fiftytwo

supriya nair

Supriya Nair is editor, Fifty Two and co-founder of All Things Small. She lives in Mumbai.

Stories supriya has worked on

Storm Catchers by Colin Dadelia; Illustration by Bhavya Arora (3 Sided Coin) for FiftyTwo.in
paradigm/shift

Storm Catchers

A group of Indian scientists are testing out a new monsoon forecasting model, and it might just be the most important achievement of 21st century meteorology.
After the Storm, by Prthvir Solanki, Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in. Part of a series of stories called Paradigm Shift in collaboration with MIcrosoft India.
paradigm/shift

After the Storm

Weather forecasting is a complex undertaking, especially in India. Now, meteorologists are turning to Artificial Intelligence to find solutions. It could help save millions of lives.
Out of the Park by Amal Shiyas; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
paradigm/shift

Out of the Park

Cricket’s changing for many reasons. One of those is artificial intelligence. From finding the sweet spot of the bat to transforming the viewer experience, the machines are hard at work.
Greener by Amal Shiyas; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
paradigm/shift

Greener

A new wave of Indian start-ups are thinking up innovative ways to deal with the climate crisis. Their tools are artificial intelligence and a whole lot of resolve.
Model Behaviour by Vikram Shah; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
paradigm/shift

Model Behaviour

From a corner building in central Bengaluru, a bunch of researchers are trying to crack the knottiest problems in computer science.
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Season One

Collision

Twenty-four years ago, two burning planes plunged into the mustard and cotton fields of a Haryana village. It changed the way we fly
09 Oct 20
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Season One

Kingdom

Aristocrats, enigmatic wives, and spymasters in the drama of Sikkim’s merger with India
16 Oct 20
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Season One

Powder

From an English chemist to YouTube cooks via refugees from Rawalpindi, how custard changed India’s sweet tooth
23 Oct 20
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Season One

Shift

A personal history of how the internet came home, became magazine fodder, and changed a life
30 Oct 20
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Season One

Milk

For a few days in 1995, many Indians believed a religious idol had developed a lifelike ability to drink milk.
06 Nov 20
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Season One

Power

An open letter to the Supreme Court changed the way many Indians thought about women’s rights. The rest should be history.
20 Nov 20
Accord - Week 8 on FiftyTwo.in - Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Accord

From the jungles to the negotiating table, a short history of India’s longest-running insurgency.
27 Nov 20
The Woods - by Mohit Rao, illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

The Woods

One man’s quest to save a Nilgiris forest, and how it changed Indian environmental law.
04 Dec 20
Gallops - Arun Janardhan for FiftyTwo.in; Illustration - Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Gallops

Name, place, animals: the things that keep horse racing alive in India.
11 Dec 20
Kamla — by Chinmay Tumbe; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Kamla

She was shunted out of the history of India’s most prestigious business school. On her birth centenary, a researcher redresses the record.
17 Dec 20
Labels — by Meher Varma; Illustrations by Pia Alize Hazarika
Season One

Labels

It’s shopping season, and you’re buying the same thing over and over again.
24 Dec 20
Asylum — Alok Sarin & Sanjay Jain; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Asylum

A brief history of the Tezpur mental hospital through epidemics, wars and partitions.
08 Jan 21
Whitewater - by Shail Desai; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Whitewater

Exactly thirty years ago, an Indo-Japanese contingent set off on an audacious rafting trip on the Brahmaputra.
22 Jan 21
Succession - Aathira Perinchery; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Succession

Evolutionary ecologists keep finding new species in the Western Ghats. Here’s how it happens.
29 Jan 21
Reels - Vinay Aravind. Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Reels

The changeover that revolutionised the Indian movie theatre, and the projectionists who watched it happen.
19 Feb 21
Walkover - Deepti Patwardhan; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Walkover

In 1974, India boycotted the most consequential tennis tie in its history. It was a moral victory, but it took its toll.
26 Feb 21
Fissile by Urvashi Shankar; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Fissile

India has big plans for new nuclear power plants. What does it plan to do with the old ones?
05 Mar 21
Ballot - Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar and Srinivas Bhogle; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Ballot

Everything you wanted to know about election forecasting but were afraid to ask.
19 Mar 21
Masters - Aditya Shrikrishna; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Masters

Politics, social tensions, and comedy all found a home in Tamil cinema. The Tamil meme needs all four things to work.
26 Mar 21
The Dig - Sowmiya Ashok; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

The Dig

The Keeladi excavations may alter the world’s ideas about the earliest Indians. But progress hasn’t been smooth for one of the country’s most sensational archaeological projects.
02 Apr 21
Hathi by Supriya Roychoudhury; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Hathi

Millions suffered through terror and upheaval in the turbulent years following the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. One of them was a baby elephant from India.
16 Apr 21
Coupling by Joshua Muyiwa; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Coupling

