Renuka Narayanan

Renuka Narayanan

Renuka Narayanan is a commentator and columnist on religion and culture.

Articles by Renuka Narayanan
In the tale, the monk Aravana Adigal, stands tall as the representative of the Buddha.(iStock)
In the tale, the monk Aravana Adigal, stands tall as the representative of the Buddha.(iStock)

In an ancient tale, a message for today: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
PUBLISHED ON SEP 30, 2017 08:12 PM IST
The Tamil epic Manimekhalai upholds dharma as a way of life, free of present-day politics.
If we could be the lights of kindness, our country would have a better chance of being a nicer, more compassionate place.(Getty Images / iStock)
If we could be the lights of kindness, our country would have a better chance of being a nicer, more compassionate place.(Getty Images / iStock)

An ancient tale that unites light and love: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
PUBLISHED ON SEP 23, 2017 08:00 PM IST
Through every epoch, Sriman and Sri have been inseparable. But while Sriman will punish wrongdoers, Sri is so compassionate that she forgives everybody out of love.
The ballet tells the story of Odette and prince Siegfried.(ICCR)
The ballet tells the story of Odette and prince Siegfried.(ICCR)

Delhi weekend: You woudn’t want to miss the Russian ballet, Swan Lake

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2017 01:20 PM IST
This weekend, Swan Lake, the iconic Russian ballet will be performed for the first time in its entirety in India
Be the charioteer: It is time for us to reclaim our personal connection with our faith.(Shutterstock)
Be the charioteer: It is time for us to reclaim our personal connection with our faith.(Shutterstock)

Rediscover five precious gems in the Mahabharata

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON SEP 17, 2017 07:59 AM IST
Hinduism is unique in the way that it encourages a personal relationship between the believer and the Great One.
Gauri Lankesh, RIP: Decent people do not gloat when a journalist is gunned down for doing her job.(Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)
Gauri Lankesh, RIP: Decent people do not gloat when a journalist is gunned down for doing her job.(Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Why not be decent. That’s always a good start: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON SEP 10, 2017 01:52 PM IST
We need to relearn how to accommodate our differences, how to meet in good fellowship and share differing opinions with civility.
It can be hard to pick a right path when a ruler is forced to bow to the will of an emotional mob.(ImagesBazaar)
It can be hard to pick a right path when a ruler is forced to bow to the will of an emotional mob.(ImagesBazaar)

Blurred boundaries between the rulers and the ruled

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2017 12:12 PM IST
A king can wield several kinds of authority. The most incorrect is that driven by egotistical sentiment. This is also true of us as individuals, and as a mob.
(Getty Images / iStock)
(Getty Images / iStock)

Reflected in ancient verse, a time of hope: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON AUG 27, 2017 09:31 AM IST
A Supreme Court ruling for privacy feels like a fresh start, and a good time to revisit celebrations of Spring in the poetry of Amir Khusro.
It’s interesting to think of the ancients, then young and inquiring, gazing out on a golden day and feeling blissful about existence. That optimism and cheer seem nice continuities to keep.(Getty Images / iStock)
It’s interesting to think of the ancients, then young and inquiring, gazing out on a golden day and feeling blissful about existence. That optimism and cheer seem nice continuities to keep.(Getty Images / iStock)

A prayer from a time when hope was young and strong

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON AUG 20, 2017 11:46 AM IST
The ancient verse below has a cultural continuity all their own. It represents, to me, a human wish for the ages, cast in verse.
(Getty Images / iStock)
(Getty Images / iStock)

An early heroine of independence: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON AUG 12, 2017 03:22 PM IST
In the early 12th century, a young child bride ran away, cast off her clothes, and declared herself married forever to Shiva.
Calm after the storm: It is in times of trouble — whether political protest or flood — that Indians tend to show the most delicacy of feeling.(Getty Images / iStockphoto)
Calm after the storm: It is in times of trouble — whether political protest or flood — that Indians tend to show the most delicacy of feeling.(Getty Images / iStockphoto)

