#155: Broti Gupta
Broti Gupta on Bird’s Eye Chili Peppers, Practicing an Instrument, Her Dog Niko, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Broti Gupta to share some recommendations on Perfectly Imperfect.
In addition to being one of the funniest people I follow on Twitter, Broti Gupta is a New Yorker contributor and TV writer currently working on The Simpsons. She and Actress Dylan Gelula (who also shared some recs on Perfectly Imperfect) host Lecture Hall, a hilarious podcast where they try to educate each other on various topics and occasionally bring on great guests such as Rachel Sennott, Dan Allegretto, Naomi Fry, and Grace Kuhlenschmidt. Lucky for us, Broti is here to tell us what she’s been into.
Without further ado
Broti Gupta (twitter, instagram)
🌶 Bird’s Eye Chili Peppers
I am addicted to spicy food, especially Indian. The bird’s eye chili peppers (aka Thai chili peppers) are so, so spicy and putting one or two in a dish kicks it up to a whole new level of heat and flavor. I put these chilis in everything – obviously every Indian dish I cook, but also I have started putting them in like sandwiches and other non-Indian foods that I might want to make spicy and it rocks.
📚 Wallace Shawn
By the end of 2020, I was incredibly depressed (which is a unique experience I went through), and I found Wallace Shawn’s essays after I read this piece in NYRB. I devoured Night Thoughts and Essays probably in one sitting and I’m obsessed with the Designated Mourner (which is now in podcast form, directed by Andre Gregory). I think he acknowledges the world as it is and has a very empathetic approach to humans and that kind of simple, readable humanity was something I really needed. Because, again, I was going through a personally tough time due to a crazy global pandemic.
🎹 Practicing an Instrument
I started playing piano when I was a kid and I got an electric keyboard when I moved out to LA. I like to sing and play so that’s mainly why I got it. Last year, I decided it would be nice to get back into classical piano again – like Debussy, Bach, whatever other classical composers are probably in the public domain so I could get sheet music for free (a life hack of mine personally is to get stuff for free). Practicing an instrument has been actively the most meditative I can ever get. Focusing on something else with my hands that I have to engage with in a tactile and focused capacity has done wonders for me to not think the dumb thoughts I think all the time, like “does my dog know what the TV is, or does he think it’s just a crazy window”.
🏋️♀️ Strength Training
My friend recommended strength training to me because I was always in a ton of pain because my muscles (lack thereof actually) did a bad job of holding up my loose (?) bones (I have RA), so I started strength training and it has made sooo much of a difference in terms of my energy and joint pain and general health. It’s also very mentally empowering to not feel extremely feeble and frail at all times of every day, and I think being in a more science-based strength training situation helps me prioritize feeling strong and not worrying so much about an aesthetic result.
📚 John Swartzwelder’s Self Published Books
John Swartzwelder is the funniest writer in the world. I don’t know that I could write about him and do him justice, but he was a longtime Simpsons writer and then started self-publishing books that are so incredibly joke dense it will blow your mind. Here’s a quote from The Time Machine Did It, one of his many books following a strange detective named Frank Burly: “When I first became a detective I had tried solving crimes the way mystery writers do: coming up with the solution to the crime first, then working back to the point where you don't know what the hell is going on. But for some reason every time I tried that I ended up locked in a closet.”
🐕 NIKO, MY DOG!!!! Look at him!!
My dog is the coolest guy around. I highly recommend him. He is a Siberian Husky named Niko, we think he’s roughly a little over 3 years old, he has a really human sense of shame, and he loves babies and kids. He loves holding hands and when you pet his belly he literally pets you back (another human thing… unable to just accept love without paying it back…). Any time he walks into a room or sits down or lies down or buries his head anywhere I clap like he’s a stunt cast guest star of a TV show.
Follow Broti on Twitter and Instagram
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