Top Gere

by Charisma Murari, The Times of India, October 25, 2005

New Delhi, India -- Richard Gere is a man of many passions, one of which is India.

As Richard Gere settles into a moulded plastic chair, asking this reporter to take the sofa instead, it becomes obvious why the Hollywood star has so charmed the world.

His jasmine tea arrives shortly, inspiring the grin that makes women melt.

The star of Pretty Woman, Chicago, An Officer and a Gentleman, Primal Fear and several other box-office crackers says, "Movies are a reflection of our lives, and while I cannot speak for others, I take responsibility for what my films convey."

Talk to him about India, and his eyes light up. He reminisces, "My fascination with the country began because of my faith in Buddhism.

I had travelled to Tibet and then came to India for the first time a couple of decades ago to meet some monks. I returned to meet the Dalai Lama.

That was my second visit to India. For a while, my visits were confined to Dharamsala and other Himalayan regions but gradually I started to move around."

In India to create awareness about the "monster disease that is AIDS", Gere says, "I support reality. And the reality is that people have sexual relations.

Do you know anyone who doesn't have sex? That is why it is important that the right information be given because, again, the reality is that people have sexual relations.

The biggest challenge to discussing AIDS in India is getting people to talk about sex. But it is heartening to see my counterparts like Chiranjeevi and Kamal Haasan spread the word."

Asked if star power, while focussing on the event, distracts from the issue, he said, "I do believe that once the initial excitement wears off, people will take note of the cause.

At any rate, people here will listen to their heroes talk about an issue."

While watching a performance of kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala, on his television, he loosens up to talk about his passion for music.

He admits, "I still dabble in it. I play the keyboard and the guitar, among a host of other instruments. Will I ever release any of music commercially? I don't think so," he laughs.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: