I am a reluctant car driver living in Bangalore, India. Never loved driving or going on a long drive, prefer if it being driven by a friend and me enjoying the ride looking out, probably helping with directions (very bad at it though :-)). I have been driving on and off from 2009 and in these years I would not have clocked more than 15K KMs mileage. That makes it an average of under 2K/year which is not a lot. Incidentally my Runkeeper log shows around 1743 KM in probably 2 years. So you can understand driving is not my cup of tea.
Of all the mileage here most of it is commuting to office and home almost everyday. I was pained by all the FM channels playing more advertisements than music and same songs gets played repeatedly. If you are driving in Bangalore you cannot predict the traffic and even google maps is wrong many times because in only ten minutes the traffic turns from good to worse. Listening to FM music was turning out to be a means of different people like the “real estate people” or “concert organizers” or” saree wala sale” or “get 10 when you buy 1 wala sale” or “get your kids British accent wala school” reach out to you. All FM channels are so coordinated that advertisements more of less match the timings also, it has been cartelized between all the channels and one cannot escape. All India Radio FM channel brings in respite from all this but its content management if little off but still with all that, it still my favorite. See this ,one of blogs I wrote regarding a program on AIR.
Last couple of months I started listening to Podcasts and it has been a great experience. I have completely stopped listening to any FM Music at all. There are not many Podcasts that I know of done by Indian people on India. I have been listening to NPR Podcast and will a list of all that I have liked today. They also have advertisements but much lesser when compared to FM channels. The subjects being diverse and interesting that I really started liking my commute these days 🙂
I have been using Castbox App on my Android Phone. Here the podcasts that I have been enjoying for all these days
- Freakonomics – Hosted by Stephen Dubner Author of the book by the same name. It talks about diverse topics including business, interviews with leaders etc and each podcast is normally 40 to 60 mins long (Dubner & WNYC production)
- Hidden Brain – Hosted by Shankar Vedantam. Itis based on human behavior and the social sciences.
- Radiolab – Hosted by Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad. The podcast is about science, philosophy and human experience. (WNYC production)
- Invisibilia – Hosted by Hana Rosin and Alix Spiegel. It is narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently. (NPR)
- Planet Money – Hosted by bunch of people who find creative, entertaining ways to make sense of the big, complicated forces that move our economy (NPR)
- Ted Radio Hour – Hosted by Guy Raz and being the famous Ted Talks for radio listening with interviews with the same people who have given the Ted Talks. (NPR)
All these are Podcasts based out of US. I have seen by far the quality of these are very good when compared to anybody else. I have tried listening to few other podcasts from BBC but they have not been able to keep my attention for a while.
For two months this list is quite a bit. If you have already a podcast listener than help me with new channels in the comments below. If you have not tried earlier try any of these now if you bugged by Indian FM Channels. All these are free and very interesting.
Also if anyone from AIR sees this, my request to you is to start a Podcast on India by Indian People. Take a topic and start one, lets say Buddhism in India or Indus Valley Civilization or Temples of India or anything else that such a diverse country like ours should have.