Shades of the Same Skin: Vincent Van Ross

Vincent Introducing Vincent Van Ross

Vincent Van Ross is a freelance journalist and writer.  He writes on national and international politics, defense, environment, travel, art and culture, social themes, spirituality, philosophy, conservation and a whole lot of other issues.

Vincent’s articles and features have appeared in The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer, The Hindu, The Tribune, The Statesman, National Herald, Sahara Time, Speaking Tree (The Times of India), Daily Excelsior, Northern India Patrika, Himachal Times, Free Press, The Free Press Journal, The Sentinel, Newstime and several other newspapers and periodicals in India. Currently, he writes a weekly column called ‘Musing’ for the Bangladesh Newspaper ‘The Independent.’

Vincent has been on the editorial board of several small and medium publications.  He is fond of writing humour.  His humorous writings have been carried in the ‘Morning Cup,’  ‘Flipside,’ ‘Silly Point,’ ‘Guest Column,’  ‘Musing’ and middle columns of newspapers and magazines.

Apart from these, Vincent writes fiction, poetry and dabbles in creative photography. Some of his Hindi poems were included in an anthology of Hindi Poems called ‘Guldasta’ some 15 years ago. Many of his English poems have appeared in national and international anthologies. Several of his English poems are posted in various sites on the web.  He has also blogged for renowned community blogging sites such as SiliconIndia, Instablogs, NowPublic, FoodIndustryIndia, Wayn and SpeakingTree besides his own blogging sites in Blogger and WordPress in addition to being member of several poetry and writing sites on the internet.

Vincent was one of the directors of the Press Club of India, New Delhi in 2009-10 and nominated member of the ‘Legal Committee’ of the Press Club of India in 2010-11.  He was an adviser to the Delhi Union of Journalists (2013-14). He is a member of the National Council of the Delhi Union of Journalists for the year 2016-17.

Vincent is a life member of several groups interested in nature and wildlife, writing, photography, art, conservation, environment etc. and has been office bearer on several councils and committees of organizations dealing with social issues, environmental and charitable causes as also promotion and conservation of heritage monuments as well as nature and wildlife.


Unity in Diversity


Indian has twenty-nine states

And, seven union territories

Each state has a different language

And dozens of ethnic groups


There are dozens of religions in India

There are hundreds of dialects

There are thousands of ethnic groups

But, I have an identity of my own


There are all shades of skin in India

From white to sallow

From sallow to brown

And, from brown to dark complexion


Many of us have Caucasian origins

Some look like Mongoloids

Some others have Negroid features

Races of all hues are here


Every state has its culture and costume

Every state has its own cuisine

We are diverse in many different ways

But, we are united as a nation


India is a mini-Asia

India is a mini-World

India is a mini-Universe

It stands for unity in diversity

© Vincent Van Ross


 Indian at Heart


I am an Indian by birth

My name is Vincent Van Ross

People attribute my name

To a Dutch descent


I cannot trace my lineage

To Dutch ancestors

I do not even know

If I have a Dutch connection


I was born and bred in New Delhi

The Capital of India

I have lived all my life here

And, this is the city I love most


I live in the plains

But hills are not far away

We have deserts in the northwest

And, oceans in the south


It is chilly in winter

Sweltering hot in summer

It pours like waterfalls

And, is pleasant during spring


No matter where we come from

No matter where we are settled

No matter what we are

We are Indians at heart

© Vincent Van Ross

  Recipe: Rava Upma

Rava Upma is a popular south Indian breakfast.  It is a simple recipe that is easy to make and fast to cook.  Upma is a corrupted form of Uppu Mavu. Uppu means salt and Mavu means flour. Semolina is also a form of wheat flour. Rava means Semolina.  Semolina is called Rava in south India and Suji in north India.


 2 Tb spoon oil or clarified butter

1 Tsp Mustard seeds

1 Onion finely chopped

1 Inch ginger grated

1 Green chilli finely chopped

I cup semolina

2 ½ Cups of water

¼ to ½ Tsp Salt or as per taste

2 Tb spoon chopped coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)


 Heat oil in a pan

  • Add: Mustard seeds in hot oil and as it begins to splutter, add onion, ginger and green chilli and sauté for a minute.
  • Add: Semolina and sauté till it gets roasted.
  • Add: Water and salt and mix well
  • Cook for two minutes.
  • Rava Upma is ready. If you like, you may garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.

Enjoy this salty dish with accompaniment of your choice.  It tastes great even without any accompaniment.

Pepper Cover 3F dark guided effects

Shades of the Same Skin is an anthology of culture. The world is in need of a vigorous seasoning and it is why the poets in this book are willing to share their ethnicity. Each one will give some insight into their culture, music, clothing, food, traditions, and even share a few recipes. Some will engage in unique stories and folklore. Others will take us back to their childhood days and compare it to the experience of children today. A few will even welcome us into their homes to share items from their heritage.

This is also a book of unity. Its purpose is to show that without diversity, the world would be a boring place. Each poet in this anthology has a unique style because of where they came from, their experiences, and who they are. Their words are printed on these pages to inspire why we belong. We are all vital ingredients for the recipe to keep the world stirring.

Shades of the Same Skin is Available at the following Retailers:

Create Space:


Creative Talents Unleashed:

100% of all proceeds from this book are being donated to the “Starving Artist Fund” to assist writers in becoming published authors. Purchasing this book can help a writer become a published author!

Categories: Anthology

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1 reply

  1. Another booming voice of these times! And what a strong name!


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