A new five-part BBC podcast series, running on multiple platforms, will hear from some of those who have refused to be victims, who have pushed back when friends and family wanted them to conform, and who have found new ways to forge a path for themselves – on their own terms.
The Drama Queen series is produced and presented in Urdu and in Hindi by the BBC’s India-born journalist, Samrah Fatima.
Uniquely for the region, Samrah has created a podcast that brings voices from both India and Pakistan, discussing, in two language versions, deeply rooted social issues that straddle both countries. Her guests are drama queens, each in their own way, who make a fuss, speak out and stand out.
It will be available weekly from Saturday 16 April, on the BBC News Hindi and BBC News Urdu websites and YouTube channels, the series then will be available on request.
Short versions will feature on the BBC News Hindi and BBC News Urdu social-media platforms. Both language versions will also be available on Spotify and Apple.
In Hindi, the series will also be available via the digital audio platforms Gaana and JioSaavn, on Indian FM radio stations Misty (in Siliguri and Gangtok) and Tomato FM (in Kolhapur), via the JioChat and DailyHunt apps and the JioCinema streaming service. The Urdu version also will be available via Patari, the audio streaming service.
Samrah says: “We all need to understand the root causes of anguish and hidden depression that many of us are silently dealing with every day. As someone who believes in holding hands and listening to people when they need to be heard, I hope this podcast can helps us share in other people’s challenges – and overcome ours.”
London-based Samrah is also the singer and songwriter of the series’ original song, Nazrein Mila Ke Dekhein (Let’s Look In The Eye), which brings together and punctuates the conversations with its gentle tune and lyrics.
Commenting on the issues discussed, Samrah adds: “It’s been 75 years since India and Pakistan became two separate countries. But the emotional and cultural issues, due to not sharing and dealing with pain alone, are still common on both sides of the border. With Drama Queen, we have brought up these common issues – to introduce ourselves to each other with the idea of sharing and caring.”