Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Nambatac challenged to a game of one-on-one and even offered to pay for the Twitter troll’s fare to Letran.Photo screengrabbed from Rey Nambatac’s Twitter account“Sometimes, you really have to speak up and let them know that what they are saying are wrong,” explained the 23-year-old. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They don’t know how hard our situations are, especially in practice because we really put our blood, sweat, and tears there and you hear people saying those hurtful stuff. Of course, I was offended. That’s why I responded to him.”But Nambatac’s best rebuttal was when he let his game do the talking, scoring 25 points on a 4-of-7 clip from three and collecting nine rebounds and three assists to lead Letran over Arellano in do-or-die, For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Read Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netRey Nambatac has a knack for hitting big shots and the Letran star scored on another one just recently when he put a social media basher in his place.The basher took a swipe at Nambatac on Twitter and the dynamic guard took notice.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ “For me, every game is a crucial game. It’s my last year and the challenges are just getting harder and harder, but I’m happy because this will toughen me up to be more mature. These are the moments where my maturity and leadership will come out and be tested,” he said. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa La Salle fends off Adamson for 3rd straight win Not only did he silence the doubter with his stellar play, but he also kept the Knights’ season alive and help the team become relevant again as it continues its run in the NCAA Season 93 stepladder semifinals.“For me, it’s good that people are noticing us again, but we cannot be satisfied because that’s not just our goal. Our goal is to show that Letran is still here fighting and competing,” he said.Letran will have to go through a grueling stretch just to make a return trip to the finals. The Knights take on the San Sebastian Stags next in their second playoff for the fourth spot.If they win on Tuesday, they go into a knockout game versus third seed JRU, then another do-or-die against No. 2 San Beda, before arranging a championship duel against top-seed Lyceum.Nambatac doesn’t want to get too ahead of himself as he relishes the chance on playing at his best in these desperate situations.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments
Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Robredo to gov’t, after accepting anti drug post: Are you ready for me? PLAY LIST 01:29Robredo to gov’t, after accepting anti drug post: Are you ready for me?00:50Trending Articles03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Read Next MOST READ “I got my degree just to make my dad proud. My dad is a police officer but I really did not want to be a policeman. Maybe, I would have been a fireman and the degree in criminal justice would’ve helped, but I’ve decided to just focus on basketball, get back to the Philippines, and try to make it here,” Herndon said, whose father Robert Sr. traces his roots to Mactan, Cebu.“The decision to move here was tough but I love the country and I love the basketball even more.”A virtual unknown when he made the leap of fate, it didn’t take long before Herndon started making his mark, ruling the Philippine leg of the 2016 Red Bull King of the Rock tournament at the expense of two-time PBA MVP Willie Miller, before joining the PBA D-League where he saw action for Victoria Sports-MLQU, Wangs Basketball, and finally, Marinerong Pilipino.Of the three teams he suited up for, Herndon takes the most pride playing for the Couriers, which he led to contend for a playoff spot this past PBA D-League season.“It’s good basketball and I learned a lot there. And that’s just the D-League. For sure, the PBA will be better. There’s just a lot of good players here, good teams, great coaches here,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Robbie Herndon. PBA IMAGESIn just a span of two years, Robbie Herndon went from dousing flames as an aspiring fireman in San Francisco to torching hoops here in the Philippines.And as the Fil-Am swingman embarks on this new chapter of his life as he enters the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, he hopes to get the chance to showcase his deadly game in the pros.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 PBA Board to back Narvasa on controversial SMB-Kia trade Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP “I’ve been waiting for two years for this moment. I’m just glad that I’m eligible because I’ve put a lot of hard work into this. I’m ready to get it going,” said the 24-year-old.Herndon had shelved his hoop dreams to focus on his education at San Francisco State and almost gave up on basketball a few years back.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I played two years there and then, I wanted to just focus on my studies,” he said. “That was humbling for me because basketball was the only thing I wanted to do my whole life. In college, I went through a phase when it was hard juggling school and sports. I wanted to get my degree so losing my passion for basketball, I stopped playing after my second year.”But after getting his criminal justice degree much to the delight of his family, the 6-foot-3 guard felt that it was time for him to take the chance and fly to his father’s homeland. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC But Herndon is not just an offensive-minded player as he also takes pride in his playmaking and defensive capabilities, something which he displayed in the two-day 2017 Gatorade PBA Draft Combine and earned him a spot in the pre-draft workout’s Mythical Five.“The scoring just comes, but I think I really do well when it comes to rebounding because I like to rebound a lot. I also feel like I can get my teammates going, make the right pass, and also defense. It’s not just the scoring that I can do. I like to take it inside and bang bodies. I can shoot but I can also go with the drive and bang down low. I feel like I’m a good two-way player,” he said.Looking back, Herndon couldn’t help but feel emotional over the path he took to make it this far on his journey.“I think about the draft every day and I wanted this for a long time. I’m nervous, I’m excited, but most of all, I’m ready,” he said.
Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Mane scores hat trick as Liverpool routs Porto, 5-0 They’ve got Olympic-size dreams, and when they watch figure skating at the Pyeongchang Games, they’ve got plenty of role models — a history-making U.S. figure skating team where half of the 14 members are Asian-American.“It’s very inspiring and it makes you think, I want to be like them,” Keita said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWhile there have been Asian-American figure skaters representing the United States at past Olympics — the most high-profile being gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992 and silver and bronze medalist Michelle Kwan in 1998 and 2002 — there never has been anything like this.For the women, there’s 24-year-old Mirai Nagasu and 18-year-old Karen Chen; on the men’s side, 18-year-old Nathan Chen and 17-year-old Vincent Zhou; among the ice dancers, sibling pair Alex Shibutani, 26, and Maia Shibutani, 23, and Madison Chock, 25. MOST READ NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers “If he can do it, maybe I can do it.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AFP official booed out of forum Olympian Scott Hamilton said Yamaguchi’s and Kwan’s not only skating on a world stage but winning was likely an impetus for a younger generation of Asian-Americans, and their parents, even to consider it.“A lot of it is seeing a sport and seeing others be successful and saying, I want to do that, and that’s what you need,” he said. “Winning really creates interest.”There’s already been some success — skating in the team event, Nagasu became the first American woman to complete a triple axel in the Olympics. That led to some controversy when Bari Weiss, an op-ed writer for The New York Times, tweeted about the feat with the words, “Immigrants: They get the job done.” Nagasu was born in California, and the since-deleted tweet was criticized by some who said it touched on Asian-American concerns about continually being assumed to be foreigners.Even that has echoes in previous Olympics, as in 1998, when a headline after American Tara Lipinski won the gold medal read, “American beats out Kwan.” Kwan was born and raised in California.In this year’s games, much of the hoopla around possibly winning has focused on Nathan Chen in particular.The Salt Lake City, Utah, native, who predicted as a 10-year-old novice champion that he would be at the 2018 Olympics, has been showcased as an athlete to watch at these games because of his athleticism and multiple quadruple jumps. He is considered a front-runner in the individual men’s event, even though he got off to a rough start by finishing fourth in the men’s short program for the team skating event after an uncharacteristic fall during a triple axel.That Asian-Americans are being represented on the men’s side as well as the women’s is important, said Phil Yu, who writes about pop culture and other subjects on his Angry Asian Man blog.Chen’s overall presence and success “is a powerful statement for Asian-American men who have generally had this stereotype hang over them of being not athletic, not expressive,” he said.“To have someone like Nathan Chen excel, not only excel but blow all these other people out of the water, it’s a powerful thing,” Yu said.It certainly is for Yuki Horiko. Seeing someone Asian-American like him go after Olympic gold “gives me more confidence” for his own hopes, the 13-year-old said. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting View comments Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Keita Horiko, the 10-year-old U.S. Figure Skating juvenile boys champion, practices during his second workout of the day Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, at the Ice House in Hackensack, N.J. With Asian-Americans making up half of the U.S. figure skating team at the Pyeongchang Olympics, talented youngsters like Horiko can hope to realize dreams of one day being on the ice at the international as they have plenty of role models to emulate. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)HACKENSACK, N.J. — Keita Horiko glided across the rink at the Ice House, picking up speed as he attempted a jump — and sprawled in a fall as he came back down.Unfazed, the 10-year-old U.S. Figure Skating juvenile boys champion got up and started skating again. His older brother, 13-year-old Yuki, also was on the ice, practicing his own moves as they wound down their second practice of the day before heading home to Manhattan and doing it all again the next day.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH It’s a heady moment, especially because Asian-Americans as a minority group have long faced stereotypes of being more about books and brains than anything else.“I think it’s supercool and exciting,” said Mai Hoang Parmentier, 35, of Yakima, Washington, who got into watching skating when she saw Yamaguchi compete.“For me growing up you had the stereotype of oh, Asians are good at math or academia or art or music,” she said. “I just like the idea that my daughter can see that she doesn’t have to be pigeonholed, that she can actually be good at sports.”Ryan Morris, 28, of Berkeley, California, agreed. The skating fan planned on making sure his young nieces and nephew watched it with him.“They’re going to see in the most important sport in the Winter Olympics … people who look like them,” he said. “It’s a good feeling.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES
