Kalki Presents: My Indian Life

Kalki Presents: My Indian Life

By BBC World Service

Life for young Indian adults in the 21st Century explored by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. Real stories from India - sometimes raw, often uplifting.


Special: Savita

“I’m in love with the mountains.” Savita was an inspirational climber, who had scaled Mount Everest. At the age of 26, she was tragically killed in an avalanche in the Himalayas. She was interviewed by Kalki Koechlin before she died. This special episode tells Savita Kanswal’s story – of the girl who had to hike to and from school, who realised her dream of climbing the world’s highest mountain. #MyIndianLife
20/09/2329m 56s

What happened next

A male belly dancer, a theatre artist and the man who wants to go to Mars. It’s the My Indian Life reunion. They all appeared in previous episodes of My Indian Life - what happened next in their lives? Is Gadhadar Reddy any closer to reaching Mars? Is Mallika Taneja returning to the stage with Thoda Dhyan Se, or Be Careful? And how has Eshan Hilal’s career progressed? How did they all cope with the Covid pandemic? They all join Kalki and talk about their plans for the future. #MyIndianLife
07/01/2324m 36s

River man

Meet the river walker. Siddharth Agarwal wants to understand India’s rivers and the people who live along them. He has walked and cycled along thousands of kilometres, taking the time to talk, learn and help as he travels. He tells Kalki: “I told my friend that I want to do this a lot more and I told him I want to walk!” #MyIndianLife
31/12/2225m 19s

Climate warrior

Her father said, “Give back to people”. Now, Archana Soreng is fighting climate change and representing her tribe and India on the world stage. She is one of seven members of the United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. Archana, who belongs to the Kharia tribe, was raised respecting the forest and living sustainably. She vowed to carry on her father’s work to make a difference for their indigenous community. #MyIndianLife
24/12/2221m 42s

The boy who fought back

He was bullied at school and told to “be more masculine”. Now, Shubham Choudhary’s mission is to help others challenge gender stereotypes. After working with schools, he helps the LGBTQ+ community access health care, acting as a liaison with hospitals and doctors. #MyIndianLife
17/12/2221m 58s

Myth breaker

“I’m not against religion, only those who cause harm in the name of religion.” Suyash Toshinwal says he debunks myths and superstitions. He wants everyone to discover “rational thought”. #MyIndianLife
10/12/2223m 29s

Power of song

Singing for a casteless society – the rapper using the power of his voice and words. Arivu was shunned for his musical ideas as a schoolboy and then became a star. He says he is speaking out for generations of oppressed Dalits. #MyIndianLife
03/12/2222m 23s


A car crash changed the course of her life. Now Avani Lekhara is a gold medallist. “When I hold the rifle I’m in the zone” – the life of a Paralympic shooter. Avani discovered a new talent and a will to win. #MyIndianLife
26/11/2224m 26s

Beauty and the body

Bullied for being “big” – an actor’s journey to body positive influencer. “Why is it so shocking if a non-size-zero person wears a bikini?” How TV star Rytasha Rathore became a role model for other young women. #MyIndianLife
19/11/2224m 56s

Totally online

He’s the famous gamer with 33 million subscribers, but none of them know who he is. Total Gaming says he thinks he knows how Spider-Man feels - his identity is hidden from the world. #MyIndianLife
12/11/2225m 46s

Everyone has a secret

Her job is to “deliver bitter truths in the hope that they lead to better lives.” Tanya is a private detective. There was the student who she followed to an unexpected place, the fiancé who couldn’t give up his dream and the husband whose affair had potentially put his life at risk. #MyIndianLife
05/11/2228m 15s

We’re back again! Season 3 preview

We’re returning with our third season! Kalki Koechlin is back, meeting more young Indians with remarkable stories. New episodes will include the private detective who says everyone has a secret, and a famous gamer with 33 million subscribers, who has a secret of his own. There’s also the Paralympic gold medallist, Avani Lekhara. After a car crash changed the course of her life, she discovered a new talent and a will to win. What’s it like to be young and Indian in the 21st century? Season 3 begins on 5 November 2022. #MyIndianLife
19/10/223m 16s

