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Stuck In Between: South Asian roots, Aussie upbringing

The podcast series Stuck In Between explores the complexities of growing up navigating two different worlds

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Two Tamilians walk into a bar. One likes to ask questions, and the other loves to talk. And just like that, a podcast is born!

Long-time friends Romitha Seher and Senthan Sanchayan are hosts of Stuck In Between, a podcast that talks about their South Asian roots and Aussie upbringing.

The crossover of differences and commonalities between their native and adopted heritage meant there was always a lot to discuss and talk about.

“The show is about trying to make more sense of the two cultures, putting both our Eastern and Western cultures under a microscope and challenging what they can learn from one another, sharing and learning from diverse perspectives, and experiences and accomplishments of our community,” Senthan tells Indian Link.

Romitha Seher and Senthan Sanchayan, Source: Supplied

“A big part of the Stuck In Between experience centers on juggling differing value sets – the individualistic view prevalent in the West, compared to the focus on collectivism in the East,” Romitha points out.

When the idea first came up, there weren’t a lot of South Asian Australian voices in the space.

Today the podcast is two series old, with 25K+ downloads, and a third series has just dropped.

“We’ve had the opportunity to build special relationships with some incredibly inspiring people and it’s been a privilege to share and learn from so many important and underrepresented stories,” Senthan highlights.

The program has attracted “a killer guest list,” including comedian Neel Kolhatkar, radio presenter Avneesha Martins and playwright S Shakthidharan, among others.

“One of the more recent episodes was with Dinesh Palipana, who is a doctor, disability advocate, author and speaker,” says Romitha when asked to pick a favourite. “Hearing how Dinesh overcame the trauma of a traffic car accident that left him quadriplegic and how he didn’t allow his circumstances to get in the way of chasing his wildest dreams – publishing a book, sky diving, driving race cars, being a runway model – was a touching conversation about resilience and purpose.”

Entrepreneur Luckshmi Nirmalananda, who has featured in two episodes, is this writer’s favourite. Luckshmi is the founder of The Heritage Supply Co, which aims to connect people to their heritage through toys, books and education tools.  On Stuck In Between, she enlightens listeners about how she has expanded her business and ventured into publishing children’s books that share stories, histories and mythologies of Indigenous communities and communities of colour.

Romitha and Senthan are both in their late 20s. Romitha is originally from Sri Lanka, and moved to Australia when she was six years old. Senthan was born in the United States and migrated to Australia when he was just three.

Stuck in between
Romitha Seher and Senthan Sanchayan, Source: Supplied

They met some 10 years ago as first year students at university.

“It wasn’t until our final year though, when we reconnected for a student-run cultural group,” Senthan shares.

The idea of Stuck In Between came to them when they were comfortable in corporate jobs but were itching to enter the creative sphere.

“Senthan is really good at facilitating conversations,” admits Romitha. “So while recovering from an existential crisis triggered by the 2020 lockdown, I formulated the initial idea and asked Senthan if he’d be interested in starting a podcast.”

Unlike other friends-run podcast shows that may engage in filler conversations, Romitha and Senthan keep their conversations crisp, sharp and fun.

The biggest reward for the hosts though, is the encouraging feedback they receive from their audience.

“Our episodes have resonated with [our listeners] and helped make sense of something they’ve been working through,” shares Romila, encapsulating why their show continues to be so successful.

READ ALSO: Bottled up: Boys talking about boys’ mental health

 

Prutha Chakraborty
Prutha Chakraborty
Prutha Bhosle Chakraborty is a freelance journalist. With over nine years of experience in different Indian newsrooms, she has worked both as a reporter and a copy editor. She writes on community, health, food and culture. She has widely covered the Indian diaspora, the expat community, embassies and consulates. Prutha is an alumna of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bengaluru.

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