Lakers win 9th straight, hold off Pelicans The Hotshots forced the Bolts to flounder in their offensive sets and scooted away in the fourth, with a 108-90 victory Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.The victory gave Star the solo lead and virtually a tie for a top two ranking in the first round of the playoffs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingStar held the Bolts scoreless in the first seven minutes of the payoff frame to post its eighth win in 10 starts pulling away, and Victolero later acknowledged that he would need some sort of help from sister teams San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra to seal the deal.“We lost to both of them (in the eliminations), so we will lose in the quotient if we end up tied (for a top two finish),” he said after getting five players, led by the 32 points of Ricard Ratliffe, in twin digits. Roach wants earlier Australia trip for Pacquiao Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes The Road Warriors snapped a 13-game losing streak that dates back to the start of the year while putting the Aces’ playoff chances in jeopardy.After losing a string to open up this conference, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao found a silver lining in the victory Wednesday.“This is a good win for us. We need a lot more situations like this where we can build character,” Guiao, a six-time champion, said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Beermen and the Gin Kings have 6-2 records with three games left each, and sweeps of their remaining games would give them 9-2 slates, the same card that Star can have in the event of a win over Alaska on Wednesday at Cuneta Astrodome.From an 81-75 count at the end of the third, the Hotshots allowed the first Meralco points to come with 4:56 left. But that Kelly Nabong jumper did little to make a dent on what was already a 19-point lead.“I told my players that this would be a defensive game,” Victolero said. “I am very happy with the result. We played a solid 48 minutes.”Chris Newsome score 25 points to pace the Bolts, who got just nine points and nine rebounds from import Alex Stepheson.Meanwhile, NLEX finally notched a victory in this tournament after it rallied from a 20-point first quarter deficit and clipped Alaska, 100-92, in the first game.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Coming Home For Christmas’ is the holiday movie you’ve been waiting for, here’s why PBA IMAGESChito Victolero had the right assessment about his Star Hotshots’ crucial match with Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup when he said that this would very much be a defensive game.Meralco’s Norman Black wasn’t off-target when he said that, for a change, offensive execution would decide this game, which could very well mean the first twice-to-beat privilege in the import-spiced conference.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LOOK: Vhong Navarro’s romantic posts spark speculations he’s marrying longtime GF More than 5,000 measles deaths in DR Congo this year — WHO MOST READ LATEST STORIES South Korea to suspend 25% of coal plants to fight pollution Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: PH beats Indonesia, enters gold medal round in polo Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games View comments
Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast “He helps my training because his style is similar to the style of my opponent,” Pacquiao said.The eight-division champion, however, opted not to give any predictions as to how the fight will end.“I don’t give any predictions when it comes to my fights. I just see to it that I stay disciplined in training and do whatever I can during the fight.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Adrian Young, Manny Pacquiao’s latest sparring mate, marveled at the Filipino ring superstar’s lethal combination of speed and power after their three-round session on Tuesday.The 24-year-old Mexican also believes Jeff Horn won’t last in the ring with Pacquiao past the seventh round.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Pacquiao sparring partner predicts 7th round KO for Manny4.1K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV “Manny is very [fast],” said a wide-eyed Young, who expressed his excitement sharing the same ring with Pacquiao and being in the country for the first time. “He was very [fast] and he confused me with his speed.”“Pacquiao KO in round seven,” said Young, who owns a record of 23-3-2 with 18 knockouts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingYoung said Freddie Roach instructed him to use the ring and create distance during the sparring.Pacquiao said the three rounds with Young helped him in familiarizing himself with the kind of style Horn has. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next San Miguel gets back-to-back wins ahead of final elims game Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cignal HD Spikers. Photo from Spikers’ Turf Facebook account.Cignal leaned on team captain Ysay Marasigan to beat Megabuilders, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19, 25-17, and move on the cusp of a second straight title Wednesday in the men’s division of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Marasigan, the former Ateneo standout, pumped in a game-high 21 points for the HD Spikers, who will shoot for the finals sweep in Game 2 on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Edmar Bonono and Peter Torres were also solid for Cignal with 14 and 11 points, respectively.Bryan Bagunas paced the Volley Bolt with 14 points, 12 off attacks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMeanwhile, Philippine Air Force had four players in double-digits with Jeffrey Malabanan leading the way with 19 points.Rodolfo Labrador and Howard Mojica added 14 points points apiece while Edwin Tolentino chipped in 12 in the battle for third place. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Baldwin warns about Lebanon traffic—and looks like Gilas struggling to escape it Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel today met FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter and discussed ways to professionalise Indian football and launch various development projects in the country.The role of FIFA in launching new projects in India was also discussed in the meeting held at the FIFA House in Zurich today.In the meeting, Patel thanked Blatter for laying artificial turfs in the country under FIFA’s “Win in India with India” programme.Patel also attended a meeting of FIFA legal committee here.
