Kalpana Sunder
Kalpana Sunder
Kalpana Sunder is an independent journalist based in Chennai, India. She writes on travel, environment, gender, architecture, culture, lifestyle, food and fashion. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Al Jazeera and the National Geographic Traveler.

India has some 135 million overweight citizens in a population of 1.4 billion, and fat-shaming is ‘very normalised in Indian households’.

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Sashi Cheliah was dubbed the ‘king of flavours’ when he won MasterChef Australia in 2018, and he’s just opened a fine-dining fusion restaurant in Chennai, India.

Many thrift and second-hand clothes shops on Instagram began with users decluttering their wardrobe, who gave away or sold cheaply the clothes that they no longer used.

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People meditate to relieve stress, anxiety and insomnia, and virtual reality meditation is just as effective and may even work better, say experts and fans.

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Noisy, colourful firecrackers have been around for centuries but while attitudes are changing, with pollution a key concern and reason for bans, many point out poor air quality is not just linked to festival celebrations.

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Ponniyin Selvan 1, based on a 1950s novel series with a cult following, has become the second highest-grossing Tamil film globally of all time, after Rajinikanth’s 2.0.

As many as 197 Indian languages are endangered and vulnerable according to Unesco, due to various factors including, a lack of script and dependence on oral traditions and migration to large cities from rural areas.

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More Indian tea estates are becoming boutique hotels and homestays offering immersive experiences, where guests can roam around a working estate, visit factories and enjoy tasting sessions.

Experts review the chia seed and lemon water drink purported to help with bowel movements and relieve constipation, as well as its other health benefits and results.

You might not know his name, but you will have seen the stunning backdrops he finds that end up on screen – meet Ramji Natarajan, who scouts film locations around the world for Bollywood movies.

Built in grand style with Greek and Roman architectural influences, many of the palaces in West Bengal, India, fell into disrepair. Now they’re being restored and turned into boutique and heritage hotels.

Fed up of arguing and putting themselves last, many Indians, often women, are opting for ‘grey’ or ‘silver’ divorces in later life, even if their families do not like it, with experts saying it’s healthier to split up than constantly fight.

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Beyond simply bringing back art forms, India’s royals also focus on keeping the tradition alive for future generations by engaging youth, developing entrepreneurial skills in craftsmen

With India’s meat consumption expected to grow exponentially, plant-based options are being regarded as a sustainable solution to supplement the demand. Seeing it as a “sunrise sector”, the industry is attracting burgeoning numbers of investors and celebrities, who champion alternative protein options.

Visiting Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai in one cycle trip seems daunting, but for Meera Velankar, it’s just one of a number of record-breaking rides she’s made in the 10 years since she took up cycling.

London-based dancer-choreographer Arunima Kumar said she’s ‘elated’ to be performing the traditional Indian dance form with her troupe for the British monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Priyanka Mohite has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains before 30, undaunted by challenges including Covid-19, natural disasters and a lack of funding.

As global food waste looks to exceed more than 2 billion tonnes by 2030, technology such as Nosh identifies food wasted at each stage of the supply chain to save still-good items from the bin.

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Many families are cooking one-pot dishes with local lentils, cutting down on expensive veggies and avoiding deep fried snacks to tide over the cost of living crisis.

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The leaves and fruits of the Moringa tree are a popular superfood in Western nations but have long been savoured in India, including by PM Modi who has moringa parathas for breakfast.

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HR professional Rohan Kale is on a mission to bring India’s disappearing stepwells – deep wells constructed in stone accessed by stairs – ‘from misery to glory’.

A wry observation by new character Kate Sharma in the second series of the hit Netflix period drama has shone a light on India’s many and varied types of tea.

Pfizer Covid shots, sparkling clean streets and tax-free policies are among the draws. And for investors with US$2.7 million to spare, there are ‘Golden Visas’, too.