The Woke Desi

The Woke Desi

www.thewokedesi.com
We’re breaking browndaries.


The F*ck It Diet (feat. Sonalee Rashatwar)
Aug 11 • 54 min
Sonalee Rashatwar - also known as The Fat Sex Therapist - speaks with TWD about fatphobia, sexual pleasure and how it does not need to be penetrative to be intimate, and Health At Every Size. Full of controversial opinions and urging listeners to examine…
Unmatched Reality Pt. 2 (feat. Nadia Jagessar)
Aug 6 • 36 min
Closing out the second half of this two-part series is Nadia Jagessar, the breakout star and lovable heroine of her own love story on Netflix’ Indian Matchmaking. Did she have some realities strike after filming? How did she adjust to her heartbreaks…
Unmatched Reality Pt. 1 (feat. Vinay Chadha)
Aug 4 • 39 min
Indian Matchmaking, the #1 show on Netflix in recent weeks, has taken the world by storm. From problematic themes regarding colorism, casteism, sexism, to being the train wreck you can’t turn away from, one cast member has become a person people love to…
Brown Girl Wonder (feat. Trisha Sakhuja-Walia of Brown Girl Magazine)
Jul 28 • 47 min
Brown Girl Magazine CEO Trisha Sakhuja-Walia joins TWD to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, buying out her partners, how there is space for all South Asians on the world stage, the identity of BGM and her plans to expand. This episode is a must…
Sexuality Mentality (feat. SASMHA)
Jul 21 • 63 min
Two of the four founders of the South Asian Sexual and Mental Health Alliance join TWD to discuss colonized health, minority stress theory, stigmatization and expectations around sexuality, and how full body health has to include both mental health and…
Pass Me a Pink Ladoo (feat. Raj Khaira of Pink Ladoo Project)
Jul 14 • 58 min
Pink Ladoo Project’s Raj Khaira joins the ladies of TWD to explore gender inequality in South Asian communities. From women propagating sexism, to how on earth we expect women to stand up for themselves after a lifetime of inferiority, to how feminism…
End-o Pelvic Pain (feat. Dr. Tay Ahmed)
Jul 7 • 51 min
The rate of chronic pelvic pain across the world varies from 14-32%. This stat is likely underreported because women, particularly those in South Asian cultures, assume pain is normal—and it isn’t! Dr. Tayyaba Ahmed joins TWD to go over sociocultural…
Woman of Influence (feat. Diipa Khosla)
Jun 30 • 49 min
Diipa Khosla—one of the world’s biggest influencers. Entrepreneur. Creator of social change. On one of the biggest episodes of TWD, Diipa joins the ladies to discuss her rise to Insta-fame, her lessons as an entrepreneur, her journey with mental health,…
Activism to Action (feat. Liya Thachil)
Jun 23 • 58 min
Recent events like the death of George Floyd have prompted society to take a good, hard look at the nature of allyship and where we’ve fallen short. But looking forward from social media activism and marches…what’s next? Liya Thachil, a community…
COMPLEXion Issues (feat. Nina Davuluri)
Jun 16 • 56 min
In light of recent events, conversations in the South Asian community have mirrored those being held across the world with regard to racism and race relations. But one aspect of the conversation amongst South Asians needs to be brought forward prior to…
Never Have I Ever Related So Much (feat. Richa Moorjani)
May 12 • 50 min
On the Season 3 Finale of TWD, Richa Moorjani joins the ladies to talk about Netflix #1 show, developed by Mindy Kaling, “Never Have I Ever.” Richa has an open, honest and refreshing conversation with Nehal and Annika surrounding her trajectory in acting,…
South Asian, Twice Removed (feat. Nandani Bharrat and Shanita Liu)
May 5 • 63 min
Bisexual genderqueer West Indian, Indo-Caribbean writer, spiritual channel and experimental art film creatrix, Nandani Bharrat, and life coach, TEDx speaker and reiki master, Shanita Liu, join TWD to discuss the violent migration of Indian citizens to the…
A Global CTZN (feat. Aleena, Aleezeh, Naseeha Khan)
Apr 28 • 43 min
Representation has always mattered. And it counts more than ever. The founders of CTZN Cosmetics, Pakistani sisters Aleena, Aleezeh, and Naseeha Khan, created CTZN so that every person regardless of gender could find their true match and feel seen. The…
Don’t Be Clothes Minded (feat. Aditi Mayer and Karen Desai)
Apr 21 • 50 min
With Earth Day upon us, and the environmental ramifications from humans being seen more than ever as they stay inside, TWD explores the sustainability and decolonization of fashion. Blogger/activist Aditi Mayer and Lukh Studio’s Karen Desai join the…
The Breast Chance
Apr 14 • 68 min
Breast cancer can be genetic—but as Dr. Anjali Malik tells TWD listeners, most are actually mutations that patients never see coming. Such was the case with Roshni Kamta, a 23-year old survivor of breast cancer, who also shares her story. Many…
The Art of Sexcaping
Apr 7 • 25 min
The Kama Sutra has been hailed as a book of freaks in Western culture…but is it really? A listener-requested topic, the Kama Sutra is dissected by the ladies as a spiritual and meaningful guide to sex, intimacy and meaningful interactions with partners.