Indian shooters continued with their gold winning spree on Tuesday and ensured that the Delhi Games became the country’s best ever in terms of sporting prowess. Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh shot to top in women’s pairs 10 metre air pistol event claiming India’s 31st gold medal in the ongoing Commonwealth Games. It was the best ever medal haul for India in the Games as its previous best was 30 gold medals in 2002. With 759 points each, India, Australia and Canada ended in a tie in 10m women’s pairs air pistol. The Indian pair was adjudged the winners by point difference. Australia and Canada won silver and bronze respectively. Heena’s 384 points played a crucial role in the Indian win. Annu scored 375 points. Earlier, the day started with two silvers in different shooting events. Samresh Jung and Chandrashekhar Kumar Choudhary claimed a silver medal in men’s 25metre standard pistol pairs. Another silver medal was claimed by Tejaswini Sawant in women’s singles 50metre rifle prone event.Jung and Chaudhary missed the gold by finishing 13 points ehind Singapore’s score of 1116 points. England get bronze.
With the fall in sponsorship amount, coupled with poor ticket and merchandise sale, the total revenue collection of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee is expected to come down to Rs 600 crore only against an expenditure of about Rs 1,820 crore.CWG closing ceremony.”Many sponsors including the Railways, the lead partner of the Commonwealth Games, are yet to make full payments. But we are hopeful that sponsors will make payments as per their commitment,” said a senior OC official. The OC was given Rs 1,820 crore as a loan by the government for organizing the Games.”We are expecting Rs 600 crore as revenue including about 350 crores from sponsorship and Rs 215 crore from TV rights,” the official said.Railways has committed to give Rs 100 crore for the Games. It had also operated a special Taj Express for delegates and athletes during the event as part of its agreement with the OC.”The issue regarding the payment by railways have been resolved now. Railways is expected to deposit the money in a joint account of Sports Ministry and Organising Committee soon,” he said.As far as ticket sale is concerned, only Rs 20 crore has come to the OC kitty as against the target of Rs 100 crore.However, the official said, “The total earning from ticket sale will be about Rs 40 crore, as all the collection money has not been deposited yet.”Blaming the negative publicity following reports of irregularities surrounding the sporting extravaganza, the official said even the income from licensing and merchandise was dismal. “Only some lakhs were collected from merchandise sale,” he said.advertisement–With inputs from PTI
A few days ago, I did something I don’t do very often – I visited India. By which I mean I made arrangements for some kind strangers to host me in a village for two nights and a full day, and I went. Though it was only for a day, it provided me with the light shock every cityzombie needs from time to time. I won’t talk about my hosts except to say that these are people who have carried on a struggle to better the lives of ordinary, (read poor), rural Indians for over two decades; most of them are from villages themselves, a few from small towns and one or two are nominally PLM – people like me – that is, educated partly abroad, with a good command of English and an urban middle-class upbringing.MudSo, I drove down one of beautiful new highways, often hitting a speed around 120 kmph without either the car or myself breaking into a sweat and, by night time, found myself riding up and down smooth slopes of road that wound itself through dry jungle. The road was first-class and I could easily have kept driving, slept in some roadside motel-type hostelry and covered a distance of 900 kilometers between two of our major cities in less than two days (or say fourteen hours) of driving.Instead, I pulled off the highway at a pre-arranged place and was escorted to where my hosts have a small cluster of huts for their organisation. Suddenly, within the space of a few metres, I transferred from the semi-First-World into a something that belonged deep in what we used to call the Third World.advertisementMy hosts were very friendly but what they were welcoming me into was their daily reality, which is as close as can be to the lives of the people they work with – among the poorest of India’s poor. There were luxuries: the water came daily in a tanker and you could fill up a whole bucket from the storage and take it to a proper toilet in an enclosed hut; there were blankets aplenty to fight the record cold wave; there were a few lights, both solar powered and drawing