Like all cow-respecting, yoga practising, PVC preferring Hindus we have our own guru, a holy man who tours his teachings to families nationwide, who, in return for his wisdom, blessings and soothsaying, house him for up to two weeks. We did so a few summers ago. In fact, he insisted that he sleep in my bed, since – and I may have chuckled when he said this – it was untouched by the impurity of sex. Still, I let him have my bed. After all, he had just chewed part of his dinner and offered it as a sort of Holy Communion, and, after reading my cousin’s palm, told him he had the hands of a killer. It was the least I could do.

Having relinquished (most of) his worldly belongings, the guru is actually homeless and survives on the kind donations of temple goers, the support of priests, and the communication link provided by his otherworldly Nokia mobile phone. It was from said device that my mum received the message that the guru is now undertaking a vow of ‘silence’ and, in his liberal interpretation of the vow, can only be reached by e-mail and instant message. I better go – guru_uk@hotmail.com has just signed in…

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