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Bender Library Staffer’s Podcast Gains Accolades and Global Audience

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The sound of soft violin music plays.
“Hello, hello, hello, hello. Welcome to yet another story-filled, fact-filled episode,” the host chimes in. 
The music, she reveals, is a 600-year-old melody played by her 12-year-old daughter.
“Her beautiful rendition has made this episode so special for me.”
Piano music fades in.
“Today, our destination is Korea,” narrates Shilpa Das Gupta, SOC/MA ’18, as she welcomes listeners to episode 10 of her podcast, Ohh, Folk, now in its second season.
Das Gupta, who serves as AU’s manager of e-learning support services in Bender Library, speaks with the practiced authority of a radio jockey—an ode to her former career in her native India.
“When I left radio, a part of me was really sad,” she admits. “I wanted to come back to it at some point in my life.”
Then, it hit her. Stuck at home during pandemic, Das Gupta decided to combine radio with two of her other life passions. Folktales: “You have stories everywhere,” she says of her childhood in India. And reading—her outlet after losing her father at a young age.
“Books became my best friend,” Das Gupta says. “I read everything I could put my hands on.”
A podcast was born.

In each episode, Das Gupta walks the listener through rare, hand-selected, personally researched folktales from different parts of the world, incorporating history, music, and lessons from that particular culture. 
“It’s basically telling the story and also the story behind the story,” she says.
Das Gupta didn’t expect people to listen. But they did. 
She started hearing from family, friends, friends of friends, people in Kenya, Singapore. Feedspot just ranked Ohh, Folk among its top 50 global folklore podcasts. It’s available on every major podcast outlet and has a 5.0 rating on Apple.
And yet, you won’t hear ads or sponsorships as you listen. It’s solely a passion project, Das Gupta insists—one that helps quiet the noise of life and allows her and the audience to sit, listen, and learn for a few minutes.
“Together we will share it with the world, and keep the chain of old storytelling alive,” Das  Gupta narrates to wind down their “trip” to Korea. “Travel with me on this journey.”
The nostalgia is what she appreciates most.
“Many people have told me these stories take them back to their childhood,” Das Gupta says. “That’s the greatest feeling I can have. If I can give people even a little piece of their childhood back, there’s nothing better than that.”