I began as a sculptor. Of welded steel.
I studied art for many years. Now I write about art…and other areas including food, wine, fashion, art, travel, culture, spirituality, nature, gender, and gadgets. Yes, I know, I am more fox than hedgehog.
I have been a columnist for Mint Lounge, Hindustan Times Brunch and The National Abu Dhabi. I am overseas correspondent for Radio New Zealand, and previously, was commentator for National Public Radio (NPR). A television show called Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie thought me eccentric enough to feature as a character in five episodes. Trailer here. I do podcasts about ancient India, birds and wine.
I write books. Non fiction memoirs. Five so far and more (hopefully) on the way.
I have taught at IIM-Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I graduated from the Columbia Journalism Program which awarded me a Pulitzer Fellowship– I used it to spend time in Israel. I also won a James Beard award. I am an alumnus of Mount Holyoke College and Women’s Christian College, Chennai.
I love handcrafted textiles and founded Project LooM, a website that showcases India’s handloom clusters. I am fascinated by aesthetics: how the human race created objects of beauty such as jewellery, textiles, crafts and perfumes.
I serve on the board of Neev Academy and Industree Foundation.
Author, Columnist, Content Creator, Journalist
Shoba Narayan is the author of five books. She has been a journalist and columnist for 30 years, writing about travel and culture for national and international publications. She has won a James Beard Award and a Pulitzer Fellowship. She has taught and lectured at universities in India and abroad. She is interested in Indian aesthetics– and has researched its influence on jewellery, music, textiles and scents. She founded and co-created a website called Project LooM, which documents the weaving traditions of India. In her spare time, she watches birds, drinks wine, studies Jung and is a gadget geek. Her lifelong mission is to get fit without exercising and lose weight without dieting.
In case you too are weird this way
I speak Tamil and English fluently. I also speak French, German, Russian and Kannada– but people don’t understand me.
I am an enthusiastic if poor dancer. I learned an Indian classical dance form called bharatanatyam.
I sing Indian classical Carnatic music. Have a Soundcloud account.
I wanted to be an acupuncturist but enrolled in Journalism-school instead. Informally, I study and practice acupuncture, alternative healing, movement therapies, mindfulness, and everything linked to the mind-body connection.
I watch birds, bees, butterflies and moths, usually from my balcony. I would like to retreat to a forest when I retire.
I am a feminist who likes men, drinks wine, and wears high heels or lipstick occasionally.
I studied psychology in college– Carl Jung and his psychology of dreams and shadows are what I continue to study.
Where I brag a little
The spectrum of storytelling excites me. Books allow for nuance and depth. Journalism is immediate and succinct. Websites are flexible and interactive. Podcasts are user-friendly. I seek to tell stories in all these mediums, along with song, art and performance.
I am the author of four books, all non fiction memoirs. They are listed below.
02. ANCHORING MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS.
This is what I currently love best. I have worked with select brand to create websites that highlight brand-values with cultural traditions such as textiles, jewellery, perfumes and crafts. Customizing content for short and long attention spans is an art and a skill.
I write essays, columns and opinion pieces. I travel to report on issues and events. I review hotels, gadgets and classes. I interview and profile people and places.
I write non-fiction memoirs that are rooted in India, have a touch of humor, and deal with relationships, identity and traditions
“A feast of insights.”
FOOD & FAITH: a pilgrim’s journey through India
“An absolute joy to read.” “Sincere and laugh-out-loud funny.”
THE MILK LADY OF BANGALORE
“Shoba Narayan is that rarity in the food world: She has both a unique story and the lyrical skills to tell it.”
“A memoir about what it means to leave home and then return.”
RETURN TO INDIA
“A masterclass in the art of storytelling for business leaders.”
KATHA:TELL A STORY SELL A DREAM
I have taught at universities and schools and lectured widely
As the daughter of a college professor, I love to teach and engage with new ideas. I have taught courses at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore among others. I have lectured at Carnegie Mellon University and other US colleges.