When Dr. Shashidhar Pai moved to Charleston in 1979, the Holy City had no Hindu priest, not even a temple for prayer and celebrations. He and his family relied on a home shrine instead.
When out and about, he would approach fellow India natives he encountered and invite them to get together, working to build a small but close-knit community.
Today, there are too many for him to approach anymore.
Pai, who arrived in the U.S. in 1972, came to Charleston to join MUSC’s genetics faculty. Since then, he has seen the local Indian community blossom and, with it, the ranks of Hindu faithful, given that most Indians are born into the world’s third-largest religion.