An Escape To Wine

It’s morning but the heat is already enervating. A dry, barren plain stretches out before me. The air is dry. The landscape almost like a surreal scene from a dystopian flick. The odd patch of green struggling against the aridness. Your car turns the corner, off the Sholapur-Pune highway, onto a rough road, and then

Finding Faith In Siquijor – Part 3

I get back on the bike to find Nanay. Outside, the rain has stopped. A few men are out on the street, playing basketball. I stop and ask about directions to Nanay’s house. I get four different directions from four drunk guys. “You need bolo-bolo? “asks the only one who speaks a bit of English.

Finding Faith In Siquijor – Part 2

Siquijor has healers of all kinds. Herbolarios like Ann, who you read about in my previous post. Then, there are bolo-bolo healers. There are also the darker mambabarang – the ones who will cast a curse with their potions. But the ones I want to find are the bolo-bolo healers. Bolo-bolo healers use a drinking

This Is Me

There aren’t too many photos of me on this blog. Or, for that matter, on my Facebook profile either. But I saw this YouTube video, and somehow, I just had to say: This Is Me. The mouse. Nibbling underneath the blanket. I know most people would not identify a mouse with me. Impressions are everything.

The Art Of Writing: When Angels Come Calling

When I wrote the Art of Emotion many weeks ago, I was surprised at the visceral and emotional reactions that post evoked. “How is it that you, who claims not to be good at dealing with emotions, can bring out the deepest emotions in others?” I was asked. I didn’t have an answer. I usually

Finding Faith In Siquijor – 1

The sun is already fierce at 10 in the morning as I make my way through narrow winding roads up the hills on a little Vespa-lookalike motorbike. On my left, in the distance, the turquoise sea stretches away, oblivious to my quest. After an hour, I wipe the sweat from my brow, remove my helmet,

Meeting Elvie In Pamilacan

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. Having just come back from organizing and escorting an all-women trip to the quaint, rural hamlet of Banavasi in Karnataka, today was a day for me to just think about all the wonderful women I have been in touch with over the years, and who have been sources of inspiration

Why I Quit My Job To…Part II

I started writing this from the Gujarat Tourism’s office at the Bhuj airport. The air was sweltering and the heat enervating. The airport in Bhuj operates only three flights a day at the most, all to Mumbai. I hadn’t been in an airport this quiet. And I should know, having slept in many airports while

Why I Quit My Job To…

The other day I happened to read this article. The post was wise, looked at reality, and made me think. But what the post also had was a fair extent of bitterness. It might make a person with fewer wings think less of flying. Don’t be that person, I thought after reading the post. These

The Year Of The Monkey

I can’t believe it’s the Year of the Monkey again. That it has been more than a decade since the last Year of the Monkey. Gone through 12 Zodiac signs. All the other animals before reaching the monkey again. It was in 2004 that I first met the monkey. Back then, I was in Lianyungang,