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Postcards from Nowhere is a travel podcast that takes you on journeys exploring culture, history, food and people in the form of stories. With over a decade of travel stories in his kitty, Utsav Mamoria narrates the stories of the strange, obscure and fascinating things about the world, often interspersed with practical tips and deep realizations, which would shape the way you travel. Tune in to the new episode every Thursday.
 
UTSA Citymester Program is focused on further developing students and their potential through engaging them through internships, service learning projects, and networking opportunities with community partners of the San Antonio area. Confluence Park is an interactive, environmental education project that has received national recognition for it's architecture. The park which opened in March 2018 has already helped more than 60 non-profits in the area and has assisted more than 350 programs.
 
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show series
 
In 1765, colonised America was hit by a British stamp tax. A group of local businessmen in Boston calling themselves the Loyal Nine began meeting in secret to plan a series of protests against the Stamp Act. They gathered under a large tree to protest against the act. Only a few years later in 1790, a similar tree was planted in Vienne in France as…
 
In 1964, the directors at the National Library of Spain in Madrid made a startling discovery. Owing to an error in the printed catalogue, two hitherto unknown notebooks belonging to a famous inventor were discovered. In Milan, a physicist discovers an interesting hypothesis about trees in the notebooks of the same inventor, and goes out to prove it…
 
On May 18, 2016, students in Islington, north London, gathered to attend a tree-planting ceremony. It had a small plaque explaining that the tree had been planted “in the hope that the young people of Islington will live in a society of mutual understanding and respect for diversity”. The guest of honour was Dr Eva Schloss, an 87-year-old Auschwitz…
 
In 1634, on Baisakhi day, a Sikh hunting party set their hawk or Baaz upon the royal Baaz of the Mughals. The Sikh Baaz prevailed, and the Mughal Baaz was captured. Angered by this action, Emperor Shah Jahan from Lahore sent 7,000 soldiers under Mukhlis Khan to attack. The outcome of the war shaped the history of the Sikhs. In 2016, the Bollywood f…
 
"In January 2022, Tanya Tagaq, a 47 year old Canadian singer released her album - Tongues.The Rolling Stone called her ‘one of the avant-garde’s most dynamic performers. The Pitchfork said that her ‘music joins landscape, culture and resistance.’ Music joining landscape and resistance? This week, we travel to a place which has just 2 people per 100…
 
The island of Satwal in the Pacific Ocean is incredibly small - Just 1 square kilometre and supports a population of 500. And yet, it is home to Mau Piailug, a man who holds the secrets of the some of the most long distance travellers of the world. Travellers who for thousands of years, have traversed vast oceans without any navigational aids. But …
 
In 1971, Belfast witnessed a rising rock band debut their unnamed fourth album. Despite their first three albums breaking sales records, the album had a very cold reception. Decades later, a British author shopped her book to over ten publishers, all of whom rejected it. This week, in the fifteenth episode of the series Ireland Untravelled, we disc…
 
In 1920, Colonel Charles - Bury was nervous about a diplomatic conversation with the then British Viceroy of India. He wanted to convince the Viceroy to allow a trip to Peak XV, which was suspected to be taller than Mount Kanchenjunga. Back in his home in Ireland, at the Charleville Castle, a 400 year tree waited for his arrival. Charles - Bury tho…
 
In 1864, London saw the formation of a club consisting of nine members. It was called the X Club, since it committed its members to nothing. In fact, the only rule of the club was to have no rules. But this wasn't a bunch of rag-tag individuals. These nine members were some of the most influential voices of their generation. One of these men went o…
 
On 4th May 1799, the British forces defeated the famed king of Mysore in a battle, largely owing to the king's chief minister betraying him. About 8500 kms away, the battle finds a reference in a 200 ft talk Obleisk in Phoenix Park, in Dublin Ireland. But is that the only legacy India has left in Ireland, of a war an Indian ruler lost to the Britis…
 
