Friday, February 13, 2015

Food is medicine.

Growing up in a Peranakan family, where the kitchen is the heart of the family and eating is our love language, I've always been drawn to food. Its ability to bond strangers, its complexities and traditions, even food politics. My taste buds were first honed in my childhood kitchen, and then along the years as a food writer. The first juicy chomp into a loaded burger, the seawater creaminess of freshly shucked oysters, the last lick of a perfectly risen chocolate souffle. In that world, people spent hours debating on kitchen gadgets and Michelin-starred restaurants. Excess was celebrated. And taste was everything.

Fast forward to the world I'm in now – one of yoga and wellness, with trending buzzwords like raw food and juice cleanses. A week into my teacher training, I found myself once again drawn to food, but in a vastly different way. I wanted to know about nutrition, about eating for health, about gut health, about food intolerances and just what they did to the body. I wanted to eat a million things at a time, but this time taste was secondary – health, was key. However, there were so many resources out there that I didn't quite know where to start and which camp to follow. It got exhausting picking my way through the abyss of knowledge and opinions, and keeping up with trends that came and went in a snap – what do you mean raw juices are out and bone broth is in? On top of that, eating well on the go always felt like an uphill task in Singapore, not to mention a time-consuming and expensive one. Remind me again why I shouldn't eat dairy, or sugar, or holy moly – something that combines both!

Hence, it is always nice to sit down to a session led by an expert in the general field of nutrition who offers a broader view on the subject, as opposed to an expert in say, raw food, or the Paleo diet. Fagan and I certainly made the right decision to spend our Tuesday night date attending a talk by Suj of health consultancy Biotailor. Working in the health and fitness industry, we can't lie and say we don't have any nutrition knowledge, but we always struggle to make the right food choices – because really, what IS right? And true enough, the talk's pointed out several loopholes in modern urban diets, ours included! I thought I would share the five biggest lessons I took away that night.
  1. Urbanites are experiencing what is termed civilised malnutrition – we live well, yet make terrible food choices like having cookies and coffee for snacks (or lunch!). Apart from fruit and greens, our diet is also lacking in good protein – think beans, tofu and white meat like chicken and fish.
  2. We need enzymes to digest our food, and these can only be found in raw fruit and vegetables. An easy way to fit raw food into our diets is to have fruit for a snack. According to Suj, oftentimes, excess flab around the belly is because of a lack of raw fruit and greens. "Eat more of that and it will disappear," she said. Worth a try, for sure.
  3. Food combination is very important, and it is a big no-no to eat fruit right after a meal! Different foods take different amounts of time to digest – for example, fruit takes 30 minutes to move through our digestive tract; chicken takes three hours. What happens when we eat an orange right after roast chicken is often flatulence and bloatedness. Why? Because the orange riding on the MRT is stuck behind the chicken, which is well, strolling.
  4. Vegetables are complex carbohydrates. (I never knew that.) A recommended breakdown of a meal is 40 percent protein and 60 percent complex carbohydrates (veggies, whole grains, not too much of the white stuff like white rice and bread), along with good fat like avocado, oils and nuts.
  5. Eat your fruit, drink your vegetables. Fruits contain natural sugars, and fruit juice is a lot of that packed into a glass. This causes insulin spikes, which over time, can result in Type 2 Diabetes, caused by our body rejecting insulin. The fibre in fruit helps to prevent the spikes, and it is also recommended that we eat fruit along with some protein, like nuts, to further level the blood sugar levels.
I don't reject the many specialised diets out there – something has to work in order for people to sing its praises – but me, I lean towards the sensible route. Eat clean, with everything in moderation. We put Suj in the firing squad towards the end of the session, asking questions like "So is coconut oil better than others?", and I appreciated that she didn't try to pretend to be a know-it-all. Instead, she weighed things out, and then suggested we try it out and decide for ourselves. That to be is both responsible, and sustainable.

Fagan and I left the talk feeling super inspired, and I am slowly incorporating her tips into the way I eat, making tweaks that fit my lifestyle along the way. It is one hell of a battle to change over 28 years of food habits – I kid you not – but Suj said something that made so much sense:

So many of us save and plan for our retirement. Shouldn't we eat and 'save' our health for our old age, too?

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Manifesting magic.

