Last year, I endured an internal crisis. I could no longer cope with the daily news about the war ravaged Middle Eastern region. The images of suffering got unbearably graphic by the day. When I thought I had seen the worst, another scene would break my heart in two. Existential questions such as ‘Can I really call myself educated when I ignore the suffering around me?’ troubled me. But then, I do have a family to look after and a hefty mortgage; responsibilities that limit most of us. [Read more…] about Building Bridges through Volunteering
The house of my childhood has been demolished. I am told that the staircase, complete, is for sale. It is solid teak, of excellent quality, impervious to termites. Someone said that one of us should buy it.
Buy a staircase? The million times I ran up and down those stairs, chased by my brothers and sisters, running up to complain to father, running down for dinner. If I buy that staircase, with its brass fixtures and its knurled banisters, will I hear father coming down in his wooden clogs? See the emerald green of his eyes? Will my mother give me refuge from the persecuting siblings? Will I hear the gentle shuffle of her feet? [Read more…] about A Staircase for Sale
My first son was born in Delhi in 1987. Two months after his birth, like Prince Siddhartha Gautama of Lumbini, I kissed my sleeping wife and son and travelled to Rishikesh, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. I didn’t know then that I would return there 22 years later. But that is another story, to be written when I have the mental fortitude to narrate it.
For now, let me tell you about my spiritual quest and how unlike Prince Siddhartha, I failed to become the Buddha or the enlightened. [Read more…] about Experiments with Spirituality
What is special about this card key that occupies a prominent place in my museum of memories? The story may amuse you, but to me it is just one episode from a long list reinforcing my lifelong suspicion that I am the unsuspecting protagonist in a never-ending series of candid camera.
I was in South Tyneside College to attend a course on high voltage electric propulsion, in connection with an investigation. I had rung ahead to a nice hotel located by the sea and asked for a room with a sea view, but when I checked in, was told that all the rooms with sea views were taken. Nothing new there; I rarely got a hotel room with a view. [Read more…] about Room 235
Yesterday, we went to see the Mummers street play in Otterbourne, Hampshire.
It is a very old and traditional folk play and depicts King George slaying the dragon, Turkish knights and other adversaries. It was good fun to watch and the costumes were very colourful. [Read more…] about Otterbourne Mummers: Traditional Mummers Play in Otterbourne, Christmas 2016
Someone intending to visit the UK for the first time asked me for some tips on British etiquette. This is what I came up with.
Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet once wrote A Man’s a Man for a’ That. My advice to you therefore is – be yourself and you will be fine. However, since you ask, I will jot down some thoughts accumulated over a quarter of a century on this island. [Read more…] about British Etiquette: a Survivor’s Guide
My memory is leaving me.
This morning I packed a suitcase with clothes and my Hungarian goose down pillow ready for my next business trip. The intention was to leave the suitcase in the office, so I could travel at short notice. But then I met the crossword man on the platform and started chatting to him. We were soon joined by Jan, my colleague, and the three of us talked about heirlooms and how these were more valuable than Nikon cameras and so on. Generally shooting the breeze, but enough to make me forget all about my suitcase which I had stored on the luggage rack near the doors. [Read more…] about Memory: I am Sure I Knew What it Meant