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Apple’s Himalayan Pilgrimage: From Samuel Stokes To Steve Jobs

Incredible India! Five varieties of apples from Himachal Pradesh have been exported for the first time to Bahrain. This from a State which started growing apple about 100 years back. Thanks to Samuel Stokes, better known as the Apple Man of Himachal Pradesh, who came to India in 1914. Samuel Stokes left Philadelphia when he was just 22, got drawn into Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement, probably the only American jailed in our Independence movement. He turned Hindu, married an Indian and settled down in HP. This state’s outstanding fruit, the Apple was a gift of the saplings and cuttings that Stokes brought from the US. When he died in 1946, he was cremated in the hills of HP. For reasons best known to historians and Apple orchard owners, Stokes and his contributions were largely ignored. While this American gave Indians the taste of Apple, the other American the legendary, the late Steve Jobs, gave the world his version of apple. Immortalised as the poster man for an Apple lover, Jobs found his life’s calling in India. Jobs, it seems, was seeking that eternal bliss and answers to his business failures. He came to Nainitals’ Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in the seventies. And that became the Bodhisattva tree moment for Jobs. And the rest is history.