Stories from the spectrum of queer marriage in India, beyond the pale of law and identity.
23 Apr 21
The Cure by Kiran Kumbhar; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

The Cure

When it comes to life-saving, even India’s jingoists take modern medicine for granted. This is how that happened.
30 Apr 21
The Knife by Leena Reghunath; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

The Knife

Firebrand revolutionary, renowned administrator, betrayed communist icon. K.R. Gouri will go down in history as one of the tallest leaders of her time and place.
11 May 21
Borders by Saba Imtiaz; Ilustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Borders

Many in Pakistan have considered the sari a foreign item of clothing. Generations of Pakistani women have insisted on wearing it anyway.
21 May 21
The Testimony by Monica Jha; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

The Testimony

Hundreds of children from Bihar's Gaya district had been trafficked to Jaipur's bangle workshops. Then, a group of boys escaped against all odds.
28 May 21
Scales by Kamakshi Ayyar; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Scales

Over 50,000 Indians die of snakebite every year. We know how to save these lives—but producing the cure is easier said than done.
04 Jun 21
Friends by Ankur Pathak; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah
Season One

Friends

Twenty years ago, a film about the bond between three posh Bombay boys changed the rules of Hindi cinema. Here’s an oral history of ‘Dil Chahta Hai.’
11 Jun 21
Ambassador by Narayani Basu; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Ambassador

She aced independent India's first civil services examination. Then she made history by exposing the misogyny of the country's elite diplomatic corps.
25 Jun 21
White by Dilip D'Souza; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

White

Indian scientists have been going to Antarctica for four decades. What exactly do they do there?
02 Jul 21
Tornado by Annika Taneja; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Tornado

Long before the people of Delhi had to worry about the climate apocalypse, a twister ripped through its university campus.
09 Jul 21
Hi, Dear by Rega; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Hi, Dear

The internet was meant to transform how India falls in love. Instead, it revolutionised how we creep each other out.
16 Jul 21
Troops by Monika Mondal; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Troops

Monkeys and humans are fighting for space in Indian cities. Right now, it doesn’t look like a winnable war.
23 Jul 21
Mysore Star by Seema Singh; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Mysore Star

Not all new Indian cinema was born in Bombay, Calcutta or Madras. One pioneer helped build the Kannada movie world in Mysore. In the year of his birth centenary, this is the story of Shankar Singh.
06 Aug 21
Homelands by Rayan Naqash; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Homelands

For the nomadic Gujjar-Bakarwals of J&K, the abrogation of Article 370 came with a sliver of hope for their lands and livelihoods. But they’ve been losing both for years.
13 Aug 21
Khansama by Sadaf Hussain; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Khansama

A chef lifts the veil on his journey from home cook to TV stardom and the heat of the Indian restaurant kitchen.
20 Aug 21
Solo by Nikhil Eapen; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Solo

Three boats, three men, and the Indian history of one of the world’s last great adventures.
27 Aug 21
The Foreigner by Makepeace Sitlhou; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in. Picture credit: Prakash Bhuyan.
Season One

The Foreigner

An Assam Border Police official and ex-serviceman, Mohammed Sanaullah was the model Indian citizen. Then his employers decided he wasn't.
03 Sep 21
Majority Report by Alok Prasanna Kumar; Illustrations by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Majority Report

For most of independent India’s history, President’s Rule was imposed on an average of 2.5 times a year. Now it’s rarely invoked. Here’s what changed the game for Indian federalism.
10 Sep 21
Reservoir Gods by Aparajith Ramnath; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Reservoir Gods

How the Cauvery was dammed, through the eyes of the project’s foremost champion, M. Visvesvaraya—and his fiercest critics.
17 Sep 21
Source Code by Vedica Kant; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Source Code

Liberalisation helped make India the world’s software capital. This is what it looked like to the men who built its most successful company, Infosys.
24 Sep 21
Stamina by Sohini; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Stamina

India’s marathon culture came of age thanks to liberalisation. It jump-started the career of many athletes, birthed new marketing strategies—and changed the lives of dozens of girls in a drought-prone village of eastern Maharashtra.
01 Oct 21
The Namesakes by Sanjana Ramachandran; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

The Namesakes

The story of roughly fifty Sanjanas, how their parents decided to call them that, and the secret history of why Indians give their babies the names they do.
08 Oct 21
Rice, Fat, Meat, Streets by Ahmer Naqvi; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season One

Rice, Fat, Meat, Streets

Why does biryani mean so much to so many people on the Indian subcontinent? The answers may be found on the streets of one of the world’s food capitals: Karachi.
15 Oct 21
The Dragnet by Gautam Pemmaraju; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah on FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

