Bhakti Mathur

Bhakti Mathur

Bhakti took to writing in 2010 when she created the popular Amma, Tell Me series of children’s picture books about Indian festivals and mythology. After a long stint as a banker, she now juggles her time between her writing, her passion for yoga and long-distance running, and her family.

Latest from Bhakti Mathur

Henna’s place at the centre of wedding festivities in South Asia and the Middle East: what the ritual painting of hands and feet symbolises

Intricate patterns in rich red hues drawn on the hands of a bride are thought to carry blessings and symbolise the prosperity she will bring to her new family. The ritual may have originated in India, or perhaps in the Egypt of the pharaohs.

22 Dec 2020 - 8:20AM

Intricate patterns in rich red hues drawn on the hands of a bride are thought to carry blessings and symbolise the prosperity she will bring to her new family. The ritual may have originated in India, or perhaps in the Egypt of the pharaohs.

Henna’s place at the centre of wedding festivities in South Asia and the Middle East: what the ritual painting of hands and feet symbolises
How a victim of horrific child abuse turned his life around and finally found peace on an epic paddle-board trip

Repeatedly raped and beaten as a child, Damien Rider sought refuge in drugs, and had attempted suicide four times by his 30s. He took up endurance sports, and surviving a dangerous solo paddle board trip was to prove transformational.

6 Dec 2020 - 6:34PM

Repeatedly raped and beaten as a child, Damien Rider sought refuge in drugs, and had attempted suicide four times by his 30s. He took up endurance sports, and surviving a dangerous solo paddle board trip was to prove transformational.

How a victim of horrific child abuse turned his life around and finally found peace on an epic paddle-board trip
Iyengar yoga helped this man cope with multiple sclerosis. Now he teaches others how to deal with the disorder through yoga

When Garth McLean was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his mid-30s, yoga helped him so much, he trained to become a yoga teacher. He has been medicine-free for 17 years, and now helps others with MS.

19 Nov 2020 - 7:24AM

When Garth McLean was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his mid-30s, yoga helped him so much, he trained to become a yoga teacher. He has been medicine-free for 17 years, and now helps others with MS.

Iyengar yoga helped this man cope with multiple sclerosis. Now he teaches others how to deal with the disorder through yoga
Yoga, mindfulness, sound healing, dance: special needs health and wellness event is first of its kind in Hong Kong

From yoga and mindfulness to sound healing, a series of health and wellness events for people with special needs is taking place in Hong Kong this month.

5 Nov 2020 - 10:40PM

From yoga and mindfulness to sound healing, a series of health and wellness events for people with special needs is taking place in Hong Kong this month.

Yoga, mindfulness, sound healing, dance: special needs health and wellness event is first of its kind in Hong Kong
The issues cross-cultural teens and third culture kids face, and how to deal with them

Family, community and nationality help teens form an image of who they are when growing up, but for cross-cultural teens and third culture kids, these anchors can be unstable.

16 Dec 2020 - 5:09PM

Family, community and nationality help teens form an image of who they are when growing up, but for cross-cultural teens and third culture kids, these anchors can be unstable.

The issues cross-cultural teens and third culture kids face, and how to deal with them
Explainer | History of the sari, from ancient India to fashion runways – simple, versatile garments tell the stories of women who wear them

Made of cotton, silk or both, and sometimes richly embroidered, there are different ways of weaving and wearing the sari everywhere you go in India. A staple of bridal trousseaus, a well-made sari can last for generations.

16 Oct 2020 - 9:11AM

Made of cotton, silk or both, and sometimes richly embroidered, there are different ways of weaving and wearing the sari everywhere you go in India. A staple of bridal trousseaus, a well-made sari can last for generations.

History of the sari, from ancient India to fashion runways – simple, versatile garments tell the stories of women who wear them
The history of vindaloo, loved in Britain: why India has Portuguese explorers to thank for the famous hot curry

The vindaloo curry originated 5,500 miles to the west of India, in Portugal, and was brought there by Portuguese explorers. It has since become a popular dish in Britain, where ‘spicy vindaloo eating challenges’ became common.

2 Oct 2020 - 1:50PM

The vindaloo curry originated 5,500 miles to the west of India, in Portugal, and was brought there by Portuguese explorers. It has since become a popular dish in Britain, where ‘spicy vindaloo eating challenges’ became common.

