Storytalking with Lakshya

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"How do you go from hopeless to hopeful?"  2020 has been unexpected. The unexpected, by nature, comes unannounced. Isn't that hope's shtick too?  In the season 3 finale of 'Storytalking with Lakshya' (#116), I recap some of the planned vs unexpected things that happened this year, along with some behind-the-mic stories from writing and recording my lockdown audio-series "Tumne Kisi Se Kabhi Pyaar Kiya Hai?" and "Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koi Humhe Pyaar Karle". Happy new year listeners, and I wish you hope for 2021!
"Kisi ko poora samajhna hai, shayad yahi pyaar hai". This episode of Storytalking with Lakshya (#115) is the end of this mini-BTS-series about "Tumne Kisi Se Kabhi Pyaar KIya Hai?" -  and in this one I tell you all about the process behind the last 3 episodes the show, and I also reflect back on what this journey has been like. Plus, some teasers about season 2!
"Pyaar bekaar hai." In this episode of Storytalking With Lakshya (#114), I continue to break down the plot and process behind select episodes of my ongoing audio-series "Tumne Kisi Se Kabhi Pyaar Kiya Hai?" (all episodes of season 1 now streaming on JioSaavn). This episode covers parts 13 to 18 of the show. I also use sports analogies and talk about time travel and multiple choice questions.
Hear-ye hear-ye, in this episode of Storytalking With Lakshya (#113), I continue to break down the plot and process behind select episodes of my ongoing audio-series "Tumne Kisi Se Kabhi Pyaar Kiya Hai?" (which is currently playing exclusively on JioSaavn). This episode covers parts 7 to 12 of the show. Do not listen to this if you haven't heard them yet!
Back after 8 weeks to give you episode #112 of Storytalking With Lakshya! This one is all about how my new show “Tumne Kisi Se Kabhi Pyaar Kiya Hai?” (now streaming exclusively on JioSaavn) came to be during this global lockdown. I also break down the writing process behind first six episodes of the show (parts 1 to 6). Spoiler Alert: listen to this AFTER you’ve heard those episodes, obviously. 
Back after 8 weeks to give you episode #112 of Storytalking With Lakshya! This one is all about how my new show “Tumne Kisi Se Kabhi Pyaar Kiya Hai?” (now streaming exclusively on JioSaavn) came to be during this global lockdown. I also break down the writing process behind first six episodes of the show (parts 1 to 6). Spoiler Alert: listen to this AFTER you’ve heard those episodes, obviously. 
Creativity in the time of quarantine. We're living through uncertain times, and being creative during this time requires focus and patience. So in this episode of Storytalking With Lakshya (#111 btw) I talk you through my quarantine-schedule to stay creative while still being on the right side of sane.   The episode title, btw, is from a line I wrote for my WIP novel which I talk about in the episode!
I'm in the first phase of working on my book - which basically involves a lot of "rulemaking" and "structure". So following some great advice I received from bestselling author Ashwin Sanghi - I'm using an excel sheet to create the groundwork for my book. And since the story is about a marriage told over six scenes over 20ish years, I'm basically creating a marriage using numbers. It's really fun. Tune in to listen to the process, as well as some updates on my other shows - "Play Me Life", and the newly announced "Natakshala"! 
Play Me Life launch. One More Night With Meera hits 10,000 listens. Jaipur Literature Festival 2020 memories. Oh and by the way, I think I'm going to write a book. Listen in.
I'm starting off 2020 with a very eventful January, so this is a jam-packed episode (#108!) of Storytalking With Lakshya, where I first give you updates on all our shows (Jaipur Bytes, Poetry Darbaar, Play Me Life), AND then I have a chat with two super talented storytellers: Varud Gupta and Ayushi Rastogi, who have created a truly unique graphic novel titled "Chhotu: A Tale of Partition and Love". You can find it on Amazon, it's worth it. Also, Play Me Life's first audio-play is coming out on January 17! The trailer for "One More Night With Meera" is out now, listen here. 
A year ago, at the end of 2018, Launchora had just one podcast - this one. We're ending 2019 with five podcasts produced - Storytalking With Lakshya, Jaipur Bytes, The Vision-Nari Podcast, Jazz India Circuit Podcast, Poetry Darbaar - with a total of 230 episodes released so far. AND, in January 2020, I'm finally going to launch our sixth podcast: my long-time-in-the-making audio-play series "Play Me Life". So in this episode (#107) of Storytalking With Lakshya (the final episode of 2019 / season 2) I talk about what I've learned as a writer / podcaster / storyteller in 2019, and what I hope to learn and unlearn in 2020.
“You’re this, but you’re also that.” How you start a story requires a lot of attention, especially if you want your audience to stay till the end. Another #AskLakshya special, in this episode (#106!) of Storytalking With Lakshya, I talk about how to write the opening scene of a story that draws in your audience immediately. Using my current work-in-progress audio-play “Subconscious Uncoupling” (still a working title!), I reframe the whole story using the opening scene, which in this case is a monologue and very crucial to the rest of the story. I walk you through the process of writing this 3 minute scene, which will end up taking days and maybe weeks to get right. if you’ve ever struggled with how to open a story, this is the episode for you. Keep sending in your questions, listeners!
