The Corona Diaries

7:26 pm
Sovereign Apartments, Pondicherry 

First day, so to say, of the new year and I spent almost all of it sleeping. Went for morning walk as usual. Felt acutely focussed and alert, so much so that my head felt jammed from inside. I looked at everything like an animal without being able to translate much, just looking, looking, busy without purpose. Came back and conked out immediately for more than an hour. Woke up before lunch, went out with G and friends to the handicrafts fair at the promenade because he wanted to buy a belt. Took shower, ate a little and fell asleep on the couch again for I don’t know how long, as he sat with friends in the living room. Woke up for coffee but couldn’t keep my eyes open, felt crazily drowsy. He went out with friends for a stroll and some shopping, since I could barely move, I stayed back. Then I went to my room, lay down and drowned into the unknown. Got up around 6:40 pm and found the house empty. Then I took out clothes from the washer and hung them on the clothes rack. Felt refreshed and new, still a little drowsy.

1 pm
Sovereign Apartments, Pondy

I have been drowsy and sleepy for a week now, can barely keep my eyes open. Been sleeping 2-3 times during the day. I feel extremely relaxed and grounded. The euphoric feeling in my body is sometimes so huge that it is difficult to keep my feet on the ground. There are no discordant thoughts in my head, my body has acquired a different kind of language and external movement. My limbs now seem to have a life of their own. They twist and turn as they wish! 

Earlier today, after coming back from our morning stroll, I slept off as G and friends were making breakfast. He woke me up when they were ready to eat. I ate a bit. Sometime around 10:40 am we went for grocery shopping to the nearby store called Honesty, run by the Aurobindo Ashram. As I stepped out of the house I felt my feet were made of feathers, so amazingly light. I felt I was walking on air or clouds. I was walking like a baby barely able to control my steps! After coming back RI, RV, me and G were chit chatting and having fun in the living room. Sanjiv and Karan had probably gone to take shower in their apartment. I was feeling drowsy as usual. Suddenly, for half a minute or so, something like a motor started running inside my head near the centre of the crown. It buzzed for sometime, then stopped. G exclaimed, “Oo la la!”, when I told him about it. Then he asked me to take it easy. The heat in my body is so much that I find it difficult to keep clothes on. I am only able to wear loose and soft clothing. I have started buying tops and pants one size larger.


5:21 pm

About twenty mins ago a lady arrived to meet G. She is white and probably in her seventies and dressed in a white sari like a sanyasi. She had written to G yesterday requesting for a meeting. She was a regular in the Bangalore UG circle and somebody there informed her that G was in Pondy. She has been staying in Pondi since the lockdown, otherwise she stays in Thiruvannamalai. She sat next to Sanjiv on a chair far from G, near the dining table. She didn’t want to sit on the couch. She had some tea. When G asked her how she learned about him, she spoke of some intuition and left brain stuff. She sat quietly after that and G didn’t utter a word either. While leaving she expressed interest in visiting again so he told her he is usually available between 4:30 and 6:30 pm every day. 

4:31 pm
Sovereign Apartments, Pondicherry

The lady sanyasi has come again. I am skipping evening coffee. Feel too full after gorging on pizza for lunch. We had a lunch party for Radhika (G calls it “the good riddance party”) as she is leaving on the morning of 11th. 


G was looking for a place for himself in Pondy for sometime. He finally found it and we all liked it. It is a small two bedroom apartment on the Romain Rolland street. The building is named Prosperity. Sanjiv will furnish it the way G wants. He is now looking for basic furniture and appliances in different stores, getting prices, looking at models.

G wants to stay alone so he has asked us to make arrangements for our own accommodation but he is equally involved in setting up the places for us. I had expressed to him my desire to stay alone and he readily agreed. Just today we found a first floor tiny room with an attached bath, newly built on Bazar St. Laurent street about fifty yards from his building. I liked it. G also liked it and we immediately booked it for February and March. Sanjiv, Venky, Karan and Sanjay are taking a two-bedroom apartment on Labourdonnaise street for two months. Revathi will stay there for two weeks in Feb before she leaves for US. Venky is arriving with Shanti and the two kids on 15th Jan. They may stay for seven days in the other apartment in Sovereign. All the three accommodations got finalized today. So, all the arrangements for our stay seem to have fallen into place for the time being.

