The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma-logo

The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

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.

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.

Location:

India

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep 224: Modeling Covid-19

5/8/2021
How do we make sense of the madness around us? Well, there's the rational, scientific approach: gather data, build models, keep refining and iterating, get closer and closer to the truth. Gautam Menon joins Amit Varma in episode 224 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the exciting field of biophysics and his work in building mathematical models of infectious diseases -- especially Covid-19. Also discussed: the joys of science, and how Indian music is the best embodiment of the idea of...

Duration:02:27:11

Ep 223: The Economics and Politics of Vaccines

5/1/2021
The second wave in India could have been avoided. We should not have been suffering like this. Vaccines were the answer. Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 223 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how our thinking about vaccines was fundamentally flawed -- and what we should do now. Also discussed: why Indian healthcare is in such a mess. Also check out: 1. Indian Health Policy in Light of COVID-19 -- Ajay Shah's paper from July 14, 2020. 2. How the Vaccine Story Will Play Out --...

Duration:02:31:45

Ep 222: The Saffron Trail

4/24/2021
Trained as a medical doctor, Nandita Iyer has blazed a trail in the last 15 years creating content about food in media as diverse as blogs, Instagram, YouTube and even good old-fashioned columns and books. She joins Amit Varma in episode 222 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss her journey in food, what we can learn from our grandparents and the fine art of dissecting cadavers. Also check out: 1. Everyday Superfoods -- Nandita Iyer. 2. The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian -- Nandita...

Duration:02:51:47

Ep 221: Science and Covid-19

4/17/2021
These are difficult times. How do we make sense of what is happening around us? Well, there is science. Anirban Mahapatra joins Amit Varma in episode 221 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on the science of Covid-19 -- and on the state of science and scientific writing in general. Also check out: 1. Covid-19: Separating Fact from Fiction -- Anirban Mahapatra. 2. Anirban Mahapatra on Twitter and Google Scholar. 3. The Age of Pandemics -- Chinmay Tumbe. 4. India's Tryst...

Duration:03:09:25

Ep 220: The Sharda Ugra Files

4/10/2021
India has changed so much in the last 30 years -- and so has Indian sport. One of our finest chroniclers, Sharda Ugra, joins Amit Varma in episode 220 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about sports journalism, cricket, other Indian sports, and how she has embraced both the sublime and the shady. Also discussed: the eternal charm of Sion, Atul Bedade, gorillas and paagal kuttas. Also check out: 1. Sharda Ugra at ESPN Cricinfo (1, 2) and India Today. 2. Sharda Ugra's books for John...

Duration:02:57:52

Ep 219: Keeping India Safe

4/3/2021
There are many things that threaten our nation, both internal and external, both seen and unseen. Our armed forces protect us from some of them. Sushant Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 219 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the state of our military, his experiences in Kashmir, the threats from Pakistan and China, and the danger of politics to national security. Also check out: 1. Sushant Singh at CPR and Indian Express. 2. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the...

Duration:02:37:23

Ep 218: A Creator of the Floating World

3/28/2021
The world of creators has changed in the last few years -- and maybe advertising is dead? Varun Duggirala joins Amit Varma in episode 218 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey as a creator in the world of advertising -- and the time he kidnapped people for reality television. Also check out: 1. Varun Duggirala's website, Linktree, Instagram and Twitter. 2. Advertising is Dead -- Varun Duggirala. 3. The Varun Duggi Show. 4. Unschooled by Varun Duggirala. 5. Amit Varma on...

Duration:03:15:26

Ep 217: The Prem Panicker Files

3/20/2021
Prem Panicker has been raising hell in Indian journalism for over 30 years: A muckraker and a pioneer, a maverick and an elder statesman, he is loved by fans and feared by the establishment. Prem joins Amit Varma in episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen for a raw and intimate account of the wounds he got from living, and the lessons he learnt while healing. Also check out: 1. Smoke Signals -- Prem Panicker's blog. 2. The Peepli Project -- Edited by Prem Panicker 3. The State of the...

Duration:03:13:10

Ep 216: Being Muslim in India

3/13/2021
What is it like to be Muslim in India? Ghazala Wahab joins Amit Varma in episode 216 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss.the history of Islam in the subcontinent -- and how, at this present moment, we may be trapped in a vicious circle. Also check out: 1. Born a Muslim: Some Truths About Islam in India -- Ghazala Wahab. 2. Dragon On Our Doorstep -- Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab. 3. Force -- The magazine edited by Ghazala Wahab. 4. Ghubar-e-Khatir -- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. 5....

Duration:03:46:53

Ep 215: A Writer Learns to See

3/6/2021
There is so much about India that is unseen to us, hidden behind layers of blindness. If only we could peel them off. Annie Zaidi joins Amit Varma in episode 215 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how her many years as a writer, blogger, journalist, playwright and filmmaker deepened her vision of our world. Also check out: 1. Bread, Cement, Cactus -- Annie Zaidi. 2. Unbound: 2,000 Years of Indian Women's Writing -- Annie Zaidi (editor). 3. Prelude to a Riot -- Annie Zaidi. 4....

