Handmade Home, Kolkata
A gem from G today:
He said when he talks to us, he does not intend to lead us anywhere. It is where he keeps us all along, that is important. He keeps us focused so that we are not distracted. That’s the time the body gets a chance to get most of its jobs done. But since we are always looking for meaning and a particular end, which is nothing but an understanding, we are unaware of it.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
My chat with a friend about the events of today:
You know, today before lunch, we were doing something on the computer and G suddenly jumped out of his seat and said “Oh boy, It’s so hot!” and ran to turn on the AC. I was surprised because his heat tolerance is very high and I myself didn’t feel it was that hot in the room. I asked him what the matter was and he said his insides were twisting so powerfully that he felt he could kill anybody around him! So he was running to turn the AC on to protect me! When I urged him, “Don’t turn the it on, I want to see what happens!”, he came back to his seat. In a minute I started sweating and radiating heat!
You know, sometimes when he holds my hand tightly, electrical charges flow in my palm and my hand starts aching. I experimented many times with it.
I had a piercing pain in my solar plexus today and got knocked out early in the morning. The heat and sensitivity is too much to bear.
G and I are busy prepping for UG’s virtual birthday celebration tomorrow. He planned the whole thing meticulously – sequence, contents, duration of each item, everything. I sent out invites to a large group.
Today is UG’s birthday. G felt he had to sing and record Tagore’s Oi Pohailo today. He came back from morning walk and recorded his track. He finished quickly and it came out very well. He had tried this song a few times before but didn’t like it. He asked me to send it to Venky with a note: This is G’s gift for you! Venky was in the seventh heaven after listening to it. The Zoom meeting started at 6 pm. It was a success and everyone enjoyed thoroughly.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
A few days ago a lady from Canada, a young mother of two boys, wrote to Revathi on the website that she wanted to interview G and publish it on the internet. She described in great detail her spiritual seeking, failures, confusion and lack of clarity and direction. G refused to be interviewed for a public platform but said he had no problem talking to her personally on Zoom. He also got Julie to mail her two books: Guha Talks to Mother of God and Life Finds Its Way. It was a gift from him, he asked Revathi to tell her. She wrote back saying she would love to be on zoom and sent a list of five questions. Today G spoke to her at 6 pm our time for 30 mins before other friends joined. I have 2 audio recordings of his talk with her. He debunked all her theories and assumptions on meditation, seeking, devotion, suppression of the ego, surrender and what not. Basically, he made it clear that everything she thought she had understood or not understood was just trash. The wrong knowledge had made her miserable and she needed none of it.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
Sophie, a lady from Portugal, who is Ellen’s friend, got in touch with G and wanted to talk to him about her own spiritual experiences. G agreed and invited her to Zoom. In the meeting she described how she has been experiencing energies coursing through her body, Kundalini rising (she didn’t want to use this term though) and other mystical stuff. G listened to it for a while, then said, it was all in her head, and that there was no way to experience these things without translating them as something mystical or holy, and how we are never in touch with anything that is happening inside our bodies. It appeared to me that she was seeking a stamp of approval from G about her elevated spiritual state.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
I thought it’ll be nice give an account of what a typical day is like for us here.
