Of Gandhi, discovering the self, and the profound psychological baggage of an Indian.

New York City is everything you imagine it to be and more. There’s so much going on at all times that it can be both exhilarating and dizzying. I lived in Manhattan’s Riverside Drive area for about a year when I was studying journalism at Columbia University in 2015–2016. And one of the first things that struck me once I had settled into my new life was how the place was full of Yoga studios. …

Master sculptors of Belur’s Chennakeshava and Halebidu’s Hoysaleshwara temples left us exquisite poetry to reflect upon but centuries later, can we still read it?

The temples are somewhat hard to reach. If you fly in from New Delhi, you will first land at Mangalore, the nearest airport, and then drive for around four hours to reach Chikmagalur. The temples are another 30–40 minutes away from the coffee town.

Built around 11th century, the temples are believed to be the finest examples of Hoysala artistry. While Belur’s Chennakeshava temple is a Vishnu temple, the larger Hoysaleswara temple is a Shiva temple.

I’ll be honest; I didn’t think a place that talks about Gross National Happiness would be interesting. Happiness, as sought after as it is, tends to be one-dimensional. Or atleast that’s the image the brain conjures up; smiles that reach up to your eyes and all. And so, I didn’t plan much of an itinerary. All I knew is that Tiger’s Nest monastery is what most tourists do in Bhutan and that’s what I’ll do as well.

On a February morning, I boarded for Paro on a small Druk Air plane at Kolkata. Alarmed by its smallness, I looked up…

Click here to read the story on The Juggernaut, where it was published on Jan 13, 2020.

Andreas Cellarius’s illustration of the Ptolemaic System (17th century), which shows the solar system and signs of the zodiac with the Earth at the center.

“Burn it all down and start over,” read the Co-Star notification for Washington D.C.-based Upma K during a workday. “Everything was on fire that day but I laughed it all off when I read that,” said the 27-year-old UX strategist.

Though she had been reading The Cut ’s resident astrologer Madame Clairevoyant’s horoscopes for over five years, she avoided Co-Star when it first launched in October 2017. “Everyone was like, this is regressive,” she said. Her resistance was part of the baggage she…

Andreas Cellarius’s illustration of the Ptolemaic System (17th century), which shows the solar system and signs of the zodiac with the Earth at the center.

Some astrologers are trying to reinvent Vedic astrology for 21st century — but will it appeal to Indian millennials?

Adarsh Parthasarathy, 36, spent over nine months running around doctors, trying to figure out his health issues. But no one was able to narrow it down until a Jyotish reading with New York-based Archana Patchirajan, 37, last year in August.

“She could see in my chart that it was irritable bowel syndrome and she told me that it was karma from feeding wrong things to people in past lives,” Parthasarathy, the New York-based banker, said. He was prescribed a remedy of…

Delhi By Foot’s Ramit Mitra conducts a walk in Delhi’s Lodhi Art District.

Click here to read the story on The Straits Times, where it was originally published on 15th September, 2019.

When Mr Nitin Amlani moved to Bangalore in south India with his family for work in 2013, he found himself in an unfamiliar territory.

Originally from the state of Maharashtra in central region of the country, he did not speak Kannada, the local language, and did not have friends who could show him around the city.

But he went on food walks organised by city walking tour agency, Unhurried, and was soon mesmerised by the city.

“These tours have helped me…

From Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya Temple, June 2018.

I interviewed clinical psychologist, Sarika Persaud, about her brilliant piece on menstruation vis-a-vis Hinduism and the modern context in July 2018. This is an edited transcript.

Q. Could you tell me a bit about your professional expertise and interest in Hinduism?

A. I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology, pursuing my PsyD at Pace University in Manhattan. I’ll be graduating next May. I have been working as a therapist in New York City for four years, and doing research on culturally adapting mental health services for marginalized populations. …

In India’s Kerala, villager-artists have sustained an artform for centuries.

It was the most important performance of the night, the Kalan Kollam. The artists performed in tandem with each other in the open ground of Kadammanitta Devi Temple. But soon, a sudden downpour of rain forced the crowds to seek shelter under trees and temple’s roof.

Kalan Kollam in progress.

The artists, however, continued without pause. In fact, the rain complemented their theatre as the movements of the dancers became faster, the Chenda beat louder, and the singer’s song in Malayalam became more urgent. But then, it all came to a screeching halt. The…

Click here to read the story on The Juggernaut, where it was originally published on 15th April, 2019.

Sassoon Docks in Mumbai, January 2019. Photo shot and developed by Prashanth Raghunath.

In 2014, a 51-year-old widower from New Zealand walked into Mumbai’s Idea Creative photo studio with a challenge for Ramesh Prabhakar’s team: to retrieve photos from an undeveloped film roll from his wedding 25 years ago. Though the colors were dull, the young couple’s smiles came back to life on paper within a few hours. The man was overwhelmed to the point of tears.

“When we started working on the roll, we did not imagine how much would it mean to him…

Click here to read the story on Economic Times, where it was originally published on 11th November, 2018.

Photo courtesy: Kreeda

Small community trying to rekindle the love for Indian board games

Games are serious business for Pradeep Chakravarthy, a behaviourist and consultant who uses Indian history and mythology to train corporate executives to ideate and execute a plan effectively as a team. His primary tools: Aadu Puli Aatam and Dahdi, two traditional board games.

“Aadu Puli Aatam is a game of strategy; you can’t succeed unless you learn to collaborate. Dahdi is a survival game where you need to anticipate your opponents…

Garima Garg

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