“India is not a melting pot of cultures where different cultures meet, merge and emerge into a new culture through a process of syncretism. It is a bowl of tossed salad; fresh, crisp, colourful and healthy, in which different sub-cultures exist simultaneously enmeshed within each other, while retaining their individual and distinctive colours, flavours, tastes and textures”.

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“And I have one mantra for them – the one my Teacher gave me so many years back: “What you must do it best! Push your own limits, realize your true potential and be happy with whatever you achieve out of that. Look around by all means, but more importantly, look within”.

Years have gone and in my memory, my Teacher’s face has now got largely blurred. But I do remember vaguely that he was tall and energetic; bi-spectacled, with a prominent nose, a paunch , a receding and greying hairline; always impeccably dressed, dignified yet engaging, passionate about teaching, polite and generous to a fault, humane and a thorough gentleman”.

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“Overlooking my old world wooden balcony, across the street amidst lush green vegetation are two beautiful Buddhist temples and a monastery – charming, quiet and peaceful. I see Monks in flaming orange or deep brown robes silently moving about in slow but confident steps, engaged in their spiritual quest or simply going through their basic daily chores.

On this side of the street, below my service apartment lies a series of road side cafes and restaurants with expatriates and tourists (mainly back packers) from all over the world moving in and out – some hectic, others at a leisurely pace. People of different nationalities, builds, colors, dispositions, dresses etc in sharp contrast to the almost uniform and homogenous world and life of the Monks”.

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