Waris Ahluwalia

The House of Waris Botanicals founder on herbal healing, being born twice, and finding your own path.


This Conversation originally appeared in Volume Four of our print magazine. You can pick up a copy here or at a stockist near you.

I was born in the north of India, in a city called Amritsar in the foothills of the Himalayas. I went from Amritsar to Brooklyn when I was five. I said I was going to go for a walk, and then I just walked. I trekked across Afghanistan into Central Asia and through Europe and then came on a ship to America. No, I’m kidding. I came with my parents. “Amritsar to Brooklyn” would be a great T-shirt, though.

I don’t have any memories before the age of five. I don’t know if the move was scarring or if it was just so drastic that I don’t remember anything before it. I don’t remember India. Any memories I do have are from photos. And those aren't memories, those are implanted. So I always say I was born twice. Once in Amritsar, and then the second time in New York.


I never knew what I wanted to do. I’m not sure I know now.



Historically, as a people, we’ve been fine saying one thing, feeling another, and doing yet another.