Early Indians — Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph). 32. Early Indians -- Tony Joseph. 33. Thinking Fast and Slow -- Daniel Kahneman. 34. PG Wodehouse on Amazon. This episode is sponsored by Intel. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
08-11-2021
3 hrs 55 mins
Ep 249: Dial C For Snehal Pradhan
C is for Cricket. C is also for Creator. Snehal Pradhan, former fast bowler for the Indian team and current superstar creator, joins Amit Varma in episode 249 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights on both these ecosystems. Also check out: 1. Snehal Pradhan's website, newsletter, YouTube Channel, Instagram and Twitter. 2. An Equal Hue -- Senhal Pradhan, Karunya Keshav and Sidhanta Patnaik. 3. The Fire Burns Blue: A History of Women's Cricket in India -- Karunya Keshav and Sidhanta Patnaik. 4. A Day in the Life of an IPL Cricket Commentator -- Snehal Pradhan. 5. The Writing Habit behind the Spirit of Cricket -- Snehal Pradhan. 6. Why I regret my Cricket Coaching Journey -- Snehal Pradhan. 7. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 8. How Social Media Threatens Society -- Episode 8 of Brave New World, featuring Jonathan Haidt in conversation with Vasant Dhar. 9. Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors -- Episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. India Women v Pakistan Women, May 9, 2008 -- Snehal Pradhan's official ODI debut. 11. How to Film the Most Epic Coffee B Roll -- Peter McKinnon. 12. Why Virat Kohli is right to leave out Ravichandran Ashwin -- Snehal Pradhan. 13. Trainer Tips -- Nicholas Oyzon's Pokemon Go Vlog. 14. The State of Indian Sport -- Episode 238 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya & Nandan Kamath). 15. The Sports, Law and Policy Centre. 16. Ladies and Lords: A History of Women’s Cricket in Britain -- Rafaelle Nicholson. 17. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) — Amit Varma. 18. Double Trouble with Smriti and Jemi -- YouTube playlist of Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues's talk show. 19. Earlier sports-related episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Harsha Bhogle, Sharda Ugra, Joy Bhattacharjya, Ramachandra Guha, Prem Panicker, Gideon Haigh+Prem Panicker, Joy Bhattacharjya+Nandan Kamath and Ayaz Memon. 20. Earlier episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala and Neelesh Misra. This episode is sponsored by Intel. This episode is co-sponsored by CricHeroes, the national app of Cricketistan. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
01-11-2021
2 hrs 58 mins
Ep 248: The Decline of the Congress
The Congress Party once dominated Indian politics. Today, it's on the outside looking in. Rahul Verma joins Amit Varma in episode 248 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the complex social and political factors behind this massive decline.  Also check out: 1. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 2. Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India -- Pradeep K Chhibber and Rahul Verma. 3. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 4. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 5. Religion and Ideology in Indian Society — Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai). 6. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 7. The BJP’s Magic Formula — Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha). 8. The First Assault on Our Constitution — Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh). 9. Who Broke Our Republic? — Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 10. The Life and Times of Vir Sanghvi -- Episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen. 11. The Emergency of 1975 -- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gyan Prakash). 12. India’s Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 13. The Business of Winning Elections -- Episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shivam Shankar Singh). 14. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 15. The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking -- Amit Varma. 16. Caste in Indian Politics -- Rajni Kothari. 17. Politics In India -- Rajni Kothari. 18. Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister -- Amit Varma. 19. The Burden of Democracy -- Pratap Bhanu Mehta. 20. Myron Weiner, Saadat Hasan Manto, Shivani and Harishankar Parsai on Amazon. 21. Murdahiya -- Dr Tulsiram. 22. Raag Darbari (Hindi) (English) -- Shrilal Shukla. 23. Dynastic parties: Organization, finance and impact -- Pradeep Chhibber. 24. 24 Akbar Road -- Rashid Kidwai. 25.  Congress after Indira: Policy, Power, Political Change -- Zoya Hasan. 26. The future of the Congress party -- A Conversation between Yamini Aiyar, Zoya Hasan and Rahul Verma. 27. Why big companies squander brilliant ideas -- Tim Harford. 28. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? -- Amit Varma. 29. Mahua Moitra interviewed by Barkha Dutt. 30. Democracy without Associations -- Pradeep K Chibber. 31. Are You Anchored to the Past? -- Amit Varma. This episode is sponsored by Intel.  Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