On 20th May 1932, a 34-year-old woman set off from Newfoundland, the easternmost province of Canada. She flew for almost 15 hours, and created aviation history. She was supposed to land in Paris, but ended up in Derry, Northern Ireland. Almost 60 years later, just below the hill she landed, lived a young 8 year old girl who was given a microscope a…
 
In the summer of 2009, as the world was still reeling from the impact of The Great Recession, a young man, by the name of Kieran McGuinness, was trying to perfect a song. It was inspired by some grafitti he had seen in Spain. But the song had a purpose, for he was trying to find someone. And like Kieran, there were thousands of people who were tryi…
 
In 1993, a young alternative rock band was touring England. The lead vocalist, passed through a town near Liverpool which had been the site of a brutal bombing. Moved by the death of two people, she penned a stream of conciousness song which went onto become their biggest hit worldwide, and amassed 1 billion views on YouTube as of today. In 2018, N…
 
1856, Dublin City. Over 3,600 soldiers sit down for a celebratory banquet after a hard fought Crimean war. But where does one find a building large enough to seat these many people? A warehouse is converted for this purpose, and 150 years later, it houses one of the most unique emigration museums of the world. But what if I told you that all of thi…
 
On 15th April 1912, the RMS Titanic sank into the Atlantic Ocean. 100 years later, the city of Belfast inaugurated the opulent Titanic Museum, built at the cost of a whopping 116 million Euros. The museum also tells another story, that of the rise of Belfast city, making it one of the largest ports in the world. But there is another story, which it…
 
Across the countryside in Ireland there are roads which go nowhere, and there are houses nobody lives in. The thousands of traveller less roads and empty homes have a singular story behind them. This week, in the sixth episode of the series, Ireland Untravelled, we uncover the greatest single event in Irish history - The Potato Famine. Tune in, to …
 
In the early 1960’s, a young man from the Varad village on the Konkan Coast of India goes to study medicine at KEM Hospital in Bombay. Continents away in Paris at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, lies buried one of the finest playwrights and poets of the 19th century. A song by the Irish Punk Rock band - The Radiators releases a song that features one o…
 
Three of the most iconic Irish bands walk into a bar - The Dubliners, The Chieftains and U2. They grab a few drinks, clear their throats and then proceed to play. The bar owner turns them down, and says that there will be no music at his bar. They leave. What? Who in their right mind would turn such a musical evening down? This week, in the fourth …
 
On 25th August 1992, the Serbian paramilitaries set fire to the National Library of Sarajevo. The library burned for 2 days and 2 nights before the fire could be bought under control. A few centuries prior in 1592, Trinity College was established in Dublin, and it became the first university in all of Ireland and UK to award degrees to women. But w…
 
In 2016, a strange event unfolded in Cork County in Ireland. A staff member at the Flying Enterprise pub in Cork city was asked not to speak in Irish. Wait What? Not speak Irish in Ireland? This week, in the second episode of the series, Ireland Untravelled, we uncover the stunning decline of the Irish language, so much so, that it is less widely s…
 
What does an instant Scottish classic, published in 1824, a book which has captured the imagination of the world since have to do with the troubled history of Ireland and Northern Ireland? What does a designer of a lighthouse along the coast of the UK have to do with Alfred Nobel, the man behind the Nobel Prize? This week, starting a new series, Ir…
 
Once consumed, feelings of infusion, vitalisation, empowerment, elevation, even travel into other worlds or possession by the divine had been reported. So important was this drink, that there is an entire chapter with 114 hymns that have been dedicated to this drink alone - in the Rigveda, no less. This week, in the fourteenth episode of the series…
 
In the town of Rameswaram in Coastal Tamil Nadu, a boy is born into a fishing caste household. Across the Indian ocean in Sri Lanka, another boy is born into another household from the same fishing caste. Uncharacterstically, both of these men went on to become really famous in their own countries, taking up high ranking political and millitary pos…
 
In 1568, the Raja of Kochi gifted land to a tiny religious community, so that they have a place of worship away from home. This community was fleeing persecution in Spain and Portugal and arrived in India in the 15th and 16th centuries and were given the name Paradesi or a foreigner in Malayalam due to their descent. They built a monument which is …
 
