India and Me

My long history with India goes back to the 1970s when I went as a spiritual pilgrim looking for the guru who inspired Ram Dass in his countercultural bestseller “Be Here Now.”

me with panchu mahajar 1973

I ended up in Benares studying tabla with the great tabla guru Pandit Panchu Maharaj. It took 30 years for me to return to India, as a journalist and author.
I have returned to India almost every year since then (with the exception of the world lockdown period due to Covid), writing about the country’s cultural, travel, hotel, food and business trend.

I’ve had the honor to interview some of India’s truly inspirational and cutting-edge leaders in their field – from media mogul and philanthropist Ronnie Screwvala to designer extraordinaire Divya Thakur to marquee chef Rahul Akerker. And not to forget interviewing His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama in McLeod Ganj in the state of Himachal Pradesh. As US brand consultant for the Maharana of Mewar Arvind Singh Mewar and his family, I lived on the palace grounds in Udaipur, Rajasthan, for several 10-week periods, affording me a glimpse into the lifestyle and practices of the grand Rajput tradition of India. I also developed a book for the Taj Hotels that took me all over India. All have informed me professionally and personally.

perry at jaipur observatory
entrance to lake palace hotel

I began learning to meditate after my first trip, practicing the same technique as the Buddha, called Vipassana. Nowadays some people call it mindfulness meditation. I still practice – emphasize practice – falling off the zafu (meditation cushion) 9 times, getting back on it 10.

me Along Dandi path in Gurajart

I am not quite sure why India captured my attention and imagination, holding a profound place in my consciousness and experience. It’s such a complicated multilayered society, rich in history yet often not appreciative of its own past, in my opinion. What I do know is it a compelling place, one I’ll never completely understand – but always a mirror of where and who I am at any given moment. Yet, I’ll keep getting up on the zafu to try. These articles by me are part of my attempt.

India coverages