10:13 pm
Sovereign Apartments, Pondy

Around 11 am today we went in two auto-rickshaws looking for appliances and furniture for G’s apartment. Sanjiv got prices for all items from different stores then compared them with the prices on Amazon. 

Today I ate some leftover pizza for lunch. I ate a couple of spoons of boiled salad in the morning that Sanjiv made. I have been unable to eat since the last two or three days. I am completely avoiding sweet and fried stuff, also I can only eat low salt food. Yet, I ate pizza today and disturbed the beautiful condition of my body. I felt uneasy after eating and couldn’t sleep although I felt drowsy and lay down for an hour. When I got up my eyes were red. I felt like a criminal who had meddled with a beautifully functioning object. I felt low and swore to myself that I will never do anything that is not congenial to this body. In my mind I asked for forgiveness from this marvel of nature. I told G how my greed had disturbed the wonderful equilibrium my body was in all the time. He said, “I can see how good you are feeling all the time and then what this food did. It made you low. I also suffered after eating pizza yesterday and had to throw up”. I replied, “Even though I feel heavy and stuff, there’s still a mild feeling of euphoria, you know. I am really stupid to disturb this fantastic state”. By evening I started feeling better and after a stroll to the promenade and the departmental store Nilgiris, I even felt slightly hungry. I ate a little daal and yogurt and a few spoons of the homemade mishti doi (sweet yoghurt, a specialty of Bengal) which was G’s latest experiment in yoghurt making. 

That old sanyasi lady came again at 4:30 pm today. G had earlier informed her via email that he would be available. As usual she sat quietly without saying anything and left at 6 pm when G said we were going to go out. 

10:30 pm

I am feeling much better today. What a relief! I didn’t eat any junk all day. In fact, I could barely eat. A spoon of rice, salad and a drop of yoghurt mixed together, and I was done. After a gap of about five days or so, I cooked today. I made his favourite shukto (A Bengali mixed vegetable curry with bitter gourd). He loved it and ate it both for lunch and dinner, everybody else did the same. I couldn’t touch it although it is one of my favourite dishes. I felt it would be too heavy for my stomach. The only thing I am enjoying is chilled coke with a squeeze of lime. That’s my lunch and dinner too! Sanjiv noticed I wasn’t eating and asked if I had acidity or any such problem. He said there are some bio-chemic salts which could help. I told him I can’t eat anything sweet or salty or fried. And there is a strong discrimination working in the body when it comes to choosing what to eat. Whatever is undesirable for the body at this time, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Lime, oranges, boiled vegetables taste good. But if I don’t eat, there’s no problem. I am feeling vital, super high and full of energy. 


Radhika left today to return to US.


I avoid confrontation with people for the sake of my own stability, but I do what I like and don’t take anybody’s advice, my business is only with G. Nobody has any power to influence me about anything! I feel solid as a rock. 


I told G, “I can probably write pages about the deep, sleepy state that I have gone through so many times after meeting you. I feel I am coming out of it today.”
When this state kicks in, it is as if I am submerged and lost in a bottomless, tranquil ocean of deep sleep that can continue unbroken for days. Sometimes it continues for a week or so. I sleep 2-3 hours each time, 3 times a day plus 7 hours at night, yet I feel intoxicated and ready to melt away at any moment. During this time I cannot cook or eat. I become hypersensitive to everything. I speak very little, I don’t participate in anything that is going around me, I kind of end up observing everything acutely without effort. My system completely withdraws from everything and shows no interest in anything other than sleeping, keeping itself clean and eating whenever it can. The euphoria and lightness in the body touches its peak. As far as I can remember, this sleep thing intensified from 2019. 

6:23 am

G said “The brain is complicated but its output is simple.” 

He just finished talking for about thirty minutes explaining the magical laws of physics and the breaking down of logical thinking when it tries to understand how life and nature function at the quantum level. He had us mesmerised. I audiotaped it. I will transcribe it soon.

