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Why Steve Jobs visited India?

by - 15 May

Jobs portrayed by Ashton Kutcher and Kottke portrayed by Lukas Haas

Daniel Kottke had traveled to India with Jobs. He was his college friend and one of the first employees of Apple. I talked to him about his friendship with Jobs and the first days of Apple. Watch 1st part of my interview with him.

How did you get to know Steve Jobs? When was your first contact with him?
Steve and I met when we were freshmen at college.  Steve was a in the same dormitory as another guy I met. He said: Oh, you should come to my dormitory and meet this guy Steve, he's interesting. I had found this book "Be here now" at the bookstore and it was a spiritual book of a type I had never seen before in my life. So I was carrying it around and I must have run into Steve and he was interested in it also and that was the beginning of our friendship.
What was the most interesting aspect of this book that connected you both?
Because it was about this spiritual teacher Neem Karoli Baba, that was the first of many books that we read. The next one was "Autobiography of a yogi" which is also fascinating. And then the one after that was "Ramakrishna and his disciples".
"Be here now" is the book that brought you to India, right? 
It was the book that sparked our interest in Hindu spirituality. And then over that year we found out that Robert Friedland, who was the student body president for Reed College, he had been to the same place that was in the book. He was a devotee also of Neem Karoli and when he told us we should go to India, that was kind of the seed of the idea.

What was the goal of your trip to India?
The trip came about because Steve left Read College and started working for Atari. So he had money, he had thousands of dollars and Atari had a problem in Switzerland with their video games so they paid for him to go to Switzerland and so he had free travel. He only had to buy a ticket from Geneva to Delhi. I didn't have any money, I was a student and he offered to loan me the money for a ticket if I would go with him. But Neem Karoli had passed away that fall so we knew we weren't going to see him in person but we thought we would go to the ashram anyway. It was a small ashram in the foothills. We went to that ashram and it was deserted. Nothing was happening. I wasn't that disappointed, I didn't really have any expectations. Steve was a little more goal oriented and he wanted to meet a yogi who would tap him on the forehead and he would be enlightened. It didn't happened. That's what he told Walter Isaacson who wrote the biography about Steve. He said we figured out we weren't gonna get enlightened in 30 days.
Steve was impatient to go to India so although we were supposed to meet at a certain time he arrived a week early. Because I was finishing my final exams and so when I got to New Delhi he wasn't there and I didn't know what to do. I was just wandering around. three days went by that I was wandering around in New Delhi, I didn't know anybody, didn't know what to do and then I just ran into Steve downtown. I didn't recognize him because he had shaved all his hair. He had already gone to the Kumbh Mela with someone else.  He got sick right away and then said I'm out of here.
How long did you stay there?
I was there four months and Steve was there a little less than four months I think.

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