Food has always been a central part to conversation within my community. At home, during dinner is when we all catch up about our day. With friends, we meet at the kadak chai stand in the night to banter about sports, music, film. At uni, the move was always the same - Downstein freshman year, UHall after Business of Producing with Ev and the film boys, and once a month the Italian place around the corner.
Food was the plate on which we had conversation. We would talk about our day, serious conversation, sports, whatever we felt like. Even going into adulthood, salaries were achieved partially for the sake of dinner and a couple cold ones chatting with mates and about dating, music, new movies, new friends. It helped recover from the difficult week.
Some weeks fly by. Some months are difficult.
Some years are really difficult.
Gupshup Pod aims to connect with my friends with the rest of the world. I've always enjoyed when I introduce one of my mates to another and they get along, and hang out, and have fun. When they hang out without me, I used to get jealous, but now I enjoy it even more. I get those photos on WhatsApp or tagged on Instagram and I have a good laugh looking at it. It's nice to feel a connection when far away from others, especially during the difficult last year when people are having a hard time being able to laugh. Insecurity, fear, lack of connection: these components drive anxiety and a breakdown in communication in any community whether physical, social, emotional, or virtual.
On Friday will be my first podcast. A year after New York instructed stay-at-home orders. I have a special guest who it would be unmistakable to not start the podcast without. My mates are doing really cool things! Some of them are into art, others are tech monsters. Some love chatting about sports, others itch for a deep philosophical dive. It's gonna be a blast. My guests will be from all over the country and all over the world; some of them I haven't seen physically in years, others I may have seen last month in a socially distanced outdoor area. The podcast will have reminiscing moments, funny stories to regale listeners, and sometimes we will go off-script and talk about random things. Wherever the episode takes us.
At Chapati Man we have always prided ourselves on promoting Asian diaspora voices in the community. As New York heals and rebuilds, I hope that Asian and other minority voices become part of the dialogue towards how we aim to rebuild and shape this city in an image that is inclusive of our thoughts and our values and vision. It is important to also promote what friends are doing, in the hope that listeners will find it interesting and want to hang out with them too.
Then we can all hang out together.
With lots of love for the future,