The Journey from Bookkeeping to Poetry

Apprentice-style learn-by-doing is a trademark of Gujarati businesses. I had learnt under a master from the day I emerged from the womb. Business school felt trivial and theoretical in comparison. During my first year, I gave my lecturers a hard time by misbehaving and sleeping in class. My good grades came as a surprise to them. Who needs school when life is our best teacher?

Naia: The Water Nymph of Hoyo Negro

Some 13,000 years ago, a young woman walked into a cave looking for water. One misstep is all it took for her to fracture her hip and drown. That’s what scientists discovered as they dived into Hoyo Negro and found her skeleton – a time capsule preserving a unique record of the Ice Age on the American continent. 

Mother Mari’s Gift: A Story of Rain

I finally get up and get changed. Not that I had any interest in getting ready. I put on some casual pants and a shirt that I didn’t care much for. The thundered roared outside. I didn’t use to like rain much – but ever since my very first Chopda Pujan at Sri Mariamman Temple, I have a new found respect for rain. Mariamman – or Mother Mari – is the Rain Mother. She is a pre-Vedic Tamil folk goddess. In agricultural societies, abundance was contingent on adequate rainfall. Without rain, crops cannot grow healthy and strong.

Saturn in Aquarius: Coronavirus and the Disruption of Old Structures

On 21 March 2020, Saturn exited Capricorn – and entered Aquarius. Every time the slow-moving planet changes signs, it signals a huge energy shift. Since Saturn is the principal (and rule maker) of the cosmos, Saturn’s transits inform us how society and the individual deal with structures. Saturn strips away structures that are pass their due date so that society may implement new ones to replace them.

Good morning Hanoi: the food tour

And like the world’s worst well-travelled traveller, I had no plan and no itinerary. I didn’t even know the exchange rate from Dong to Dollar. I spent the morning doing some research and decided on a food tour in an open-air jeep from the Soviet Era. What kind of crazy traveller decides to go on a food tour in a jeep when it’s raining and cold outside? Yes. It’s yours truly.

The Fulfilment of a Dream

Sometimes it takes a serious blast from the past to make you realise how far you’ve come from where you first started. Two nights ago, I unexpectedly found myself in Singapore’s Holland Village. I hadn’t been there in years – not since I was an accounting student. It was a popular date spot and I had many flashbacks of my life in my late teens. 

Musings from Malacca

The modern day skyscrapers were nowhere in sight. Instead, the streets are lined with old shophouses – some lay abandoned as they decay with the annals of time, whilst others have been preserved and readapted for modern use. The Baba and Nonya Heritage Museum is one of these places. As I walked through the old house that is now a museum, I was reminded of my childhood. I grew up in a shophouse. There is something of an older version of me that I see nestled in the history pages of modern Malacca. 

Astrology, Free Will and Hard Work

Astrology had been a part of our life since time immemorial. While some tend to put their entire faith upon it, leaving everything to their fate and hoping destiny to drive their chariot of life; some deny it completely and set upon building their own path through determination, hard work and perseverance. But there are very few rare souls like author Dipa Sanatani who can combine the two paths into a single entity: Astrology with Allegory, Fate with Freewill, Destiny with Hard Work.