I write about food, travel, fashion, art and culture for many publications.  They include Condenast Traveler (US edition), The NationalFinancial TimesDestinasianGourmetTime, and Silkroad.  In the past, I’ve written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Town & Country, British Airways Highlife, Cathay Pacific’s Discovery, Singapore Airlines’ Silverkris, Knowledge@Wharton, Departures, Food & Wine, Saveur, Newsweek, Beliefnet and House Beautiful.

I write a weekly column for Mint Lounge, an Indian business daily which is affiliated with the WSJ.  I also write a column for The National, based in Abu Dhabi.  I used to write the Hinduism column for Beliefnet, which has my columnist page here and six pages of my articles here.

I write books that are available here

I have taught a course to the Executive Post Graduate Program at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.  I have also taught philosophy at Neev, a preschool in Bangalore.

A long time ago, I used to be a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered Weekend.

My essay, The God of Small Feasts, that was published in Gourmet, won the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing.  Ruth Reichl, who got me into food writing was there at the awards ceremony, which gratified me greatly.  My first book, “Monsoon Diary: a memoir with recipes,” was published by Random House (US) in 2003.  It was a finalist for a James Beard Award.

I graduated from the Columbia Journalism School with a Master of Science degree. The school awarded me a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship given to the top three graduating students in the class. I can be reached at shoba@shobanarayan.com

My bio here

86 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi Shoba,
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  2. Shoba, I loved your article about Wendy Doniger. I know nothing about her and have not read any of her books. My personal knowledge of Hinduism, is minimal, at best. But your arguments were strong and authoritative. I liked that.


  3. Shoba, you are simply superb… “Return to India” is my assignment to immigrant literature after i read the book i am very much eager to see your family photo which would help out my assignment ….


  4. as I said on twitter . … it is so fashionable to criticize Modi by “elite” “page 3″ people with a peg of whiskey in hand and a chicken leg in mouth. Praising Modi is considered so “lower middle class”. Please write a article on this if you agree. Modi does not speak for “elite” and “dissecting” people like you, he speaks for Masses and masses like him. Damn intellectuals of India, who even do not come out of their house to vote (I was in Bangalore on polling day there… polling booths were waiting for the voters and not the other way round). I shall be thankful if my message is acknowledged. God bless you


    • Bhushan: I get what you say. As someone who is a convert– I have huge admiration for what he has pulled off and the fact that he earned it– I get that he speaks to the masses. But rather than speak like a Jayalalithaa who says, “I did this. I did this. Look at my rivals. They thought this and I proved them wrong.” I had hoped Modi would be different. Being magnanimous in victory. Which is also an Indian thing. Humility is a virtue in India, isn’t it?


      • I think we should not dissect each of his movements or words. He speaks for masses who are not interested in “baal kee Khaal”. They want something which is visible. We should give Modi “the honeymoon period” These dissections can be done anytime.


  5. Hi Shobha,
    I am a young journalist recently working with The Pioneer newspaper and my beat is culture. I just wanted to know how can I improve my writing skills as most of the times cultural events happening in my town are almost the same. I interview many celebs who come down to my town so i also want a help and guidance from you that how can I be a good interviewer. The competition is taking over and I find myself much behind so I wanted to buck-up and be in the line.

    Syeda Sana Riyaz


  6. Hi! Shobha… i want one advice from you… actually, My Friend use to write articles and other stuff and likes to do photography… me and him have been on B.arch practical training in bangalore for 5 months and we did around 10 number of trips…. and now he is writing a sort of a travel magazine…. he has really good skills…. it will be really a great and unforgettable favour if you just give him a path that where he can give his article or magazine….. so, that it can be of good use… please, let me know if you can help. Thanks


    • Dear Anonymous.
      Please ask your friend to read this.


      As for travel writing, it is getting very hard because editors have their network of trusted writers and usually give assignments to them. You can pitch travel articles to newspapers that accept freelance work by doing the following.

      1. Research the paper by reading past articles and figure out what kind of articles they like. For example, some publications have a historical bent; others like first person; some DONT like first person. Things like that.

      2. Do a search and see if the piece you want to write has been written about in the last two years. For example, if you want to write about Bangalore and the magazine has published a piece recently on Mysore or Bangalore, it is unlikely that they will choose to publish yours so soon. You should pitch some one else.

      3. Send a sample of how you plan to write the story. Write one paragraph that will give the editor an idea of your writing style.

      4. Photographs help.

      5. I don’t have personal connections where I can forward pieces. So please research the publications and you can usually find the email of the editor via Linkedin or the Net. And you should write to them personally.

      Good luck!!! And Godspeed.


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