With his 10-episode podcast, Marine Lines, journalist-writer Raghu Karnad goals to construct a join with city dwellers and the atmosphere, and hopes to scale as much as different cities

Raghu Karnad fondly recollects how, out of the blue, he and a buddy chanced upon dolphins off the Bandra Bandstand rocks. “It struck me suddenly that we in Mumbai see the sea as scenery, as a backdrop, and not as a living world filled with creatures that are our neighbours,” says the writer-journalist, including, “We can’t look too deep, but it’s amazing how much life is ready to meet us on the coastline.”

This sense of surprise was one of many beginning factors of Marine Lines, a 10-part podcast that Karnad (who gained the 2019 Windham-Campbell Prize within the non-fiction class) is internet hosting. Produced by Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic and DeadAnt Studios, it explores “Mumbai’s hidden worlds, from the suburbs to the sea”.

The conversations cowl particular areas (just like the Sanjay Gandhi National Park), the creatures that inhabit them (every little thing from leopards to sea slugs), in addition to broader subjects like city consumption patterns and sustainability. They search to introduce listeners to ecosystems they might not have given a second thought to. “The podcast was pitched to me by the producers who wanted to explore Mumbai’s natural spaces and ecosystems, and I leapt at the idea,” says Karnad over the telephone, including that they recorded many of the episodes through the second wave, in April. “One of the things that I felt deprived of during that time, psychologically, was access to public, shared spaces. So the opportunity to have these conversations, to imagine I’m there with experts who’ve spent a lot of time documenting these areas, appealed to me,” he says.

The three episodes to this point have featured marine wildlife photographer Shaunak Modi (additionally director of the Coastal Conservation Foundation), actor Dia Mirza (additionally UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador), and wildlife biologist Nikit Surve. Future company embrace author Amitav Ghosh, director Paromita Vohra, and movie critic Anupama Chopra.

The magic of the extraordinary

Karnad’s company not solely doc their very own experiences with the pure world, but additionally level out the assorted methods through which the lives of total communities intersect with environmental points. For instance, Surve’s podcast mentions his transient encounter with a younger Warli lady residing within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, who was nonplussed at seeing a leopard cross by. “I had so many emotions running through me, but she was so casual. She said that leopards often walk past their home, and the next morning we discovered that there’s even a local deity, Waghoba (in Marathi, ‘wagh’ covers both tigers and leopards). For them, the leopard isn’t something out of the ordinary,” he mentioned.

Similarly, Dia Mirza’s episode highlighted the assorted out-of-the-ordinary wildlife sightings through the international lockdown in 2020: a direct results of drastically diminished human exercise. “The puma sightings in Chile, the jackals in Tel Aviv, the dolphins spotted in Italian waters and, of course, right here at Marine Drive,” she mentioned.

Making house for the wild

How does one persuade the common urban-dweller to assume somewhat bit extra in regards to the atmosphere, particularly areas of their speedy proximity? That’s the issue Marine Lines needs to deal with. It is as a lot of an outreach challenge as a scientific one, which is the place the podcast could be a nice useful resource: the conversations are accessible and broad-ranging, but rooted in distinctive areas. The host comes throughout not as an skilled, however as somebody studying with the viewers.

Karnad says, “Shaunak Modi had this great line in the first episode — ‘you don’t protect what you don’t love and you can’t love what you don’t know exists’. It made such an impression on me and the producers, and we treated it like our motto for the remaining nine episodes. It captures much of our problems and what we’re trying to do with this podcast.”

Although this batch of 10 episodes is Mumbai-centric, Karnad, who grew up in Bengaluru, hopes to host comparable conversations for different cities. “I’d love to be able to do them for Delhi — it has The Ridge [in the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor], rivers, and more green spaces than Mumbai,” concludes the host, whose subsequent episode with Ganesh Nakhawa, chairman of the Purse Seine Fishing Welfare Association, drops on July 30.

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