I’m an author and journalist–among other things: I also have a few other vocations–born and brought up outside Pondicherry, in South India. My first book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, was published in 2012 by Penguin-Riverhead. (It received a few awards and some praise, which I won’t list here out of false humility). A French edition titled L’Inde de Demain came out in 2014 from Albin Michel. My next book, Better to Have Gone, will be published by Scribner in 2021, and explores the search for utopia.  It was the recipient of a Whiting Nonfiction award in 2018. I’m also the editor of an anthology of writing from the intentional community of Auroville, in South India. 

I write or have written for various publications, including The Atlantic, Bloomberg BusinessweekThe EconomistGranta, The HinduThe New York Times ,  The New Yorker, Outlook, and The Wall Street Journal. Among other topics, I write about utopia (here, and here), technology policy and regulation (here , and here), and sometimes about tennis. I used to write a fortnightly “Letter from India” column for the international edition of The New York Times.  I’m also a Senior Fellow at New York University’s The GovLab, where I work on a range of issues, including open data,  Internet governance, and technology law and policy.

I got a bachelor’s degree at Harvard University (in Social Anthropology), and a DPhil (as a Rhodes Scholar) at Nuffield College, Oxford University. The DPhil was in the Law faculty, and was on the regulation of technology for economic development and the public good. I consult in this field, researching and writing reports for, among other places, UNDP, The Markle Foundation, and Network Dynamics Associates. Some of this work is online (see, for example, a Primer on Internet Governance I prepared for UNDP).

You can follow my writing by joining my page at Facebook, or of course by visiting this site regularly. Please contact me if you’d like to comment on any of my writing, or if you have any ideas for good stories.