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Dipanjan Sinha
Articles by Dipanjan Sinha

Expert ease: Meet the researcher raising a hue and why about colour

Fashion-trend analyst and colour researcher Kaustav Sengupta is on a journey to explore India’s relationship with colours. What makes brands averse to certain hues? How does this differ from country to country?

After three years of research in colour psychology, Sengupta found that young Indians were rebelling on a chromatic level. They were subconsciously drawn to a palette that set them apart from the rest of the colourful country.
Updated on Jun 04, 2022 04:28 PM IST

Ruskin to the rescue: Lessons on life and love, from Ruskin Bond’s new book

From his home in the mountains, the writer offers advice on heartbreak, ambition, writing. Think of How to Live Your Life as a letter addressed to young people everywhere.

 (HT Illustration)
Updated on Jun 03, 2022 08:25 PM IST

A new sea monster: See how light pollution is disturbing the ocean depths

Coastal megacities and LED lights emerge as the biggest disruptors in a new world atlas of oceanic light pollution. See which regions are worst-affected.

Light pollution in the North Atlantic, as recorded in the new world atlas of oceanic light pollution. (Photo courtesy Earth Observatory; Image by Joshua Stevens, using data courtesy of Smyth TJ, et al (2021))
Updated on Apr 09, 2022 06:51 PM IST

Flash drive: Meet the mother and son touring India anew every summer

Last year, Mitra Satheesh and her 10-year-old son Narayan drove for 51 days, across 28 states, living only in villages. Now, they’re on the road again.

Mitra Satheesh and Narayan at the Puducherry promenade. Bastar was the highlight for her, Satheesh says. ‘People there live ecologically from birth. Things like plastic would be an intrusion in their system.'
Updated on Apr 02, 2022 03:35 PM IST

Le Petit Bengali: A newspaper that offers a Franc look at the past

The French-language daily was published over 140 years ago, in what was then the French colony of Chandernagore. It was recently rediscovered by an Indian researcher in Paris. It’s a window into a past that looks distinctly different and decidedly familiar, he says.

The French daily, first published in 1879, carried news from French India, British India, France and other French colonies. It also featured announcements about Durga Puja, debates on caste and colonialism.
Updated on Mar 04, 2022 06:30 PM IST

At a boiling point: Meet the IIT Patna professor who is a bubble whisperer

Rishi Raj, an associate professor with the department of mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Patna, is using AI and machine learning algorithms to predict when a boiler is set to explode

Rishi Raj and his team believe that bubbles could hold the key to predicting boiler explosions. Thousands of boilers explode around the world, causing an estimated 2,300 accidents worldwide each year.
Updated on Feb 25, 2022 10:52 PM IST

Updating the doggie dictionary: A ruff guide to language

New research suggests that dogs can respond consistently to an average of 89 words, with service dogs responding to more words than house pets, and some breeds being more “proficient” than others.

Updated on Jan 29, 2022 12:52 PM IST

War, peace and faith in the US: An atheism study

To what extent is the sustained practice of a faith linked to following cues from those that came before? Fresh research is finding surprising answers.

Updated on Dec 18, 2021 05:29 PM IST

Meet the man on a mission to save the wild berries of Maharashtra

Pravin Thete has tracked down 54 species of wild berry tree so far and is leading plantation drives to restore their numbers. It’s ironic that people will pay so much for avocado and kale, but pay no attention to what is so close by, he says.

Updated on Nov 20, 2021 12:56 PM IST

Word for word: A dictionary to take Sanskrit to the world

What does it take to concise an ancient language into a modern dictionary? Wknd sits down with Shashi Bala, who is heading a unique effort.

The English-to-Sanskrit dictionary Bala is working on will be published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan foundation.
Updated on Oct 23, 2021 03:28 PM IST

Sound symbolism: Can Pokemon help linguists see why a chair is called a chair?

