Emails From India

Janis Harper


Although I first knew of Ulrike in connection with bicycle advocacy, I didn’t get to know her until she submitted to my anthology “Emails From India: Women Write Home,” and I selected her thoughtful piece “Bicycles and Bare Breasts” for publication in it (Seraphim Editions, 2013). We first met at another contributor’s house at a party to celebrate the book’s imminent launch in fall 2013; and Uli read beautifully at the overly crowded Vancouver launch at Café Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive, as well as the following year at a reading of the book on Gabriola Island.


Ulrike was good at making things happen. She helped snag an invite for me to present “Emails From India” at the Goa Arts and Literary Festival (2014) in India; we stayed at the same hotel (which she had arranged) and spent time together in Panjim and at the festival. She was on one panel with me at the festival, and when the festival coordinators suddenly needed a host for a workshop, Ulrike jumped right in. She wasn’t afraid of speaking publicly, and knew how to hold the attention of an audience. Calm, articulate, intelligent, she commanded the stage while generating warmth and an invitation to connect. And that’s also what struck me about Ulrike—her ability to orchestrate connections with people and projects, and to lend whatever talents were required. She had a nose for promotion, too. She was savvy.


I know Ulrike’s discovery of her Goan roots enriched her life greatly, and that is what brought us together—India, and writing about it. We kept in touch when we both lived in Vancouver and saw each other occasionally. Smart, vibrant, ridiculously beautiful, articulate, adventurous, up for anything . . . Ulrike Rodrigues. Thank you for sharing your stories, yourself, with us all. I treasure all you brought to my life. May this journey be your best one yet.