3:13 pm
Sovereign Apartments

Venky, Shanti and their two kids Nishvika, 4 and Nirnay, 2, arrived from Bangalore on 15th. The kids are extremely adorable. Nishvika has really become attached to me, I love playing with both of them. I feel a different kind of fondness for them and Shanti. Shanti is so tiny she looks as if just out of college. To manage two kids is a humongous task. She is very young, yet patient and soft spoken. I don’t know why I am feeling so concerned about her. I keep an eye on whether she has eaten, if she needs any help with the kids, if she needs anything at her apartment etc.

Our place is buzzing with activity – the kids running around, Venky, Shanti and me running after them, me and Revathi cooking in the kitchen, washing clothes and taking the wash upstairs in several batches to the terrace to dry. Then we are also busy ordering furniture and appliances from Amazon for G’s new apartment that’s being set up. I sat with Sanjiv and G, and we ordered almost all his bedroom and living room furniture and some sheets and covers for his bed.


It’s a lot of work with so many people in the house. Revathi and I work all day. It is not just about cooking. Keeping the house in order is a big task. But what I do is nothing compared to how much G does. 


A young friend of G’s arrived on 14th January. He is staying at the Park Guest House by the promenade and will be here for two weeks. He sits with a grim face all day, doesn’t say a word to anyone, not even to G, and doesn’t participate in anything. He has become distant and awkward with G, a far cry from what he was for the first couple of years after meeting G in 2016, when he used to enjoy himself and beam with enthusiasm. He was about twenty-five when he came to see G and got immediately hit. G’s physical impact on him was impossible to miss. He would breathe, eat and drink G, not leaving his side even for a second, and jostle and compete with other friends to sit next to him. So much so, that most of us used to be annoyed by him. Now, his face looks different, there’s a dark shadow over it. His stubborn religious ideas and self importance seem to have overtaken and overshadowed the magical attraction and resonance he felt initially.


Today G was washing spinach in the kitchen after coming back from morning walk. I stood watching him, and we were laughing and chatting. It was a cozy moment. Karan and Sanjiv were also doing something in the kitchen. I was standing next to G watching him with wonder. Suddenly, he said to me, “I have to tell you some secrets, otherwise they will go to my grave with me, no?”


Shanti made spinach dosa and her special sambar today. We all loved it.


6:30 pm

I have come with Venky, Shanti, the kids and Karthik at a shoe store to buy shoes for Shanti and Nishvika. G asked me to go with them. We are now at MG road. The kids are making a racket here, climbing on everything, pulling out shoes and running around! Shanti got a pair of Adidas sneakers. G went with Sanjiv and Karan to the Jockey store, he will also go to an electronics store to buy appliances.


After coming back, I took stock of the food situation. There was nothing left over from lunch which G could eat for dinner. So, I quickly made rice and daal. I have a problem – his food and basic comfort are my personal concern, because his health depends on them. I feel a strong agony if any of the two is compromised. He doesn’t expect me to do anything for him but I can’t help it. It is a very personal feeling. I don’t depend on anybody or expect any help from anyone when it comes to ensuring he is taken care of. I am my one man army, the urgency I feel is of a different level, because I simply cannot bear to see him inconvenienced in any way.


9:38 pm

I just hit the couch. The day is over. I finished cleaning the kitchen. Venky and Karthik did some dishes. I am surprised that I am not tired even after an extremely hectic day. 

7:45 pm

He just said, “As long as you are concerned with what you have achieved and what you have not, you will be enslaved. It just keeps going on and on.” We are sitting in the living room. The kids are having fun playing with us. Baby Nirnay is engaged in a pillow-fight with G! Nirnay is super organised already. He collects pieces of paper, food and anything else he finds on the floor, and drops them into the trash can. He makes countless trips to the trash can through the day!


G is telling a friend on the phone, “This moment was never there before and will never be there again. That’s life!” This friend is coming here on 24th around 3:30 am. G asked him to arrange for his own transport from Chennai to Pondicherry, he was allowed to come only then! 