Last Saturday, I taught a workshop about manifesting our intentions, and tapping on our yoga and meditation practice to quiet down our mind, so we can listen to our heart's desires. Often, when I coax my thoughts to a quiet (or at least a soft murmur!), and bank down on its sometimes unjustifiable expectations – it feels like I am sliding off my blinkers to see the world for the first time, a world brimming with possibilities that were always there, only disregarded by my narrow mind.

The thing about goal-setting is that it is rather two-dimensional in its approach – set a target and go achieve it. The emphasis is often this: How can I get this, do this or achieve this, so I will feel better? I will feel powerful when I finally drive that sports car. I will feel worthy when I get that raise, that promotion. Our ability to feel good is pegged to a target achievement. At the same time, we are often so driven that we develop tunnel vision, and with our blinkers on we lose sight of so many possibilities going by us.

Manifesting, on the other hand, is a lot more fun, because instead of browbeating our way to the goal, we invite it to unfold with grace. The principle of manifesting is simple – light attracts light. The key here is to create our reality based on how we feel, instead of what we think. The hard work comes not in achieving a set target, but in making ourselves feel good, so we can be an energetic match for attracting the goodness we want into our lives. By softening our expectations (these come from the head!), we also give the universe space to intervene as and when it wishes to work its magic, maybe sprinkle a little fairy dust.

One one hand, there's hard work, making choices that nourish us inside out to build the positive vibes; but on the other hand there's also surrender – letting go, trusting that what will be, will be. We may just be over a month into 2015, but already I have witnessed so many serendipitous opportunities, with some seemingly coincidental moments that made even my very logical fiancé go: "Wait a minute... Is this really happening???"

A big part of me believes that magic is out there – in fact, it is everywhere, as long as we put in the effort to quieten our mind and open our heart to it. Then again, could it be that magic really isn't magic, simply unrecognised potential and opportunities that are, until witnessed, floating right under our noses?

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The (re)awakening.

I started blogging here on sarongskirts 10 years ago, during my younger days when I really loved wearing sarong skirts. I kept the blog all the way until mid-2012, when I decided to restart on a new slate on Tumblr. At that time, I was seven months into my renewed yoga journey after a long hiatus, and I felt trapped by the identity I had created on the seven-year-old sarongskirts platform. Unknown to me then, I was experiencing all these subtle yoga-illuminated shifts inside, so I was finding it increasingly difficult to relate to the written world I'd created over the years – a world where luxury travel and trending eats were of utmost importance. Sarong skirts had made way for chic dresses and heels in my wardrobe, and online, sarongskirts no longer seemed like the right home either for my new brainwaves on yoga and its grand philosophies.

For two and a half years, I experimented with various domains and platforms, and at one time invested much effort in setting up sproutblog, a website that I believed encapsulated the mindful life. It was certainly the right home for all my thoughts on wellness and yoga, but the tipping point came very quickly when I realised that writing for sproutblog made me feel like I was back in magazine publishing. I didn't quite care for that, so for most of last year, I stopped blogging completely. Teaching yoga full time and sharing all those yoga-related thoughts in class had taken all the big words out of me – I was left with non-related musings, but I couldn't find a home for them on sprout.

Writing is like coming home – an intangible emotion akin to each time I step onto my mat. While 2014 was the year that I truly felt like I was beginning to live my dharma, the writer inside me was constantly unfulfilled. I thought of starting over, creating a new platform, and I spent a long time pondering over which new blog name would fit. Should it be about karma, or dharma, or santosha, or maybe something cute like Buddha belly? I played around with countless word combinations in my head, but nothing felt right. I kept coming back to sarongskirts, but a part of me resisted it, simply because there was too much history.

Yesterday, I taught a workshop on Manifesting Your Life, one about wiping the slate clean. After the session, an ex-classmate who attended it came up to me to share a memory of us from 15 years back, a memory from a time that now seems so distant and almost unreal. Listening to her, I realised that I was silly for wanting to lock away my past, silly for constantly looking for new writing slates. I can't feel more different now than I was in secondary school, but if not for that now unrelatable past, the two of us might not be standing in the same place here in the present, connected by yoga and its profound impact on our lives.

I found my love for writing here on sarongskirts, and that love has taken me to so many places. While I can no longer quite relate to the things I used to write about, it seems to me that it is only poetic justice to restart the slate on this good, old one. And you know what – it feels right.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Move on over.