Dishonorable Violence (feat. Jasvinder Sanghera CBE)
Mar 31 • 64 min
Jasvinder Sanghera, CBE, a worldwide expert on honor-based violence, recognized by Prince Charles and David Cameron, and founder of the organization Karma Nirvana, joins the hosts of TWD to talk about the legal, social, psychological and cultural issues…
Unheard Voices
Mar 17 • 41 min
Guest Pooja Mehta, a mental health advocate, shares her story of facing a schizoaffective disorder where she hears voices during moments of anxiety. Unlike depression and anxiety, the more commonly-supported (but still not fully accepted) mental health…
Acting South Asian (feat. Melanie Chandra)
Mar 10 • 54 min
TWD interviews Melanie Chandra, actress and advocate for South Asian representation. Melanie has acted in CBS Code Black, acted and produced Surina and Mel, and more, and has created spaces in entertainment by recognizing the void of South Asians and…
Between Us and God
Feb 25 • 55 min
Hindu-Muslim relationships have ebbed and flowed since British colonialism ended in 1947…but relationships, love, and marriage have recently become more common—and no less accepted between the two populations. TWD discusses love between two religions with…
Brown Girl Burnout
Feb 18 • 52 min
Burnout is real. In today’s world, it’s impossible not to feel like we have to be the perfect employees, side hustlers, passion-chasers, daughters, sons, partners, parents, and more…and that effort can be exhausting, creating a drain on the mind, body and…
Yoganna Wanna Hear This
Feb 11 • 48 min
*This episode is sponsored by Masala My Life* It’s a crossover episode between the hosts of Yoga is Dead Podcast (Tejal and Jesal) and The Woke Desi! Talking about cultural appropriation, truly listening to diverse voices, and making yoga a more equal,…
The Beauty Balance
Feb 4 • 42 min
It’s a Nehal passion topic this week! Plastic surgery has been a rising trend amongst South Asians in the last decade. India is the #4 hotspot in the world for procedures (TOI). Pakistani-Brits have been flooding the major cities for medical tourism trips…
An Eggsciting Journey
Jan 28 • 48 min
Not sure if you want to be a mom? Waiting on a partner? Holding off because your career is priority? Egg freezing has become an option for increasing numbers of South Asian women. A proponent of egg freezing who has shared her story in the New York Post,…
Life is What You Bake It (feat. Hetal Vasavada)
Jan 21 • 57 min
From healthcare consultant to MasterChef, Hetal Vasavada has carved out a career for herself in all things baking and cooking. With a fusion of Indian and American cuisine, and a cookbook titled after her brand, Milk and Cardamom, Hetal is on the rise in…
When Dils Mil
Jan 14 • 54 min
On the premiere of Season 3 , the ladies of TWD sit down with KJ Dhaliwal, the CEO & Founder of Dil Mil, to discuss all things dating. Starting with KJ’s journey on how this all began to getting into the best and worst dating stories to then diving into…
12 Days of TWD: Sleighin’ the Holidays
Dec 24, 2019 • 23 min
The holidays don’t just encompass Christmas and New Year…there are hundreds of holidays across the world that immigrants celebrate throughout the year. From Eid to Diwali to Rakshabandan, the ladies of TWD talk about the takes on South Asian holidays and…
12 Days of TWD: Making Us Blush
Dec 23, 2019 • 22 min
Growing up, so many South Asians couldn’t find their shades when shopping for makeup—a seemingly small issue but an indicator of a much larger problem. There was no representation. Slowly but surely, however, this is changing with brands like Fenty…
12 Days of TWD: Booked for the Weekend
Dec 22, 2019 • 22 min
South Asian authors have made an incredible impact on literature—from Salman Rushdie to Arundhati Roy, to TWD’s lifechanger—Tanuja Desai Hidier. Now, a new wave of South Asian authors are rising the ranks in literature with their “own voices” writing. TWD…
12 Days of TWD: A Momumental Problem
Dec 21, 2019 • 26 min
Chrissy Teigen was once lambasted for feeding her child formula. Alyssa Milano argued with Wendy Williams about breastfeeding not being sexual but a necessity. Mom-shaming has been a real issue in all cultures—from decisions on breastfeeding to…
12 Days to TWD: Bollywood vs. Reality
Dec 20, 2019 • 22 min
Who doesn’t remember Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’s iconic scene of Raj reaching for Simran’s hand on the train? Or Kajol’s makeover of the century in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? The movies South Asians have watched have set the bar high in some ways, and…not so…
