Portraits

Audio portraits of interesting people that tell a larger story.



Can a hashtag resolve decades of international rivalry? In India and Pakistan the social media campaign Profiles for Peace has at least shown that tens of thousands of thousands of people on both sides of the border are willing to put their names and faces to the declaration that they, personally, have nothing against each other.

#ProfileForPeace India vs Pakistan – DW’s WorldLink


According to the last census, India has 500,000 self-declared transgender people. And since April 2014, the Indian government has mandated that forms have a “third gender” box on forms, along with male and female. But many suspect that there are many more transgender folks living in the shadows in India. And for some, a much older word than transgender applies: Hijra.

India’s new “Happy” song has a complicated back story – ...



Black-and-orange Flycatcher BY Prasenjeet Yadav
Take a remote misty mountain range known as the sky islands. Birds that have been cut off from their fellows and doing their own thing for around five million years. A conservationist is using unusual methods to help preserve some very special birds. My story on @vvrobin & @DJEcotone’s bird beatboxing — ecology with a sountrack @DW’s Living Planet: The entire show is online and it’s only 25 minutes (with […]

Birds and the beat: a conservation story on DW’s Living ...


For The Cultural Frontline, I interviewed artist Roshnee Desai who has designed a taxi upholstery fabric “Only for men” that aims to turn sexism on its head. Her views, verbatim, in the podcast from January 9. It was broadcast on the BBC’s new The Cultural Frontline podcast on January 9. You can listen to the whole podcast here, it’s the lead piece:

Design for conversation & change: Roshnee Desai profiled on BBC’s ...


Holding up Ammiji's sari
For Indian women, saris mark crucial points in our lives: Festivals, coming of age, weddings. We buy saris but, at least early on, we inherit them. The crux of this piece is a sari I inherited from Ammiji (my paternal grandmother) and how I want to hold on to it even though I don’t want to wear it *as is*. Enter Queen of Hearts and Deepa Mehta.

Not my grandmother’s sari – my piece on PRI’s The ...



rhino poop paper stacked.
My January reports from Assam on elephant and rhino conservation through an enterprise that makes dung paper aired on Deutsche Welle in March. The show, World Link, is about “the people behind the headlines” so for them I did a profile of Mahesh ​Bora, who started ElRhino. I think it came out quite well, mostly because Mr. Bora is just lovely. Based on this story, the editor of the technology […]

Saving the rhino through paper: my stories for DW


In December of 2012, when “Nirbhaya” was brutally raped and killed, documentary filmmaker Ram Devineni was visiting India. What he encountered moved him to create a comic book, his first, with an unlikely action hero – Priya, who astride a tiger, with the aid of Goddess Parvati, takes on prevailing attitudes and #everydaysexism. I met him in December 2014, at the launch of Priya’s Shakti at the Mumbai Comic Con […]

An unlikely heroine – my story on DW Worldlink