Sharanya is a writer from New Delhi, India. She writes about food, language, conflict and the commodification of culture, and is currently writing more essays about selfhood, and the ways bodies move through the world. In 2018, she was noted in a list of cultural critics by Jack Jones Literary arts. In 2019, she won the Conde Nast food-writing award for her work on the saffron spice in Indian-occupied-Kashmir. Most recently, in October 2020, she won the Wasafiri new writing prize for her essay "Seamless" that will be published by the magazine in Spring 2021. She speaks Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, English, Dutch and some French.
52, October 2020
"Those at the head of a top-down structure of food criticism find it convenient to dismiss dishes like custard as unrefined foods of the past. But, in a nation of a billion, in an age where technology has democratised access to content, purveyors of taste are everywhere."
The Taste of Memory
Mangal Media, October 2020
"It takes a large amount of training and a certain amount of madness to become a kebabi, to stick one’s hand inside flaming coals to pull out food is no job for the ordinary mortal. A burning hot tandoor is the reason why a kebab grilled in a home-oven will not taste the same. One may perfect a recipe but a kebab eaten from an aged tandoor tastes different, like the city itself."
A ‘Forgotten Holocaust’ Is Missing From Indian Food Stories
Atlas Obscura, September 2020
"Indian food annals ignore the moments of hunger endured by millions, focusing instead on taste-centric gastronomy, laying out tables of opulence and abundance as normative, and foraging the past for pleasantries to set as placeholders for the history of Indian cuisine. Meanwhile, foods that fed and continue to sustain the powerless remain largely ignored."
Whose Food City? The Northeastern restaurants of Humayunpur, Delhi
Vittles London, August 2020
"But whenever Delhi was heralded as a food city, it was in tubular linearity that presented glossy, predictable versions of it, instead of what it was actually like — layered, temperamental, and riddled with unfairness at each bend."
Montez Press, August 2020
"Tokarczuk writes of how motion is embedded in her body, she in the friction that comes from movement, she becomes alive, a woman, a person, a writer. I often feel like Togarzcuk, understanding what I need and whom I love only when I have set off somewhere. But what if I moved because I was afraid that when I stopped, I had to deal with the consequences the things it created and destroyed in its wake? What if in motion, I was charming, effusive and intelligent but in stillness, I remained unpleasant, volatile, and a monster?"
Coming home, One Word at a Time
Longreads, March 2019
“The way the meat melts off the bone, the way the fat renders into the onions, the way it all comes together, that is Urdu,” my granduncle Gulzar Naqvi used to say, comparing his favorite language to Nihari, his favorite meat stew. “It is not language, it is temperament, and it must be felt.”