Remember the talented Barkha Madan? She is a nun now.
Barkha Madan was a very popular TV personality and quite a known Bollywood face, too. She starred alongside Akshay Kumar in ‘Khiladiyon ka Khiladi’ and was the spooky ghost in RGV’s ‘Bhoot’.
Now, the 41-year-old Barkha has given up her acting career and leads the life of a Buddhist monk. Despite enjoying tremendous success in her television career, she felt a constant restlessness, niggling questions about whether that was her life’s purpose.
Now known as Gyalten Samsen, the Miss India 1994 finalist told Bangalore Mirror that the feeling of home-coming returned while she was listening to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. Drawn by the happiness on his face, she asked Lama Zopa Rinpoche if she could make her a nun, too. Initially Lama Zopa Rinpoche refused and told her that joining the monastic order isn’t about escapism.
Over the next decade, Barkha set up a production company and made two films, ‘Soch Lo’ (2010) and ‘Surkhaab’ (2012). But after that she went to monastery in Kathmandu, again asking to join the Buddhist monastic order. She explained:
“Everything was going well but I felt something was missing. I made a call to my parents. They offered me their support. And borrowing a robe, I embraced my new life”
Today owning just two sets of robes, some woollens to ward off the chill and a pair of flipflops, she claims to be first Indian nun from the non-Himalayan region.
“My only worldly possessions are my cell phone and laptop. I live off my savings but I’m blissfully happy.”
As of now, she is offering prayers for the victims of the Nepal earthquake. She can be otherwise found meditating at Dharamsala or caring for HIV positive kids. In future, she wants to start a nunnery in India.