Mohua Das

Senior Assistant Editor at The Times of India, Mumbai | Formerly with The Telegraph, Calcutta 

Couldn’t believe what the newspapers said and so I became a journalist! It's been 15 years since and what a life-coach it's been as I wake up to it’s power and value, every morning. A good story isn't always about the president or popstar but everyday people and places with compelling tales. Those are the stories I hope to tell... and find the extraordinary in the ordinary!

When Kal Penn made MILF jokes in the White House, and other funny stories

When Kal Penn, born Kalpen Modi, decided to split his first name and add an extra ‘n’, it wasn’t an actor’s obsession with numerology but a brown person in America taking a subtle jab at Hollywood’s fixation with hokey accents and turbans. “I joke that the ‘n’ stands for ‘not going to play a stereotypical cab driver.” Frank and refreshingly free of movie star airs, the 44-year-old Indian American actor spoke to Mohua Das about some honest and wildly funny stories that have gone into the making of his memoir You Can’t Be Serious

Plight of city's homeless women that call for attention & action

The rape and murder of a pavement dweller at Sakinaka in September had trained the spotlight on Mumbai’s homeless women. If many wind up on footpaths and under flyovers for lack of shelters and affordable housing, others are fleeing abuse, forsaken by families or mentally ill who lost their way. Mohua Das tracked a day in the life of this invisible lot risking their lives under the open skies

Tribal influencers fight everything from Covid to child labour with cellphones

The art of showcasing talent online and influencing audiences is a common phenomenon now. But Arjun Pawara is not your typical Internet star. The 32-year-old is a founding member of Aadiwasi Janjagruti — a network of 45 tribal youths across 200 villages in the interiors of Maharashtra ’s Nandurbar district — using just their mobile phones and the power of hyperlocal news to script, enact, shoot, edit and upload sketches, short films and documentaries that enable a two-way flow of information between communities and local authorities.

Pandemic illuminates need to bridge digital divide, give access to disabled

Before the virus came along, Ninad Pawar (25)—living with severe visual impairment since birth—would spend three days a week at his favourite haunt, the National Association for the Blind at Worli Seaface where he would browse braille and talking books , check job resources and practise Excel and Powerpoint at the computer lab. The overnight shift to an all-virtual mode during the pandemic tossed out Pawar’s routine and along with that a safe space for a young person with a disability.

I am always going to speak up, even if I feel terrified inside: Disha Ravi

Perched outside her house in north Bengaluru, climate activist Disha Ravi is suddenly aware of just how many birds her neighbourhood has. “Their chirping gives me great pleasure. I enjoy watching mundane activities, there’s comfort and joy in that,” she says. Her world wasn’t as tranquil just four months ago when she was whisked away by a posse of police officers, slapped with charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy for editing and sharing a social media toolkit in support of the farmers’ movement.

Netas go on pre-poll ribbon cutting spree at jab centres

Wielding a pair of scissors, an MP from the city is in the middle of a weeklong jaunt across vaccine centres. One morning at Kurla, the next day in Vile Parle and the day after, in Chandivali congratulating the “corporator & all party karyakartas working hard to help people.” All the while, trailed by an army of aides, a photographer to capture the moments and an audience of vaccine aspirants queued up. There will be relief. But first, let there be a ribbon to cut.
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