Dr Aruna Narlikar

Aruna Narlikar holds a doctoral degree in Indian Writing in English and has cultivated a long-standing expertise in Sanskrit, particularly the Mahabharata. She has worked as a columnist and freelance journalist in the top Indian broadsheets in English, including The Times of India and The Hindustan Times, and also writes frequently for the vernacular press in Marathi. She is also an artist, and has exhibited her paintings in solo and group shows in different countries. She has experience of over ten years in anchoring programs on Indian culture on national Indian television.

Email: arunanarlikar@yahoo.com

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Ganesha (ink on paper)

Conquest (ink on paper)

Company (ink on paper)


Jadoo Nagri 1

Jadoo Nagri 3

Brief Biography

Dr Aruna Narlikar is a self-taught artist and published writer. Her most recent work is the co-authored book, Bargaining with a Rising India: Lessons from the Mahabharata, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Dr Narlikar has also been writing for national daily newspapers and magazines in English, as well as for the vernacular press. These publications have taken the shape of invited columns, feature-length articles, art reviews, travelogues, and poetry. Her longstanding involvement with literary activities and publications goes back to her academic qualifications (she has a PhD in English literature). Her knowledge, training, and experience in the languages have also led her to work in the area of translation for the Sahitya Akademi.

Dr Narlikar’s experience in journalism is not limited to the print media; she has extensive anchoring experience in programs on art, culture, education, and women’s issues on national TV. Most of these programs were productions of the all-India television network, Door Darshan.

Dr Narlikar has exhibited her paintings in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Latin America, Europe, and Asia. She has followed an original and innovative approach to develop her unique style. Her paintings cover a variety of themes ranging from her renowned images of her inspiration, Ganesha – the elephant-headed god, to quasi-abstract works representing ancient monuments, to figurative works depicting the fast-fading beauty of village life in India. All these works are united by an attention to detail of movement and stillness, and especially in the case of her oilpaintings, a glossy effect in light relief that has a haunting effect on the eye of the beholder. Her painting ‘Despondency’ was selected as the ‘Painting of the Week’ by the Times Of India art page. Her works are in private collections in India, US, UK, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Germany, and Brazil. These multiple channels of expression of her art find inspiration in her academic training, as well as her travels worldwide. She maintains a strong interest in the study of food in India and abroad, and experiments in cultivating new recipes and has developed an expertise in popular writing on the subject. She has a senior diploma in Yoga. She has participated actively in the performing arts including various plays on stage, continues to anchor live cultural and literary shows, and is trained in classical Indian music, Kathak and Bharatanatyam.