My Story

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

Couldn’t believe what the newspapers said and so I became a journalist! It's been 16 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!

Jamtara loses crown as new remote districts rewrite India’s cybercrime map

Move over Jamtara , there’s a new cyber playground in town. The once-notorious hub for online mischief in Jharkhand no longer reigns as India’s cybercrime epicentre. Emerging from the shadows are fresh contenders—districts like Bharatpur , Mathura, Nuh , Deogarh , Gurgaon, Alwar , Bokaro, Karma Tand, and Giridih—that have claimed the spotlight and are collectively responsible for 80% of reported cybercrimes across country.

The hairy story behind India’s ‘black gold’ exports

It’s an overcast Monday morning in a low-income housing colony in Bengaluru’s Kamala Nagar. Malleesh, 21, Parasuram, 21, and Ravi , 24, are on a peculiar quest. Swinging a large sack slung over one shoulder while balancing a hefty net, crammed with aluminium vessels, they make their way through the neighbourhood, hollering ‘Kudalu patre kasu’ (vessels for hair), a boisterous call in hot pursuit of something valuable to them: balls of fallen human hair.

Tote bags, T-shirts & trinkets: Queer-run businesses move beyond rainbow cliches

As June rolls in, so does an influx of rainbow-themed goodies everywhere. While the queer community could do with visible support, it is also the first to remind you that Pride Month isn't just about the all-colour spectrum. A new wave of queer entrepreneurs are trying to redefine rainbow capitalism with ventures that reflect their identities beyond rainbow cliches.Last weekend a two-day showcase at BKC called 'Queer Made' amplified businesses and products owned and created by India's queer community.

The Mindhunters: How brain mapping detects memories of crime

In the shadowy realm of crime, the human brain isn’t merely a cunning accomplice. It can also be the ultimate snitch. Over the last two decades, ‘ Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) profiling’ — also referred to as ‘brain-mapping’ or ‘brain fingerprinting’— has emerged as a forensic tool meant to unlock criminal secrets within the grey matter and crack open a case when traditional investigative methods hit a wall.

How Chhattisgarh's 'live-in' tradition is taking a toll on Adivasi kids

In the lush forests of Surguja district in northern Chhattisgarh where the Mahabharata still resonates, live two primitive tribes — the Pando claiming lineage to the Pandavas and the Korwa to the Kauravas. However, despite their unique cultural heritage, children from these tribes have been bearing the weight of a time-honoured tradition. More and more couples are embracing the tradition of dhuku to save expense of a lavish wedding but for the children they neglect or abandon, there is a heavy price to pay

Why Indian screenwriters are watching Hollywood writers strike

While streaming has changed the way we consume content, screenwriters say some things haven’t changed — their compensation, lack of credits or the lopsided contracts. A battle is raging in America’s Tinseltown. For the first time in 15 years, the Writers Guild of America (WGA ) launched an industry-wide strike demanding fair pay and benefits rather than being treated like gig workers. In a spillover effect, writers guilds across the world united to fight back, including India’s Screenwriters Association.

Can India’s grandest cultural centre become its finest?

Amid the grey, glassand-steel skyscrapers of Mumbai’s BKC, there is now a jolt of colour. The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre ( NMACC ), an arts and culture hub that opened last month, is a kaleidoscope of buildings with three overarching gold leaves and a lotus motif running through it. Just as its building has injected colour into the sterile landscape many hope Mumbai’s newest cultural playground will spark a new sense and standard of patronage for the arts.

Decoding the fictional country of Kailasa that catfished 30 US cities

It was a usual scene at the annual meetings hosted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in the UN Office headquarters at Geneva, last month. Conference-goers — NGOs, permanent missions, academic institutions from different countries — filed into a room inside the historic Palais Wilson building to discuss their rights.What was unusual was a delegation of about a dozen women — decked in gold jewel

Gen Zer from genre town bagged Grammy with an old soul

It's an impersonal setting - rooftop of a five-star hotel in the heart of Mumbai's business district - but Christone ' Kingfish ' Ingram doesn't seem to mind when you try and tease the 'personal' out of him.The 24-year-old is being hailed as 'the heir to the Delta blues crown'. But blues, they say, is a dialogue, songs of the soul in pain. Ingram was only 20 when he released his first album in 2019. How did he channel those emotional depths and social insights at such a young age, we press on.
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