Ode to Radio

Today is my good friend, Shailaja’s birthday.  In her honor, writing these words It is hard to find a friendship who has a combination of wit, honesty, discretion and humanity.  In Shailaja, I have a friend who will point out my mistakes with candor and compassion; who is funny as hell; and who keeps my […]

Poetry Feedback

Funny how poetry evinces so much passion.  Did not realize. Hi Shoba, As a poetry junkie, loved your last column.  Would love to meet your father some day. Like your father,  I too “had to memorise” Abou Ben Adhem as a schoolboy!  By the way,  if I am not mistaken, the correct verse is “An […]

Poetry…India…Verse… Performance Poetry Festival. How to appreciate poetry?

The mysterious ways of poetic inspiration Why do we like poetry? And how do they get into our lives? Shoba Narayan T.S. Eliot. Photo: John Gay/Getty Images “Why do you like poetry so much?” I asked my father again this morning. He sighed. “Because we had to memorize poems like “Abou Ben Adhem, may his […]

Love Chennai. Had fun writing this piece.

FRI, JUL 10 2015. 03 44 PM Anger management at a Chennai cinema How Shoba Narayan queued up to watch the latest Tamil indie and dished out multi-coloured combs to aunties I tried my anger management technique when I was standing in line for tickets to “Kaaka Muttai,” the new Tamil film. Kaaka Muttai is […]

Probably the only thing Jony Ive and I have in common

Is the cadences of speech.  Wish I had read this profile in the New Yorker before submitting mine– I would have led off by saying that I speak like Jony Ive.  I think the profile is right in that it is a desire to be “liked” that makes us speak this way.  But the benefit of middle […]

Valentine’s Day

Had fun writing this piece. Are you a spouse whisperer? Pity the newly-weds this Valentine’s Day. Flush with love and fresh with flowers, these men and women make heartfelt declarations of love, little realizing that what they need is not a card embossed with hearts, or an app that suggests new ways to regurgitate that […]

Gifts 2014

This could have easily been a photo feature. FIRST PUBLISHED: SAT, DEC 20 2014. 12 46 AM ISTHOME» LEISURE» THE GOOD LIFE The best gifting ideas from 2014 A list of objects that you could consider buying for your near and dear for Christmas Shoba Narayan It is just before Christmas. You are probably in […]

Bonda Soup

Still bummed that I didn’t go to Ayodhya in Mangalore for typical Mangalorean food. The bowl matters as much as the soup I grew up in a home where we ate on stainless-steel plates. My grandmother’s idea of a festive dinner was to lay banana leaves on the floor and have a small army of […]

Heritage Conservation

What Mumbai has that Bengaluru doesn’t There is an anecdote that is the stuff of legend. When queen Victoria took over the administration of India from the British East India Company in the 1860s, she gathered a group of cultural big shots to figure out urban planning and aesthetics. The group came up with a […]