I remember typing out a blog entry about a year ago that detailed all the beautiful things that came into my life as a result of this little blog, the most important one of them being people. So many people. I met some of my best friends through this, a lot of whom I've had the privilege of working with on several projects.
When I wrote that piece, I had no idea what the future would hold for me and never did I dream that I might even start a podcast with one of the amazing people I met as a result of this blog. Someone who'd go on to become a very important part of my life.
And when we started the podcast, we had a pretty good idea of what it was going to be about. It was going to be commentary. Social commentary and opinions. Delivered by us through our own stories and experiences, in our own voices. Turns out that I'm really not very good at planning out the entire course of my life, mostly because I lack experience in that area. For as long as I remember, I've gone with the flow as far as the bigger things in my life were concerned and so far, that's worked out really well for me. And so, neither Meenal nor I offered any resistance when we saw that our podcast was taking on a new shape and form, that it had a mind of its own and was beginning to evolve and grow as a result.
The funny thing, however, is that a year after writing that post about how this blog brought beautiful people into my life, I'm sitting here with the realization that the podcast ended up doing exactly the same thing. So from what was going to involve just us, our stories and voices, we went on to include other people, their stories, and their voices into our journey. Week after week, the socially awkward introvert in me sits down with a mic and talks to some of the most beautiful minds out there for at least an hour. I try to frame my questions for them in a way that might be beneficial for our listeners but more than anything, I'm always consumed with a genuine curiosity about their lives and stories, and a selfish desire to enrich my soul through our conversations. I truly hope that reflects through the version you guys might have been listening to because all the guests we've had so far have done a great job of blowing my mind.
I also hope you've been enjoying all the episodes we've put out so far. I promise that we have some very interesting ones lined up for the coming weeks. But let's focus on this week for now.
Last Monday, Meenal and I had the great privilege of talking to Tia Bhatia, a Canadian Desi who has always been very open about her adoption story. In India, not a lot of people like to address adoption and before the interview, Meenal spoke to an Indian mother who said that she would never tell her child that he/she was adopted. The logic behind that statement was that if a family brings a child home and raises it as their own, then there's no need to address where this child came from. While this sentiment is quite sweet, how do you think the child will even begin to cope with the knowledge of his/her adoption, especially when this piece of information reaches him/her through external sources that are not always the kindest?
Tia had a lot to say about this. Starting from how she herself found out that she was adopted to how her father tells her that she should always remember her roots, she shares everything we need to hear about this topic and the stigma attached to it.
When Tia was found as an infant in Ambala, India, she had a purple tongue, no hips and her ribs were sticking out. She was clearly malnourished and her adoptive parents spent two whole years trying to revive her to a normal weight. It was during this time that they discovered that she had a hole in her heart and when her mother called the agency to let them know of her condition, they asked her if she would like to exchange Tia for a healthier child.
I know. It's quite hard to even figure out what kind of a reaction one should have to something like that.
Do listen to this episode and share it with your friends and family. This is a very important conversation. And if you or anyone you know wants to talk to someone about this, please feel free to get in touch with us at Desi Outsiders or with Tia on Tiwtter.