Season 3,
1 HR 40 MINS

Episode 33 (Season 3) – May Aaj Ka Kabootar + Interview with Dr. Almas Merchant

May 21, 2017

This week’s mix bag of Aaj Ka Kabootar jellybeans comes with some bitter pills and some extra nutritional value. In keeping with our Mental Health May theme and as promised at the end of our last episode, we have an interview with Dr. Almas Merchant – so stick around till the end while we get this show pony on the road!

First up, the bitter pill – Sweety and Pappu discuss the death sentence given by the Supreme Court to those accused in the Nirbhaya case.  While the death sentence is a barbaric and totalitarian form of capital punishment, we cannot help but feel that this is the closest to any form of justice that there can be for her family. Also, did you know that since 1995 only 25 death penalty executions have been carried out in India? Compared to this, in USA alone has had 11 executions already since the start of 2017. But, is death sentence a strong enough deterrent enough to address the rape culture epidemic in India? Sweety and Pappu weigh in.

The past week and two has also been somber for Bollywood – we lost Vinod Khanna (6 October 1946 – 27 April 2017) and Reema Lagoo (21 June 1958 – 18 May 2017). Sweety remembers Vinod Khanna for being one of the most good-looking actors in the 70s-80s. Reema Lagoo will be sorely missed – there can be no other Bollywood Maa that can take her place.

This week, we saw a our own divas sashay into the Cannes sunset – while Aishwarya Rai revealed herself as the true Ice Queen in her Cinderella-esque powder blue number, Deepika shouldered like wildfire in her emerald green number, and added another fashion feather in plum Marchesa tulle. Yes, as you can gather from this – fashion and Bollywood is our escape.

Last week also saw our other Bollowood starts, specifically Shah Rukh Khan, indulge in more lofty pursuits – namely his TEDx Talk in Vancity recently. Pappu shares why she would rather watch him host a wedding or an award show than in a TEDx talk, while Sweety remains resolutely indifferent to his charms.

Last week India played host to everybody’s favourite Canadian – no, not Justine Trudeau, the other one – Justine Bibier while he pulled a Britney. Sweety and Pappu compare how big a fan they are of his music.

Sweety is finally coming out of her funk – thanks to a few Netflix binge sessions. She recently watched Angry Indian Goddesses and gives her two anna on the movie. Well, lets just say our expectations greatly fell short for this one. Bollywood really needs the ultimate desi girl buddy movie. And, while we’re at it we are going to name our Dream Team and put out to the universe. Hint: it has Malika Duaa in it.

Talking about disappointments and exceeded expectations – we really are truly blessed with good shows this year – Sweety aka the biggest Neil Gaiman FANGIRL you’ll ever know is loving American Gods. While, Pappu is holding her emotions in check as Margaret Atwood’s adapted novel The Handmaiden’s Tale unfolds on Hulu.

Finally, Sweety has a tête-à-tête with Dr. Merchant. Almas (Ally) Merchant is a clinical psychologist. Besides her clinical work, she is also the externship coordinator at Brightpoint Health, where she supervises externs from doctoral programs in psychology. Ally’s specializes in trauma, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy, specifically with queer people of color. She is engaged within Division 39 of the American Psychological Association (Division of Psychoanalysis) and the Association of Psychoanalysis in Culture and Society.

Enjoy the show, see you in June!

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