25-10-2021
3 hrs 25 mins
Ep 247: The Business of Winning Elections
Our political parties suck at governance but excel at narratives, as that's what wins them elections. Shivam Shankar Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his experiences at the heart of different political machines. Also check out: 1. How to Win an Indian Election -- Shivam Shankar Singh. 2. The Art Of Conjuring Alternate Realities -- Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan. 3. LAMP Fellowships. 4. The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha websites. 5. Why I Am Resigning From the BJP -- Shivam Shankar Singh. 6. Is Parliament’s questions system broken? — Here’s how to fix it! -- Shivam Shankar Singh. 7. Episode of The Seen and the Unseen on China, in reverse chronological order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 8. In Absentia: Where are India’s conservative intellectuals? -- Ramachandra Guha. 9. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 10. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 11. Dreamers: How Indians are Changing the World -- Snigdha Poonam. 12. Young India -- Episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Snigdha Poonam). 13. Maharashtra Politics Unscrambled -- Episode 151 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sujatha Anandan). 14. The Lost Decade — Puja Mehra. 15. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 16. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 17. Hamsini Hariharan's tweet on 'Indic'. 18. Private Truths, Public Lies -- Timur Kuran. 19. The Facts Do Not Matter -- Amit Varma. 20. Sample SSR conspiracy theory: He’s alive! 21. Fighting Fake News -- Episode 133 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratik Sinha). 22. Range Rover -- The archives of Amit Varma's poker columns for the Economic Times. 23. A Tale Of Two Bandits: Naxals And The Indian State -- Amit Varma 24. Power and Prosperity -- Mancur Olson. 25. When Crime Pays — Milan Vaishnav. 26. Crime in Indian Politics -- Episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Milan Vaishnav). 27. Politics -- A limerick by Amit Varma. 28. Government's End -- Jonathan Rauch. 29. The Anti-Defection Law -- Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra). 30. The Barkha Dutt Files -- Episode 243 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barkha Dutt). 31. Urban Governance in India -- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 32. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 33. How the BJP wins: Inside India’s Greatest Election Machine -- Prashant Jha. 34. The BJP’s Magic Formula -- Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha). 35. Politics and the Sociopath -- Amit Varma. 36. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan). 37. The Dictator's Handbook -- Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. 38. The Psychology of Money -- Morgan Housel. 39. The Silent Coup: A History of India’s Deep State — Josy Joseph. 40. India’s Security State -- Episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Josy Joseph). 41. Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus on Amazon. This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
18-10-2021
3 hrs 33 mins
Ep 246: The Life and Times of Ayaz Memon
Over the last few decades, India has changed, cricket has changed, our media has changed -- and one man has seen it all. Ayaz Memon joins Amit Varma in episode 246 of The Seen and the Unseen to reflect on some of what he has seen and learnt. Also check out: 1. Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947 -- Edited by Ayaz Memon. 2. Cricket-related episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Harsha Bhogle, Sharda Ugra, Ramachandra Guha, Prem Panicker and Gideon Haigh+Prem Panicker. 3. The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. 4. The Wisden Book of Test Cricket (1877-1977) -- Compiled & edited by Bill Frindall. 5. The Test where India beat Australia at Brabourne Stadium, 1964. 6. Sachin Tendulkar's first Test, Sunil Gavaskar's last Test, Kapil Dev's 175 and the 1983 World Cup final. 7. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) -- Amit Varma. 8. What cricket can learn from poker -- Amit Varma. 9. The Tamasha All Purists Should Love -- Amit Varma. 10. Beyond a Boundary -- CLR James. 11. Neville Cardus and Jack Fingleton on Amazon. 12. The Picador Book of Cricket -- Edited by Ramachandra Guha. 13. Hardcore History -- Dan Carlin. 14. How Social Media Threatens Society -- Episode 8 of Brave New World. 15. Kicking Schoolbags (2006) -- Amit Varma. 16. The Jubilee Test, 1980. 17. My Cricketing Years -- Ajit Wadekar. 18. Sunny Days -- Sunil Gavaskar. 19. The Life and Times of Vir Sanghvi -- Episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen. 20. Deep Work -- Cal Newport. 21. Unlikely is Inevitable -- Amit Varma. 22. The abandoned ODI at Sialkot, October 31, 1984. 23. Mankad's Test, India's first Test win, Gavaskar's 29th, Gavaskar's 30th. 24. R Ashwin's YouTube channel. This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
11-10-2021
4 hrs 3 mins
