Friday 31 August 2012

The last Shangri La

People travel to distant lands to find themselves.

Me? I travel, near and far...to lose a bit of myself.. A small bit.. everytime.

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. Following the mountains, reaching for the stars.

The dawn tomorrow shall see me off towards Bhutan. Home to my very old and very close friends. A land, hopefully as untouched and as breathtaking as Lakshadweep.

Adios amigos. Until later...

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Food Trail in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad, my home for 5 years and a city that embraced some of my craziness. I recently returned back to Ahmedabad after 7 years, and realised that like me, much had changed here. But the one thing that did not change was the love the locals have for food. They eat out with their family, with friends, with friends' families and if no one else is around then even alone! I was also happy to see that though my favourite food joints in the city are still there and still serve exactly the same food (you listening Upper Crust??), many new and interesting joints have also opened up.

Ambika Dalvada - Little bites of monsoon heaven!
Opening an eatery is a sureshot business idea in the city, which is actually what a friend of mine from college did. I kid you not. If you are ever in the Prahladpur area, do drop in at Jassi de Paranthe and savour a little taste of Punjab in this Guju land. And do say hi to Jassi from me.

My latest article on Rediff is a celebration of the food scene in Ahmedabad. Thankfully, most names (actually all) are legends and have been around for longer than one cares to remember.

Read the article here.


Wednesday 22 August 2012

I don't remember...

Poet - Ash L Bennett
 · Feb 9, 2011


I don't remember, any more, 
The exact shape of your hands
As I held them in mine, 
Caressed them, 
Memorized the length of your fingers,
The depth of your calluses. 

I don't remember, any more,
Exactly your height, how much
Taller than me
You were, where
My head rested on your chest
When you held me tightly close.

I don't remember, any more, 
Your scent,
Your breath,
Or the beat of your heart.

I don't remember, any more, 
The sound of your voice, calling 
My name as though
It were a song 
Within itself, a precious treasure 
You valued with all your being. 

And I don't remember, any more, 
The color of your eyes, the shape
Of your lips, 
Only...
How your eyes crinkled at the corners
And my laugh, as you told me, 

"I love you."

Copyright by Ash L. Bennett, 2011

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Is political Independence enough??

India - my home, a country I love very passionately. Yet, like most of us, one with many internal issues to sort out.

My latest article on Rediff talks about some of the things we would like to see India rid of...things we want Independence from this 15th August.

Read the article here.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Back in time

I woke up this morning in a place that seems far too familiar albeit in different surroundings - MICA, my Alma Mater. Returning to give a lecture instead of attending one seems almost surreal. MICA hasn't changed. Yes a few extra buildings here and there and the audi and cafeteria are actually air conditioned now (!!!) but it seems like this place has been stuck in time.

Its too early in the morning to ramble on but it just feels fabulous to be back. And more so to share thoughts and opinions with sharp younger minds. The world of Social Media changes so fast that there is so much more that these students can teach me than what I can. Thank you all, I had a great time talking to you.

Now please excuse me as I make my way to chota for my morning cuppa!

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Shooting at the Wisconsin Gurudwara



The recent shooting incident in US at a Sikh Gurudwara leaves me saddened. Not enraged, saddened. And what hurts me more is the reaction from pockets of the Sikh community post the incidence. People seem more upset that this was a case of misunderstanding and that the gunman actually was looking to kill a few Muslims.

Uh okkk. So its a sin to kill our kind but ok to kill others? What sort of tolerant religion are you boasting of being a part of? I know that post 9/11, the Sikh beard and turban has been targeted by more ignorant groups of fascist westerners. And yes it is wrong. But it is as wrong as targeting every single Muslim in the country for what a small group sitting in Afghanistan did.

I don't know how many times I will shout this from the rooftops and I wonder if I am the only one who feels so. It is NOT alright to kill innocent people. I don't care what religion or country or ethnicity they belong to. I don't care what a group of people from their community did to a group of yours. If you retaliate like this, there is no difference between you and that gunman. Both of you are being ignorant. Ignorant and intolerant.

I am not a religious person. But I am a sensitive one. The batman tragedy last month was as shocking to me as this one. I am no saint either. I am sure there are many layers of discrimination that I practice without even being aware of them. But I'll tell you one thing for sure. I will not stand by your side when you act like an extremist. Regardless of who you are.

I prefer not to propagate any religion but now that we are on this topic, let me make an exception. Sikhism was created by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 15th century as a reaction against discrimination within the religions of Islam and Hinduism. The basic tenets of Sikhism preach that there will be no caste/ class system in this religion, that all men are equal and to be respected and that ritualism is not to be followed but one should meditate to find inner peace and god. The essence of Sikh teaching is summed up by Guru Nanak in these words: "Realization of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living. Sikh teaching emphasizes the principle of equality of all humans and rejects discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, and gender". All of these tenets are now polluted with time and with the interpretation of a few extremists who claim to own the religion. Unfortunately, as in every religion, what we see today is a mere shadow of what Guru Nanak had created.

When will we all learn?


Sunday 5 August 2012

Turning 30 makes me philosophical

When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain

We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
just knowin' that you were mine
All mine

So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
in the cold November rain

Do you need some time.. on your own
Do you need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone

I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you
Sometimes I need some time.. on my own
Sometimes I need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone

And when your fears subside
and shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
when there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
we still can find a way

'Cause nothin' lasts forever
even cold November rain


posted from Bloggeroid