In 1977, when I was two years old, a man arrived in Goa, my home state, which was (and still is) a famous tourist destination for foreign tourists. This man had just finished his studies and decided to take off for a year with nothing but a back pack. He traveled across Sri Lanka, large parts of India and even landed in Nepal. Although this man roamed from city to city in India, he liked Goa the best and spent a lot of time on its beaches.
I remember my father referring to such people as “hippies”. They were people who really didn’t care about tomorrow. We have a few of them wandering about Goa even today, but not to the extent that they prevailed in Goa thirty years ago. They organized parties on our beaches and sang the mantra “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” as they smoked and drank all sorts of things till the sun rose in the morning.
I had the impression that such people either smoked themselves to death or ended up in the lowest strata of society and lived off welfare. That changed when I shook this man’s hand at COFES 2009 last month. He is the CEO of a CAD software company.