Metro People: A journey from Moscow to Singapore  

Metro People: A journey from Moscow to Singapore  

Ashwini Devare

Ashwini Devare, an author based in Singapore and a former reporter with BBC and CNBC, recently published a book titled ‘Lost at 15, Found at 50’. A reading of this was recently held in the city. 

The book chronicles her journey from Moscow to Singapore, against the backdrop of historic political events, including the Cold War, the integration of Sikkim, India during the assassination of Indira Gandhi, democracy in South Korea and the dark period of authoritarianism in Burma in the seventies. 

When asked what inspired her to pen down the book, Ashwini tells Metrolife, “I had been wanting to write this memoir for a long time. I was deeply inspired by my parents, particularly their early life. I wanted to explore the era of their youth, the 60s and 70s, which the first part of my book is set in. My parents embarked on a journey that catapulted them from their comfort zone of Pune to Moscow, into the heart of the communist Soviet Union. Their free-spiritedness, determination, innate positivity and optimism to face the challenges that came their way inspired me to write this book.” 

Ashwini thoroughly enjoyed working on the book. She says that the most exciting part of the process was reliving the sixties and seventies. “I was so deeply immersed in that period, it took a while to surface to the present! I could almost hear the film songs of Aradhana humming in my head when I wrote about Sikkim in the seventies. Aradhana fever was sweeping across Sikkim, the hit songs echoing through the mountains and valleys, and I enjoyed recreating that atmosphere,” she recollects.

She adds that she also enjoyed describing nature. “I got a few opportunities to do that in the book, especially in Sikkim and Switzerland – where the power and majesty of the Himalayas and Alps are such, no pen can capture,” she concludes.