Season 3, Episode 2- Throw your phone away

We’re back and we’re done with grad school! We’re talking about surveillance capitalism and the data being collected on us all the time. If you still have a Facebook profile by the end of this episode we will stage an intervention at your house with all your friends and family.

1:40 - Intro, reflections on graduating (Z skipped graduation it’s fine), Desi daughter struggles

10:55- Puerto Ricans ousted their corrupt Governor!!!

15:15- Pakistani model Zara Abid in blackface and the burning trash fires of colorism and anti-Blackness

21: 45- Mark Zuckerberg retire bitch, also everyone please stop using facebook!!

28:11- Surveillance capitalism, our data is the product and companies are making money off of literally every human interaction

36:20- Lyft and Uber selling rider data and screwing over everyone and all public transit

45:00- WCW the USWNT and why we should stop paying all men

Season 3, Episode 1 - New Year, Same Us

Topics in this episode: 

This week we're talking about how we’re back on our same shit in the new year. From You on Netflix to the government shutdown, Sidra and Zainab are back at it!!!

  1. It’s AQUARIUS SZN and Sidra made a flyer for her own birthday party (0:30 - 1:30)

  2. We are burned out by the millennial burnout article (1:45 - 4:00)

  3. You on Netflix is a shit show you MUST watch (basically all spoilers) (4:16 - 17:14)

  4. Government shutdown and Sidra yelling about the Space Force (17:19 - 28:21)

  5. Zainab educates us all about the LA Teachers Strike (28:27 - 32:11)

  6. Grad school reflections; we have grown a lot and still soliciting sponsorships from literally anyone (32:15 - 52:50)

  7. POLICY WATCH (52:53 - 57:04)

  8. WCW - (57:09 - end)

Season 2, Episode 3 - Grad School, It's Our Funeral! Plus, South Asian Activism ft. Barnali Ghosh & Anirvan Chatterjee

Topics in this episode: 

This week we're talking about South Asian activism with the brilliant and inspiring co-curators of the South Asian Radical History Walking Tour, Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee. Also, Zainab learns a new white idiom. 

  1. Congrats Mrs. and Mr. Priyanka Chopra (Beginning two minutes)

  2. Noah Centineo from To All The Boys I Loved Before is Zainab's spicy white fave with hot privilege (2:00- 5:39)

  3. Some thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians (5:40 to 11:23 spoilers at 7:09-7:20)

  4. Lana Del Rey and her big Zionist energy and bizarre tweet (she canceled her Israel show after we recorded, shout out to BDS activists) (11:24- 15:17)

  5. Sidra teaches Zainab the meaning of the idiom "it's your funeral" and changes her life (15:18- 17:49)

  6. Trevor Noah called Imran Khan the Pakistani Trump honestly Trevor please calm down (17:50- 21:15)

  7. JFK put exactly 20 seconds of thought into his Harvard application essay, Zainab and Sidra effectively ruin their presidential campaigns before they even begin (21:15 - 24:40)

  8. Interview with Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee, a dynamic Desi duo that run the Berkeley Radical South Asian History Walking Tour and do amazing work! Hear them talk more about their work, and if you're in the Bay Area check out the walking tour asap! (25:20 - 58:00)

  9. WCW- Gemma Chan we love you (58:05- end)

Season 2, Episode 2 - Partition

Topics in this episode: 

  • Environmental racism and the cost of clean air (1:00)
  • Zainab is shocked that people continue to work in her office even though there's a wasps nest in the women's bathroom (2:00) 
  • Lebron James built an institution that is changing the game and your tax money is paying for all kinds of shady shit and we would happily pay taxes to support building capacity in the future generation! (8:45) 
  • Sondos al Qattan (instagram beauty blogger) has some terrible takes on new Kuwaiti law for the rights of domestic workers - we're mad about it. (9:39)
  • Partition (12:25) 
    • Sidra got sucked into a research black hole about the history and spatial politics of Partition 
    • The British made a hot mess of everything (no one is surprised) - there is no such thing as peaceful colonization or decolonization and millions of people died 
    • Zainab talks about intergenerational trauma because of Partition and shares personal family history around the topic (20:15) 
    • Low key Pakistani identity is fake but that's fine. Also- the oppressed will mimic the oppressor is the tea today (25:40)
    • We can't talk about Kashmir because both Sidra and Zainab are on the brink of tears! This is too much! (30:13) 
    • The impact of Partition on women (trigger warning- rape, sexual assault) (30:53)
  • WCW: Unfortunately we can't vote our way out of capitalism, and electoral politics are whatevs but we're still celebrating Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar in Congress. Also Fatima Farheen Mirza - author of A Place for Us (35:20) 

See our ongoing list on partition resources on our links page.

Season 2, Episode 1 - Mental Health in Desi Communities

Welcome to the Chaivory Tower summer season - we are on break from grad school and digging into issues around south asian culture in the US and abroad! 

Topics in this episode: 

  • Since we're having a break down nearly every episode, we thought we'd bring on a guest to talk about mental health!
  • Zainab made a playlist of sad desi songs to cry to and you can listen to them on iTunes or Spotify (2:00)
  • Discussion on stigma on mental health, South Asian status anxiety, and capitalism (5:00)
  • Sidra doesn't know how to relax and Zainab hosts a live, public intervention (10:27)
  • Interview with Simeen Shaikh, a practicing psychotherapist and friend of Chaivory Tower who talks to us a little about mental health in Desi communities (13:26)
  • WCW: Ash Sarkar, a literal communist, goes off on Piers Morgan and Samirah shuts down Jesse Lee Peterson interviewing women at Amber Rose's slutwalk. (25:36)

See our ongoing list of mental health resources on our links page.