A poetess, a king, and a message for us all: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON AUG 06, 2017 08:47 AM IST
In our ancient literature are reminders that we are better all around when we are kinder to one another.
North and south, I’ve seen that we can behave very well on yatra. So is the ‘kanwariya syndrome’ basically a male phenomenon? Is it about ‘testosterone as a lifestyle’ for the duration?(HT File Photo)
North and south, I’ve seen that we can behave very well on yatra. So is the ‘kanwariya syndrome’ basically a male phenomenon? Is it about ‘testosterone as a lifestyle’ for the duration?(HT File Photo)

One long party that’s good news and bad: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUL 30, 2017 07:36 AM IST
The kanwariyas do disrupt Delhi needlessly and it’s natural that tired urban commuters going about their daily grind resent the annual Shravan invasion.
Statue of the General Kumbhira, The Twelve Divine Generals. Represents 9pm-11pm of the day and Boar of the Chinese 12 Zodiac, and is armed with a broadsword.(Photo: Shutterstock)
Statue of the General Kumbhira, The Twelve Divine Generals. Represents 9pm-11pm of the day and Boar of the Chinese 12 Zodiac, and is armed with a broadsword.(Photo: Shutterstock)

How drumbeats won the battle of Changshao

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2017 07:55 AM IST
The svastika is an ancient and auspicious symbol of the Hindu tradition. It is inscribed on Hindu temples, ritual altars, entrances, and even account books.(iStock)
The svastika is an ancient and auspicious symbol of the Hindu tradition. It is inscribed on Hindu temples, ritual altars, entrances, and even account books.(iStock)

A symbol that was set right over time: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2017 08:28 AM IST
While on diplomatic assignment in Bangkok in 2009, it was gratifying to note that my Jewish neighbours knew the true meaning of the svastika.
(Getty Images / iStockphoto)
(Getty Images / iStockphoto)

Sometimes, it’s good to listen to our young: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2017 08:40 AM IST
This Guru Purnima, I uphold Manas Tirtha — pilgrimages within one’s own mind — and young Indians as a force of good.
On 10th July, 1806 at Vellore Fort, in modern Tamil Nadu, a historic mutiny against the British took place.(Shutterstock)
On 10th July, 1806 at Vellore Fort, in modern Tamil Nadu, a historic mutiny against the British took place.(Shutterstock)

Quiet forts and their noisy stories: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2017 07:42 AM IST
The history of our forts tell us that people across communities should visit each other, share food, friendship and activities as individuals, not blocs.
The Sufi code of ‘simple living and high thinking’ was embodied by the woman saint of Basra, Rabia al-Adwiya or Rabia al-Basri.(iStock)
The Sufi code of ‘simple living and high thinking’ was embodied by the woman saint of Basra, Rabia al-Adwiya or Rabia al-Basri.(iStock)

The undimmed lustre of two legendary Basra pearls: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUL 01, 2017 05:16 PM IST
The tale of two Sufi saints from Basra, Iraq, whose legacies shine as brightly as the famous pearls from the region.
(Getty Images / iStock)
(Getty Images / iStock)

A moment of truth by the temple steps: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUN 24, 2017 09:14 PM IST
We need to dust up ‘daan punya’ as a value worth keeping from the olden times, and remember how very politely Ram behaved, even with Ravan.
While it’s been proven that turmeric has many healing properties, the folk tale about its ‘holiness’ is a complicated frappe of health, religion and culture.(iStock)
While it’s been proven that turmeric has many healing properties, the folk tale about its ‘holiness’ is a complicated frappe of health, religion and culture.(iStock)

Turmeric tales amid unfunny peahen porn: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2017 09:38 PM IST
A folk tale I recently heard, about how turmeric got its wonderful qualities, oddly legitimises the ‘boys will be boys’ narrative.
This month saw festivals relating to two vital change agents, one historical and one mythical: the Buddha and Devrishi Narad muni.(iStock)
This month saw festivals relating to two vital change agents, one historical and one mythical: the Buddha and Devrishi Narad muni.(iStock)

Narad muni, calendar quirks and our first-known journalist: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON MAY 21, 2017 08:56 AM IST
We, modern Indians, must try and understand Narad muni’s role as cultural messenger. It could help us value the importance of good intentions in communication today.
Made in China products are found in abundance in India.(Shutterstock)
Made in China products are found in abundance in India.(Shutterstock)

A leaf from the big Asian notebook

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON MAY 14, 2017 10:45 AM IST
China still abides by General Zhou’s discipline and upright attitude.

