The Cultural Synergist

Insights for the month with Dr Tom Verghese
The Cultural Synergist- Insights for the month

October 2022

Issue # 174

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Complacency and Gratitude...


Over the past few weeks, I have been traveling through the UK with my family. Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic on travel, we have been really fortunate to have experienced minimal disruptions in our travels. It has been truly joyful to finally catch up with friends and relatives who we have not seen for years now and gain a different perspective in a changed world.

As part of our travels, we decided to visit Oxford. While we were on the train from London, our luggage was quite a distance from where we were sitting. It was the school holidays, and the train was busy. At every stop we would glance over to the luggage and check that all was well. When we arrived at our stop, we realised that my son’s suitcase was missing. This now meant we had to start the arduous process of getting in touch with the police and train authorities to try to recover the lost suitcase.

As ever, I have given some thought to the learning gained from the experience. On reflection, I realised that we had become rather complacent with our security, and this was a useful lesson for us to remember on our next leg of the journey into Europe.

I also realised that we could have lost all three suitcases, that my son did not have his laptop in the case, and that we were all able to deal with the incident in a calm and collected way.


Quote of the month:


A prayer in celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, which occurs this month.

‘May light prevail over darkness, wisdom over ignorance and good over evil.’


Book recommendation:





A Question of Age, Jacinta Parsons

Grappling with ageing is one of the most confronting elements of being a woman. When we become invisible, when we lose our sexual currency, when we lose that elasticity in our skin, when our bodies soften and change, when our perceived 'value' to society dramatically falls, when our notion of self-worth takes a radical shift.
What do we do when our outside self doesn't match our inside self? That old woman staring back at her reflection in the mirror doesn't understand why she feels so young. So how do we adjust our perceptions of getting older? What does it mean to age as a woman? How do we adjust our thinking about being in the world? What is our currency now?

Jacinta believes that midlife is a crucial reckoning with despair and hope, a time when you are naked in the centre of the world and no-one notices or perhaps cares to look. Midlife is a time when you take stock – to look back and understand how you were made as a woman, and to look forward into the future, to see how you might unmake yourself to live the life that perhaps you should be living.

A Question of Age is incendiary, raging and raw, but also compassionate, insightful and powerfully energising. It is a book for every woman looking in the mirror thinking she no longer recognises herself. It is a book for our times.