Real Talk With Smriti Notani is a homegrown podcast that talks about all the things we should be talking about, one fun episode at a time. In our country, there is an inherent culture of silence especially amongst women. This podcast aims to quell that silence by covering difficult topics—like mental health, social conditioning, and grief—in an easy to consume format. That doesn’t mean it’s all drudgery and no fun because it also covers lighter topics like bachelorette parties, creativity, and social media etiquette with a certain unabashedness signature to the host.
Smriti Notani, the creator of the show who also goes by the moniker Real Girl, is a Mumbai based writer and blogger who says it like it is. She believes she was born with a penchant for keeping it real and places her trust in the power of honest communication. By sharing her first-person take on different topics in each episode, she puts herself in a vulnerable position often. But it is this very transparency that seems to have takers. The podcast, although in monologue format makes you feel like you’re having a quality conversation with a trusted friend whose only aim is to uplift you in every way possible.
A must check-out episode is ‘Real Talk – Can We Please Stop Saying These Questionable Desi Things?’ in which Smriti addresses potentially harmful things that we have learned in our homes over the years. In a brazen, profanity-filled rant Smriti talks about how it’s intrinsically a part of desi culture to respect our elders no matter what, which can on occasion be problematic.
In our country, it is a given that age is the only thing that will qualify you to dispense advice and make rules. She questions this paradigm although quite aware it may not go down well with some. In this episode she also covers the usual desi excuse that people make to justify wrongdoings, ‘par woh dil ka accha hai’ laying special emphasis on the fact that we are all good at heart but humanity should include good thoughts, words, and deeds put into practice regularly.
Although the episode was recorded in 2019, it rings even truer today in the times of Corona when we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. In these extraneous circumstances, we are all scared, worried, and perhaps suffering even though we could have done nothing to avoid or change the situation we find ourselves in.
Almost prophetically, Smriti surmises that, ‘Acche Logon Ke Saath Accha Hi Hota Hai’ has a toxic effect on the human mind because when things go wrong we internalize it and think it must be our own doing. This is problematic and she calls it out in the episode to create awareness about how our own thoughts ought to be monitored to maintain mental health hygiene.
Also read: Podcasts, Poetry, Music: How The Arts Took Up The Fight For Mental Health