Rediscover Curiosity &
the World of Fungi
with Sharad Rai
Albert Einstein explained his genius when he famously said,
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Today we rediscover curiosity: the joy of exploration, the driving force for learning and reinventing yourself.
School, college, job, marriage, money are some goals that drive most of society. But if you ask today's guest, he would say curiosity is what drives him.
Meet Sharad Rai.
You cannot put Sharad under one media plate. Earlier, a computer science engineer turned banker who sold loans, now a self-taught mycologist, following his curiosity to study all kinds of life forms for the last six years. He loves Fungi and has collected over 100 species, both native and exotic. He helped set up one of the largest producers of medicinal mushrooms in North India and now consults various mushroom businesses. He is currently working as the Research head for Dharaksha Eco-Solutions, working with crop stubble waste, converting it into mycelium composites as a replacement for styrofoam packaging.
"The future of education will be self-education, curiosity driven and self-paced."
We met Sharad virtually on Facebook groups helping amateur mycophiles like us to identify mushrooms, grow mushrooms, experiment with mycelium as a material.
We talk about Fungi, mycology, biomaterials, but this conversation is so much more. We explore the origins of life, the system of education, happiness. We discuss ancient mushroom practices and the theory which traces the story of Santa and his reindeers to mushrooms. We also ask the most important questions - "Will mushrooms save the world?"
In addition, we also talk about the life lessons that mushrooms teach us.
This episode is one-chock full of great advice to start your journey for exploring mushrooms and mycology.
Sharad's passion for curiosity and tiny living organisms is infectious.
It rubbed on us. It will rub on you.
Stay curious and keep learning!