You asked, I listened, and then I talked... this episode (#105!) of Storytalking With Lakshya is all about how I deal with writer's block. A listener asked me earlier this week about how I manage to find my way out of not being able to write. I had a lot to say about this (as you can tell by the episode length!). But really, this should be of use to you if you've ever been afraid of a) not being able to write anything new again, b) not being able to write anything "good" ever again, or the worst: c) not being able to write anything ever again. Spoiler alert: you're not alone, and yes, it can be fixed. Also, send me more questions! Tweet, DM on Instagram, DM on Launchora. I'm going to call this the #AskLakshya series. Maybe.
Returning from a four-week hiatus, I've got a lot to share in this mega-episode #104 of Storytalking With Lakshya. First, there's some writing-and-producing talk regarding "Play Me Life" and "Play Me Zindagi" - where we are on the scripts and basically all my fears. Then we jump into the behind-the-scenes of our latest show "Jazz India Circuit Podcast" - and how I've barely managed to release each of the 3 episodes so far. And finally we end on what's on the horizon - including the much-storytalked "Poetry Darbaar".
The language a character speaks isn't just representing their thoughts - it's telling us who they are. So what happens, when you take a story and re-write it in a new language? How does that change the character? How does that change the story? How does that change the message behind the story? Those are just some of the questions I attempt to explore the answers to in this episode (#103) of Storytalking With Lakshya. Why am I asking these questions? Because Play Me Life, Launchora's upcoming podcast of audio-plays, in English, written and produced by me, is now being simultaneously created in Hindi as well. I explain why and how in the episode too. Also revealed in this episode is what *new* podcast we're producing (and I'm hosting) that will be coming out in just a few days!
Picture this: you’re 17 years old, and today is the last day of school, EVER. Tomorrow, you’re no longer going to be a “school student”. You’re on your way to proper adulthood. And the person you’ve been dating for the last two years decides to use this moment of your life - the last day of your childhood - to break up with you. How are you going to react? That’s where this episode (#102) of Storytalking With Lakshya starts, as I break down the latest audio-play I’m writing for the work-in-progress-we’re-going-to-bring-radio-plays-to-the-digital-age “Play Me Life” podcast. What else is jam-packed in this episode? How I came up with and plan to execute a HUGE TWIST in this story, why that twist means that this story will have to be in two parts, some writing advice I received from the magically humble writer André Aciman (author of “Call Me By Your Name”) which led me to double-down on this story, and a writing trick I came up with this week as I was writing this story that I like to call the “Don’t Forget This” list.
This is a really special episode (#101), so it deserves a different kind of description. So whether you’re a regular listener, or this is your first episode of Storytalking With Lakshya, I want to tell you something about me (Lakshya) that you may not know. When I was 17, I moved from my home in Gurgaon, India to San Diego, California to study at the University of California, San Diego. I was a student there for 4 years, graduating in 2011 with a B.Sc. in Management Science. I loved living in San Diego, and even after I moved back to India in 2014, I still go back as often as I can - because of one reason: my campus. I call UCSD my campus because it’s where I grew up. it’s where I became me. For me, UCSD isn’t just a location in space, it’s a location in time. I’m proud of being a Triton - that’s what we call ourselves - based on King Triton who is the ruler of the Sea from Greek Mythology, and if you grew up in the 90s like me you probably know him as Ariel’s dad from the little mermaid… My point is, I’m proud to call myself an alum of UC San Diego - it is one of the top educational and research institutions in the world. And my very special guest in this episode happens to be the captain of the UCSD ship - sticking to the aquatic metaphor - Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. He is an internationally renowned electrical and computer engineer recognized for his seminal contributions in secure software, intelligent robot systems, and design. He's now leading a campus of more than 38,000 students within six undergraduate colleges and 11 academic divisions and graduate schools. Professors at UCSD have called him the best chancellor the university has ever had. And here’s just one of the reasons why - when he began his term as Chancellor in 2012, he set an ambitious goal: to raise $2 billion to transform the university physically, intellectually and culturally in 10 years. UCSD has already hit that goal, and it’s only been 7 years. Dr. Khosla became the Chancellor a year after I graduated, so I never got to meet him as a student, but I had the pleasure of meeting him on his last visit to India a few months ago in Mumbai where I was the local host of a UCSD event. And when I was in California earlier this summer, he was nice enough to invite me to his office on campus to have this chat. We talked about a lot of things - as you’ll hear in this episode - from what he wanted to do with his life as a teenager in Bombay, to his work as an academic, to his time at DARPA, to what brought him to UCSD, and how he leads our campus and continues to learn... I wanted to have him on my podcast so he could share his story with you, because he’s lived and is living an inspiring one... AND he’s helping thousands of students figure out their own stories... AND he just also happens to be a great storyteller. Hope you like this conversation. You can learn more about Chancellor Khosla at
I started recording this episode (#100!) of Storytalking With Lakshya at 23.30pm on September 19, 2019, which meant I had 30 minutes left on my birthday. So of course I spent it with you, talking about stories. The stories that I have made up and lived these past 30 years as a person, these past 10 years as a writer, these past 5 years as a not-amateur writer, these past 2 years as a podcaster, and... the ones I haven't even come up with yet. And because this is a milestone episode, I had to do something ridiculous which I thought of mid-episode: finish the episode as close to midnight as possible, and then export, upload, and publish before midnight. Made it with 1 second left on the clock. This episode is basically its own Mission: impossible movie.
