The Ungratefulness of Being

  “If I had to define man it would be: a biped, ungrateful.” Fyodor Dostoevsky put these words in the mouth of his unnamed character in Notes From the Underground. The rambling, idealistic, unsettling novel was written in 1864. Dostoevsky was uneasy with the notions of utopianism and unbridled optimism that were becoming fashionable in…

The Happiness Diaries

The flag bearing the fleur-de-lys waved dementedly over the still river. The muted buildings over the Arno were all painted in the uniform colours of sunrise. A kayak rowed past as if sailing through thin air. Where the sun rose over the hills there descended a veiling haze. It was Christopher’s last day in Florence….

Books of Hope

After the death of Anthony Bourdain I’ve been hearing the word ‘suicide contagion’ being bandied around as if it were a Meme or a Gif. I don’t like the sound of it, no one does. Yet despite its shallow nature t does bring up some deep questions about human nature.   In the late 18th…

On the Death of Anthony Bourdain

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”  …

Never Forget Hope

  Zeus was an old man. Still a god but not the indestructible lord everyone on Olympus and on earth thought he was. It happened all of a sudden. Last year, as he travelled to one of his temples in Sicily, Zeus passed out. His son, Apollo, the god of music, truth and most importantly,…

An Ode to Travel

  “Journeys are the midwives of thought.” This quote from Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel goes a long way in explaining why almost everything I’ve ever written has been tinted with wanderlust. Human beings are lofty animals because we, uniquely, have a name for happiness. Other animals can only ‘do’ happiness – be…

A Monologue On c- c – c – Changes

    Did a Homo Erectus ever give birth to a Homo Sapiens – the first Homo Sapiens? Evolution doesn’t work that way. No animal can ever give birth to offspring that doesn’t belong to its own species. There never was a first human. And yet: humans are not Homo Erectus. The change must have…

War and Happiness

    Jacques’ Wake   They throw Jacques into the wet ground, His boyish body a frightful mound. He had survived the quake But the hurricane claimed him In its wake; Now the stars claim a new name Immortality shall never tame.   They throw Jacques into the wet ground, And the village echoes with…

The Pursuit of Purpose

The Pursuit of Purpose   There is something deathly about change. Be it Britain’s exit from the EU or simply the changes your mind goes through as you enter another summer. Summers are finite, you know. Each one is to be cherished. Just as everything else is to be cherished. For everything is finite. Summer…

Travel Essay on Sisyphean Happiness

  “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” The quote from Albert Camus’ essay on The Myth of Sisyphus comes to my mind as I walk down the hill leading up to the Alhambra to get my camera from the hotel. An old shoe-shine stops me and asks me if I needed my shoes shined. My shoes…