Even before I left for India on the Sobti Fellowship, I knew that I wanted to share some of my experiences through a podcast. I’d been listening to a lot of podcasts in the weeks leading up to my departure (the usual suspects – This American Life, RadioLab). And now in India, when I take my lunch break, I usually motivate myself to chop my vegetables and make myself a curry by listening to a podcast or two.
Today, I release the first episode of my podcast. Entitled Notes & Remarks, my podcast is an exploration of the various aspects of my life in India.
In today’s episode, I talk with Kalieaswari Srinivasan, a Chennai based actress. Kali has been working as a theatre artist for more than five years now, but I first heard about her when her debut film Dheepan by Jacques Audiard, garnered a lot of attention at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Dheepan is about a family of Sri Lankan refugees who flee the civil war, arriving in France. Kali plays the female lead in the film, and for her role as Yalini, she mastered “Sri Lankan Tamil,” a dialect of Tamil quite different to that spoken in India.
As a Sri Lankan, I was naturally curious about Kali’s work in the film, but my chat with her proved to be about much more than just Dheepan. Kali’s history in theatre is rich, and replete with interesting anecdotes. As she reminds me, “the great things started happening before Dheepan.” She speaks of her experiences with a level of insight and wisdom that sometimes gave me the shivers.
After releasing the episode this morning, I discovered that Dheepan was nominated for 9 César awards yesterday!
I came home from my interview to find out that my microphone had malfunctioned soon after we started the interview. I was pretty heartbroken about it, but I was determined to salvage whatever I could of the interview. It would be a shame not to share Kali’s story.
I hope you enjoy listening to this episode!
Music: “Cute” – Bensound.com