I've always had a love and appreciation for American popular culture... not just from my own time but stretching back many decades before I was born. Along with the occasional nod to my own British heritage, this site celebrates the diversity of that interest; both then and now. Welcome to PLANET ASH!
I was born in England to English and Indian parents, but now live in the USA with my wife and eight year old son. I have been floating back and forth across the Atlantic most of my life and feel very fortunate to be the product of a multi-cultural upbringing; it seems to me that I grew up as an Englishman, an American and an Indian and living three lives in one has meant that it's been an interesting journey. I certainly acknowledge that I'm an imperfect being and I haven't lived like a saint but I would also like to think that I've stepped up to more than my fair share of unselfish acts.
I accept that it's the complex interplay of our strengths and weaknesses coupled with the inevitable chapters of random happiness and sadness that make up the human experience and I wholeheartedly embrace the inevitability of that experience. I've always had a hard time accepting that "everything happens for a reason", but I do believe that each of us has the power to bring personal meaning to our circumstances if we choose; indeed, I believe that our character is forged in adversity.
Gratitude and acceptance have become the cornerstones of my personal philosophy. If I were to die tomorrow; certainly, there would be things left undone... experiences that had remained elusive but I must say that I have enjoyed a colorful life and accept whatever time that I have been granted; I'm completely comfortable with my mortality.
I feel very fortunate that I've had the opportunity to travel extensively and some of my best moments have been born out of those experiences; I remember riding a horse in the Sahara Desert when I was a boy, coming over the top of a sand dune to find myself looking at the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx. I remember my first night in Tibet camping in the Himalayas, I emerged from my tent to witness the breath-taking majesty of the night sky... the Milky Way as I had never seen it... a trail of stars arched across the entire celestial sphere, more clearly defined than I had ever thought possible. I remember a bitterly cold Christmas in Paris sitting in the window of a café opposite Notré Dame, enjoying a welcome cup of hot chocolate and watching billowing gusts of wind gather up snowflakes in a magical dance over the roof and across the face of the great cathedral.
However, it's not just the highlights that seem frozen in time, but those moments in between everything else that often bring the most resonance and insight... watching my son fall asleep, soaking in his innocence and letting myself feel the rhythm of his breathing or pausing during a family meal to take stock of the people that I have chosen to break bread with, reminding myself that my loved ones and the good folk that share my life are my true wealth or even just the simple pleasure of looking into my wife's beautiful green eyes and allowing myself to be lost all over again in their magic.
All images, unless otherwise noted, have been taken from the Internet and are assumed to be in the public domain. In the event that there is still a problem or error with copyrighted material, the break of the copyright is unintentional and non-commercial and the material will be removed immediately.