8:07 am

Just came back from morning walk. I got cold and headache a couple of days back, must have caught it from Karthik. I feel better today. Karthik is affectionate, innocent and very responsible, he sticks his head into everything and gets them done. He’s Venky’s friend. He is really enjoying his days around G here, and helping immensely with work and shopping for G’s new house and also in the kitchen, he is a wonderful cook. He is studying sound engineering now, as such he is a mechanical engineer. It is easy for simple people to get attracted and to get along with G, so is the case with Karthik, I think. I call him Karthikeya Swami! When G bought him an expensive pair of sneakers, he was beyond thrilled! While walking on the promenade a while back, G told Karthik, “You should get paid for any work you do, no matter who it is for. People who bring business always get a cut, that’s how it works. You see, nothing is free in Nature. A cow allows a crow to sit on its back because it cleans its wound and eats the ticks. So, get this and get this straight mister!” Karthik is trying hard to get a job and start earning money to support his father and mother.


Yesterday, the two ladies who work in our apartment told G that they want to follow him wherever he goes! He laughed, pointed at us and said, “These people move with me, so can you, I have no problem!” He gives them lots of money every day. He gave money for all the kids and grandkids of these two ladies and the two security guards in our building as a Pongal (Tamil new year) gift. It was beyond their imagination, nobody gives them this kind of money or affection. One of the security guard’s youngest brother recently committed suicide in his village because of poverty and deprivation. G gave him more money when he heard this.

10:14 am
Prosperity Apartment, Pondy

We just came to G’s new apartment. The electrician is working so Sanjiv and G wanted to check what he was doing and also give him some instructions. The plumbing work in both the bathrooms is done. G’s bathroom got a complete makeover. It now looks like new. We bought the bathroom fittings from an Aurobindo Ashram affiliated store named Honesty a few days ago. It is a big and beautiful store, and the staff is sweet and respectful. G had spent about an hour there. After a while I noticed people in the store’s office staring at G. One person in particular, an Oriya (hailing from the state of Orissa) gentleman, who was showing us around, couldn’t take his eyes off G. Even after his job was done and we were waiting for the bill, he kept on staring and talking to G, his cheeks were flushed red with heightened emotions. Even the store owner, an old man who had seen The Mother (the French guru Mira Alfassa), wanted to know from his staff, who G was! I felt the atmosphere in the store was heavily charged as long as G was there.


 After coming back from morning walk we immediately started preparing for breakfast because G had an appointment with the electrician at his apartment. A friend walked in as we were working in the kitchen. He had slept late so he didn’t come for walk. G saw him and said sternly, “If you are burning your midnight oil for studies, then sleeping late is fine. But if you are surfing the internet and looking at junk, then it won’t be allowed here. There is so much information to hook you and give you a high, but they are useless when it comes to your health and well-being. There are trillions of things to eat in the jungle, but the bird eats only what it needs to survive.” His tone and delivery were controlled yet fiery! The person was taken aback. I felt a huge shot of energy in my body immediately. Then G went to his room and I followed him bubbling with excitement. I blurted out, “I feel so happy when these young people …” G interrupted me, “Why should you be happy because of something or someone? If these guys go away, then will you be unhappy? Your happiness should not depend on many things. Otherwise it will be a constant high and low, that’s the story of everybody’s life. The one thing I don’t trust is the human mind. But if your happiness depends on only ONE thing, then it’s fine! I jumped, “Yes, yes, just one thing!!! That’s why I don’t miss anybody or anything. I don’t care who comes or goes, because I have you.”


10:59 am

We are driving. G just decided to come to that ashram store for bathroom fittings. He is now talking to that Oriya guy! He seems visibly happy to see G, his face has again turned a bit red! He almost came out of the store to see us off. I don’t think he was aware of what he was doing! I was telling a friend about this store and the Oriya gentleman a while back. He got to see it first-hand just now and was very excited and intrigued. I said to him, “These happenings are nothing, they are like a sideshow.  What do you get out of it? What is fundamental is this guy and what is functioning in him, and how it is affecting you and your life. That’s is what is important, the rest is like a movie, just nothing!”


