Showing posts from March, 2014

The disease no one knows, or cares about (from

When I call to wish my father on his birthday, I usually say: “Happy birthday, Acha” (acha or achan means 'father' in Malayalam).
And always, my father replies: “Thank you, same to you”.

My father is nearly 84. He was once a lawyer.  Now, birthdays don't matter to him. Nor do anniversaries, festivals, or any occasion, really. Today, he is a shell of the person he once was, physically and mentally. My father, you see, has dementia. 

Dementia ('de' meaning “without” and 'mentia' meaning “mind”) is actually a misleading term. It does not mean the sufferer is insane or demented. Rather, it is the term for a group of signs and symptoms associated with a progressive loss of brain function--the sufferer's judgement, memory, behaviour, language and daily living skills (washing, cleaning oneself, brushing teeth etc.,) slowly deteriorate.

Dementia is a curious disease, people above 65 are more at risk. But while it is age-related, it is not part of nor…

Arco Iris--The House that Love (Re)Built

Experience history in harmony with nature
Picture a dilapidated Portuguese bungalow, decaying into a morass of falling timbers and peeling plaster. The surrounding lush landscape makes the house appear all the more forlorn and surreal. Yet there is serenity too. As if the sprawling structure is waiting for someone to wake it up from deep slumber.

That haunting quality is what drew Bennita and Ganesh Subramaniam to the crumbling house, deep within the heart of Curtorim, a quiet village in South Goa. And it led them to embark on a labour of love, to create a home so filled with light and colour, all the shades of the rainbow seem reflected in it. A home so replete in history and heritage, that they decided to share it with absolute strangers.

A home by the river
The 200-plus-year-old home they have so beautifully restored is now known as Arco Iris, meaning 'rainbow' in Portugese and Spanish. It is a Neemrana Heritage Homestay. “I fell in love with the fact that the 1.5 acre pro…

Feel like a pickle?

I am not Nigella. I do not pout sexily on the few occasions I do enter my kitchen. Nope, I have a cook. Okay, update. I don't have a cook any more. She upped and left. So now I cook for my family and I mostly enjoy it. But no I still don't look like Nigella. Or cook as sexily as her!

But I do love to experiment. I love to bake pies, biscuits and my fondest wish is to someday bake cakes that will come out soft and "incredibly moist" as all the food blogs I sometimes drool over, tell me.

No, cooking is not therapeutic for me. It's supremely stressful--all that cutting, chopping, slicing and at the end of it all, cleaning. What I do love is the end product, specially if it's come out nice. It's a double-edged sword though. If my cake is lumpy and hasn't risen well, I sink into gloom much like my unrisen dough. But I'm determined to try, try and try till I become a dab hand at cooking and baking.

Anyway, for me, food has to have a little zest, a litt…

Channelling Change

'Share' sometimes, does mean we care
In a world strewn with sites selling sensationalism, scandal and style, can three social experiments with substance make a difference? The good news is, yes they can.

Anuradha Kedia-Parekh, Aarti Mohan and Megha Ghosh show us how. Parekh runs The Better India ( TBI, a positive news organisation; Mohan spearheads The Alternative (, a media platform for “sustainable living and social impact” and; Ghosh is the sole driving force behind I See India  ( which aims to become a one-stop space for good news about India. All three initiatives showcase people, projects, and places across India that find no mention in mainstream media. They work in a space where collective reaction leads to positive actions, where stories are linked through social media to on-the-ground-social impact.

Trendsetting trio

Parekh and Mohan are hands-on mothers in their early thirties who juggle homework and ho…