Dating special

A listener emailed us about breaking-up. It was tough, so it’s time to talk about love. Students chat about relationships with Kalki and poet Priya Malik. This is the season finale and Kalki reveals how she has dealt with the relationship rollercoaster. Please send us your stories for future episodes: myindianlife@bbc.com And let us know what you think. #MyIndianLife
24/01/2046m 42s

The boy who dreamt of space

The first human on Mars - that’s Gadhadar Reddy’s goal, and he’s working on the technology to take him there. He launched a space tech company after people told him he could never do it. Now Gadhadar has made the Red Planet his next mission. “If you set a goal, say something audacious, the universe finds a way to make things happen.” Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com Let us know what you think of our podcast. #MyIndianLife
17/01/2025m 53s

The biggest brothel in Asia

Sonagachi in Kolkata is a hub for sex trafficking. Leena Kejriwal wants to end the exploitation of young women. “It's all happening because nobody's doing anything about it.” Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com And let us know what you think of the podcast. #MyIndianLife
10/01/2025m 37s

Saving the planet

Two young Indians on a mission to make the world a better, cleaner place to live. Aarushi Majumder got her whole neighbourhood recycling in inner-city Mumbai. And Arun Krishnamurthy’s fight to clean waste from his village pond in rural Chennai kick-started a national campaign for cleaner water. #MyIndianLife Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com And let us know what you think: #MyIndianLife
03/01/2019m 49s

New York to Shimla

Ilma’s life was in the USA. Then a call to her mum made her decide to return home to India and find a new career - as a police officer. Ilma Afroz had attended the best universities, and was building an international career in the Big Apple, but she wanted India to benefit from her experience. “My talent, my education and my whole self is for my country,” she says. Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com And let us know what you think #MyIndianLife
28/12/1921m 18s

Saving Nagaland

His brother died from an overdose. His dad was an alcoholic. Now Jenpu Rongmei is saving others from a similar fate. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a dropout – what matters is you are human”. Tell us your stories about being young and Indian in the 21st Century: myindianlife@bbc.com And let us know what you think of the podcast. #MyIndianLife
20/12/1923m 9s

Kalki in Parentland

“I’m pregnant!” Attitudes to unmarried mothers, feeling overwhelmed and morning sickness - Kalki Koechlin is having a baby and she has lots of questions. “I feel this feeling that I don't belong to myself”. This special episode teams up with Mercy Haruna from our Parentland podcast. Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com And come to Parentland: www.bbcworldservice.com/parentland #MyIndianLife #Parentland
13/12/1920m 11s

The drag king

“I can be whoever I want to be.” Bidisha is a singer and she performs as a Persian prince called Badshah. “Drag is about breaking apart norms”, she says. And we catch-up with male belly dancer, Eshan Hilal (Season 1, Episode 1). Bidisha Mohanta and Eshan talk about sexuality and attitudes to being gay in India. Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com Let us know what you think: #MyIndianLife Watch our video of Eshan: https://bbc.in/2RreFqv
06/12/1925m 15s

Rapping Kashmir

A voice from the Valley. Ahmer Javed grew up making music under curfew in Kashmir. Send us your stories: myindianlife@bbc.com And let us know what you think: #MyIndianLife
29/11/1925m 29s


The baby left at the orphanage. She’s been spat at and told her ancestors must have “done something terribly wrong”. Nisha Lobo has a skin condition called ichthyosis and was adopted. This is her story. She says happiness is a mindset. #MyIndianLife
22/11/1916m 49s

We’re back! Season 2 preview

Kalki Koechlin is back – with big news! We have ten new stories from across India. Season 2 begins on 23 November 2019. #MyIndianLife
11/11/193m 9s

Election special

Schools, jobs, women’s rights: being young and Indian during the 2019 elections! At the Cuckoo Club in Mumbai, first time voters talk to Kalki about the issues that matter to them. #MyIndianLife
07/05/1922m 43s