Harry Potter was 11 years old in the first book. Harry Potter was played by an 11 year old in the movie. But, Harry Potter was not written by an 11 year old. Adults have been pretending to be kids, teenagers, young adults in fiction forever. Obvious observation? Sure. Everything is obvious once you know it. But what about the things we learn, find out, experience for the first time? How do we process those things? How do we process "new feelings"? In this episode (#99!) of Storytalking With Lakshya, I'm working out a new story about teenage love - the beginning of it, and the end of it. As usual, the way I do it won't be obvious. I wanted to write about something familiar, but from the eyes of people for whom it's completely new. So I talk that through with you in this one. And yes, this story I'm working on (working title: Subconscious Uncoupling) is the 8th audio-play for the upcoming "Play Me Life" anthology series that Launchora is producing.
Characters don't stop existing after the audience leaves the story (exceptions: murder and other forms of death, obviously) - so how do you know when and where in the story they should stop being typed? That's on the agenda of this week's episode (#98) of Storytalking With Lakshya. The story in context here is called "Dad, We Need to Talk." - which I've spoken about in episodes 95 and 96 - a one-act audio-play for the WIP "Play Me Life" podcast. I'm done writing this story, and already working on the next one (which is the topic of episode #99!). All that - along with a bunch of updates on which authors I've interviewed and am scheduled to speak with for my other podcast (Jaipur Bytes) - is revealed in this episode. Two more episodes till I'm a proper podcasting professional.
Do you ever find yourself thinking something that you know you shouldn't? Something you would never, ever share publicly? Well, if you're like me - you don't just think that stuff, you write it. In this episode (#97) of Storytalking With Lakshya, I tell you about how I went from editing "Dad, We Need to Talk" (what I had written so far) to "type-barfing" (not the title of a story, but the term I've coined for typing stuff that doesn't fit or belong in your story and/or is too dark for public-sharing) to then actually finding the plot of the next audio-play I'll be writing (working title: “Subconscious Uncoupling") for the upcoming "Play Me Life" audio-play series. The moral of the episode is (spoiler alert): there might be gems in the junk you think.
Metaphorically speaking, skeletons aren't unique - It's the meat on them that makes them so. In this episode (#96!) of Storytalking With Lakshya, I use this meat-and-skeleton metaphor to break down how I took the skeleton of the "Dad, We Need to Talk." story (which was the topic in episode #94) and worked through adding in the meat, i.e., the dialogue on it. I also talk about how to identify and/or create the "heart" of this body / story - basically the thing/moment/scene/line that gives life to the story. Same metaphor, different usage. And yes, we're still in the I'm-writing-audio-plays-for-my-upcoming-"Play Me Life"-series phase of this podcast. I'm enjoying this part so much... I may never stop writing this show.
 What an adventure it is, when you know you can go anywhere, do anything - but you also have to make up all the "wheres" and the "things". In this episode (#95!) of Storytalking With Lakshya, I take you for a deep dive into a brand new audio-play story called "Dad, We Need To Talk." that I just started writing last night. The title refers to the text a daughter sends to her dad, and the conversation they have at a restaurant later that day is what the listeners will hear when this story is all done and ready. A little-bit drama, a whole-lotta life - All that and more of the story's creative process is revealed in this episode. For those keeping a count, like I do, this story is the 7th one I'm writing for my in-the-making "Play Me Life" audio-play series.
Who even talks on the phone anymore? People stuck in traffic was the answer I got, so I wrote a whole story where just that happens. One man. 3 women. 12 calls. His past, present, and future - all is at stake (not really though) in this 45 minute ride through Delhi traffic. In this episode (#94!) of Storytalking with Lakshya, I tell you about the unexpected series of fortunate events that led me to start, write, and finish a brand new original audio-play, titled “ETA 45 Minutes”, for my upcoming audio-play series “Play Me Life”. "The attack of the words" would probably be an equally apt alternate title for this one because these words figuratively assaulted me so they could come to life.
You start at the beginning… and then eventually… you make it to the end. And then you realize - sh*t… this ending needs a better beginning. In this episode (#93!) of Storytalking With Lakshya, I tell you about the whirlwind journey that it has been to finally finish writing "The Temptation" (for the upcoming audio-play series "Play Me Life"). But this end, which comes at the end of writing every story, wasn't usual. This one required starting again from scratch. And - humblebrag alert - I think it's the best thing I've ever written... and let's double down - it's the best story-talking I've done... yet.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Podcast Status
Dec 15th, 2018
Latest Episode
Jun 28th, 2020
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
44 minutes

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