Duration:02:50:26

Ep 214: Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley's Father's Scooter

2/27/2021
India is a complex country. The last few decades have been full of tumult. How does one make sense of it all? Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley joins Amit Varma in episode 214 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the many frames he uses to look at our politics, economics, culture and Dilip Kumar. Also check out: 1. Anticipating the Unintended -- Pranay Kotasthane and Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley's newsletter. 2. Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, featuring Raghu Jaitley. 3. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, featuring...

Duration:03:08:44

Ep 213: A Venture Capitalist Looks at the World

2/20/2021
VCs have a crazy job description. They need to understand society, figure out what people will want tomorrow and bet on the future. Sajith Pai joins Amit Varma in episode 213 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his frames of looking at the world -- and what he has learnt about media, entrepreneurship and this country of ours. Also check out: 1. The Indus Valley Playbook -- Sajith Pai. 2. Understand Startups, Metrics and Valuations -- Twitter thread by Sajith Pai. 3. India2,...

Duration:02:45:02

Ep 212: Pandemonium in India's Banks

2/13/2021
India's financial system has been in crisis for more than a decade -- and it affects all of us. Tamal Bandyopadhyay joins Amit Varma in episode 212 of The Seen and the Unseen to make sense of all the turbulence. Also check out: 1. Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy -- Tamal Bandyopadhyay. 2. Tamal Bandyopadhyay's books on Amazon. 3. Tamal Bandyopadhyay's website. 4. Tamal Bandyopadhyay's columns in Mint and Business Standard. 5. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The...

Duration:02:20:07

Ep 211: The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills

2/6/2021
Our agriculture needs reform -- but we should be wary that our attempt to get there is not at the cost of our democracy. Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on the process, content and implication of the farm bills. Also discussed: knowledge assimilation, public health, how we tackled the pandemic and what we can do going forward. Also check out: 1. Ajay Shah's homepage. 2. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of...

Duration:02:02:24

Ep 210: Feeding the Hungry in the Pandemic

1/30/2021
A virus can kill you -- and so can hunger. The lockdown last year led to an explosion of hunger around the country. Where the state failed, civil society stepped in. Ruben Mascarenhas joins Amit Varma in episode 210 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his initiative, Khaana Chahiye, that fed lakhs of people in Mumbai. Also discussed: activism, local politics and the clash between principles and the will to power. Also check out: 1. Khaana Chahiya. (also on Twitter.) 2. Litmus Test...

Duration:02:57:39

Ep 209: Two Girls Hanging From a Tree

1/23/2021
In 2014, a photograph of two girls hanging from a tree in an Indian village went viral. Sonia Faleiro joins Amit Varma in episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the years she spent researching their story, and the complex layers of truth she uncovered. And also, how the larger crime is the one our society commits on itself. Also check out: 1. The Good Girls -- Sonia Faleiro. 2. Beautiful Thing -- Sonia Faleiro. 3. 13 Men -- Sonia Faleiro. 4. Sonia Faleiro's website. 5....

Duration:02:03:16

Ep 208: Lessons in Investing (and Life)

1/16/2021
Is the stock market an engine of our economy or a casino disconnected from reality? Does it require deep thinking or mad gambling? Deepak Shenoy joins Amit Varma in episode 208 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the lessons he has learnt about the markets -- and about life. Also check out: 1. Capitalmind, Deepak Shenoy's investment research and wealth management company, 2. The Capitalmind Podcast. 3. Cats in the Cradle -- Ugly Kid Joe (Also, the Harry Chapin original.) 4....

Duration:03:42:14

Ep 207: Religion, Food, Indian Society

1/9/2021
God is a controversial subject, but we can all agree that food exists, and is often divine. Shoba Narayan joins Amit Varma in episode 207 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe her explorations of religion and food in India. Also check out: 1. Food and Faith: A Pilgrim's Journey through India -- Shoba Narayan. 2. Shoba Narayan's books on Amazon. 3. Shoba Narayan's website and columns. 4. The Indianness of Indian Food — Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 5. A...

Duration:02:28:18

Ep 206: Lessons From 2020

1/2/2021
Finally, 2020 is behind us. It changed our world, the way we live our lives, and how we relate to each other and to ourselves. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok join Amit Varma in episode 206 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock of the year gone by, with each of them picking five lessons they feel 2020 holds for us. Because they can't count, though, they end up with more than 15 -- here they are, below. (Listen to the episode for the elaborations and arguments.) The Lessons: 0....

Duration:02:47:16

Ep 205: India's Tryst With Pandemics

12/26/2020
Pandemic, lockdown, masks, vaccine, state failure, state overreach: India's been here before, and it's been worse. Chinmay Tumbe joins Amit Varma in episode 205 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how 40 million lives were lost in the subcontinent between 1817 and 1920 in the cholera, plague and influenza pandemics -- and the lessons we need to learn from them. Also check out: 1. Age of Pandemics -- Chinmay Tumbe. 2. India Moving -- Chinmay Tumbe. 3. India = Migration -- Episode 128...

Duration:02:59:08