About

smriti-profile-1

I’m a freelance journalist based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This site offers a limited portfolio of my work.

To help you get started, here are some of the pieces I wrote for Commonwealth Writers while working as their Regional Correspondent for South Asia in early 2015, and later as a contributing writer to the site. Here is one of my favourites from the series, and here is one of my most recent.

Follow the link to find my reporting for Al Jazeera, including this longform piece on demining Sri Lanka. You’ll find my work for Scroll.in here. This article for Scroll, about how Sri Lanka’s Muslim women are being deprived of their fundamental rights under the current Constitution, was widely shared.

Many of the pieces re-published here first ran in The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka.

Under the list of categories, you’ll find my section on Writers: Vikram Seth makes me wait five years for our interview; Richard Dawkins is in pursuit of truth; Sarah Waters wonders ‘what if the lovers were female?’; Louis De Bernierre doesn’t care for lazy readers and Jeet Thayil might never publish another collection of poetry.

Amitav Ghosh comes to the end of a decade with his Ibis Trilogy; 25 years after the fatwa, Salman Rushdie remains a fierce, vocal defender of free speech; Commonwealth Prize winning author Shehan Karunatilaka’s  tells me what to expect from this new novel (hint: think ghosts); Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about her extraordinary novel Half of a Yellow SunSonali Deraniyagala‘s heart-wrenching memoir is the best possible memorial, and in an old favourite, Kiran Desai sits down to talk to me fresh from winning the Booker Prize.

Then there’s the interview I was born too late for but had great fun making up – Charles Dickens in Colombo.

Under Filmmakers, sit down with Mira Nair for a conversation that ranges over the extraordinary career of one of India’s most accomplished directors.

Under Archaeologists, you’ll meet Prof. Osmund Bopearachchi and look with him at the face of Alexander the Great, walk the Old Kandy Road again and be present at a dig where the remains of prehistoric humans are unearthed.

Head out to sea with Philip Hoare to talk Moby Dick and blue whales, visit Michael Van Der Poorten‘s gorgeous butterfly estate and hunt dinosaurs in the darkness with Patricia Vickers-Rich.

Under Sportsmen (and women)Mahé Drysdale is an Olympic gold medallist at last and in Dancers, Thaji carries on the legacy of the company her grandparents Chitrasena and Vajira founded. Under singers, tenor Sean Panikkar is proud to be an Asian in opera.

Painter, architect and innovator Laki Senanayake is at home in Diyabubula and Isuri Dayaratne is drawing up characters from Life of Pi.

Under science and technology, meet Mylswamy Annadurai, the man who helped India get to the Moon for less than the budget of the film Gravity, step into a clean room at the Goddard Space Centre where Hubble’s successor is under construction and understand why Sri Lanka has gaps in its reproductive health profile. Here’s an online MP monitoring ‘scorecard’ that promises to give voters the insight they need and here’s how Sohan Dharamaraja‘s groundbreaking app can help blind people use a touchscreen

Keep browsing to find more of my articles for AL JazeeraScroll.in, Businessline, Conde Nast TravellerLiveMint, The Hindu, The Times of India (Crest), Open Magazine, Adda, Roads&Kingdoms and SciDev.Net or if you’re looking for a more comprehensive bio, you’ll find it here.