What is it about words that indicates their meaning? Are there common threads that run across cultures and languages? Linguists are looking for answers, in the 800 made-up words that constitute the names of the set of animation characters called Pokemon.

How do we process language? Why is it that you can tell, for instance, that Squirtle is the littlest of the Pokemon above; Blastoise the big one with the weaponry? (The middle one is Wartortle; all are evolutions of the same character.)
Updated on Oct 09, 2021 04:24 PM IST

Following centuries of neglect, will Magadhi finally get its due?

The Bihar government has said it will introduce Magadhi, Maithili and Bhojpuri as mediums of instruction at school level, a major boost for Magadhi, which has no film industry or formal recognition, and is therefore largely spoken only in homes.

An Ashokan edict on the Delhi-Topra pillar. Many of Ashoka’s edicts were composed in Magadhi Prakrit, the older version of Magadhi that was also the language that the Buddha spoke. (Creative Commons)
Published on Sep 10, 2021 06:58 PM IST

Meet the researcher trying to give Gangetic dolphins their due

The International Union for Conservation of Nature declared the Gangetic dolphin endangered in 1996. Ravindra Kumar Sinha has been instrumental in stabilising the population of the species

Ravindra Kumar Sinha decided that, alongside his research, he had to act to save the Gangetic dolphins. “What would I do with research if the species didn’t even survive,” he says. He began taking long trips down the Ganga, talking to fishermen, students, local leaders and policy makers about how all the life in it would suffer if the dolphin was lost.
Updated on Aug 30, 2021 12:30 PM IST

Meet Mumbai’s first photojournalist from the transgender hijra community

Freelancer Zoya Lobo’s images have appeared in publications across India and beyond. ‘I have a message. I want to take this chance to say there is nothing a trans person can’t do,’ she says.

‘I enjoy being a journalist. I love walking the streets purposefully with my camera,’ says Lobo. (Satish Bate / HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 23, 2021 03:36 PM IST

A life of turtles, trails and deep-sea tales: Ecologist Kartik Shanker

A magical hour spent watching an olive ridley decided what he would do with his life. Now 52, Shanker has spent decades working on sea turtle biology and conservation. He’s still as amazed by them as he first was, he says.

Shanker with a giant leatherback turtle.
Updated on May 22, 2021 12:22 PM IST
ByDipanjan Sinha & Riddhi Doshi

Meet Arora Akanksha, the 34-year-old who wants to be head of the UN

An audit coordinator at the United Nations since 2016, Arora now wants to run for secretary-general. Because it is time for the old ways, the old systems, to change, she says.

‘Lip service is no longer enough. Tweets ‘condemning’ tragedies are not enough. The UN has a responsibility,” Arora says.
Updated on May 22, 2021 12:11 PM IST
ByDipanjan Sinha & Stuti Johri

How elder-care services are filling in for family in the pandemic

The organisations are helping with groceries and errands, doctors’ visits, even last rites, stepping in for children trapped abroad and unable to visit. Sometimes, they say, all the seniors want to do is talk and know that someone is nearby.

An Aaji Care attendant helps a senior out on a walk.
Published on Apr 30, 2021 04:28 PM IST

A geologist’s journey from rocks to oceans, via lost penguins in Antarctica

Sugata Hazra switched specialties early in his career, after a 22-day voyage by sea. He now studies the impact of climate change on oceans, coasts and human populations.

A geologist’s journey from rocks to oceans, via lost penguins in Antarctica
Published on Apr 23, 2021 03:39 PM IST

DocuSafe: An app that acts are your own secret evidence room

Launched in the US and available in India, it is designed to help victims of abuse collect data and evidence from a range of platforms and store it in one secure location.

Updated on Apr 11, 2021 06:21 AM IST

Meet the Indian researcher uncovering clues to the formation of the galaxies

Astrophysicist Kanak Saha recently won an award for discovering AUDFs01, which sits 9.3 billion light years away and is the first known distant galaxy to be emitting extreme-ultraviolet light.

