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Shoba Narayan

Shoba Narayan is Bangalore-based award-winning author. She is also a freelance contributor who writes about art, food, fashion and travel for a number of publications.

Articles by Shoba Narayan

What Bengaluru’s science institutions do wrong

Although laypeople think of scientists as a hyperspecialised species who operate in silos, they are actually good at collaborations—even at the global level.

Although laypeople think of scientists as a hyperspecialised species who operate in silos, they are actually good at collaborations—even at the global level. (HT FILE)
Updated on Jul 05, 2024 04:29 PM IST

The artists who populated this city

Exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Bangalore through art, artists like Hebbar and Ravi Varma, along with contemporary talents, showcase the city's soul.

The artists who populated this city
Updated on Jun 28, 2024 04:30 PM IST

My two Bangalores: Street and luxury

At street corners, one can find a plethora of modest restaurants serving tasty inexpensive food. Bengaluru has a whole range of artisanal cheeses, kombuchas, breads and even paan

One is the world of fine dining, wine and luxury and the other is the gullies and streets. If you are new in Bangalore, and are a professional (File photo)
Updated on Jun 13, 2024 08:04 AM IST

When your NRI relatives come for wedding shopping in Bengaluru

For wedding shopping in Bangalore, check out Raw Mango, House of Angadi, Vijayalakshmi Silks, ffolio, and more. Explore sarees, lehengas, and jewelry.

When your NRI relatives come for wedding shopping in Bengaluru
Updated on May 30, 2024 09:34 AM IST

Isn’t food enough to attract customers?

Bengaluru's restaurant scene is evolving, with luxury hotels using animation, AI, live acts, and diverse cuisines to attract customers seeking experiences beyond just food.

These days, Bengaluru is changing from an IT-driven city to one that is embracing the good life (davit85 -
Updated on May 22, 2024 04:10 PM IST

Prajwal Revanna tapes call for a collective response

The way that SIT, the courts, and the country handle this case could change the trajectory of millions of women who suffer unwanted advances from powerful men

Prajwal Revanna (PTI)
Published on May 07, 2024 10:06 PM IST

Can and should spas go beyond ayurveda in Bengaluru?

Bengaluru has many standalone spas but if you want the luxury experience, you have to go to a five-star hotel and shell out around ₹7,000 for a 60-minute massage, says Shoba Narayan

Spa is an experience that cocoons you. It is a splurge. (Africa Studio)
Published on Apr 30, 2024 04:15 PM IST

Is there an Indian approach to ageing?

Sure, we are trying our best to stave off the ills of ageing, but there is no guarantee that we will succeed. There is no single blueprint for ageing well.

How then to live well and die quickly?(Unsplash)
Published on Apr 13, 2024 09:38 PM IST

Is kaali-dal McDonalds of North Indian food?

Bangalore is in the throes of so many new restaurant openings.

Shahi tukda is the queen of desserts, among the many that are served in the night markets around Mosque road, says Shoba Narayan. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 06:48 PM IST

The controversy over Sangeetha Kalanidhi

In giving the award to a musician who doesn’t respect the evolution from tradition and modernity, the Madras Music Academy may well have reduced its stature

The Music Academy decided to give this year’s Sangeetha Kalanidhi award to musician TM Krishna
Published on Mar 21, 2024 09:50 PM IST

How to balance inventiveness and restraint in cocktails

For a long time, my pet peeve was that cocktails in India were largely copycat: the names, the ingredients, the flavours, everything

The best cocktails are like a great piece of sculpture: they are all about structure and spirit. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 21, 2024 08:50 AM IST

The good life as per Indic thought

Early humans, whether in Egypt, China or India venerated and propitiated nature because their survival depended on it

Putting the sacred back into our relationship with nature will give an added fillip to our efforts to stave off climate change.
Published on Mar 13, 2024 03:48 PM IST

Being single in Bengaluru

Dating isn’t set up for introverts. Whether you are on Bumble or any other dating app; whether you attend singles meetups that happen regularly in the city

HT Image
Updated on Feb 01, 2024 08:02 AM IST

A confluence of science, song, the sun and their significance

Sankranti is among the most important because it signifies that the sun will move from Dhanu (Sagittarius) to Makara (Capricorn) in the Indian lunar calendar

Like most harvest festivals, Sankranti honours the sun. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 18, 2024 08:52 AM IST

Why bother making resolutions if you cannot keep them?

New Year's resolutions are expressions of hope, but their success record is often patchy. Keeping resolutions simple and breaking them down into small parts can help increase the chances of success. Desperation often leads to resolution and action, so don't give up hope. The author's resolution is to renew her relationship with yoga.

