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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

India's Traditional Hospitality

The age-old story that strengthens India's traditional hospitality:

A man who had never missed his daily prayer at the temple, one day spoke aloud, addressing God, "Oh God, I have been coming every day to your home, but you have never visited mine. I do not want any favors from you, but I do wish and pray that you pay a return visit to my house at least once." He heard God saying that He would visit him the same day, though late in the evening. The poor man kept sitting at the entrance of his cottage waiting for God. It was getting darker and colder, but he did not move in, hoping to receive God at the entrance. He had lit fire to keep himself warm. Late at night a passerby stopped to warm himself by sitting near the fire. The man offered him a cup of tea and a piece from the cake he had made for God. The passerby thanked him profusely and went his way. The man kept sitting till the next morning, but God never came. At his daily prayer at the temple, he complained to God that He had not kept His word to visit his house the previous evening. He again heard God's voice, "I did come my son, and enjoyed the hot cup of tea and the piece of cake you served, and also the warm comfort of fire you had lit. Thank you for your hospitality."