Twice Removed: A Podcast Exploring 60 Degrees of Separation

Generally, I’ve liked Gimlet shows. If you go through my list of favorites something related to these podcasts always finds space. Recently, as my driving has improved, I’ve been listening to Twice Removed, a new Gimlet podcast by A.J. Jacobs. The Apple iTunes store shows that it has mixed reviews but for someone who has tried drawing her own family tree (several times), I am enthralled by it. I want A.J. Jacobs and his staff to find the characters my family has had. Don’t you?

Twice Removed A Podcast Exploring 60 Degrees of Separation

Image via Gimlet/ SoundCloud

What makes it even more pertinent in my case is that we moved out of Kashmir during 1990. This practically cut me off from a lot of inherent family knowledge that’s passed on inter-generationally. My grandfathers passed away soon afterwards which never gave me the opportunity to explore their experiences, Farsi, Urdu, Kashmiri or fountain pen handwritings. Having said that, trying to find out my family details would prove to be a logistical nightmare. Just as much as Nazanin’s (her family immigrated from Iran) would have been.

My Favorite Twice Removed Episode So Far

#3 Nazanin Rafsanjani’s mystery relative/family story: I liked it for two specific reasons. Her sister was about 8 (same as me) when they had to leave home due to security concerns and bomb threats. She said something very peculiarly relatable. She almost liked that time – when the family was planning to leave and under security threats in Iran. Because it felt like a long drawn Pajama party. This is very similar to the 6 month winter vacation we had in 1990, from my perspective. Although, I don’t know if I’d have ever owned up to liking it so. The family also described their feelings with respect to the enforced hijabs and strict religious coding that came about after the Islamic revolution. And in my head I was nodding at each description. I believe, an identity is chosen not decided upon by anyone externally. Their struggles to blend in the new culture in the US as kids, also sounded familiar. Despite it’s disturbing background, I loved how the show made me feel better by being so honest.

If you’re into random stories of less thought about people who may appear in your own families or around you, this is a great show to tune in to. I look forward to driving home just to catch up on the next story.

Maybe, it’s time to re-attempt drawing my family try to see if I find my own Kalidas or creative crazies as I go through the generations. 🙂