Dr Aruna Narlikar

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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 and Hindi. 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 and art on national Indian television. Her recent works include a collection of poems in Hindi (with her own illustrations), Jhilmilate Indradhanush, published by Shree Sarvottam Prakashan in November 2017.

To access some of Aruna’s articles, recently published with the The Times of India, please see the links below:

When Ganesh and Ved Vyas became partners

Yudhishtirs masterclass on human animal ties

Parrot and dying tree

Arjun's wise choice that led us to the Gita

The Dharm that protects

Mahabharat lessons for sportsmen and fans

Email: arunanarlikar@yahoo.com

Brief Biography

Dr Aruna Narlikar is a published author, free-lance journalist, and artist.

Aruna’s works include the co-authored book, Bargaining with a Rising India: Lessons from the Mahabharata, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, and a collection of poems in Hindi with her own illustrations, Jhilmilate Indradhanush, Indore: Shree Sarvottam Prakashan, 2017.

Aruna’s writing experience extends to contributions in Indian 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.

Besides her involvement in the print media, Aruna 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 prestigious national channel Door Darshan.

Aruna is also a self-taught artist, who 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. Her painting ‘Despondency’ was selected as ‘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. Aruna enjoys traveling within India and abroad, and particularly relishes the opportunity to understand and interact with new and diverse cultures at close hand. She maintains a strong interest in the study of food in India and abroad, experiments in cultivating new recipes, and has developed an expertise in popular writing on the subject.

Besides writing and painting, Aruna designs jewellery. She has a senior diploma in Yoga. She has participated actively in the performing arts including various plays on stage, anchoring of cultural and literary shows, and is trained in classical Indian music as well as the Indian dance forms of Kathak and Bharatanatyam.

Ganesha (ink on paper)

Conquest (ink on paper)

Company (ink on paper)


Jadoo Nagri 1

Jadoo Nagri 3