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Ladakh diaries - Day#5

Buddhist monasteries are most peaceful. Most are secluded and away from all the noise. Then, they are perched high up on mountains or hills and the roads are often not motorable  beyond a point. And thirdly, most monasteries actually look like houses. With few rooms, small windows that look out to breathtaking scenery since they are all mostly perched high up.

I started off by visiting the Hemis Gompa, one of Ladakh's largest monasteries. It's located on the Leh - Manali highway. The stupas were nicely decorated with colourful cloth and precious stones and thangkhas brought from many places, including Tibet.

Next stop was Thicksey Gompa. This is a very majestic looking monastery; an entire township is set on a hillock with the monastery at the very top. The township are actually housing quarters for the monks.

Last stop was the Shey Palace that was built in 1645 and considered the summer residence for the kings of Ladakh. The palace is in ruins now but the monastery is open fo…

Sohrab Merchant: End of an era

Sohrab Merchant, former senior partner of the erstwhile chartered accountancy firm, S.B Billimoria & Co Chartered Accounts (SBB; now, Deloitte) passed away on Thursday 14 January 2016. SBB was India's oldest CA firm and Merchant was one of its oldest serving partners. Yezdi Malegam was its senior most partner for many years. I had the pleasure of working under Merchant for a very short, but memorable, four months. For many of us who had the pleasure to have worked under him, it's an end of an era.

My first memory of Merchant was when I had walked into his office, fresh out of college, in 1997 not knowing who or what to expect. I had never intended to become a chartered accountant but I had a year at my disposal before I was to give a crack at my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) entrance exams the following year. I wanted time to study, but the thought of spending one year at home just to prepare was never an option. So I decided to get some work experience. And whe…