I'm syncing my social media accounts, so I'm trying blogging from a different platform – tumblr! Hope the synergy means my posts will be a little more regular. So come on over to

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The dream that was India.

I've put off this post-India reflection entry for too long and for too many reasons, though laziness is definitely one of it. That and the incapacity to translate into words the see-saw of emotions and experiences I went through during my trip.

This return visit was everything and at the same time nothing like how I'd imagined it to be. I saw the people I wanted to see, did most of the things I wanted to do, and even relived my 2008 Goa Holi break by spending most of my Jaipur leg in bed. Maybe it was, like Raghu guessed, a cyclical stomach bug, maybe it wasn't. But I sure won't be planning any more trips to India during Holi, that's for sure...

After a long delay during take-off (during which I found a new friend in Sunanda, more on that later) and two luggage belt breakdowns, I finally stumbled into my hotel in Khar a good three hours behind schedule. It was way past dinner time by the time I hopped onto Raghu's bike, but while the roads were near empty, the sidewalks were bustling with street hawkers doing brisk business feeding hungry crowds.


Our late night street food trail started at a really popular dosa stall, where we caught up over bites of freshly-made, crisp, hot pancakes stuffed with potatoes.

Barely ten seconds back on the bike and we spotted a lone cart selling what looked like coconut agar agar. We'd lucked out. It turned out to be juunu, a hard-to-find crème caramel type dessert (its texture reminded me of silken tofu) made from the milk of a lactating cow or buffalo. It was delicious – sweet, silky smooth and surprisingly delicate. We bought seconds, then zipped off for pav bhaji at an award-winning street cart. It was good, but my memory-obsessed taste buds had already been won over by the cheese-topped version from Juhu Beach that we had on my last trip.

I seem to need a lot less sleep when in India, so despite rolling back in the wee hours of the morning, I managed to wake up for a spot of yoga before heading out into the Khar fray to check out mobile plans with Daphne, who'd arrived on a later flight. I expected heat and stifling humidity, but the weather was surprisingly cool, with a slight nip in the air. Woohoo!

Dabeli burger was on the list of must-eats that Sunanda (my friend from the plane) gave me, so Daph and I shared one from the sweet shop (the irony, I know) beside our hotel. It's a sweetish potato patty sandwiched between pav bhaji buns and topped with a mound of sev. Veggie good.

Most of my friends respond with wide-eyed stares whenever I start waxing lyrical about India's street food  – "If drinking from the tap is a no-no, how could you even think of eating the food from the streets?" they say – but I'm glad I was travelling with a fellow fearless foodie who laps up anything and everything. I don't think the word 'unsanitary' even crossed our minds, at least not until we got ill later during the trip. Plenty on that later.

After our mobile plans were sorted out (after the mandatory spot of wild goose chasing), I hopped back on Raghu's bike to brave the afternoon traffic madness to Matunga, an area known to be – and this I quote – the hub of Mumbai's South Indian communities.  I loved it. It reminded me a little of Kerala actually. The outdoor markets were spilling over with fresh, slightly exotic tropical produce and helmed by grinning stall owners, like this radiant lady in sunshine yellow.

Even though I didn't speak their language, the locals were accepting (or at least tolerant) of my curious stares and welcoming enough to treat me to tastes of their produce. This is mango ginger, which tastes surprisingly subtle and nothing like mango. Or ginger.

Raghu has exacting taste buds when it comes to South Indian food – he is after all the man who would only eat out what he cannot do better at home! – so I knew I was in for a treat when he brought for a banana leaf thali lunch at A Ramanayak Udipi Shri Krishna, a nondescript, back-door entry eatery. It was impeccable and, most of all, authentic. On top of that, dessert of the day happened to be shrikhand, a strained yoghurt dessert that was also on Sunanda's list of must-eats. That's two down, with a hundred more to go. :)

Post-meal, we hung around the stairwell, chatting while staring out into the train station nearby. This is also the last shot I have of him with the moustache he was growing for his brother's wedding.

Unlike other destinations, India doesn't bring out my obsessive trip-planning side, so it always turns out to be a holiday in all senses of the word – a break from my Singapore routine as well as my type A personality. Despite its throngs of people and never-ending activity, the country has the inexplicable ability to make me slow down. Traffic jams don't bother. Time doesn't matter. And there's always reason enough for another cup of chai. Or when in Matunga, coffee.

