Jul 11, 2005He grows grapes in Oregon. That's what he's been doing for the last fifteen years. Before that it was Christmas trees. Trees are less trouble he says, each sapling requires only about 4 or 5 ?visits? a year. Grape plants need around 18. But the trouble with Christmas trees is that they require big buckets of all sorts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and he was coming home each day with a splitting headache. And one day his wife said to him Enough of This. So now he grows four different kinds of grapes, and sells most of his crop to wineries. He says you don?t want very fertile land for grape growing- when you stress the grapes some their flavor improves. (hmmm) So you want to balance it he says, making me think of Pachada. The drink of the New Year across villages in Andhra. Made from green mango, neem flowers, jaggery, puffed rice, tamarind and ripe banana- a startlingly delicious bittersweetandsour concoction. Sort of like life where it's all mixed up like that- and meant to be drunk to the dregs.
But what brought this grower of grapes here? Halfway across the world from his vineyards to an eye hospital in an old temple city? A Divine Dissatisfaction with Life, he says in a confidential whisper- it's what keeps me perpetually happy and still searching.