Quitting in the age of vaping

If vaping was a thing back in the early ’90’s, I seriously doubt I’d have quit smoking when I did. Not that it was easy. It took a year of umpteen failed attempts with quit streaks ranging from days to months. I still don’t know the precise reason why attempt #67 worked. Perhaps it was …

Continue reading

Unlocking a superpower

Decades ago, I went to bed with a raging headache. For the next 10 minutes, I performed a sequence somewhat like this – took my attention away from my forehead, imagined myself floating in the ether, then gently lowered myself into a bottomless void ever so slowly. As I floated down, a part of me …

Continue reading

Mind is deeply blowing

[Title is a hat tip to the recent Bollywood masala flick where the character Simbba turns a perfectly legit American phrase into the endearingly Hinglish “mind is blowing”.] There’s much to say in this post but let me start by urging you to watch this short video where Hanli Prinsloo, competitive freediver turned ocean conservationist, …

Continue reading

Why you should turn your husband into a runner

Doing repetitive monotonous things are meant for machines, robots or ‘servants’ (if you are part of the Indian middle class). I find some of these activities highly therapeutic and enjoyable. Allow me to explain. Let’s start with running. Who wants to keep a rhythmic motion minute after minute for hours together? Especially when the alternatives …

Continue reading

Every new beginning starts with a grand farewell

I’ve been around the block, as they say. Across continents and geographies.  Jan 5, 2018 was my last day at Yatra. And my team gave me the grandest possible farewell I could ever imagine. Scratch that. I couldn’t possibly have imagined the kind of farewell they gave me. A year and six months is not …

Continue reading

What Kubera can teach us about the miser philanthropist

Another Mahabharata story excavated from the tendrils of my Amar Chitra Katha memories. Specifically, from the period after the Pandavas had decimated 99% of the Kauravas clan. The Pandava kingdom was in the grip of a famine and were desperately in need of food grains, having exhausted the royal granaries. Yudhishthir the Wise (who always …

Continue reading

Resetting habit defaults

We know adding good habits is hard. Stopping bad habits is harder.. though Sam Thomas Davies will have you believe it’s not impossible. Exercise every day? Good. Smoking? Bad. Eat vegetables? Good. Daily drinking? Bad. Sleep 7-8 hours daily? Good. What about the vast spectrum of decisions in between? Uber or Ola? Flipkart or Amazon? …

Continue reading

Anatomy of a pilgrimage (Sringeri edition)

[Editor’s Note: My mother is a late adopter of the Internet. In the pre-Internet era, she used to write the loveliest of letters to her children. The letters stopped after I returned to India. In the past year, after she got comfortable with connectivity and gmail, the letters resumed as emails to her children. This is …

Continue reading

The Salmon Experiments

Among marine life, salmon probably lead the most interesting lives. Born in freshwater rivers, they migrate to the ocean where they live most of their adult lives and, when it’s time to spawn, they start the reverse migration process swimming upstream all the way to their natal river, often to the exact riverbed area where …

Continue reading

The Real Indistructibles

Editor’s Note: There were middle class values in the 60’s/70’s/80’s and there are middle class values now. Big big difference. The old adage used to be “if it’s not broken, why fix it”. And if something does break, well.. repair (don’t replace) it. My parents have taken these adages to heart.. for 50 something years. I …

Continue reading