We get up around 4 every morning and both of us come out to the living room by 4:15 or 4:30. The first thing I do is warm a quarter glass of water and put some biochemic salts in it and give it to him. Then I make coffee, his favourite Illy! I used to order them from Amazon, but Venky recently got us a crate from a whole seller in Mumbai. He usually speaks briefly to Julie, Revathi and Radhika during this time. After coffee we go out for our morning walk to the lake. It takes us two mins to get there. The lake opened after 3 months on the 1st of July. It now has the freshness of a wilderness, teeming with birds, flowers and fish. While coming back, we pick up fresh vegetables from vendors sitting outside the park gate. Old and destitute ladies gather to ask for money from him. He has given away thousands of rupees to them since the lockdown started. They keep an eye out for him. By the time we reach home it is 7:45 and we are soaked in sweat, as if we just took a dip in the pool. I change and give him a glass of water with bitter gourd and Jamun (Indian Blackberry) juice. I gulp some down too. They are good for keeping sugar levels normal, he says. He doesn’t take medicines, see doctors or keep any medical records. After resting for 10-15 mins we go to the kitchen and start prepping for breakfast. I cut vegetables and he washes the greens, then it all goes together into the pressure cooker. As the veggies cook we sometimes practice singing, do a quick translation of a song, or poem or read letters from his friends mainly from US and India. He answers calls and sometimes calls his friends. I write the chapters of my blog and make entries into my diary. Then we decide what to cook for lunch and with great zeal start cutting vegetables, washing the greens, cleaning the grains etc. G plays one of mine or his songs as we cook. As things are cooking, we catch some series on Netflix or Prime. Then we go to shower. He emerges fresh as a daisy from his room in about half and hour, after washing his clothes, putting them out to dry and showering. I do the same. It is around 1’o clock by now. He waits for 10-15 mins till he feels hungry. Then I serve lunch and we continue watching our series, intently discussing the unfolding plot. His favorites are crime, murder and thrillers, only high octane stuff. Because it is summer we eat ice cream with mangoes. If any of us feels sleepy, we take a nap and come back in an hour or so. It’s usually coffee time by then. The aroma of Illy fills the living room. He likes to have crackers with coffee. Evening time during lockdown is also Zoom time. Every other day he does a video call with his friends. They wait with bated breath for the invite and jump into the meeting hungrily to see and hear him. 6-7 friends are really hooked. Out of them 2-3 are die-hard cases, their world falls apart if he turns off his ph even for a day, as if choking without oxygen. By the time Zoom ends, it is dinner time, so I heat up the food. We eat a rather small portion for dinner, a little of everything in a bowl. We continue watching our movie or series till we are sleepy again. I warm up a glass of water, throw in a teaspoon and a half of fenugreek seeds and keep it on his bedside table. As the day is almost over, before closing his door he usually cracks a joke or two to pull my leg, “Lady, I think you are wasting your life and money with me. You should go back to your parents”, is his all-time favourite line for me! In my reply I make a bunny face or some funny face and say good night! Some days I say “I would have wasted my life had I not met you!” I go to my room, change and melt into my bed. On most days I sleep like a log.
Last week a great discomfort in my body lasted for 2-3 days. Extreme heat waves made me drowsy all the time. Sparks were flying inside the head and thoughts were bubbling up like scum in boiling water. Felt extremely uncomfortable. I had to curl up while sitting and even sleeping, with electricity flowing in my limbs. Didn’t feel like doing anything, or even listening to G. Everything seemed repulsive and I was grave. G reminded me later, that this churning started when I began editing his Mumbai talk from 2017 for my blog. It turned so bad that I had to stop working. He didn’t do anything different. His response depended on my state. If I was irritable, he either kept quiet or made a point, if necessary. He left me to myself and did dishes and worked in the kitchen. Unless I tell him about my discomfort he never asks or advises anything. That is his beauty, he never interferes or imposes himself. I used to conk out every morning continuously for 4-5 days as he spoke with J, RI and RV on Zoom. I froze and the pressure in my head forced my eyes to close. I heard the sounds but there was no movement inside to translate anything. Then the discomfort vanished suddenly. This has happened countless times since I met him. Almost dying, then back with double energy!
G told the ladies in US during a morning Zoom call one of these days, “I don’t know what sadhana this girl is doing, I can’t move an inch from here!”
I had started writing chapter three of my blog quite sometime back but got stuck as I didn’t have much memory of what had happened during my second meeting with G in Mumbai. It was mostly uneventful is what I could remember. I told him, “You need to give me a push and tell me how I should do chapter three, I am stuck!” He said he would. A couple of days later while walking by the lake he said he got an idea. “Ask Kishor if he has any recording of my talk with the two young guys in Powai when you came to see me. You can include that talk in chapter three. Also you can reflect on some happenings from my life relevant to the chapter. This way you will have enough material.” I got the recording from Kishor and started working on it immediately. I plunged into writing and finished fifteen pages in two days. Herculean energy was bubbling up in me resulting in a piercing focus.
Yesterday I wrote a poem while chit chatting with a friend. I named it “Who needs a title?”
G is a damn scientist,
And a fucking philosopher too.
He sounds like a bloody doctor when he utters:
People who get fooled by religion,
Suffer from the Spiritual Down’s Syndrome.
He is an infectious RNA,
That attaches itself to the neurons,
And multiplies gleefully,
Gobbling up our sweet and sticky hopes,
That we carefully stock up as dope.
He is a lifetime of itch and twitch,
A funny dude who knows how to bewitch!
G loved it and read it out to his friends.