The Dragnet

Beyond Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah or Bose, the British Empire feared one revolutionary. This is the story of how MN Roy was chased around the world.
04 Feb 22
The Bounce by Karan Madhok; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

The Bounce

How a generation of Punjabi giants rode the highs and lows of Indian basketball, guided by one slight Tamilian man.
11 Feb 22
Your Honour by Menaka Rao; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Your Honour

Priya Ramani spoke up during 2018’s MeToo movement. A Union minister filed a criminal case against her. The consequences were severe—but also offered hope for the future.
17 Feb 22
Ire on the Mountain by Neha Mehrotra; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Ire on the Mountain

Some years before reality TV in India went full rogue, a primetime show had five civilians reach the basecamp of the world’s highest mountain. An oral history of ‘Mission Everest.’
26 Feb 22
Doctor Who by Kasturi Das & Nabarun Guha; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Doctor Who

He was a doctor on a tea estate in Assam. He studied at a prestigious college. Like thousands of other medical professionals in rural India, he was also not the person he claimed to be.
05 Mar 22
Footsoldiers by Prabhanu Kumar Das; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Footsoldiers

Political violence in West Bengal isn’t a new phenomenon. It isn’t dominated by election cycles. It doesn’t follow the same patterns as elsewhere in India. This is an explainer from those who’ve survived it for half a century.
12 Mar 22
Estate by Chitranshul Sinha; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Estate

Forty years ago, there were two parallel movements in Bihar. One wanted a separate state. This is the centuries-old story of the second one: the movement for the independent country of Kolhan.
19 Mar 22
Brown Hunters by Niyoshi Shah; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Brown Hunters

Shikar: the sport of kings, the symbol of colonial power play, legacy of an unfair age. But for a few years in independent India, it was also a source of income for a poor country—and a calling for the brown hunters, men trying to adjust to a changed world.
26 Mar 22
Searching for Swadesh by Nirupama Dutt; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Searching for Swadesh

On a June morning in 2006, a pathbreaking writer walked out of his home, never to be seen again. His friend and fellow writer is still looking for him and his words.
02 Apr 22
Home Alone by Karan Mujoo; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Home Alone

In the 1990s, most Pandits were displaced from the Kashmir Valley. The ones who remained are still fighting to be heard and seen.
09 Apr 22
Off Balance by Ankur Paliwal; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Off Balance

In places like Saharanpur and Buldhana, a rare genetic disease has been taking away control of bodies, lives and livelihoods from entire neighbourhoods. Against all odds, a few scientists and doctors are determined to ease the pain.
16 Apr 22
Crossfire by Saurabh Sharma; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Crossfire

Two trends mark the Great North Indian Wedding today. The first is gunshots. The second is orchestra dances performed by women artistes. Together, they’ve created a minor epidemic of crime headlines.
23 Apr 22
Exceptions by Nandini Ramachandran; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Exceptions

The ‘disturbed areas’ and ‘illegal migrants’ of today’s India were yesterday’s ‘scheduled districts’ and ‘criminal tribes.’ The line between the past and present is straighter than you think.
30 Apr 22
Resistance by Sayantan Datta; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Resistance

In the mid-1970s, a remarkable cohort of women found themselves in Bombay. They believed there was more to science than labs and male geniuses. Some of them would pioneer the cause of feminist science studies in India. These are the women who paved the way for themselves.
14 May 22
Man of Culture by Sukhada Tatke; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Man of Culture

A bacterium found on a remote Pacific island first became the obsession of a Punjabi microbiologist. It then became a wonder drug that gave hope to millions around the world.
21 May 22
Numbers Game by Himanish Ganjoo; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Numbers Game

Big data already changed the way cricket was being watched. Now, machine learning is transforming the way it’s played.
28 May 22
Cast Away by Vaishnavi Suresh; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Cast Away

For two decades now, fish have dwindled along Gujarat’s shores. So local fishermen have to go further out, closer and closer to danger: the unmarked, watery border between India and Pakistan.
04 Jun 22
Restricted Code by Sanjana Ramachandran; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Restricted Code

Many Indians believe Sanskrit is a perfect language for computer programming and AI research. State-led programmes have deepened the impression. Indian scientists working on AI research would like a word.
11 Jun 22
The Adversary by Srikar Raghavan; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

The Adversary

Karnataka and Naxalism are not often spoken about in the same breath. But for a whole decade, an enigmatic man named Saketh Rajan led the movement in the state. It wasn’t even his sole name, or claim to fame.
18 Jun 22
Eulie by Anuradha Kumar; Illustration by Akshaya Zachariah for FiftyTwo.in
Season Two

Eulie

Chandigarh, one of the great projects of the new Indian republic, is forever associated with the genius of its Franco-Swiss chief architects. But it was also a fresh beginning for a generation of brilliant young Indians. One of them was the only woman architect in the group, who made the city her own.
02 Jul 22