The Helloo Sunshine! Podcast

Through this podcast, I explore the personal journeys of others, of becoming who they are. What has shaped them? What do they struggle with? How have they learnt to thrive? How do they aspire to be and live?

I intend to create a space for podcast guests to explore their personal narratives, to own their stories and share themselves authentically, while feeling seen, heard and valued. And I hope that by listening, you find resonance in their stories or an appreciation for different human experiences, that you are left feeling a sense of connection and with the desire to reflect on your own narrative.

Jump to a specific episode:

Episode 7

Neel Shah: The adventure of owning who I really am

In this episode, I speak with Neel Shah, who leads a fantastic sports management program in Mumbai (GISB). Neel is committed to self-development and brings that into everything he does.  

Neel shares the angst of not owning who he really was and being driven to look cool while growing up. He talks about the excitement of finally exploring his Indian identity, and the challenges and loneliness he faced when he moved to India. When he hit rock bottom, he started letting go of control and listening to his heart, which brought teachers and experiences that changed his life and brought him back to his essence.

In the last part of the interview, we explore his current struggle of balancing the driven, achieving part of him with the part that wants to slow down and be playful and connected.

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • [00:37] Angst from disowning who I was, wanting to be cool and accepted

  • [18:04] Excitement of owning my Indian identity

  • [26:26] Challenges of being in India, hitting rock bottom

  • [37:29] Teachers and a world of new heart-centered experiences

  • [44:07] Driven and achiever vs. playful and relaxed

  • [57:21] Looking forward: Focusing on others, while being grounded in myself

Episode 6

Miti Vaidya: Taking ‘best’ out of the equation

In this episode, I speak with my clear-headed friend and book lover, Miti Vaidya.

After being tagged as the ‘topper’ since childhood, it didn’t help that Miti went on to get exceptionally qualified with both a CA and MBA. She shares her story of how focusing on being the best left her constantly trying to prove that for herself, and finding herself stuck between self-adoration and self-berating. And how now, the focus is on ambition, and not limiting herself anymore with the fear of failure. She also shares her experience with depression and her struggle with interdependence and connection. 

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • [00:26] Self-reliance from an early age

  • [10:31] When your identity revolves around being really good at things

  • [21:00] Ambition being rooted in wanting to tap into your true power

  • [27:57] Depression and its impact on self and relationships

  • [40:07] Exploring interdependence, connection, self-care

  • [52:46] Looking forward: boundless ambition reinforced by like-minded friends

Episode 5

Abhishek Thakore: From being the sun to striving for the night sky

In this episode, I talk with Abhishek Thakore, a conscious and inspiring soul, and co-founder of the Blue Ribbon Movement. Abhishek has a nuanced understanding of his own story. He is keenly aware of the head start he got as a young kid and the privilege and impact of that. He shares his journey of coming out of darkness after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the patience as well as empathy for others’ struggles that it allowed him to develop. And finally, he talks about what moves him today – his sights on the larger narrative beyond his own, his connection with the universe, and the desire to play his role in it by cultivating thousands of stars rather than being the sole sun.

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • [00:08] Wanting and enjoying attention and achievement as a child

  • [11:17] The privilege of the head start; the arrogance of ‘I’m special’

  • [21:02] Achiever identity continues to consolidate despite some taste of failure

  • [28:55] The darkness of a mental health crash; learning patience and getting support

  • [41:28] Expanding to accommodate complexity; from exploring meaning to embracing mystery and connectedness

  • [52:47] The struggle of being yourself: Learning to negotiate with the million mes and showing up in the present moment without judgment

  • [01:02:31] Looking forward: Allowing for a night sky with many stars rather than being the sun; lazy leadership

Episode 4

elita almeida: Finding my way back to myself

In this episode, I talk to the wise Elita Almeida about having ‘a mind of her own’, being okay with being different, and learning to be in relationship with herself.

Elita is deeply in touch with her story and owns it. Through our conversation, she reveals some of her internal narrative and how that has evolved through its highs and lows, as well as the role that writing has played in this journey.

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • [00:30] Childhood: Discipline and quiet is the comfort zone; new is scary

  • [17:48] College: Finding space to be myself, finding ‘my thing’ in writing

  • [30:18] Learning its okay to be different; writing first as a retreat to safety and then understanding myself

  • [50:33] The journey of growth: disconnection with self, learning self-care, appreciating and trusting myself

  • [01:07:49] Looking forward: Creating ease

Episode 3

Anisha singhi: Accepting love, Not pursuing it

In this episode, I have a beautiful, insightful and fun conversation with Anisha Singhi.

Anisha is a wise monkey, full of life and unique perspective. We talk about her family, about how it affected her and how relationships evolved over time. We talk about her pursuit of being loved and liked, about learning to be herself and learning to not let love consume her. And about kindness: when being kind can feel toxic, and when accepting kindness is the way to heal.

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • 00:42 Growing up, sharing who I am and being understood by my family

  • 14:54 Being affected by family: healing relationships, learning to speak up

  • 30:28 College times – freedom, friendships, femininity, love

  • 40:10 Experiences and epiphanies, navigating relationship and taking time off

  • 51:09 Shifting to the present: Being high on life, not just love

  • 58:12 Going forward: accepting love and kindness from others

Episode 2

Shalaka Gole: Doing the work of reminding myself of my value

My interview today is with Shalaka Gole, an incredibly self-aware and growth-oriented human. She works at a social enterprise called Tala, in Bangalore.

In our conversation, we talk about Shalaka’s journey of moving away from the expectations of how she was supposed to look and behave, towards valuing herself, focusing on what she wanted to do and feeling capable. We touch upon body-image challenges, growing within a relationship, and much more.  

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • 00:40 On expectations placed on her as a kid, and their impact

  • 09:24 The biggest turning point in her life, discovering herself

  • 21:40 The oscillations behind the transformation: self-judgment

  • 31:25 Growing alongside a partner: learning to communicate

  • 36:26 On being an Indian American: identity and belonging

  • 43:41 Taking responsibility: the work of reminding yourself of your value, of nurturing yourself

  • 54:14 The way forward: Accepting where I am, while always moving forward

Episode 1

Anuj Gosalia: Thriving in the cave, not the sunshine

My first interview is with a dear friend, Anuj Gosalia. Anuj is the founder and CEO of Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT), and as you'll discover, someone with a rich imagination and desire to create and play.

Through our conversation, we explore his understanding of himself and what has shaped him. We touch on his relationship with play, communication and self-care, and the inner challenges that have been part of his journey. A highlight from the conversation is when he uses a beautiful metaphor of the cave vs. the sunshine, to describe his core need for boredom, regeneration and creativity. Anuj takes over the interviewing hat briefly towards the end, so you hear a bit about my own journey of learning to be myself.

Conversation Notes (timestamps for the video version):

  • 00:47 On play and creativity as a child

  • 10:45 Family dynamics and how that impacted his communication patterns

  • 21:23 The cave vs the sunshine (solitude vs people); on the struggle of self-care

  • 31:15 Play and creativity at TTT; on his identity at work

  • 41:29 Challenges to being yourself, anxiety and fear of judgment

  • 48:30 Anuj interviews Megha, on being playful, on internal struggles

  • 55:53 Back to Anuj: The focus going forward, how do you want to be?