People celebrate New Year on a Bengaluru street. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 05, 2024 04:28 PM IST

Street fairs, floats and processions and how Bengaluru enjoys them

Karnataka, like many Indian states has over 1000 village fairs that take place throughout the year. Most are linked to season or festivals

Folk artistes take part in a procession during the inauguration of the 'Namma Jatre' programme at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on December 10. (PTI/File)
Updated on Dec 21, 2023 08:44 AM IST

What does Goa have that Bengaluru doesn’t?

This piece is about land fostering a creative ferment and certain places do it better than others. Can Bengaluru aspire to be part of the mix?

The Bangalore Literature Festival which just concluded remains community funded and grows bigger every year. (HT file photo)
Updated on Dec 07, 2023 09:04 AM IST

Bengaluru’s tribal fierce goddesses

As an Indian woman brought up with the expectation that women are the keepers of harmony within family and community, I find these fierce goddesses liberating

Hindu goddesses are thought of as “mothers,” givers of prosperity like Lakshmi, and the Sita who accepts everything. What happened to the fierce goddesses like Kali, who could give us permission to invoke the warrior within us? (HT Archives)
Updated on Nov 23, 2023 09:20 AM IST

Looking inside one of Bengaluru’s subcultures

Nature is central of India’s civilisational ethos. It is central to our faith, festivals, mythology and iconography

Crowd at flower market ahead of festive season at KR Market in Bengaluru. (PTI/Representational Image)
Updated on Nov 09, 2023 08:48 AM IST

When will a Kannadiga character appear in Bollywood?

The soft power that comes from Korean television serials, its music and fashion is a long way off for Bengaluru because like it or not, we are still a city with a programming, engineering mindset that values dot.coms more than connecting the dots in a creative imaginative fashion

A crowd of people waiting in line to get movie tickets outside a cinema hall. (AFP)
Updated on Oct 30, 2023 06:56 AM IST

Goddess energy in city

Aachar & Co is a breath of fresh air. Here too, women play to stereotypes (all the girls want to get married, which is perhaps true of that age), but they aren’t opaque lacklustre heroines created only to please men

For nine nights, it is believed that Goddess Durga descends from the heavens and conquers evil, the author says as she draws contrast with the show Aachar & Co. (HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 09:08 AM IST

Is beer the butter chicken of Bengaluru?

You have to try and visit one of the 85 craft breweries in the city to witness the craze of beer among Indian, especially Bengalureans

No other alcoholic beverage other than beer has been able to forge such a huge fan base among the Indians– and Bengalureans. (HT Archive)
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 08:38 AM IST

What is distinctive about the Bengaluru art scene

Owner of Gallery Sumukha wonders the reason behind an absence of anyone from the IT industry in Bengaluru’s rich art scene

Gallery Sumukha’s owner says they never had anyone from the IT industry as a visitor. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 10:44 AM IST

Students leaving home for college and the accompanying checklist

Parents put in efforts to figure out the “university list” of things to pack as their offsprings all over the country leave home for college within India and all around the world

Right about now, thousands of students all over India will be leaving home for college within the country or all over the world. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 24, 2023 07:50 PM IST

How to negotiate and get things done in B’luru

Moving to a new city, like Bengaluru, can be challenging when it comes to getting things done. Negotiating with government officials and finding the right tailor are just some of the hurdles. While bribes are an option, some choose to use alternative methods, like numerology or gifting educational books and fabric. Social media makes shopping easy, but finding a tailor requires more effort and negotiation skills. The key is to have multiple options and be willing to switch if necessary. Brinksmanship is also a common tactic in various situations.

I know women who come all the way to the Commercial Street to stitch their clothes because it contains a concentration of talent and fabric material, says the author (Hemant Mishra/ Mint)
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 12:33 AM IST

Walking the talk about Inclusion

But what about inclusion and diversity—something every brand talks about today. Talk is cheap though. What counts is putting your money where your mouth is.

Shoba Narayan (HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 20, 2023 01:00 AM IST

The Kannadiga obsession with khara-bhaath

The bhath has the consistency of thick porridge and you could argue that this is the Kannada comfort food.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archives)
Updated on Jul 06, 2023 12:38 AM IST

Why do so few outsiders bother to learn Kannada?

“Linguistic jingoism only happened after the states were reorganised by language. Before that, the borders were much more porous.”

Learning Kannada could open up Bangalore for you in ways that you cannot imagine. (HT photo)
Updated on Jun 22, 2023 01:08 AM IST

Better than bhel puri: Girmit or mandakki

To understand the hold that girmit or churmuri has on people from Karnataka, you have to understand that it is not just a recipe. It is an ecosystem

To understand the hold that girmit or churmuri has on people from Karnataka, you have to understand that it is not just a recipe. It is an ecosystem. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 08, 2023 01:19 AM IST

What kind of a coffee drinker are you?

My divide is much more nuanced and connected to those of us who wake up to filter coffee every morning. The question is: where do you buy your coffee from?

Shoba Narayan (HT Photo)
Updated on May 10, 2023 12:29 AM IST
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