I have worked with visual and print media both. When I worked with visual media my job was basically to do research, find suitable characters and schedule appointment for interviews. Sometimes I did interview translation as well. My work with print media was also same- local assistant and translator.

    • CBC– worked as local assistant for a documentary named Might & Myth (India Reborn series)
    • Seattle Times – Worked with the Seattle Times for an article called India, one day at a time. The article was published here.
    • CNN International – Worked with CNN International (CNN.com) journalist named Moni Basu. The article was about Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan and the people who come to Varanasi to die. My job was to organize interviews, do translation and provide other tourism related services.
Nandan standing with Richard Dawkins in a garden

Richard Dawkins and I

    • Channel 4 (England) and BBC world: I worked for a documentary filming project which was a joint production of Channel 4 from England and BBC world. My job was to do research, find right characters, schedule interviews and do translation. It was a series of documentaries and I worked the “Meaning of Life” one. The host of the documentary was Mr. Richard Dawkins.
    • Financial Times– worked with Mr. Joseph Johnson, South Asia Bureau Chief, Financial Times, as his local assistant and translator for an article called “Midnight’s Children”. Mr. Johnson has since become a member of parliament in the UK.
    • MTV Italia & LA7– worked as local assistant for documentary named The Camminando
    • Comparing Countries Compassion: It was a documentary about sex work and sex workers in India. I did local assistant and translation. I was also one of the characters interviewed for the documentary.
    • Penguin Group, USA– worked with Mr. Michael Blanding, writer of the book called Coke Machine, as translator
    • Worked with Mr. Bart Speleers, a journalist from Holland. He was writing a Dutch article about Coca-Cola issue in India I worked as his local assistant and translator in Varanasi.
    • VPRO (Netherlands): VPRO was making a travel show for children where they wanted to show how children grow up in different cultures. It was a series of documentaries and I was their local assistant for India. My job was to organize the whole project i.e. choosing the right characters, local assistants, transportation, hotel etc. I also worked as an assistant and translator with them.
    • Iva R Skoch : Iva was a writer from New York who was writing an article about Hindu widows. My responsibility was to organize the visit to an widow ashram in Varanasi and translate the interview.
Nandan and Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan gives me the 2012 Citizen Journalist award

  • CNN IBN: I became a journalist in a show run by CNN IBN called Citizen Journalist and exposed the scam in ticketing at Sarnath in Varanasi. As an impact of my report all of the corrupt staffs were transferred and a new kind of ticket with a unique number and a bar code is introduced. Subsequently I won the 2012 Citizen Journalist Award, which Vidya Balan presented to me.
  • VPRO : VPRO from Netherlands hired me again for another documentary called From Bihar to Bangalore. I did research and worked with the crew as local assistant. My responsibility was to schedule the appointments, organize filming and provide travel assistance in Varanasi.
  • e3 Foundation : e3 Foundation is a non profit organization based in Austin, Texas. They were making a documentary film about different religions and people having faith in religion and how it impacts their life. They wanted to make their Hindu series in Varanasi and I was given responsibility to do research, find different kind of locals who had an idea about their relationship with religion, schedule interviews and provide other assistance.
  • OHM Netherlands :OHM is a TV channel from the Netherlands. They broadcast radio and TV shows about Hindu religion. They were making a documentary which was about a young Dutch Hindu boy experiencing Hindu life in India. To make it more interesting they asked me to arrange the family stay with a family which follows Aghor. My job was to do research, arrange family stay, arrange volunteer opportunity at an Aghor ashram and arrange some interviews there.
  • Taipei Times : Worked with Mr. Noah Buchan from Taipei Times,  as research assistant and translator. He was interested in several stories related with Varanasi and we worked together on his articles related with Ganga and Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan.

Educational Institutions

  • DePauw University, USA:- Worked in Varanasi as their local assistant for a cultural exchange program for graduate students. I organized their visit to a MNREGA site near to Varanasi and organized their meeting with the president of the NGO running movement against Coca-Cola in Mehdiganj, Varanasi. I worked as their translator as well.


