Why is the Sacred Lotus blooming out of season?

This years diminished tourist season might have kept the tourists, pilgrims and trekkers out, but that did not stop the flowers from blooming, and keeping on blooming late in the year. It made me think — what good things come Covid times, what surprises have you have in the year of the Covid?

Last year at this time, we were all gearing up for the start of the ‘twenties, a new decade looked bright and shiny — and then it changed on us in a flash. I was supposed to head out to India in March, and then onwards to…

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

This is the quarter, when the isolation begins to bite, and we all get cranky. So said a wise man who studied what happened to cooped up astronauts, submariners and significantly, not mothers with newborns. Mostly that never gets mentioned, because nowadays the myth is that modern mothers give birth on Friday (to suit the doctor) and can be seen at their favourite coffee shop complete with their new designer accessory, the newborn in a baby-wearer or a sling.

Ok, forgive me, the above may be a myth, but I warned you that I was in my cranky quarter. In…

Photo by Rish Agarwal on Unsplash

Schools are closing or causing anxiety by not closing due to the dreaded contagion of the virus. And many parents worry about what will happen if their kids lose a year of school. I’m here to tell you, nothing much will happen, in fact your kids might learn a whole lot more. And you will be calmer if you don’t try to be Mary Poppins.

Yes, Spain has great food and drink, but you probably have some misconceptions and myths.

Let’s look at the famous trinity of Sangria, Paella and Churros.

Everyone knows all about those, right. Wrong. Time to bust some food myths.


Spaniards drink sangria sometimes. A giggly gaggle of friends may order a couple of jugs at a bar for a bit of fruity fun. However a lot of bars don’t make alcoholic sangria ( like with brandy), and they rarely soak the fruit overnight.

What you may get in a bar Spain as sangria, is red wine, diluted with slightly…

Views from Tumling

I found this old video of mine, from the time I was training for one of my himalayan walks. I’m quite amused at my sanguine confidence here. In reality every walk at altitude is difficult for the altitude challenged.

Why is my next book like the Yeti — because it’s set in the Himalayas, and so far, it hasn’t been sighted by too many people — but you will be the first to know! Because you are part of my 30-day challenge to create this book and adventure live and transparent! …


So many talks, so many authors, so may books, not enough time. A problem with multi-day festivals is not famine but gluttony, the smorgasbord threatens to overwhelm the ardent acolyte, and so you fall back on reading the description and the title.

With a good title like The Billionaire Raj, there is no doubt about either the theme of the book or the talk. I immediately knew what it was, and I also knew that while I only had a vague idea of James Crabtree, I have read and loved everyone of William Dalrymples’ books. …

Jaipur Literary Festival at Adelaide — Musings

The outrage infection must be getting to me — either that or as a writer I feel that I have a need to tell people how I feel, and unlike India in the 17th century, when news of the shenanigans of the East India Company took 9 months to return to England, I have social media, so much to the chagrin of my companions I went onto to Facebook Live and grumbled about what turned out to be an interesting evening.

I’m at the Jaipur Literary Festival at Adelaide — a geographical anomaly, but hey this is writing, if fiction…

A couple of months ago, I did a contrary thing, I went hiking in the Himalayas in the monsoon, when the meaning of torrential rain translates to pounding waterfalls, melting glaciers, and dangerous landslips. Why did I drop everything and fly across the globe to do this? And was it just to claim a business expense? I did it to walk in an area that is only open in the monsoon, and with a group of friends who rarely have the chance to take time off together.
So what do a bestselling author, a tech startup founder, a professional dancer…

You don’t usually connect a beach holiday in Goa with social concerns such as rural women’s empowerment — and I don’t mean the women prowling the beaches selling you trinkets and scarves. You see, the ‘season’ in Goa attracts tourists, vendors from interstate, who sell everything of a questionable value, and their desperation wells up from the unscaleable business model. For rural women, or women who are forcibly cast into the oldest profession in the world, there is an alternative. …

Last night I dreamed of Khunmuh. Of the clay basha walls topped with olive green canvas roofs, of the almond orchards in bloom in the spring, the pi dog puppies in the muddy lanes and the tracer bullets hissing towards our homes, prettily flashing against the dark night, with deadly intent to kill both soldier and child in the unprotected countryside of rural Kashmir. In the nearly 50 years since that time, nearly everyone who served in those lonely army units is gone; either dead, or maybe too old now to do more than murmur weakly against the injustices of…

Susan Jagannath

I thought I escaped corporate to travel, have adventures, write bestsellers, and help others to publish. No travel but #amwriting http://bit.ly/BBCLvStrm

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