The importance of lessons in life skills

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON MAY 08, 2017 05:28 PM IST
Learning domestic life skills will not only improve self-esteem and save money; such regular activities will keep those increasingly Indian lifestyle diseases away
(IStock)
(IStock)

The casual cruelties of upper-caste India: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
PUBLISHED ON APR 29, 2017 09:31 PM IST
It’s time the younger generations called out, politely but firmly, the casteist and sexist attitudes that are holding us back at home.

Thinking cool thoughts in mind-destroying heat: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2017 09:31 PM IST
Two electricians toiling in 43-degree heat remind me that I’m not crazy for staying positive amid the incessant whining of the privileged.
A scene from the highly decorated Anandi Lal Poddar Haveli in Rajasthan’s Shekhawati region, depicting Rama and Sita. In the old days, cultural literacy meant that you only needed to see an image in order to recall at least a dozen stories and moral messages.(Getty Images / iStock Photo)
A scene from the highly decorated Anandi Lal Poddar Haveli in Rajasthan’s Shekhawati region, depicting Rama and Sita. In the old days, cultural literacy meant that you only needed to see an image in order to recall at least a dozen stories and moral messages.(Getty Images / iStock Photo)

Midway through the month of super-heroes: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2017 08:04 PM IST
April in India is pretty amazing for how many famous birthdays from myth and history fall in it.
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Never stop trying, said the Bodhisattva: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2017 08:04 PM IST
Every religion offers the same message: You do not hide your light under a bushel. Effort is never wasted.
(Shutterstock Image)
(Shutterstock Image)

A call to artists and all epic depictors

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON APR 02, 2017 10:53 AM IST
Does the way we depict demons in mythology contribute to the frequent lack of respect for people who are racially different from ‘us’
A view of the Ganga at sunrise. Jagannath Pandit is still remember for his Ganga Leheri(SHUTTERSTOCK)
A view of the Ganga at sunrise. Jagannath Pandit is still remember for his Ganga Leheri(SHUTTERSTOCK)

Poor, brilliant and ambitious – a medieval maverick

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2017 10:04 PM IST
Jagannath Pandit was an Andhra Brahmin is respected as one of the last hurrahs of the old Sanskrit tradition
Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism.(Photo: Shutterstock)
Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism.(Photo: Shutterstock)

A path through the forest of the heart

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 18, 2017 04:57 PM IST
The allure of the gods
A still from Guru Dutt’s 1955 film, Mr & Mrs 55, an utterly anti-woman affair that involved the basest stereotypes and a kidnapping ‘for love’, followed by the total capitulation of what had been a thinking heroine. Why is it that we let artistes get away with treating women so badly?
A still from Guru Dutt’s 1955 film, Mr & Mrs 55, an utterly anti-woman affair that involved the basest stereotypes and a kidnapping ‘for love’, followed by the total capitulation of what had been a thinking heroine. Why is it that we let artistes get away with treating women so badly?

A rule for you and a rule for me: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2017 08:22 PM IST
Why are some men who behave obnoxiously towards women nevertheless awarded and celebrated?
There are at least thirty kinds of desi dosas listed on foodie sources. While some are ‘traditional’ recipes, others seem to be born out of sheer exuberance, like the beetroot dosa(SHUTTERSTOCK)
There are at least thirty kinds of desi dosas listed on foodie sources. While some are ‘traditional’ recipes, others seem to be born out of sheer exuberance, like the beetroot dosa(SHUTTERSTOCK)

Flipping other kinds of crepe: Shebaba by Renuka Narayanan

Hindustan Times | By Renuka Narayanan
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2017 10:49 AM IST
The history of food is the history of cultural contact. At its most charming, human contact has culture sailing like a bird perched on the shoulder of commerce.
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