‘Bolte Pari Na Bolte Chai’, a supportive space for a heart-to-heart
To this day, mental health remains one of the most neglected subjects in developing countries like Bangladesh. Despite the sheer number of people living with traumatic experiences and mental health issues, it is not uncommon for many of us to feel isolated and alone. Ahead of World Mental Health Day tomorrow (October 10), we had a conversation with Sumaiya Kabir, also known as RJ Arunima, about her newly launched podcast, Shadhin Music App's Bolte Pari Na Bolte Chai, where people open up about their most guarded secrets and their hardest life experiences.
RJ Arunima has been associated with radio since 2013. With her signature show, Ek Cup Bikel on Radio Foorti, she became a household voice. She recently made her comeback with Bolte Pari Na Bolte Chai, a show designed with true stories from callers who struggle to talk about their upsetting life experiences, even with their close ones. Guests on the show can remain anonymous.
"I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but I think at times, we just need to lend an ear to others. I hope to be that listener and that friend to our guests. The show offers a non-judgmental space for them," says the host.
With the coronavirus crisis taking a toll on people's mental health, this year felt like the right time to start the show. "Shadhin Music App came to me with the concept when we saw a rise in cases of depression, with people staying indoors during the pandemic. We planned the show in just two months," RJ Arunima shares. The weekly podcast kicked off on September 19.
People can listen to it on the Shadhin Music App, available in both Google Play Store and App Store, every Saturday at 11:59PM.
Audience willing to participate in the podcast can email about their problems to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message in Shadhin Music App's Facebook page.
Returning to her favourite medium was a huge relief for the RJ. "I've always enjoyed connecting with people through my voice. I really like how different people respond differently to me," she says.
So far, only female guests have participated in the podcast. However, it will feature a male participant soon. "Men are reluctant to open up about their feelings and embrace vulnerability, mainly because of social stigmas," says RJ Arunima. With her show, she hopes to have heartfelt talks with the guests and encourage others to open up about their struggles as well. "Our traumas and suppressed emotions often lead to mental health issues. The more we talk about our issues, the more aware people will be," she concludes.