Meet the Indian researcher uncovering clues to the formation of the galaxies
Published on Mar 26, 2021 03:54 PM IST

Bringing home the bacon: Pork is seeing a surge across India

In East UP, Dalit butchers are turning cooks, selling prepared pork items by the roadside. Hyderabad has taken to bacon. In Delhi and Mumbai, bacon fries, bacon jam and pork chops sell well.

Breakfast masala oats with Goan choriz by Rhea Mitra-Dalal of the Facebook page The Porkaholics.
Published on Mar 19, 2021 07:39 PM IST

Make your spaces fit you better: Tips from environmental psychologist Lily Bernheimer

Bernheimer helps people and cities plan their spaces better. Wherever you are, it’s possible to alter your world to suit you, she says.

Make your spaces fit you better: Tips from environmental psychologist Lily Bernheimer
Published on Mar 12, 2021 07:10 PM IST

Why we fidget... and should you stop?

There can be benefits to all the foot-tapping and twiddling of thumbs. It can even help focus the mind. So how much is too much?

 (HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
Updated on Mar 06, 2021 07:36 PM IST

Code Pink: Why do lakes change colour?

In July, the Lonar Lake in Maharashtra turned bright pink. Turns out, water bodies tend to change colour when an already saline lake sees an increase in salinity even when nothing but some algae and bacteria grows

Lonar Lake in Maharashtra that turned pink recently. “For months, people who wanted to visit kept asking ‘Is this true?’ ‘Did someone colour the water?’ ‘Is the colour still the same?’,” says Sailesh Sadar, a local tourist guide. (Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 26, 2021 11:22 PM IST

You’re iguana love the new reptile garden at the Chennai snake park

It’s a glass enclosure full of greenery, with no barriers between the visitors and the iguanas. The idea is to show people they don’t need to fear these reptiles, says park director R Rajarathinam.

 (Photo: Sathish Sridhar)
Updated on Feb 13, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Meet the researcher seeking survival hacks from a time before the dinosaurs

GVR Prasad, one of India’s leading palaeontologists, believes his field could hold the key to how life survived after each of Earth’s previous mass extinction events.

Prasad at a dig site in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu. “My most exciting find has been a 66-million-year-old fossil of the first cretaceous mammal that lived in the Deccan volcanic province,” he says.
Updated on Jan 31, 2021 06:28 AM IST

In a new book, insightful thoughts on readying for life’s final exam

Arun Shourie’s Preparing: For Death offers advice on last days, and explores the end as an opportunity to move on rather than an occasion to fear.

Death is inevitable, and yet passing over needn’t come as a surprise or scary chapter, as we’ve learnt from the 2017 film Coco.(IMAGE COURTESY PIXAR)
Updated on Jan 08, 2021 07:36 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Check out a virtual pandemic-era travelogue focused on South Asia

The Daak Vaak repository on Instagram is crowdsourced, with people sending in photographs of cities they love and miss.

Karachi. For some, the repository offers glimpses of cities they will likely never visit. For others, it is a reminder that borders often separate people who were once one.(Lawaiza Zahid Hussain)
Updated on Dec 27, 2020 05:41 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The Playbook: How to tackle trolls and stay sane, via comedian Agrima Joshua

Joshua, 30, was been doing stand-up for four years. Her hacks for dealing with the hate hinge on self-care, humour and, sometimes, confrontation.

When social media is the audience and the hotbed of abuse, it’s hard to avoid trolls. The trick, says Joshua, is to protect your privacy, mute the haters and cling to your sense of humour.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Nov 24, 2020 12:33 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

What’s your lockdown challenge?

It takes a certain degree of energy and will—and a healthy sprinkling of providence—but some are actually managing to use the lockdown to work on long-pending personal projects and ambitions.

It takes a certain degree of energy and will—and a healthy sprinkling of providence—but some are actually managing to use the lockdown to work on long-pending personal projects and ambitions.
Updated on May 12, 2020 12:07 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By
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