We came back to G’s apartment (the building is named Prosperity) as his washing machine, AC, cooktop and refrigerator had arrived. As we were driving towards Prosperity, G’s eldest brother-in-law called my phone. He said he was arranging a small gathering on 14th February at Hindmotor to feed close friends and relatives who had attended G’s eldest sister’s funeral in May 2020. “You guys have to come”, he said to me. I passed on the phone to G. He immediately replied, “I will come”. G is very respectful towards this gentleman. He is a dignified and composed person. He is soft natured and hardly speaks. I was surprised to see his composure during his wife’s funeral last year. Anyway, after the call, G asked me to check if the now legendary Handmade Home apartment (as far as my life is concerned!) in Kolkata would be available for a week starting 12th Feb. I called immediately and Roshan, the owner, seemed delighted to hear from me and said he would arrange for our stay. Then G asked me to inform Balaram Babu. He said, “Tell him the old man is coming to Kolkata!” A new scenario suddenly emerged out of nowhere! 

Revathi is coming back from Mumbai tomorrow. She went there on 23rd January to deal with her lawyer and the banks for work related to inheritance and finances.

6:14 am
Sovereign, Pondy

I bought one way tickets for me, G and Venky for Kolkata. We are flying on 12th Feb. After I made the online payment and showed G the tickets, he smiled and said, “Look at the ticket price!” I saw it was INR 14,777! Then a friend pointed out that the last 3 digits of my bank account is 707! The less I care about these things, the more they happen. The number ‘7’ is popping up very often these days. 

G has asked Sanjiv to take a break and go to Mumbai when we go to Kolkata. Revathi is yet to decide if she would come to Kolkata or go to Mumbai to deal with her work. 


 7:47 am

Just came back from morning walk. Around 6:56 am a lady, maybe in her early 60s, small and thin wearing a Tshirt and shorts approached us. She said her name is Chitra. She said to G, “I have been seeing you walking with great energy here since quite sometime. There is some great spiritual energy in you and these people around you. I didn’t have the courage to approach you all these days.” Then she pointed to Sanjiv and said, “Today when I saw this gentleman walking slowly behind you, I approached him and asked about you. Where do you stay here? Can I come and see you?” G said, “Yes of course you can come for coffee in the evening. I am in the process of moving to another apartment on 1st Feb. You give your phone number to Sanjiv and I will let you know, maybe tomorrow, 4:30 to 6 pm is a good time for me.” 


9:01 am

Tomorrow is going to be a full moon. I was applying aloe vera gel on some red bug bites on the back of G’s neck as he sat on his couch near a window. In the bright light I saw the peculiar texture of the skin on the back of his neck. It has thick horizontal ridges packed together running across the top of his neck. The skin looks rough, but it is soft. There is a medium sized lump at the base of his neck near his left shoulder. There are red dot like marks all over his chest. They are not rashes. Sometimes a lot of them appear. He says the skin on his chest feels rough like sandpaper because of them. He says there is a network of nerves, lymphatic nodes and blood vessels in the chest region (called plexus, extending upto the arms and armpits) that carry colorless fluids which protect against infections, injuries etc. It seems it is rather active in his case.


7:24 pm

We went to shop for curtains. Sanjiv found a little shop run by a sweet young woman. As we were getting out of our car in front of the shop, Revathi shook G’s hand. He exclaimed as if he got some kind of jolt in his palm, “Wow, this is something!”, he said and crossed the road to enter the curtain shop. He was so impressed with the curtain lady’s confidence and knowledge that he ordered all his curtains from her.

A friend just now informed G that his online classes will commence soon. G asked him to go back to Delhi on 12th Feb. Then he looked at the other young guy in the living room (who was visiting for two weeks) and said gravely, “You were supposed to go from here today. Did you ask me if you could stay back? You can stay in Pondicherry as long as you want, that is not my business, but you will not be allowed here.” There was a deafening silence in the room. The guy was jolted. He hung his head and closed his eyes. G roared, “This is not a temple, this is my house.” 


G is scratching the red marks on his neck. They have formed a necklace of red bumps around his neck. He said they may not be bug bites and could be due to some allergy in the neck region. Before he went to bed, he asked me to apply aloe vera gel on them. Aloe has a cooling effect on the skin.