12 Days of TWD: Work It!
Dec 19, 2019 • 27 min
We asked and you answered! One of the most hotly requested topics was to do one on careers. The ladies of TWD did a Q&A regarding questions received about careers, balance, and the ideas of women having it all…with more episodes with experts to come in…
12 Days of TWD: PC Out?
Dec 18, 2019 • 25 min
From being a global icon to being a controversial and questionable role model, Priyanka Chopra certainly riles up the public. She married Nick Jonas to the squeals of millions—but was the wedding monetized too much? She presents feminism and strength—but…
12 Days of TWD: Masc-ing the Toxicity
Dec 17, 2019 • 22 min
From abusive messages online to the concept of boys not expressing emotions in South Asian cultures, toxic masculinity is a common problem with a solution that we need to find. On this bonus episode of TWD, Annika and Nehal dissect toxic masculinity and…
12 Days of TWD: Hey, U Up?
Dec 16, 2019 • 26 min
When TWD asked its Instagram followers what casual sex meant, the answer was nearly unanimous: sex without strings attached. But what does that mean? And in South Asian culture, casual sex comes with more questions about virginity, morality, and more…on…
12 Days of TWD: Bad Luck Club
Dec 15, 2019 • 17 min
Did you hear a crow on your roof today? Guests must be on their way! On this bonus episode of TWD, as part of the 12 Days of TWD special series, Annika and Nehal chat about all things superstitions…where they came from, and why we follow them. Enjoy, and…
12 Days of TWD: Fa-Shunning the BS
Dec 14, 2019 • 21 min
Sabyasachi. Anita Dongre. Falguni Shane Peacock. In South Asia and bridalwear, these names are as legendary as the outfits they design. But what about the fashion scandals? In this bonus episode of 12 Days of TWD, Annika and Nehal talk about fashion…
12 Days of TWD: Date/Able
Dec 13, 2019 • 34 min
Like the ladies covered in Episode 1 of TWD six months ago, from the “What are we?” question to getting over a heartbreak, dating encompasses so many questions and such a small number of answers. On this special episode of 12 days of TWD, Annika and Nehal…
Time to Get Sexcited
Dec 3, 2019 • 33 min
Pelvic pain—a whopping 40% of women suffer it during sex. Whether it’s from initial penetration or deep penetration, sex should not be painful. TWD speaks with Dr. Sonia Bahlani, a pelvic pain specialist based out of NYC, about pelvic pain and how it’s a…
Adapting to Adopting
Nov 19, 2019 • 66 min
Adoption—the rare times it’s mentioned in South Asian communities, the act occurs within families. But millions of South Asian children also need homes, and for whatever reason, society is averse to taking someone else’s child into our homes. On this…
Blacking Out The Truth
Nov 12, 2019 • 30 min
On previous episodes, TWD discussed colorism and appropriation. Now, taking it one step further, the topic of conversation surrounds anti-blackness in South Asian communities. From slavery in South Asia to casteism to fairness campaigns, enough is enough…
LGBTQurious about Health?
Nov 5, 2019 • 50 min
One of the biggest issues in the United States is disparities in healthcare amongst minorities especially LGBTQ patients. TWD speaks to Dr. Navin Dargani, a psychiatrist in New York City, about the issues facing not only the LGBTQ population but…
When Do You Draw The Line?
Oct 29, 2019 • 63 min
Drug addiction—two words that South Asians hardly ever mention in conversation, but an issue that exists far more widely than we recognize. In India alone, the state of Punjab has three times the rate of addiction than the rest of India, with two thirds…
Namast’ay In Your Lane
Oct 15, 2019 • 32 min
Despite the comical titling of this episode, cultural appropriation is an issue that South Asians not only face but participate in. From bindis in the Halloween aisle, to Christian Yoga…from Gucci turbans to “blaccents,” this episode of The Woke Desi…
Let Divorce Be With You
Oct 8, 2019 • 65 min
Divorce. Did it make you shudder? Probably not the same way it’s made countless aunties and uncles give a divorced person the side eye. On this episode, TWD takes a different look at divorce within the South Asian community. Speaking with divorce coach…
Trauma to Treasure
Oct 1, 2019 • 56 min
Please be aware this episode has a trigger warning on it for sexual violence, rape, assault, and shaming. Sexual violence. Rape. Sexual assault. So many names for what can only be considered one thing: a violation of humanity. On this episode, Annika and…
Not A Disg-race
Sep 24, 2019 • 67 min
You asked, we delivered. After a large number of requests to do an episode on Interracial Relationships, TWD is coming at its listeners with a show on two interracial marriages. The first guest, Disha Smith of the blog Disha Discovers, was disowned by her…
Nourish to Flourish
Sep 17, 2019 • 66 min
Eating disorders. In South Asian communities, they are often seen as a “white” problem—and those who suffer from eating disorders are largely described as just “watching their weight.” Only emphasizing the unhealthy beauty standards that South Asian…
Spillin’ the Anxietea
Sep 10, 2019 • 54 min
Co-host Annika Sharma opened up about her depression and anxiety on this episode, along with Harpreet Gill, a listener who contributed her story as a depression survivor. Describing their experiences, physical feelings and coping mechanisms for anxiety,…
Let’s Get Cliterate
Sep 3, 2019 • 39 min
TWD speaks with Pussyriously blogger Srushti Mahamuni about the implications of South Asian discouragement of self-love, masturbation and body exploration, and how to please a sexual partner, paying attention to the clit, vibrators and more! A…
Men-tality Shift
Aug 27, 2019 • 46 min
When South Asian men’s mental health is searched on Google, there are hardly any significant findings, and contrary to first impressions, it’s not because the problem doesn’t exist. South Asians as a whole report higher rates of depression and anxiety…
Are We “Move-In” Too Fast?