The history of vindaloo, loved in Britain: why India has Portuguese explorers to thank for the famous hot curry
Dosa: Indian filled pancake makes a complete and healthy meal at any time of the day

The fluffy and crispy stuffed pancake made from fermented batter is a South Indian breakfast staple and has become popular around the world.

18 Sep 2020 - 1:15PM

The fluffy and crispy stuffed pancake made from fermented batter is a South Indian breakfast staple and has become popular around the world.

Dosa: Indian filled pancake makes a complete and healthy meal at any time of the day
A kebab fit for a king, how the shish kebab got its name, and the kebab whose name means ‘belly full’

Crowds still flock to a 115-year-old restaurant in Lucknow, India, to taste its galouti kebab, first made for a king who’d lost all his teeth. It’s one of many variations on a dish brought to India by Persian traders.

17 Aug 2020 - 1:44PM

Crowds still flock to a 115-year-old restaurant in Lucknow, India, to taste its galouti kebab, first made for a king who’d lost all his teeth. It’s one of many variations on a dish brought to India by Persian traders.

A kebab fit for a king, how the shish kebab got its name, and the kebab whose name means ‘belly full’
Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar spearhead socially conscious Bollywood cinema wave, through films like Dangal, Padman and Thappad

Two Bollywood superstars, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar, are helping drive a resurgence of socially conscious cinema in India, through films such as Dangal, Padman and Guilty.

7 Aug 2020 - 1:29PM

Two Bollywood superstars, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar, are helping drive a resurgence of socially conscious cinema in India, through films such as Dangal, Padman and Guilty.

Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar spearhead socially conscious Bollywood cinema wave, through films like Dangal, Padman and Thappad
How Indian are country’s favourite street food snacks? Samosas may have come from Arabia, the pav in pav bhaji is Portuguese, but puri is pure Indian

Street food is incredibly popular in India, enjoyed by all classes. We look at the history of three of the country’s favourite snacks.

3 Jul 2020 - 12:23AM

Street food is incredibly popular in India, enjoyed by all classes. We look at the history of three of the country’s favourite snacks.

How Indian are country’s favourite street food snacks? Samosas may have come from Arabia, the pav in pav bhaji is Portuguese, but puri is pure Indian
How India’s first male professional belly dancer, Eshan Hilal, overcame prejudice to become a star

In crop tops, harem pants and stilettos, professional belly dancer Eshan Hilal, from Delhi, is smashing gender stereotypes. That’s because Hilal is a man, and from a traditional Muslim family.

25 May 2020 - 8:38PM

In crop tops, harem pants and stilettos, professional belly dancer Eshan Hilal, from Delhi, is smashing gender stereotypes. That’s because Hilal is a man, and from a traditional Muslim family.

How India’s first male professional belly dancer, Eshan Hilal, overcame prejudice to become a star
Why mangoes are the ‘king of fruits’ in India and form an intrinsic part of country’s culture

It’s more than just a fruit – the mango is an intrinsic part of India’s culture, a country where it has a long and varied history and where emperors have imprisoned their own children over it.

8 Apr 2020 - 4:15PM

It’s more than just a fruit – the mango is an intrinsic part of India’s culture, a country where it has a long and varied history and where emperors have imprisoned their own children over it.

Why mangoes are the ‘king of fruits’ in India and form an intrinsic part of country’s culture
The story of biryani, rice dish for special occasions that unites the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

There are various origin stories about the South Asian dish of spiced meat and rice, and cities have their own recipes. But one thing the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can agree on is that it is a symbol of what unites them.

23 Mar 2020 - 2:30PM

There are various origin stories about the South Asian dish of spiced meat and rice, and cities have their own recipes. But one thing the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can agree on is that it is a symbol of what unites them.

The story of biryani, rice dish for special occasions that unites the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
‘From brokenness to wholeness to holiness’: addicts cured with yoga and faith by Catholic priest’s foundation

Founded by Catholic priest Father Joseph Pereira, the Kripa Foundation blends the teachings of Mother Teresa, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning missionary, and yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar.

16 Mar 2020 - 6:00PM

Founded by Catholic priest Father Joseph Pereira, the Kripa Foundation blends the teachings of Mother Teresa, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning missionary, and yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar.