I had no idea what time it was or where exactly we were, but I was happy and content to be sipping hot coffee while the sun gentled and the cars zoomed by, and mellow enough to flash a smile at inquisitive passers-by gawking at me, the oriental rarity.

Weird stares aside, it almost felt like we were back in MICA, lounging in the courtyard outside Tongue Tickler cafe after dinner, chatting and sipping on chai from flimsy cups. I've seen and experienced a lot more since I left MICA over four years ago, but when the world gets a little too crazy for me to handle, I always take a mental vacation back to the idle MICA days of yore. Even though there were times when I really wanted to pull my hair out from boredom, I believe that those days in the self-imposed 'prison' saved me from the uglier me I would have otherwise become. Yes, MICA was as much my heaven as it was my hell. And I was so glad to have a chance to relive those moments, if only for a while.

That night, Daph and I got together to trade tales of our day's adventures over seafood at Mahesh Lunch Home (recommended by a friend she met on the plane – what can I say, we're surrounded by friendly Indians). And even though we were stuffed to our necks in seafood by the time we staggered out of the restaurant, I couldn't let her leave without a taste of the legendary pav bhaji of my memories, especially not when we were just a stroll away from Juhu Beach.

It was Saturday, Mumbaikars were out in full force but what would you know – the roof top cafe was closed. That's India for you. Thankfully, there are countless stalls in the fairground area frying up plates of the ghee-soaked snack for us to choke down. Delish, though the post-snack stroll we decided to take on the darkened beach proved to be not too great an idea. I got ripped off for a cup of really bad chai on sugar steroids, and we befriended a seemingly decent guy who started pointing out sari-clad social escorts and describing in increasing detail the activities they engaged in for their trade.

I'd missed out on catching up with the CCC boys on my last visit, so I was really looking forward to brunch the next day. What I didn't expect was how much they'd changed!

 Always a hippie at heart, Pranjal (extreme left) had grown out his locks and beard; Mehul (centre), dear Mehul whose wavy, silky locks I so loved and envied, had chopped them off, and Rishit, the wild-haired philosophical sage who speaks in circles, had cleaned up a little too well.

This boy used to hide my room key! Four years later and he's still as cheeky, and always the perfect gentleman.

And there we were, lounging in the sunshine on the rooftop terrace of Candies, recreating yet another one of my fond MICA memories. Pranjal, Rishit, Himanshu and I sitting in the Champa hostel courtyard, chatting into the wee hours of the morning, cigarette smoke swirling lazily around us. The air was chilly, somebody was strumming on a guitar and Rishit was starting every sentence with "There is nothing in this world that..." Same old, but very different outside the confines of MICA.


Rishit then took us on a post-brunch stroll around old Bandra, where we discovered an artistic, graffiti-esque heart in the gully. Even the most painful scenes are beautiful – heartbreakingly so – in India's shimmering light.

Had my first cup of homemade chai that night at Raghu's, brewed by his lovely flat mate Astha.

A meal of home-cooked biryani – a dish he'd taught me to make on – followed, along with more lounging, drinks and laughter, especially when they recounted tales from their yoga class.

Time passes by way too quickly when you're having fun and before I knew it, the night had grown quiet apart from the incessant barking of stray dogs. One last ride on Raghu's bike, this time flying through the near-empty roads, and all too soon I was outside my hotel with its snoozing guard, saying goodbye to a dear friend.

Some of my favourite memories of India were of riding pillion on Raghu's bike – awkward and a little scared on my first road trip out of Ahmedabad, racing back to campus in a sudden midnight downpour, weaving our way through the smog in Mumbai's lawless traffic, down empty roads with the nippy pre-dawn air chilling my cheeks – and this last ride felt strangely bittersweet. Maybe I'll make it down to Mumbai again, but it wouldn't be any time soon that I'd experience the vicarious freedom I loved so much in the passenger seat.

Sunday, 4 March
"Mumbai on a bike. In the night, on clear roads with the wind in my hair and the scent of flowers in the breeze. In the day, winding between cars (traffic yoga, I say!) with the sun on my face and the ceaseless toot of horns enveloping me. I'm painted grey as the city's smog settles over me, but hey, grey's a happy, happy colour. :)"

After a morning touring through Dharavi's enterprising slums, Daph and I collapsed down to a Marathi lunch with my chef friend Milind, one of the first few chefs I worked with back when I was still a bumbling intern.