Jul 30, 2019 • 29 min
Living together—two words that cause a flutter of excitement in any gossiping aunty group. In this episode, Nehal and Annika (Resham had a family commitment this week!) explore live-in relationships, or cohabiting, with a significant other before…
Aziz An-Sorry or Not? & Other Controversies
Jul 23, 2019 • 30 min
After a few heavy episodes, TWD takes a look at South Asian entertainment and famous figures. Is Aziz Ansari deserving of another chance? Did Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas make you go, “WTF”? Was Aladdin on your must-watch or must-go lists? From cultural…
It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorns
Jul 16, 2019 • 49 min
Pride month just ended but supporting the South Asian LGBTQIA community is something desis should do far more than one month out of the year. This week, the hosts of The Woke Desi speak with the brilliant Priya Arora. Priya is an editor by day, and a…
Love & Abuse
Jul 9, 2019 • 49 min
Two out of five South Asian women are estimated to be in abusive situations. This staggering statistic is tragically underreported because of societal pressure to keep one’s dirty laundry to themselves, a permeating and accepting culture of abuse, and…
The Inconceivable Truth
Jun 25, 2019 • 77 min
Gutwrenching, broken silence. That was the only thing left in the wake of guest Shreeda Tailor’s story. We had no words. A husband’s sorrow. A mother’s grief. Losses that neither they nor doctors can explain clearly—and the sad fact that medicine still…
It’s Not You, It’s Me.
Jun 18, 2019 • 36 min
Breakups…They suck. Whether you’re the heartbreaker or the one whose heart is in a million pieces…breakups are an age-old tale and they never get easier. This week, we discuss why one of our hosts cheated, how it changed her, how to get through a…
Just Go With the Flow. Period.
Jun 11, 2019 • 37 min
Periods aren’t just a girl thing. In South Asian culture, it means women are often prevented from going to places of worship, mingling with family, or, in Asia, even going to school. In this episode, we explore our own family traditions, why we agree or…
Until Society Do Us Part
Jun 4, 2019 • 28 min
Biodatas? Marriage? What?!? The pressure to get married is inevitable once you’ve come of age—AKA post-grad for most women in South Asian culture. From society’s expectations of looks, wealth, and education to the shame we are made to feel if we are…
Unfair and Always Lovely
May 28, 2019 • 44 min
TRIGGER WARNING: Please be aware that this episode contains mentions of suicidal thoughts. “You’re too dark.” “You’re too light.” “She must be sick.” “She’s ‘healthy.’” The beauty standards in South Asian culture are staggering. We talk to Nehal Mehra,…
Swipe Left or Find Mr. Right
May 21, 2019 • 26 min
“So…what are we?” How many times have we asked that question of the person we’re seeing? At the very least, how many times have we wondered what stage of seeing someone we’re in? In the world of dating apps, anonymity, and a million options at your…
Bonus: Nehal
May 13, 2019 • 19 min
A blogger. A fashionista. A pop culture genius. If you need anything from lifestyle advice to the latest scoop on celebrities, Nehal is your new best friend. Get to know our gorgeous glam girl and co-host, Nehal Tenany on this raw, unfiltered episode! —-…
Bonus: Annika
May 13, 2019 • 15 min
A contemporary fiction author. A health communications manager. Two master’s degrees. Is there anything Annika hasn’t done? From Penn State to the Big Apple, Annika Sharma is here to conquer…get to know our favorite author and wordsmith co-host in this…
Episode 0: Welcome to The Woke Desi!
May 7, 2019 • 4 min
Three women. Two cities. ‚ÄčA million possibilities. With lives in New York and San Francisco, the ladies of The Woke Desi came together for one reason: to give South Asian women (and men!) a voice, a place to call home and a friend to empower them as they…