LIVE from Mumbai

The big end of season show! Kalki is joined by guests Insia Dariwala, Rahul Sonpimple and Diskit Angmo at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, where they talk to students about being a young adult and Indian in the 21st century. Includes some difficult issues. #MyIndianLifeThe My Indian Life team: Presenter: Kalki Koechlin Senior Producer: Geeta Pandey Producer: Medhavi Arora Music: Aditya N Audio Mixing: Prabhjit Bains Live Events: Jim Frank and Aashish Yadav Editorial Advice: Cathy Derrick Series Editor: Jasper Corbett Podcast Editor: Jon ManelVideo and Digital Team: Katherine Campbell Rajni Boddington D8 Anna Doble - Digital Editor
20/10/1826m 25s

LIVE from Delhi

A special episode recorded with university students in Delhi. Singing, dancing and a whole bunch of questions with guests Eshan Hilal, Mallika Taneja and Aditya N at St Stephen's College. #MyIndianLife
13/10/1827m 13s

India on Ice

In a mostly tropical country, an ice hockey player has Olympic dreams. She converts frozen lakes into rinks, endures broken bones and apathy in a nation obsessed with cricket. How far would she go to fulfil her sporting ambition? Kalki meets Diskit Angmo. #MyIndianLife
06/10/1823m 7s

The Sexpert

Sex advice for the land of the Kama Sutra. This episode discusses sex in a detailed way. Kalki meets Dr Mahinder Watsa, the 94-year-old who writes the sex advice column in The Mumbai Mirror. #MyIndianLife
29/09/1818m 43s

The Goddess of Big Things

What happens when you don't feel comfortable in your own skin? This is the story of the transformation of a small-town boy into a diva who is setting the ramp on fire as a transgender, plus-size model. Kalki meets Mona Varonica Campbell. #MyIndianLife
22/09/1820m 24s

A Question of Caste

The man refusing to fit in with an ancient class hierarchy. From the bottom of the caste system to fighting for a more equal society - Kalki meets Dalit activist Rahul Sonpimple.Please tell us your stories of being young and Indian in the 21st century – head here to leave us your message https://bbc.in/2OmbcoK
15/09/1823m 4s

The Kids Are Not Alright

India’s child sexual abuse problem. This episode discusses important but difficult issues. Insia Dariwala was sexually abused as a child and is now helping other children in India. If you need to talk about something that is affecting you, do speak to someone you trust or find a recognised organisation that is there to help.
08/09/1824m 44s

Rocket Woman

From India to Mars, how a leap of faith became a journey into space. Kalki meets rocket scientist BP Dakshayani, from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who programmed a satellite on its mission to the red planet. #MyIndianLife
01/09/1824m 43s

Peace and protest

She is a student activist who finds herself at the heart of the Kashmir dispute. Death threats on one side, support on the other. Kalki meets Gurmehar Kaur. #MyIndianLife
25/08/1823m 37s

Singing to a different tune

He struggles to speak but has found his voice. The story of a Bollywood singer, composer and music producer. Kalki meets Aditya N. #MyIndianLife
18/08/1826m 7s

A body of protest

Standing stark naked - a woman fights back. Kalki meets Mallika Taneja, who is using her own body in protest against gender inequality, sexual harassment and assault in India. #MyIndianLife Contact us: www.bbcworldservice.com/myindianlife
11/08/1824m 30s

Dancing to his own beat

“You’ve brought me shame”. The belly dancer’s story. Dreams threaten to tear a family apart. Kalki meets Eshan Hilal. #MyIndianLife www.bbcworldservice.com/myindianlife
04/08/1825m 28s

Preview: Introducing My Indian Life

Kalki Koechlin presents a new podcast aimed at young Indian adults. It's raw, it's painful, it's joyful. It's real-life India in the 21st century. Episode 1 will be available from 4 August 2018.
18/07/183m 48s
Heart UK