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, you would find a painting of Raja Ram Singh I, the ruler of Amer or present-day Jaipur. The king is engaged in an activity pretty common to the royals of his time. Meanwhile, every February and March, there is a fiery orange flower which blooms and bathes the entire landscape in an beautiful hue. But w…
 
In 1612, the royal family of Mysore - The Wodeyars brought upon themselves a curse which lasted 400 years. About two thousand years before that, the Mauryans traded over a branch of the Silk Route, which gave rise to an Indian culinary tradition which exists to this day. In the late 19th and early 20th century, speakers of a certain language from N…
 
In 2003, at a famed temple in South India, a 5000 year old idol was to be replaced. The temple officials decided to make an idol and several kilos of gold were collected to make the idol. However, once it was installed, things went awry, and a joint investigation by the police and IIT Madras found the gold to be missing. A 15 year-long investigatio…
 
Blood filled sausages, goat’s head in sour gruel, grilled stomach membrane and barbecued river rats - If this grossed you out, you must listen to this episode. This week, in the eighth episode of the series, Fabulous Foods, we delve into our privileged idea of Taboo foods, the tradition of eating meat in the Ramayan and Mahabharat, and how does the…
 
In 1856, the last Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah invites a prince from Delhi to his durbaar. He serves a dish, which masquerades as a a murabba - a thick, highly spiced conserve made of fruit or vegetables. In return, the prince invites Wajid Ali Shah to Delhi, and he too serves hundreds of dishes which are not what they appear. This week, in the s…
 
"Peter Piper picked some packs of pickled peppers in each pack of pickled peppers that peter piper picked was 3 pickled peppers. Now peter piper is happy with all 36 of his pickled peppers. How many packs of pickled peppers did peter piper pick?" What does this tongue twisting nursery rhyme have to do with a global smuggling operation between two c…
 
What does a 12th century treatise on the life of a medieval king in Karnataka have in common with 1st century Sangam literature from Tamil Nadu, that describes the ancient food practices of the Tamil people? And do they have to do with Dashavatars of Vishnu? This week, in the fifth episode of the series Fabulous Foods, we travel from Udupi in Karna…
 
What connects the assasination attempt of King Jospeh 1 in Portugal, the ban on the Konkani language in Goa and a story about a young Lord Krishna, whose bravery provided the name of a famous waterfall? And how does it have an impact on almost all our culinary practices as Indians? This week, in the fourth episode of Fabulous Foods, we discover an …
 
Why is the spice Nutmeg being mentioned in India's foremost treatise on military strategy? Why is it mentioned in a tri-fold collection of Sanskrit poetry about politics, erotic passion and renunciation? And what does it all have to do with the tiny cluster of islands in the southeastern Indian ocean, part of modern day Indonesia? This week, in the…
 
About 2000 years ago, a group of people escaping persecution by the Greeks landed on the shores of Alibaug in Maharashtra, India. They were a small community, and soon spread out across the state. A similar phenomenon was observed in Cochin and Calcutta as well. The community went onto integrate so well into the regions they lived in, that they bec…
 
In the spring of 1943, US torpedo boat No. 109 gets shattered to pieces by a Japanese destroyer. Some of the crew members make a miraculous escape, and one of them goes on to create history. Over 8000 miles across the oceans in Gujarat India, a team of paleobotanists find 37 million year old fossil. This fossil is of an object which is often mailed…
 
In the early 2000’s, a concerned government official approached Dave Martins. Dave was an iconic musician from the Caribbean, who was the lead vocalist of the band Tradewinds. Someone who had his finger on the pulse of the Southern Caribbean islands. The government official asked him to write a song to quell the ethnic violence in Guyana. In anothe…
 
"In October 2021, the Kannada film Salaga, featured a track which was sung by a Hindustani classical singer, the first from her community. Further up north in Hyderabad, since the 18th century, there is a popular form of music which features only drums. Across the border in Pakistan, a song sung by Balochi singer Shabana Noshi became the anthem of …
 