‘From brokenness to wholeness to holiness’: addicts cured with yoga and faith by Catholic priest’s foundation
The benefits of meditation and yoga for cancer patients: how one woman reduced her stress levels and anxiety through mind-body healing

When Alison Brock was diagnosed with cancer, she identified factors that may have contributed to it, including lack of sleep, stress and anxiety – and embraced yoga and the traditional Indian medicine known as Ayurveda to overcome them.

21 May 2020 - 10:08PM

When Alison Brock was diagnosed with cancer, she identified factors that may have contributed to it, including lack of sleep, stress and anxiety – and embraced yoga and the traditional Indian medicine known as Ayurveda to overcome them.

The benefits of meditation and yoga for cancer patients: how one woman reduced her stress levels and anxiety through mind-body healing
Life after cancer: survivor on how whole foods, yoga, breathing exercises and golf helped him stay healthy and active after huge leg tumour

Cancer survivor Dexter D’Souza discovered he had a tumour the size of a beer bottle growing in his leg just three months after running the New York City Marathon. Cycling, a diet change, yoga and golf all boosted his recovery.

21 May 2020 - 10:10PM

Cancer survivor Dexter D’Souza discovered he had a tumour the size of a beer bottle growing in his leg just three months after running the New York City Marathon. Cycling, a diet change, yoga and golf all boosted his recovery.

Life after cancer: survivor on how whole foods, yoga, breathing exercises and golf helped him stay healthy and active after huge leg tumour
India’s first female rock band sings for gender equality and empowerment

Meri Zindagi are unlike other Indian girl bands, which perform covers of film songs. Members of the all-female rock band are on a mission to use music as a tool to raise awareness about gender inequality and empowerment.

31 Jan 2020 - 1:33PM

Meri Zindagi are unlike other Indian girl bands, which perform covers of film songs. Members of the all-female rock band are on a mission to use music as a tool to raise awareness about gender inequality and empowerment.

India’s first female rock band sings for gender equality and empowerment
The hostel in Indian holy city where Hindus go to die – you have to be on the brink of death to get a room

Salvation comes to those who die in the holy city of Kashi because it breaks the eternal cycle of life and death, Hindus believe. Hostels such as Mukti Bhawan serve as short-stay accommodation for guests at death’s door.

3 Nov 2019 - 7:21PM

Salvation comes to those who die in the holy city of Kashi because it breaks the eternal cycle of life and death, Hindus believe. Hostels such as Mukti Bhawan serve as short-stay accommodation for guests at death’s door.

The hostel in Indian holy city where Hindus go to die – you have to be on the brink of death to get a room
From street kids to university graduates: how former HSBC banker and his charity Future Hope give homeless children in India a shot at life

Tim Grandage was so shocked by the child poverty he found when he was posted to Kolkata 32 years ago he founded a charity, Future Hope, to rescue street kids and give them a better shot at life.

2 Nov 2019 - 2:41PM

Tim Grandage was so shocked by the child poverty he found when he was posted to Kolkata 32 years ago he founded a charity, Future Hope, to rescue street kids and give them a better shot at life.

From street kids to university graduates: how former HSBC banker and his charity Future Hope give homeless children in India a shot at life
Indian start-ups’ online mental health counselling could help millions who lack access

In India, nearly 200 million people have mental health problems and there is fewer than one psychiatrist for every 100,000 people. Juno Clinic, a start-up, offers easy access to online counselling from professionals.

10 Oct 2019 - 10:54AM

In India, nearly 200 million people have mental health problems and there is fewer than one psychiatrist for every 100,000 people. Juno Clinic, a start-up, offers easy access to online counselling from professionals.

Indian start-ups’ online mental health counselling could help millions who lack access
Indian street festival Durga Puja: guide to the celebrations, marquees, legend and dances

The Durga Puja festival is devoted to Hindu goddess Durga who was created to vanquish a buffalo-headed demon. A time of exuberance, food and laughter, people from all walks of life mingle freely on the streets for the whole 10 days.

24 Sep 2019 - 11:29AM

The Durga Puja festival is devoted to Hindu goddess Durga who was created to vanquish a buffalo-headed demon. A time of exuberance, food and laughter, people from all walks of life mingle freely on the streets for the whole 10 days.

Indian street festival Durga Puja: guide to the celebrations, marquees, legend and dances
Girls swap rice paddies for soccer fields in India, and escape the cycle of child marriage and poverty

With high rates of poverty, childhood marriage and illiteracy, girls in Jharkhand have few prospects. An NGO uses soccer and education to empower impoverished girls and give them courage and confidence.