Wandering through Khar's outdoor markets in search of a gift for dinner that night, we chanced upon what looked to be a chai stall popular with the locals. The cups were chipped and the utensils were stained – symbols of a promising cuppa. And it was, though it could also have possibly been what done us in that night.

The sunset road to Thane, about two hours from Mumbai in peak hour traffic, for dinner at Rajit's parents' home.

Even though they'd returned from Singapore the night before, Uncle and Auntie were the emblem of Indian hospitality, whipping up a sumptuous North Indian feast that ended with my favourite ras malai. I felt utterly spoilt.

One last catch-up sesh, this time at Pop Tate's with Rishabh and Gaurav, who still speaks like a machine gun. Of all the people I'd thought I'd keep in touch with, I never quite imagined Rishabh to be one of them, not after our mortifying badminton match and the resulting animosity. But keep in touch we did, and boy am I glad. :)

Our last night in Mumbai looked set to end on a good note, until we returned to the hotel where Daph fell into a bloat-induced stupor and I succumbed to a sleepless night shuffling between the toilet and bed. I was almost certain I wouldn't be able to make it up the flight to Jaipur the next morning, but what do you know, the ravaging cramps had eased by the time I woke from intermittent sleep, and I was even well enough to stuff down a piece of plain toast.

First impressions of Jaipur at Chokhi Dhani, a Rajasthani village that was a throwback to the one we spent New Year's Eve at in Ahmedabad. This ferris wheel made me think of the movie Mausam and of course, Shahid Kapoor...

We spent some time wandering through stone-wall mazes, riding on a camel, getting our palms electronically read and posing for photos with young boys, before settling down to what would be our last taste of Rajasthani food for the next four days. Yup, that was the start of our trip-long queasiness and nausea. The worst of the stomach bug was not over.

We only made it out in the late afternoon the next day to catch the tail-end of the elephant parade – a lead up to Holi the follow day – and two hours out was all I could stomach (pun intended) before I had to tumble back to our guesthouse to curl up in bed.

The next day was an equal drag. We woke to find ourselves alone with the cook in the guest house and when the lady boss finally returned, she very firmly recommended that we stay indoors for fear of rowdy revellers. We insisted our way out of that one, but most of the Holi fun we experienced that day was as spectators.

I was gutted, as I was all ready to be splattered in colours, but in retrospect, we weren't in the right state of health to play Holi either, especially not when a meal of plain pasta triggered yet another bout of queasiness.

With nowhere else to go, we returned to the guesthouse for an afternoon nap and then for a stroll around the neighbourhood park.

Sitting on the cold stone bench with my knees to my chest and my shawl fluttering in the chilly breeze, that lazy, aimless evening felt so much like the ones in MICA where we would sit around the curb of our international hostel, chatting and laughing, until someone suggested going to the mess for our evening tea of chai and butter sugar toast. We would then return back to the hostel, or gather around the sides of the badminton court, to talk some more (I don't know how the group of us had so much to talk about), until it was time for dinner and the perennial dilemma between sloppy mess food or S$1 Manchurian fried rice from the campus cafe. Not much of a fight really, unless it was non-vegetarian night at the mess.

Even the sunset from the roof of our guesthouse reminded me of the fiery campus sunsets I used to watch, wide-eyed in suaku Singaporean wonder, of the silhouettes of our drying laundry flapping in the winter breeze. But back to Jaipur.

Our last full day in Jaipur turned out to be the most accomplished, as we actually spent more time outside than in bed. After yet another breakfast-less morning, we flagged down an auto to take us to the old city to roam around the Jantar Mantar (read more here).

We were, despite the many Caucasian tourists around, a source of fascination for the locals, and a request to a stranger to take our (Daphne and I) picture turned into this:

And when taking a breather in an isolated bench outside the corner shop, we were once again approached for pictures. Evidence is in his camera, but here's the one I made him take of us in return:

I was honestly quite ready to keel over by the time we got around to checking out the City Palace, but I managed to keep myself upright with yoga breaths. When those failed to work, I diverted my attention from my discomfort by posing for funny shots. Here's my Beatles-esque moment of non-fame.