Ep 245: The Dark Side of Indian Pharma
When we pick up medicine from our nearby chemist, we assume that we are getting what we pay for. That trust may be misplaced. Dinesh Thakur joins Amit Varma in episode 245 of The Seen and the Unseen to share the story of the Ranbaxy fraud, and the shoddy state of Indian pharma today. Also check out: 1. Dinesh Thakur's foundation, blog and Twitter. 2. Bottle of Lies : Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma -- Katherine Eban. 3. The Impact of Regulatory Structure on Quality of Medicines in India -- Talk by Dinesh Thakur. 4. Dinesh Thakur interviewed by News Laundry, Lallantop and The Accad and Koka Report. 5. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is in denial over drug-quality charges -- Dinesh Thakur. 6. Pharma industry’s playbook on low-quality drugs -- Dinesh Thakur and Prashant Reddy Thikkavarapu. 7. India’s drug regulator has failed the pandemic stress test -- Dinesh Thakur. 8. In generic drug plants in China and India, data falsification is still a problem -- Katherine Eban and Sony Salzman. 9. Healing the Pharmacy of the World -- KL Sharma. 10. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 11. Science and Covid-19 -- Episode 221 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anirban Mahapatra). 12. Slow Ideas -- Atul Gawande. 13. Understanding Indian Healthcare -- Episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 14. The Economics and Politics of Vaccines -- Episode 223 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 15. We Must Save Our Farmers -- Amit Varma. 16. ‘Killer cough syrup’ maker failed quality tests several times -- Times of India report on the Jammu deaths. 17. Why lethal cough syrup slipped past the law -- Prabha Raghavan and Arun Sharma. 18. COVID-19: Hundreds Of Clinical Trials Under Way In India, Many Lack Rigour, Say Experts -- Anoo Bhuyan. 19. Clinical trial database hole -- GS Mudur. 20. CDSCO faces CIC ire over ‘misplaced’ 2013 report on ‘irregular’ approval to drugs -- Prabha Raghavan. 21. A Report on Drug Regulator CDSCO’s ‘Irregular’ Approvals Has Gone ‘Missing’ -- The Wire staff. 22. New CDSCO Disclosure Reveals Quality of Medicines Sold in India -- Samir Malhotra. 23. On US blacklist, in India they are in the grey zone -- Ritu Sarin, Kaunain Sheriff M and Jaz Mazoomdar. 24. Poor quality drugs caused Niloufer maternal deaths: Doctors' panel -- Syed Akbar. 25. 2014 Bilaspur tubectomy deaths: Absconding pharma firm director held -- PTI news report. 26. Clinical Trials in India Need Better Regulations -- Shah Alam Khan. 27. Mozambique raises quality concerns on Indian drug exports -- Deepak Patel. 28. Drug regulation: 27 medicines sold by top firms ‘fail’ quality tests in seven states -- Deepak Patel. 29. 39 Indian drug companies blacklisted by Vietnam -- Pranshu Rathi. 30. Drugs with carcinogenic toxins: banned elsewhere, sold in India -- Priyanka Pulla. This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
04-10-2021
3 hrs 14 mins
Ep 244: The Multitudes of Our Maharajahs
India's Maharajahs get a bad rap. Both the British empire and our freedom fighters pushed wrong stereotypes about them. Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 244 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about the multitudes of our maharajahs -- and much else that matters. Also check out: 1. Manu Pillai's Website, Twitter and Instagram. 2. False Allies: India’s Maharajahs in the Age of Ravi Varma -- Manu Pillai. 3. Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore -- Manu Pillai. 4. Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji -- Manu Pillai. 5. The Courtesan, the Mahatma and the Italian Brahmin -- Manu Pillai. 6. Kerala and the Ivory Throne -- Episode 156 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 7. Our Colorful Past -- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 8. The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 9. Sudhir Sarnobat's epic tweet summing up the first 200 episodes of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. The Hunter Becomes the Hunted -- Episode 200 of The Seen and the Unseen. 11. A Matter of Rats -- Amitava Kumar. 12. Piercing -- Ryu Murakami. 13. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil -- Hannah Arendt. 14. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome -- Mary Beard. 15. The Mapilla Rebellion of Malabar -- Manu Pillai. 16. The many shades of the Mappila insurrection -- Manu Pillai. 17. Malevolent Republic — Kapil Komireddi. 18. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 19. Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation -- The Pew Center Research survey of religion in India. (Also: 1, 2.) 20. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 21. Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism — Dinyar Patel. 22. Dadabhai Naoroji and the Fight for India -- Episode 187 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Dinyar Patel). 23. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Peggy Mohan. 24. Young India -- Episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Snigdha Poonam). 25. Royals and Rebels: The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire -- Priya Atwal. 26. VP Menon: The Unsung Architect of Modern India — Narayani Basu. 27. India’s Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu). 28. India’s Security State -- Episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Josy Joseph). 29. Lessons from 1975 -- Amit Varma (2015 piece). 30. There Comes Papa. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