24 Sep 2019 - 1:35PM

With high rates of poverty, childhood marriage and illiteracy, girls in Jharkhand have few prospects. An NGO uses soccer and education to empower impoverished girls and give them courage and confidence.

Girls swap rice paddies for soccer fields in India, and escape the cycle of child marriage and poverty
The first woman amputee to summit Everest shares her incredible story of determination

After losing her leg in a horrific robbery in her native India, Arunima Sinha refused to give in to despair. She decided to climb Mount Everest and is now ready to tackle the last peak of the Seven Summits Challenge

16 Sep 2019 - 7:58PM

After losing her leg in a horrific robbery in her native India, Arunima Sinha refused to give in to despair. She decided to climb Mount Everest and is now ready to tackle the last peak of the Seven Summits Challenge

The first woman amputee to summit Everest shares her incredible story of determination
Yoga conference in Hong Kong: beat workplace burnout with these five gurus

The annual Evolution Asia Yoga Conference features more than 165 lectures and workshops. Meet the gurus who will be hosting workshops to help you zap workplace stress.

14 Jun 2019 - 9:28AM

The annual Evolution Asia Yoga Conference features more than 165 lectures and workshops. Meet the gurus who will be hosting workshops to help you zap workplace stress.

Yoga conference in Hong Kong: beat workplace burnout with these five gurus
The Robin Hoods of food waste: volunteers fight global hunger crisis by donating to the poor

The Robin Hood Army was founded five years ago by three Indians as a volunteer-based organisation fighting hunger in the country’s communities. It has since gone global.

12 Jun 2019 - 6:04AM

The Robin Hood Army was founded five years ago by three Indians as a volunteer-based organisation fighting hunger in the country’s communities. It has since gone global.

The Robin Hoods of food waste: volunteers fight global hunger crisis by donating to the poor
Yoga conference in Hong Kong: the masters, the moves, the meditation – here are three scholars leading classes

Sri Dharma Mittra, Noah Mazé and Christopher Wallis have a combined 110 years of yoga experience and will be leading sessions at the conference. The annual Evolution Asia Yoga Conference features more than 165 lectures and workshops.

13 Jun 2019 - 6:34PM

Sri Dharma Mittra, Noah Mazé and Christopher Wallis have a combined 110 years of yoga experience and will be leading sessions at the conference. The annual Evolution Asia Yoga Conference features more than 165 lectures and workshops.

Yoga conference in Hong Kong: the masters, the moves, the meditation – here are three scholars leading classes
Social media yoga stars Action Jacquelyn, Briohny Smyth on their practices before yoga conference

Briohny Smyth and ‘Action’ Jacquelyn Umof, who will hold sessions live in Hong Kong this month at the Evolution Asia Yoga Conference, talk about their favourite poses, why they practice, and the results that can be achieved.

13 Jun 2019 - 6:37PM

Briohny Smyth and ‘Action’ Jacquelyn Umof, who will hold sessions live in Hong Kong this month at the Evolution Asia Yoga Conference, talk about their favourite poses, why they practice, and the results that can be achieved.

Social media yoga stars Action Jacquelyn, Briohny Smyth on their practices before yoga conference
India’s female skateboarders look to break with tradition, empower others, and shatter stereotypes

The skateboarding craze is sweeping India, and prompting cultural change. India’s first professional skateboarder Atita Verghese wants girls to use the sport to break down social barriers, and have fun doing it

3 Jun 2019 - 7:41PM

The skateboarding craze is sweeping India, and prompting cultural change. India’s first professional skateboarder Atita Verghese wants girls to use the sport to break down social barriers, and have fun doing it

India’s female skateboarders look to break with tradition, empower others, and shatter stereotypes
‘I thought I would run one’: marathon runner, 60, nears 200th race, yet says running doesn’t come naturally

Michael Cartwright took up running at 44 to lose weight, but thought marathoners were crazy; after completing one in 2006, though, he caught the marathon bug. Now 60, the retired Hong Kong police officer offers his tips on running 42.1km.

26 May 2020 - 1:56PM

Michael Cartwright took up running at 44 to lose weight, but thought marathoners were crazy; after completing one in 2006, though, he caught the marathon bug. Now 60, the retired Hong Kong police officer offers his tips on running 42.1km.

‘I thought I would run one’: marathon runner, 60, nears 200th race, yet says running doesn’t come naturally