Discover your family HiStory

Discover your family HiStory
5. General

Discover your family HiStory

It is my dad’s 75th birthday today! And so my younger brother and I decided to do something special.

No, we did not call a bazillion people for a celebration. We did not throw a surprise party. And we did not even buy him any major gift.

Instead, we decided to record a long podcast conversation with him about his life.

💡 Storytelling Idea of the week

Record a podcast conversation with a loved family member

People are repositories of stories. My dad – like everyone else – has lived a rich eventful life. A life filled with moments of fun. Moments of deep sorrow. Moments of heady achievements. Moments of crushing disappointment. And extraordinary moments of struggle against incredible odds.

A struggle which got us to where we are.

My brother and I decided to get him to share and relive those moments with us through a series of recorded conversations.

Over the past two weeks, we have spoken for a total of about seven hours. We are not yet done though – there’s much more to come!

The entire recording would be an amazing repository of memories, stories, insights and wisdom.

Later in the year, we shall figure out how to share some edited excerpts (and our impressions) with the wider world.

But even if we don’t manage to do that one thing is clear to me: The conversation would be a treasured family heirloom for us to be passed on from generation to generation. For me, the process itself has been so enjoyable that it has been worth all the time and effort (which is surprisingly low, btw!).

In sum: I cannot recommend this idea highly enough to everyone!

Walk up to your dad, mom, grandparents, uncle, aunt, anyone… and request them for some time to share their stories… and record them.

You owe it to your future generations. And you will be amazed at the treasure that you unearth.


The How: Logistics

And now for some tips on the logistics, for those who are interested in doing this.

Disclaimer: I’m not a tech-expert in any way. You will surely get better and smarter suggestions online. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts.

First up, you do not need any fancy equipment or setup to make this happen.

I’ve categorized the options under 2 heads – a Basic setup and an Advanced setup.

Also I’ve considered two scenarios – one if all participants are in the same room, and two if one or more members are joining remotely

Scenario 1: If all the participants are in the same room

Scenario 2: If one or more members are in different geographies

Also, in case you are curious, here’s the setup we used for our recording.

  1. Rooms: My dad and I recorded from different rooms in the same house in Pune, while my brother joined in from Sydney
  2. Laptop and recording: We did the call through three separate laptops through the Zoom app (I have the paid version).
  3. Internet: My dad normally uses his phone’s 4G connection as a hotspot for his computer – but we were noticing some voice breakage and so moved him to a different room where we could get the Wi-Fi signal.
  4. Mic: I gave my USB Mic to my dad since we wanted his voice to come clearly. My brother and I used the computer’s inbuilt mics.
  5. Headphones: We all used headphones (simple wired ones for my dad and wireless ones that we normally use). Any pair will do – essentially you do not want to hear the echo of the other person’s voice through your mic.
  6. We did a check of the mic and speaker before starting
  7. We recorded the conversation through the Zoom app on the cloud

Please feel free to reach out to me in case you have any questions about the process.


So, what stories are you going to dig out this weekend? 🙂

🐦 Tweet/s of the week

A brilliant example of norm-variance and Show, don’t tell.

Source: Twitter

This is a cool tactic!

Source: Twitter

Enjoy the run, dude!

Source: Mark Remy sourced from Twitter

💬 Quote of the week

“Your memory feels like home to me. So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds its way back to you.”

– Ranata Suzuki (sourced from Goodreads)

This was a different edition (and short!) this week – I hope it inspires you to have some deep, meaningful conversations with your loved ones.

​Take care and stay safe.

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

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