current from the erratic electric supply; the food was simple, each meal consisting of either roti and daal or another India roti and sabzi, but it was piping hot and tasted very good and fresh; tea came with both milk and sugar; some mobile phones worked and it was possible to connect to the net through a dongle, albeit at a slow speed.Other than this, it was rough for a city-softy like myself.The thing that got to me most was the business of shoes. I had neglected to carry any kind of chappal and the getting in and out of stiff, heavy sneakers every time you entered or left a room was a major drag. When it warmed up the next morning, I walked around barefoot, which was fine on the smooth mud of the chaukat just outside the huts but I had to be careful to avoid the thorns and pebbles on the way to the toilet.It was the ground underfoot that sent me back to my late teenage days and the time I first went out of the city to a village in Bengal. I suddenly remembered the deep discomfort of the mud under my soles, sometimes dry and prickly, sometimes wet and slimy but always alien. I re-lived how foreign and awkward my body felt while squatting or sitting crosslegged on the ground for long periods of time. It had felt as if I had not been designed for this environment, as if I was some ineffective joke of a sports- car trying to drive over boulders.CityNow, my reasonably fancy running shoes felt like an encumbrance and my body, now thirtyodd years older, protested at being put into unfamilar positions.When I forced myself to sit down and be still (on a charpai where my knees could handle the sitting) I realised it was not just the physical discomfort that was getting to me, but – like that first time on the other side of the country – it was also the sense of time that was deeply unsettling, that was at the centre of this low fever of outsider- ness.At that time, in 1978, I’d spent a night and most of a day in a village not two hours from Calcutta.The night was okay, filled as it was with ganja, rum and wonderful Baul songs, but the next day had been pure torture.advertisementI’d wanted to run back to the city, to my flat with it’s clean tiled floors and running water in the bathrooms. Every loving offer of tea or food from the people we were visiting, every urging that we stay longer, stay another night, seemed like a trap, an obstacle to my escape home.Now, in this village in Western India, I wasn’t that desperate to leave, I was anxious about being able to re-connect with this reality which was not mine but which I needed to engage with as a citizen and a human.I am and probably always will be an urban animal, with my life bracketed by the modernities of the second half of the 20th century and the first half of the 21st.I am and probably always will be someone whose labours primarily involve nothing more than his arms, hands and fingertips.As a person, I am defined not by any commitment to social action but by an urge to see, understand and record as truthfully and insightfully the life I find around me. Why then did I need to put myself into this version of poverty, or activism – tourism? I don’t have any really good answer except to say that even though we know the world is round we often forget that when focusing closely on the flat earth around us and it’s crucial to remind ourselves of where are and who we are.DistanceIn that sense, if I myself am any kind of ‘Indian’ or ‘South Asian’ then it’s important never to forget that I am equidistant from Ratan Tata, Sania Mirza and Shah Rukh Khan at one end and the farmer trying to figure out his next meal at the other. It may seem like I’m closer to the rich and famous, the so-called ‘Faces of India’ but that’s perhaps an illusion.The evening before I left, a group of young people from an administrative institute arrived at the huts for their own version of activism-inspection. As they gathered around my hosts and listened to them, I looked at their faces.Some of them might have been from a rural background but most of them were clearly from cities or sizeable towns.The difference between them and me was that many of this bunch would be obliged to work in India’s rural areas for some part of their careers. They seemed happy enough to be there and alert and curious but I really couldn’t be sure they didn’t share my alienation or discomfort As I dropped my gaze from their faces I noticed their shoes. Like me, most of these twenty-somethings were wearing branded trainers. On my way south on the spanking new highway the next morning, I found myself wondering how many of them had brought along rubber chappals and whether any of them was happy walking barefoot on the mud for a while.advertisementThe writer is the author of The Last Jet- engine Laugh