27-09-2021
3 hrs 22 mins
Ep 243: The Barkha Dutt FilesEp 242: India's Security State
We are subjects, not citizens -- and India's state is designed to keep us that way. Josy Joseph joins Amit Varma in episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the astonishing ways in which India's security state misuses its powers. Also check out: 1. The Silent Coup: A History of India's Deep State -- Josy Joseph. 2. A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India -- Josy Joseph. 3. Investigative Journalism: Silence is an Expensive Commodity -- Josy Joseph's TedX talk. 4. Vultures of Modern India -- Josy Joseph at Manthan Samvaad 2016. 5. The Geography of Genius -- Eric Weiner. 6. Where Have All The Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma. 7. Franz Kafka, George Orwell and Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Amazon. 8. Poland -- James A Michener. 9. Curfewed Night -- Basharat Peer. 10. Our Moon Has Blood Clots -- Rahul Pandita. 11. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen. 12. Afghanistan: The Bear Trap -- Mohammad Yousaf and Mark Adkin. 13. The Looming Tower -- Lawrence Wright. 14. Jhumpa Lahiri on Writing, Translation, and Crossing Between Cultures — Episode 17 of Conversations With Tyler. 15. The Notebook Trilogy — Agota Kristof. 16. Prem Panicker on writing -- Episode 3 of The Windowpane Sessions. 17. Sixteen Stormy Days — Tripurdaman Singh. 18. The First Assault on Our Constitution -- Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh). 19. Emergency Chronicles -- Gyan Prakash. 20. Gyan Prakash on the Emergency -- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen. 21. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India — Akshaya Mukul. 22. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 23. India, Pakistan, Kashmir: We Won’t Need To Fight A War If We Can Win The Peace -- Amit Varma. 24. Counterinsurgency Warfare — David Galula. 25. The Insurgents — Fred Kaplan. 26. Seven Pillars of Wisdom -- TE Lawrence. 27. The Generation of Rage in Kashmir — David Devadas. 28. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 29. The Cobra Effect. 30. KP Raghuvanshi interrogated by Arnab Goswami. 31. The Streetlight Effect. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
13-09-2021
3 hrs 9 mins
Ep 241: The Importance of Satya
The gangster film and the city film are two genres that took a while to evolve in Bollywood. Uday Bhatia joins Amit Varma in episode 241 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why Ram Gopal Varma's Satya was a seminal moment, shaped by what came before it, and changing the course of Hindi cinema. Also check out: 1. Satya -- Ram Gopal Varma. 2. Bullets Over Bombay -- Uday Bhatia. 3. Uday Bhatia's Twitter, Blog and author page at Mint Lounge. 4. Jai Arjun Singh Lost It at the Movies -- Episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen. 5. Greil Marcus, Lester Bangs, David Fricke and Peter Guralnick. 6. Lester Bangs on The Stooges. 7. Pauline Kael on Bonnie and Clyde. 8. Pauline Kael, Lester Bangs and the Twitter Age -- Uday Bhatia. 9. Have You Seen?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films -- David Thomson. 10. Risen From the Depths -- Uday Bhatia on Neecha Nagar. 11. The First Picture Show -- Uday Bhatia. 12. So Many Cinemas -- BD Garga. 13. Jawaharlal Nehru : Rebel and Statesman -- BR Nanda. (More easily available in this omnibus volume.) 14. My Friend Sancho -- Amit Varma. 15. Haal-Chaal Theek Thaak Hai -- Podcast co-hosted by Subrat Mohanty. 16. O Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar -- Song from CID. 17. The vlogs of Devdutt Dani, Mohammad Salim Khan and Satya Saggar. Films mentioned in this episode: 1. Early Indian crime films: Kismet, Pocket Maar, Awaara. 2. Early Indian noir by Navketan films and others:  Baazi, CID,  Aar Paar, Kala Bazaar. 3. Some post-noir Bollywood: Teesri Manzil, Johny Mera Naam, Blackmail, Zanjeer, Deewar. 4. Ardh Satya. 5. A selection from the 1980s: Vidhaata, Karz, Arjun, Tezaab, Parinda, Hathyaar. 6. Films showcasing Bombay or Bambaiyya: Taxi Driver, Aar Paar, Aakhri Khat, Bombay to Goa, Gharaonda, Guddi, Salaam Bombay and much of the work of Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. 7. Two key precursers: Is Raat Ki Subaah Nahin, Bandit Queen. 8. Ram Gopal Varma's key past films: Rangeela, Shiva, Daud, Company. 9. Miscellaneous mentions: Raakh, Haasil, Munna Bhai MBBS, Gangs of Wasseypur, Aankhon Dekhi. 9. Uday Bhatia's recommendations: China Town, 27 Down, Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan, Sehar. This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.
06-09-2021
2 hrs 38 mins

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