Former US President Barack Obama expressed his fascination for India and said that he has always held a special place for the country because of his childhood years spent in Indonesia listening to the epic Hindu tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
"Maybe it was its (India's) sheer size, with one-sixth of the world's population, an estimated two thousand distinct ethnic groups, and more than seven hundred languages spoken," Obama writes in his latest book ''A Promised Land''.
The former US President writes that he had never been to India before his Presidential visit in 2010, but the country had "always held a special place in my imagination".
"Maybe it was because I'd spent a part of my childhood in Indonesia listening to the epic Hindu tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, or because of my interest in Eastern religions, or because of a group of Pakistani and Indian college friends who'd taught me to cook dal and keema and turned me on to Bollywood movies," he writes.
In his book, Obama shares details about his journey from the 2008 election campaign to the end of his first term with the Abbottabad (Pakistan) raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
"Modern-day India can be counted as a success story in many respects, despite bitter feuds within political parties, various armed separatist movements, and corruption scandals," he writes in his book.
The 44th US president, in his latest book, mentions about the transition to a more market-based economy in the 1990s unleashed the extraordinary entrepreneurial talents of Indians, leading to soaring growth rates, a thriving technology sector, and a steadily expanding middle class.