Hi and welcome to my website!
Based in Madurai, South India, I'm a freelance journalist with twenty years of reporting experience. My articles delve into a wide range of issues, exploring science, environmental policy, health, human rights and culture.
My work has taken me on many an incredible journey through wild desolate caves that Jain monks once made their homes in, to ancient excavation sites in the heart of rural India and to the blinding heat of salt mines that are on the throes of climate change.
I have been published in The New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, British Medical Journal, Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, South China Morning Post, Atlas Obscura, National Geographic Traveller, Reader’s Digest, BBC.com, The Diplomat (Australia), Morning Calm (South Korea), Mint and many others.
For over four years, I wrote a column on health and well-being for one of India's national newspapers, The Hindu. In the course of my career, I've also written for the features pages of various national dailies including The New Indian Express, Times of India and the Hindustan Times. You can read my articles on health and parenting on the TheSwaddle.com.
I believe in the power of bitter coffee and bright sunshine. And for me, the most gripping stories are always the ones that are true to life.
Thank you for reading!
PUBLISHED: THE GUARDIAN, 24 DECEMBER 2020
Exposure to the heavy metal from spice powders and car batteries is affecting child health across the subcontinent...
INDIA'S SATI STONES COMMEMORATE A MACABRE HISTORICAL PRACTICE.
PUBLISHED: ATLAS OBSCURA, NOV 2020
“If we paid attention, there are many tales from our past that these stones could tell—for instance, that this was a society that prized virginity and demonized widowhood, that it was beset by frequent wars and unrest, which drove women to take their own lives rather than end up as prisoners of war or victims of rape by a pillaging enemy..."
THE RADIO STATION AT THE HEART OF A FISHING COMMUNITY
PUBLISHED: HAKAI MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2021
The story of how a small radio station in India protects fishers and the eco-system they rely on.
THE DEVILISHLY DIFFICULT LOCKS OF DINDUGUL
PUBLISHED: ATLAS OBSCURA
FEB 21, 2020
These unique handcrafted mechanisms are designed to protect homes, confound cashiers, and outthink thieves.
THE DIVERS SAVING A DROWNING ISLAND
FEB 3, 2020
PUBLISHED: BBC FUTURE PLANET
Vaan Island in India’s Gulf of Mannar has been rapidly disappearing into the Laccadive Sea. But a team of marine biologists is working to save it.
HIGH COST OF COVID CARE
PUBLISHED: BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
10 SEPTEMBER 2020
India’s private sector props up its healthcare, but the pandemic has exposed exorbitant and inconsistent billing
SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN INDIA
PUBLISHED: WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER (WMC) JULY 2020
Instagram Scandal in Delhi’s Elite Schools Complicates India’s Reckoning with Sexual Violence
COULD AKIRA MIYAWAKI’S 50-YEAR-OLD INNOVATION HELP PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY AND REDUCE THE RISK OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
PUBLISHED: JUNE 2020, ENSIA, (USA)
An innovative approach to growing forests is getting fresh attention from a world seeking to protect species and suck carbon dioxide from the air
WHAT INDIANS WHO'VE KNOWN POVERTY THINK OF NETFLIX'S THE WHITE TIGER MOVIE
PUBLISHED: JAN 29, 2021, NPR
"Do we loathe our masters behind a façade of love, or do we love them behind a façade of loathing?"
This is just one of the questions that Balram Halwai, a poor, village-bred Indian boy and the central character of the movie The White Tiger, asks himself as he works as a chauffeur to a rich businessman in Delhi...
PUBLISHED: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (SCMP)
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 2020
Like coconut water? Ever wonder who picks the coconuts? Men and women in India climb 80 feet up bare tree trunks to harvest them...
SCIENCE SAVING REEFS
PUBLISHED: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 8 OCT, 2019
The Gulf of Mannar in South India is home to 117 species of coral.
Global warming and recent heatwaves have damaged the reefs, but a new transplanting method offers hope.
PUBLISHED: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, JUNE 2019
Parrot astrology is a centuries-old custom prevalent in southern India.
Parrot astrologers use specially trained parrots to draw cards from a deck, with which they tell their customer’s fortune. But with awareness of animal welfare issues rising in India, the tradition is in jeopardy...
SAVING PRISONER'S KIDS
PUBLISHED: AL JAZEERA, 12 NOV, 2018
Based in southern India, KR Raja works to ensure children who have been essentially orphaned receive support.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND VISION
PUBLISHED: THE GUARDIAN, UK, FEB 8TH, 2019
Built on thousands of retina images, algorithm helps diagnose eye problem caused by diabetes...
INDIA'S BAREFOOT VILLAGE
PUBLISHED: 8 MARCH 2019, BBC TRAVEL
In a country where people often go barefoot indoors – considering it a gesture of respect and a nod to hygiene – a village in southern India has taken the practice to a new level.
PUBLISHED: NPR’s GOATS & SODA, DEC 25, 2018
Let's say you're a student in class. There are boxes full of delicious snacks on a table in front of the room: muffins, peanut brittle, candy, samosas (deep-fried potatoes wrapped in a packet of dough). There's a money box next to the snacks.
It's up to you whether to pay or not. And nobody's watching.
Would you be an honest citizen and toss some coins into the box? Or would you walk off with a snack without chipping in?
KIKI...DO YOU LOVE ME?
PUBLISHED: NPR'S GOATS & SODA, SEPT 2019
Ever since the internet hailed the dancing farmer video, life has changed in big and small ways, says Sriram Srikanth, 28, the vlogger who choreographed the dance and shot the video.
Their little jig put the tiny village of Lambadipally in the southern Indian state of Telangana on the map.
SOCIAL MEDIA RESCUES
PUBLISHED: Aug 22, 2018, NPR
Thousands of Indian citizens used mobile phone technology and social media platforms to mobilize relief efforts after severe floods struck the Southern Indian state of Kerala...
WOMEN AND SUICIDE
PUBLISHED: Sept 25 2018, NPR
Suicide by Women is a Major Public Health Concern in India. As a part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2016, a group of 30 public health researchers and doctors across India examined and evaluated data from national sources to study the suicide death rates for men and women. Their findings, published in the medical journal Lancet Public Health, brought out some startling revelations...
WHY DO RAPISTS RAPE?
PUBLISHED: NPR's Goats & Soda. Dec 16, 2017.
In Interviews with 122 rapists, student pursues not so simple question--why?
INDIA REFORMS RAPE LAWS
Published: May 4 2018, NPR
India is trying to makes its judicial system more efficient — and to set stronger penalties for convicted rapists. New laws have been passed. But there are concerns that these ordinances will be difficult to implement or could even backfire.
THE ATLANTIC CITYLAB, June 22, 2018
In the Indian city of Madurai, a volunteer group deals humanely with emergencies of the reptile kind.
THE LAST GHATAM MAKERS...
Aug 3, 2017
ABP MEDIA, USA
In Manamadurai, India, a lone family of artists carries on the back-breaking work of making the ghatam, a musical instrument...
LIVES OF SALT WORKERS
AUG 28, 2017
PUBLISHED: THE WIRE
Situated along the Coromandel coast, Thoothukudi is a major port city in Tamil Nadu and home to much of India's salt harvesting terrain. This industry is over a century old in these parts and yet climate change is ushering in unprecedented change...
INDIA'S SACRED FLOWERS
PUBLISHED: BBC.COM FEBRUARY , 2017
Jasmine isn’t just cultivated in Madurai; it’s a way of life, an art form that is inseparable from worship, local lore, ancient and contemporary culture...
A JAIN FOOTPRINT
FORBES LIFE INDIA
Wandering monks once made their home in South India, leaving behind an ancient legacy in the heart of the wild...
A TOILET IS THE STAR
Romance films don't usually revolve around a toilet. But that's the angle in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha — or Toilet: A Love Story, a Bollywood film starring superstar Akshay Kumar. And the box office has been flush with success.
A GRAND DAUGHTER'S LOVE
OCTOBER 8, 2017
Although she'd never cooked until her early thirties, food was always an integral part of Archana Pidathala's life. The author of the self-published cookbook, Five Morsels of Love, shortlisted earlier this year for the 2017 Art of Eating Prize, cherishes memories of long, languid summers spent at her grandmother's home in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh...
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