Episode 10 - Season 1 Finale: Keep Families Together

We're wrapping up Season 1! We finally finished our first year of grad school and have lots of content planned for the summer. In the meantime, we're talking the World Cup, bullet trains, and Princess Diana. We'll also be talking about the policy of separating families at the border and how people are fighting back to Abolish ICE.

Topics in this episode: 

  • What we learned our first year: multivariate regressions and other stuff. Statistics show everything is trash. (Beginning to 6:00)
  • World Cup Updates- People can appreciate soccer as a sport AND appreciate that soccer players are also the hottest of any athletes this is the hill we (Zainab) will die on!!!! (6:00- 9:18)
  • Wajahat Ali, please shut up!!! Tan France, please keep talking!!!  (9:19 - 14:40)
  • American SKAM is actually good and kept the Muslim character we love (14:41 - 15:59)
  • SUPER LATE commentary on the Royal Wedding just to say that Pakistanis love Princess Diana forever (16:00- 18:30)
  • RIP Anthony Bourdain (18:35 - 20:50)
  • Keep Families Together- what's happening and what people are doing about it #AbolishICE (21:00 - 33:55) 
  •  WCW: Fatima Ali of Top Chef (34:00- end)

Episode 9 - No Cop Academy

Topics in this episode: 

  • Intro - grad school updates/our lifelong commitment to not having our shit together  (0:00- 5:43)
  • Zainab has an on-air breakdown after learning sim is short for simulation (5:45)
  • RIP Sridevi and Asma Jahangir two legends (10:57)
  • Kim K wore a sari on Vogue India and Desi men lost their minds (13:00)
  • Sana Safinaz please fuck off forever with your racist advertisements (16:00)
  • Getty Images mixed up Kelly Marie Tran and Mirai Nigasu because there's sooooo many Asians (21:35)
  • Quick Dev Patel thirst session/discussion on beauty standards (23:00)
  • No Cop Academy Campaign in Chicago. Discussion on Rahm Emanuel's policies on shutting down schools and expanding police in Chicago (32:19)
  • WCW (we have so many crushes this week): Hajra Khan, Marielle Franco, Claudia Rankine, Guneez and Hannah (47:55)


Episode 8: Pakistan is not Palestine

In this bonus episode we talk to Amal, a real-life Palestinian and friend of Chaivory Tower. We're unpacking what's up with Desis (and other non Palestinian Muslims) co-opting the Palestinian narrative. Desis, take a seat and pass the mic on this one.

Episode 7: Private Property Rules Everything Around Me

Topics in this episode: 

  1. #TIMESUP at the Golden Globes and let's just let Oprah chill (2:00)
  2. Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador is being removed and why you should pay attention (4:15)
  3. PPREAM - the commodification of cities, Amazon HQ2, why do cities sell out (9:00)
    Zainab freaks out about how much Jeff Bezos is worth and we talk about the Black Mirror dystopia that is our future
  4. WCW: Kelly Marie Tran, the first Asian American woman to be on Star Wars, who went to Zainab's high school! (25:00)


  1. Radiolab: Brown Box - an inside look at an Amazon shipping center
  2. Amazon chooses 20 finalists for HQ2
  3. This interview lol "what will cities do to get Amazon" 
  4. See yourself in Frisco, Texas

Episode 6: 2017 - The Low Bar is Now in Hell

Topics in this episode: 

  1. Grad school updates - everything is on fire but at least we made friends (0:51) 
  2. Existential crises - Zainab asks what good is incremental change in an empire that is crumbling and Sidra wonders if planning is even a legitimate profession (16:10)
  3. Current events - FCC and tax plan bullshit (28:29)
  4. Worst takes of 2017 - George W. Bush is still evil and the FBI is not going to save you (33:17)
  5. Women of Color Wednesday - Divas of Karachi (44:51)

Episode 3: Kifah in Karachi

Today we're talking to Kifah Shah, an amazing Desi Muslim entrepreneur, about the launch of her new clothing line Suki Se. We're also talking Desi intellectual fuckboys, Sidra starting school, and why we love Tiffany Haddish.

Topics in this episode: 

  • Desi intellectual fuckboys and how they will be Zainab's downfall (2:10)
  • Amir Khan and Faryal Makhdhoom (part 2): They should have just talked to each other (4:03)
  • Sidra's first day of grad school and story about walking past MALIA OBAMA (6:43)
  • Hurricane Harvey: Orgs to donate to that are NOT the Red Cross (11:37)
  • Pakistani Independence Day and our uneasiness with nationalism (15:13)
  • Kifah Interview: Suki Se (20:44)
  • WCW: Tiffany Haddish (42:32)

Episode 2: Pakistan - You'll Figure It Out

Zainab and Sidra discuss corruption in politics, life without government leadership, and capitalist climate change.

Topics in this episode: 

  • Neymar transferred to PSG and Zainab is really emotional about it (0:45)
  • Amir Khan's and Faryal Makhdhoom's messy Twitter fight (4:55)
  • Zainab's observations on Pakistan (6:55)
  • Nawaz Sharif is not my type (12:51)
  • Climate change and the U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan (19:06) 
  • Women of Color Wednesday: Resham Khan (25:08)

Episode 1: A Nuanced Self

Zainab and Sidra discuss representation in the media, and how it's not really that hard to be nuanced. 

Topics in this episode: 

  • The Big Sick is a mess (5:44)
  • Mississippi Masala is way better AND HAS DENZEL WASHINGTON IN IT (14:10)
  • Skam is amazing and Norway is in 3017 (16:17)
  • Glow on Netflix (19:30)
  • Women of Color Wednesday: Fatima Asghar & Sam Bailey (24:02)