"In the 14th season of Coke Studio Pakistan, Abida Parveen and Naseebo Lal gave us a beautiful song steeped in the Sufi tradition - Tu Jhoom. Almost 75 years ago, the prolific writer Saddat Hassan Manto, gave us 'Yazid', a story set in the backdrop of partition. But there is an unlikely connection between the two. This week in the sixth episode of …
 
In 1921, a bloody rebellion in North Kerala led to the death of over 2000 people. In 2018, almost a century later, a song from the film Oru Adaar Love titled Manikya Malaraya Poovi went viral, garnering millions of views, even from parts of India that did not understand a word of Malayalam. But what could connect these two wildly diferent events? T…
 
What does a military dictator in a South-East African republic have in common with Ramanand Sagar, the man who made the cult television show Ramayan? And what could it have to do with one of the richest communities in India, which actually thrived in that very African republic? This week, in the fourth episode of the series The Great Migration, we …
 
What does a small cluster of less than 100 villages in Tamil Nadu have in common with agrarian flatlands of Burma? And what are both of these doing in a conversation taking place in a modern urban home in the IT corridor of Bangalore? This week, in the the third episode of teh series, The Great Migration, we look at the story of the Chettiar commun…
 
In 1898, the New York Times wrote a glowing review of this particular service in India. Closer home, the Bombay Mill Owners Association wasn’t so pleased - The service was so popular amongst its workers, that it led to work disruptions. But what has all this got to do with the hill city of Dehradun. This week, in the second episode of the series, T…
 
"It's all around us, so much so, that probably no state in India has been untouched by it - The labour migration. The state which probably provides the most manpower to India's varied workforce is Bihar. More specifically, the Bhojpur region. While the region has become infamous for its supposedly low brow music and cinema, what hides underneath is…
 
In 1947, on the eve of Partition, a young man left Lahore and came to Shimla. What makes his journey unique, amongst the millions who must have undertaken this voyage is what he ended up doing in Shimla. What started out as a stationery shop went on to become a storied institution. This week, we travel to Shimla and learn about a rare bookshop whic…
 
It’s been over 2 years we have travelled together. This month, the Caravan rests to return in 2022. Till then Check out the other episodes of "India's Linguistic Heritage" The Hidden Story of Sanskrit, and the North-South Divide : https://ivm.today/3CpKQuO Reclaiming India's Linguistic Heritage: 300 Ramayanas?: https://ivm.today/3kgataz Partitions …
 
Why does the hill district of Shimla, home to a mere 8 lakh people, have at least 10-15 different languages? Why does Indonesia have 250 languages, and the strangest of them all - Papua New Guinea, an island nation, to this very day, has over one thousand spoken languages? Why did these rather disparate places acquire such a high density of languag…
 
In the early 19th century, the Maharaja of Travancore levied an absolutely bizzare tax: Any woman who had come of age and had breasts had to pay a breast tax, and bare her breasts to anyone who was of a higher caste to them. This was one amongst the hundreds of taxes the lower castes had to endure, which put them in a cycle of perpetual debt and po…
 
In 2018, a research study by the University of Michigan and World Bank found that women who are native speakers of certain kind of languages have a lower labour force participation rate and lower educational attainment. How did our Indian languages fare? This week, in the fifth episode of the series, India's Linguistic Heritage, we uncover the hidd…
 
"In 12th century Delhi, a new language began to emerge, which was initially known as Dehlavi. Parallelly, the political landscape of India changed, with the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate and the arrival of the Mughals. With them came Persian, and quickly established itself as the language of power. Over time, a new language emerged, a combin…
 
"In 2008, a quasi political organisation asked for the removal of an academic paper from the syllabus of Delhi University. They eventually succeeded in 2011. But what was in that paper that had 'hurt' sentiments? This week, in the second episode of India's linguistic heritage, and on the occasion of Diwali, we dive into a simple question: How many …
 
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