The weekly edition of South Asia Wired today features a report from Haridwar which is hosting the gi-normous Kumbh Mela which is the most mammoth religious gathering on the planet.
Murali Krishnan braved the crowds and the fierce eyes of the notoriously reclusive Naga Sadhus to ask a couple of young guys why on earth they’re willing to go through twelve torturous years of initiation for the pleasure of living ..naked in a freezing hermetic retreat in the Himalayas - I mean, a job at the local call centre, a nice wage packet and a daily hot meal made by wife or mum seems a better alternative surely?
But no, there are indeed people who want to devote their lives to Lord Shiva and are willing to be treated like slaves by their gurus for 12 years for the honour.
Also on the programme is Matt Keller from One Laptop Per Child - and that means One Laptop Per Every Poor Child in the World. Think of the possibilities…a creative way to battle ignorance which, cliche or not, really IS the root of all evil.
Hearing about this project has put the stars back in my eyes - and as you know, I’m one battle weary cynical reporter, but every now and then, there’s a story that makes my heart beat a little faster.
This is one of those stories.
Photo of Naga Sadhus by Murali Krishnan