8:08 pm
Cottage Restaurant, Pondy

We are at the Cottage Restaurant (run by the Aurobindo Ashram) G suddenly walked into this place for breakfast on our way back after the morning walk. Breakfast just got served. We were laughing and chit chatting when suddenly G became grave. He said, “If you are nice, you will never meet a nicer guy than me. But if your head is full of shit, you will not be able to handle the craziness here. You either change or you go, there is no other way! If you enter the lion’s den you better know the rules, otherwise get lost! If I need anything from you, then I will have to compromise, but I don’t need anything. You cannot have a relationship with me because there is nothing here to relate to.” I knew who this outburst was directed at, but it applies to all of us too.

The quality of food here is shitty. Everything is spicy and drenched in oil. I barely ate but I am feeling sick already. 


9:03 am

Back in our apartment G is munching on some fresh iceberg lettuce which he himself washed and cleaned. He said he needed it to offset the effect of the bad food. I drank chilled coke with a squeeze of lime.

7:55 am
Sovereign Apartments, Pondy

Just came back after dropping cleaning supplies at G’s apartment on the Romain Rolland street. Sanjiv and Sanjay stayed back to clean the house before the workers start coming in from 9 am. Moments ago when we were nearing our apartment, a friend asked G something about the use of a particular publishing software for the English version of Fourteen Days in Palm Springs which The Motilal Banarasidas Publishing House has agreed to publish. G retorted fiercely, “Your studies is the most important thing now, these books and stuff are a sideshow, just forget about them. Anything anyone does for my website or books, they do it for themselves, every single thing! Every movement in your head is only about yourself! You don’t see it but others do. Your ugly and vile intentions!” 


G entered the house, opened his shoes, washed his hands and got busy preparing breakfast. I am sitting on the living room couch and writing while the others are working with him in the kitchen. I am going to go join them now.


He just said, “I am soon going to be out of this cooking business. I am going to make my own food. I am not running an ashram that some people will spend all their money and others will just freeload. I will not allow this.” This reminds me of another incident a few days ago. We were out grocery and vegetable shopping in the evening. Some people went a bit overboard and bought a lot of stuff. G was angry. While walking back he said, “I am not running an ashram, I am going to close this kitchen soon. It will be a different story from February onwards, every one has to take care of their own food. I will make my own food, I don’t need anybody!”


10:12 am
Sovereign Apartments, Pondy

A friend was trying to narrate some incident involving the number seven. G stopped him midway and said, “You have to test in the beginning using all your discrimination. Then when you have tested and you know, you have to get to work with full focus and go deeper. If you keep testing all your life, you will die with doubt. Initially you get all these signs. The signpost is for getting somewhere. It has no meaning by itself.”


Nandini and Kamal came yesterday around 7:30 pm. I made dinner. I made two pots of yoghurt for the first time. I worked by myself at peak efficiency with complete focus and finished everything before time. When G came to eat he said to me tenderly in Bengali, “Puchke ta aaj anek kaj koreche (the little one has worked a lot today)!” I replied, “I did work a lot but I don’t feel tired, it is as if I haven’t worked at all.” He smiled and said, “That’s very good!” Revathi was down with headache so I finished everything and cleaned the kitchen before going to bed. 


Karan is leaving for Delhi with Rahul and Sanjay. His family needs him at home. Kamal is also leaving with them today, he has some urgent personal work to attend to. 


8:51 pm

Finished dinner.

He said just now, “Freedom from ideas is the highest freedom. Then you become invincible. There is no such thing as spiritual crisis. It is a make-believe idea, it does not exist. It is like chasing an unknown beast in the dark!” Then he continued, “Economic independence and health are the next most important things. Economic independence can be earned through hard work. But being free from ideas is the toughest.”


We will have to vacate the G4 apartment in Sovereign tomorrow. G, Nandini, Revathi and I will stay at Sanjiv’s rented apartment on La Bourdonnais Street till G’s bed arrives. It is expected to be delivered by 4th Feb. Everything else is in place. Sanjiv has done an excellent job with G’s apartment. 


7:42 pm

G’s building’s name is Prosperity. Our’s on La Bourdonnais St is called Villa Devotion. We go back and forth all day between Devotion and Prosperity!