Mavis Mendonca Smith
The story of this gypsy began when she was about 10 years old. She was on a steamer traveling to Sri Lanka with her parents. One fine morning on the boat, she was standing on the deck enjoying the azure blue sky that expanded into the unending horizon. Suddenly, she felt a drop of water fall on her neck and felt it seep into her skin, into her bones, and become one with her soul. Stirred deeply, the little girl looked up to see a beautiful white Arctic tern hovering above her. The bird said, 'M'lady! That was a small drop of my sweat that is now part of you. You will travel the world the way I do!' The girl shrieked in delight and thanked the wonderful bird. Yes! Yes! You are right! Birds don't sweat! But how else can one explain the travel bug that has bitten Mavis Smith, the gypsy girl in the story. It needed a fantastical story to understand this deeply-ingrained desire of this wild gypsy to roam freely and happily all over the world. So, the sweat-drop tale a la Spiderman and his spider bite. Now let's get down to brass tacks. Thanks to a husband who runs a travel agency and hordes of cousins, relatives, and innumerable friends scattered all over the globe, Mavis' desire to travel is a classic live case of Paulo Coelho's famous words, “When you want something really badly, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The cheap flight tickets from her husband's agency and free food, accommodation, and a hearty welcome offered (everyone loves this little bundle of effervescence) by her friends and relatives across the world have helped Mavis travel the world! Well, she has a few more countries to cover to complete the world. Ready to wander off on a moment’s notice, Mavis is a food connoisseur too. Wherever she goes, there are three things she never fails to do; trying the local cuisine, delving deep into the culture and history of the place, and adding to her already enormous network. The fourth thing that she does when she returns from her sojourn is to sit down at her desk and write her experiences. With a college major in English, Mavis’ real-life traveling experiences peppered with some great tongue-in-cheek humor enrich her writing. Her sojourns have taken her to countries ranging from those in the Far East to the Far West. Some of the countries she has been to are Taipei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Holland, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and Istanbul,. And mind you, some countries like the UAE, Sri Lanka, UK, USA and Hong Kong, she has visited not just once but several times over. Her favorite city, she says, is Budapest with its breathtaking views and rich culture and history. The new world seamlessly combines with the old, in this great city. And, finally, you’d think that so much of travel would have wearied Mavis’ bones. Well, remember that drop of sweat from the Arctic tern? It has seeped right into her genes and she cannot rest until she has covered every nook and corner of the world. Her numerous travels have only whetted her appetite to find new places, new cultures, new people, and new cuisines to explore and celebrate differences!