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D&D: Sandeep Parikh And Jasmine Bhullar Talk DesiQuest

6 Minute Read
Sep 1 2022

We got to talk with the creators of the upcoming all-South Asian D&D streaming series DesiQuest about how their show is for everyone.

Every now and then, something comes along that you know you want to get in on the ground floor for. The stars align just so, and the right people with the right project come along—which is how it feels with DesiQuest, an upcoming “high-quality actual-play Dungeons & Dragons show.”

Developed by Sandeep Parikh, whom you might recognize from The Guild, Legend of Neil, or Wizard School Dropout, and Jasmine Bhullar, who has streamed for just about every big D&D powerhouse, from D&D Beyond to Dimension 20 and Critical Role, DesiQuest has quite the production team.

Between the two, they’ve tackled immersive, interactive entertainment across a variety of forms. And with DesiQuest they hope to take D&D streaming into bold new territory. Territory inspired by (and featuring a cast of celebrities and comedians from) South Asia.

We had a chance to talk with Parikh and Bhullar about the upcoming Kickstarter for DesiQuest, and learned what they hope to bring to the tabletop space. It all starts with empathy and exploration.

Interview with the creators of DesiQuest – Jasmine Bhullar and Sandeep Parikh

Image via Sandeep Parikh

The idea behind DesiQuest starts with the idea of showcasing an all Desi table, not only featuring an all South Asian cast, but also a world built from South Asian culture and mythology.

As Bhullar put it:

“The one thing I’ve always wanted to do is run a table for all South Asians. We always end up being in guest spots, which is cool, and we love being involved in other shows in that capacity. But at the same time it would be really cool to do something that pulled from our culture and our mythology.”


The idea of making the culture feel more accessible is one of the ideas at the heart of the show. As Parikh said, one of the big draws of the show, for him, was exploring the cultural connection:

“My connection to my culture is through my parents who are immigrants. But I’d kind of gotten away from it all. I don’t feel as connected to my own culture as I wish I had been. So I wanted to do something like this that makes the culture feel accessible to folks in the diaspora.”

And in DesiQuest, they’ve found the perfect vehicle to do exactly that. We often talk about how D&D creates opportunities for people to practice different social skills.

There are plenty of organizations out there that talk about how D&D can help folks feel safe practicing communication and problem solving. When you have the added layer of a character, it becomes easier to play with identity.

“In D&D, oftentimes you are playing tourists in the world you’re in. And that tourist can be ethnically or culturally *from* the place you’re from, but it allows us to explore that in a way that’s safe. It’s judgement free: you’re an adventurer interacting with the world, and when you ask questions like ‘well what’s this’ or ‘who’s this’ or ‘how do I do this’ it’s amusing and fun. You roll dice instead of ‘how do you not know what a samosa is?'”


For Parikh, D&D has always been welcoming:

“D&D has always been an environment where if you don’t know something, it’s built in that you can explore something with curiosity instead of judgement.”

And DesiQuest will help make their culture more accessible. To everyone. And the road to accomplishing that is with mythmaking and play. They want to show off how diverse South Asia can be. India, on its own can be wildly different from one end to another.

Foods, customs, even languages differ. As Parikh puts it, “my mission in life is to make sure that everyone realizes India is a lot like Europe. Within India there’s a rich diversity of cultures. You could visit many times and not have the same experience.”

But the more you get to see it on screen. To experience it across a variety of media, the more familiar it becomes. Bhullar related the story of referencing a fellow player looking up and making khilone—that sort of demystifying exposure is what DesiQuest is all about. There’s something that benefits everyone from learning this. As Parikh puts it, it’s “an increase in empathy, which is much needed these days. We want everyone to know you don’t have to be from the region to enjoy the culture.”

Building the world (and crew) of DesiQuest

Image via Sandeep Parikh

Now that you know the beating heart of DesiQuest, what will the show itself be like? For now, Parikh and Bhullar have planned to do a limited series. The number of episodes they produce depends on the success of the Kickstarter.

As you might expect, with a crowdfunding campaign around the corner, stretch goals for bonus episodes will definitely be on the table, as well as a few other surprises you’ll want to watch for.


DesiQuest recently announced new cast members. Two more big names in D&D (and elsewhere). Anjali Bhimani, who has been in everything from Overwatch to Ms. Marvel. And, not to mention, has guested across multiple seasons of Critical Role.

And Rekha Shankar, whom you might recognize from Dimension 20 or’s many amazing series. Shankar also writes on the new Animaniacs show and Grand Crew.

Though the Kickstarter hasn’t launched yet, Bhullar revealed some of the details going into the worldbuilding of the show:

“One of my main influences when developing this campaign is my own religion. I’m Sikh, and one of the concepts I was raised with is: ‘Sikhism is about loving all religions.’ In our texts, we have examples from every other religion, and I think about that often.

We have a very famous ballad called ‘Chandi Di Var’, which is kind of fanfic of the goddess Durga, who is a Hindu deity.


And I kept that in mind when making this—we should do something that spreads across the diaspora. And a campaign that focuses on people being tourists in their own culture, and how the journey home can be messy but ultimately fulfilling and made easier by the other people with you.”

Which leads to a world where the gods are very much alive and active and influencing things. Bhullar’s world will pose the question: what does it look like when your Paladin can go visit their god? What will your Warlock do when their patron exists in the world?

And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg,

Kickstarting SoonOne of the big reasons that DesiQuest is Kickstarting is to find their community. They’re taking the project to Kickstarter to help crowdfund other cast members, to make the table bigger. To add more miniature sets to the show. Parikh talks about bringing his considerable production experience to the show:

“We can do more miniature sets. We can do more adventurous things. Our community can help us match the production value of shows like Critical Role or Dimension 20.

We’re asking our community to rally behind this to make the project they want to see.”

Follow DesiQuest on Kickstarter

DesiQuest launches their Kickstarter next week! Be sure and follow them to learn more


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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