  • Worked with Nadia Kamil, a photographer from Singapore, on her project named Child of Ganga which was a photo documentary about the relationship between people of Benares and Ganga.
  • Worked with Tom Pietrasik, a British photographer. He just wanted to photograph life along the river Ganga in Benares.
  • Worked with Jane Becker, a photographer from Canada. She wanted to photograph hospices, widow ashramas and Akhadas in Benares.
  • Worked with Prof. Oh Soon-Hwa working at Nanyan Technological University, Singapore. She wanted to photograph general life of Varanasi but was mostly interested in Hindu-Muslim unity in Varanasi.
  • Worked with Mr. Gilles Delmas from France as assistant. Mr. Delmas is a filmmaker, photographer and an artist. He was working on a photography project based on relationship between chair and death. My job was to do the research and organize everything.
  • Worked with a photographer named Delon Ho from Singapore. He was making a photo documentary about the kids of Chance India Foundation and was responsibility was to organize introduce him to the kids, their families and organize his visit.
  • Worked with Rochelle Wong, a freelance photographer and web developer from Australia. She was interested in the people and my responsibility was to organize photography in rural and city area of Varanasi and do translation during interviewing the characters who were photographed.
  • Worked with a freelance photographer named Mr. Manuel Lao from Spain. He was interested in Varanasi in general but had some special interest in photographing holy men.
  • Worked with a freelance photographer named Nicole Sultana from Australia. She was interested in photographing death and rituals associated with it.
  • Worked with a Travel reporter and photographer named Ville Palonen from Finland. He was interested in interviewing and taking photographs of pilgrims, sadhus, locals, cremating places, hospices etc.
  • Erika Schultz, a journalist working for Seattle Times, who was interested in photographing truckers and rural life. I worked as her assistant to organize photography and did translation. The photographs were published in Seattle Times under photography section with the title Impression of India.
  • Worked with Paul Cooper when working for Taipei Times.
  • Carla Fiorina and Glenn Capers , a group of photographers from Italy and USA, who were interested photographing a school for blinds, exorcism sites, villages and rituals in Varanasi. My job was to do research and organize the photography.

Non-Profit Organizations

I have worked with many local and international Non-Profit organizations. I am still part of a foreign NGO as Indian agent and have established my own NGO as well in Varanasi.

Research Assistance

  • Krista Bywater, Ph.D. student, University of California, Santa Barbara. Research about globalization and water privatization in India.
  • Lane Rasberry, University of Washington. Research about possibility of bringing researchers to India.
  • Tyler Gillard, Graduate Law student, University of London. Research about Coca-Cola in Varanasi.
  • Amanda Ciafone, Ph.D. student, Yale University. Research about history of Coca-Cola in India.
  • Sophia Siebert, M.A. student, University of Berlin. Research about dying in Varanasi.
  • Adam Sargent, Ph.D. student, University of Chicago. Research about laborers at construction sites in Varanasi.
  • Irene De Piccolo, M.A. student, University of Venice. Research about Hindu widows in Varanasi and Vrindavan.
  • I have worked with a few students and researchers from  Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s Varanasi study center. I worked there as a research assistant and translator and sometimes as Hindi teacher. I gave walking classes.
  • Sophia Siebert, a writer and a student from University of Berlin. I worked with Sophia again but on a different project. This time she worked as a writer and I was her translator and local assistant.
  • Mr. Jelle Brandt Corstius: A journalist from the Netherlands. I worked with him as assistant in Varanasi while he doing research for his documentary project called from Bihar to Bangalore.
  • Worked with Chen-Hsi Wong, a professor from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She was interested in making a documentary about weavers of Varanasi and I organized interviews and did translation.


Apart from working with researchers and students, I have done my own research as well. My researches were not recognized by any institution but it was for my personal betterment.

  • HIV & AIDS education in Varanasi
  • History of gay culture in India
  • Hijras
  • Ethical and moral issues with sex workers
  • Ethical and moral issues with gay community in India
  • Current education system in Uttar Pradesh
  • Exorcism
  • Cultural diversity of Varanasi
  • Hindu religion


I am a government approved tour guide for North India and have worked with many tourists from around the world in and outside of Varanasi. I have attended training of 16 weeks organized by Archeological Survey of India and Ministry of Tourism for Government of India. Click here to see my legal recognition as a tour guide. I am not associated with any travel agency working anywhere in India, I always like to work freelance because my style of working is different than expectations of travel agencies from the guides working with them. I have designed several different kinds of my own tours, including walking tours, of Varanasi and nearby cities. I have started an unique activism of fighting against corruption in tourism industry and I was awarded by CNN as citizen journalist 2011 for my fight.

I have founded a guest house named Groovy Ganges Guest House in Varanasi which is a registered guest house by the government of Uttar Pradesh. Since my guest house is usually full, I have started a new business of arranging family stay in Varanasi. I have hired many rooms at different places in Varanasi, have trained the families owning it and now I sublet them to the people looking for a family stay in Varanasi.

Other projects

World Through Music: Worked with a musician named Josh Massad from California, USA on his project named World Through Music. This project was about teaching music, music instruments and geography to the school kids in Benares and I was responsible to organize this whole project and do interpretation. (Feb. 2010)

World Through Music IInd season 2011: Worked with Josh Massad again in March 2011. Again I was responsible to organize the project.


References :

I meet a lot of people on couchsurfing and help them by providing right information about my city and country. They have all written references on my couchsurfing profile. Please click here to see those references.