Turns out, my best form of distraction was out on the streets – inside the stalls specifically – because I am unabashedly female. I'm happy to report that I haven't lost my bargaining skills. It's a mirroring dance, a subtle balance between getting what you want and giving the shopkeepers what they want (in most cases, fleecing you). It's also the only dance so far that – despite having two left feet – hasn't left me tripping over my own toes and landing on my butt.

Shopping gave me the strength to keep going, and we found ourselves wandering past the tourist strip and down a bustling local street market.

The sight of vibrant hues juxtaposed against what is often a bleak, dust-covered background is to me the beauty of colour in India. Of all the national costumes I've seen, I still think saris are the most flattering to the female body.

It took us five days but on our last morning in Jaipur, right before our flight back to Mumbai, we were finally strong (or desperate?) enough to succumb to taste of laal maas, a fiery Rajasthani red meat curry that Daph had wanted to taste since the start of the trip. It was unmemorable, but we really didn't expect much from the tourist-friendly joint. We would have eaten our way through the street stalls of Jaipur if not for our wonky bellies – and probably eaten a lot better than plain pasta, Maggi mee, Lays chips and cola.

Parting ways back at Mumbai airport. If things worked out according to plan, I would now be sporting a pimped up peacock feather tattoo. But I've gotten used to plans falling to bits, so my tattoo remains a discreet 3cm secret.

The plan was to roll over to Raghu's and catch a play with Astha, but I didn't want to risk passing my commando-strength bug on to her, so I booked myself into a hotel room near the airport. Amidst strains of cheesy pop music from the adjoining restaurant, I toasted my last night in India with pav bhaji and a glass of nimbu pani from room service and Discovery Travel & Living on telly.

That is until Pranjal came to take me out for a midnight ice cream at Natural at Juhu Beach. Even though I wasn't  sure if it would make my pav bhaji come up, a last taste of Natural was worth the risk. The gamble paid off, phew.

And once again, an all too familiar practice of bidding Mumbai airport goodbye in the early morning, and taking what is very possibly my last look at the city for at least the next year.

Oddly enough, I am writing this bit of the post (this entry has taken me a good part of the week to compile) after a coffee session with Erwin, my partner in crime for most of my Indian exchange trip five years ago. As we always do whenever we catch up, the topic soon turned to our days in India and the bewildering, often rib-tickling situations we found ourselves in way too often.

There was that very weird haircut that involved having copious amounts of oil massaged onto our scalp and face, a very poignant memory of us sitting all day in rolling chairs on the 'balcony' outside Erwin's room basking in the winter sunlight (we all felt like we were in a hospice), making a date and then hiding from a stranger who wanted to show us around Mumbai (after some discussion we feared he'd turn out to be a serial killer, so we bribed the maitre d' of the restaurant we were supposed to meet him at to lie that we weren't there, when we were in fact dining on the roof), that night the gang thoroughly deliberated between spending the evening playing Monopoly or watching stolen videos, watching two friends take shocking leaps of faith, one from stacked bags of salt and the other from the second floor of our hostel just for the fun of it (both survived)...

"It's funny. Whenever life gets a little too much to take, I'll look back on those days we spent doing absolutely nothing in India," I said. "Even though at times I was so bored I thought I was gonna die."

"Yeah, of course. I knew all along that it was a period I'll always go back to. I knew I had to return back to life, to reality, once we came home," he said.

So in a way, these two back-to-back trips to India were my way of taking a timeout from reality, albeit in a much better state of mind than the one I was in years ago. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I was a bit of a broken soul on that first trip, and India – in her inexplicable ways – turned out to be the glue that put the pieces back together.

And years on, after the cracks had adhered and the scars had faded, my subconscious led me back. I might still hold a romanticised notion of India if I hadn't made this third trip, but it was a closure I had to make, not so much with the country but with myself. So for the first time in a long while, I allowed myself to let go of the fear of disillusionment, toss aside the rose-coloured goggles and really look at her.

And just like I'd thought, India has indeed turned out to be the dream – part fact, part fiction – that I so desperately didn't want to be jolted awake from. Well, I've awoken, but beyond the romanticism, India remains a place I would always return to, because some things just don't change.

Ahmedabad old city, February 2008
Jaipur old city, March 2012
Change may be the only constant, but it's comforting to know that some things remain the same.