Day before yesterday:
While coming back from our morning walk, G asked me to buy vegetables and went to the ATM. After I was done, I started walking towards the ATM. Suddenly, I heard a female voice cursing wildly from the opposite side of the street I was on. It was an old lady in torn clothes hurling profanities into the thin air. She looked absolutely crazy. The moment her eyes fell on me, she started cursing with even more gusto. I was so excited I almost ran to the ATM to tell him what had happened. “You have to see her”, I said to him. As we approached her, she saw me first and started cursing violently again. Then G emerged from behind me and stood in front of her. That very moment she softened up and started crying. She complained to him like a child that people had taken her money away and beaten her up. He was surprised by the dramatic change in her behavior. He gave her some money and we walked back.
Today during our morning walk:
G said, “You have not been writing your diary for many days now. These moments are unique and will never come back. You should write daily rather than just focussing on your blog, which is writing about your past. What is happening now has a lot of significance in your life, it has a different quality. I may not be able to move with you in this way later. Julie used to write her journal daily when around UG. You should find some time everyday to write about the present, living moments. You will not be able to remember later, they will be lost. You just write, don’t think about what others will think about it.” Since his words fell on my ears, I have been writing and writing and writing. He knows when the ground is ready and when to plant the seed!
A friend of his called at around 10 am today. I received it and passed the phone to him. The person complained that he was not taking her calls although she had been calling him frantically sinces the last few days. G told her without mincing any words: “You need to understand this clearly. I don’t want anything from you or anyone, so when you call me, it is your need, not mine. So many people call me all the time. It is up to me whether I take their call or not. No one can dictate terms to me because I have no investment of any kind. I don’t need you. Even if you call fifty times, I may not answer. If you don’t call me ever again, that is fine too.” The person said, “I sometimes call because if I hear your voice, I get some inspiration.” G said, “When you are neurotic and disturbed for no valid reasons, and just worrying about others unnecessarily, I don’t take your call, because I know you are in no position to listen to me. I have nothing to do with such things in your life. But if you are sick or have a real problem that does not concern others but yourself, I am there for you. You should know this by now. Never tell me what I should do. Be well, goodbye.”
Handmade Home, Kolkata,
I am sure nobody ever told this friend (mentioned in the last entry) what G did. I have no doubt that only a person who really does not want anything from others can talk this way. When he talks to someone, his intention is never to please or displease that person. He only says what is necessary for that person at that moment. Every time a conversation like this happens, it seems the person is so hurt and upset that he or she won’t ever call G again. But I have seen many people come back later and thank him for being so direct and uncompromising. They say he cleared up some nasty cobweb in their head. It was no different this time! The friend he rebuked yesterday just called and thanked him saying, “I am feeling very good after your admonition yesterday. It is as if I got cured of some illness.” Her voice was clear and upbeat, she was laughing. G said, “Your happiness is my happiness. You sound great. You can call me anytime you want.”
G has made me his music teacher. Starting late May he has recoded 11 singles till date. His singing with rhythm has improved in leaps and bounds. He is a student who has unbroken attention and complete trust on his teacher. He is innocent as a child. He trusts my musical sense almost blindly. He says, but for Covid and me, he would have never recorded songs. Since UG’s death, he has been surrounded by people. And he is so busy that he never had the time to practice singing, forget recording. When I was in Princeton in 2018, one day he asked me “Will you be my music teacher?” I thought he was joking. What can I teach him?! And where’s the time? He is busy from five in the morning to nine at night every single day. Little did he or I know that nature would put us in a space and time where he would have all the time in the world to direct his unbroken focus on me. Mother Nature’s ways are mysterious indeed!
Some friend had mentioned that people around the world are communicating through video conferencing apps since they can’t meet due of the pandemic. G wanted to find out more, so we did some research and tried out Zoom for free. It seemed to work well, so he decided to subscribe for a month and then take it from there. That was mid April. Since then, he has been talking to his friends around the world on Zoom. Without this, his close friends in America and India would have been distraught! If any new person shows interest in what he has to say, he invites him or her to a zoom meeting. One can record these video calls too. I have a bunch of recordings which have him talking intensely.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
I am feeling like a madcap for sometime now. Actually, it started after I emerged from my system shutdown last week. My head is buzzing with energy and I feel fluid and happy all the time without inhibitions. G is not a guru who saved my life, or a sage who granted me the boon of emancipation. Like I don’t praise my mother for giving birth to me and caring for me when I was an infant, I can no longer praise him for doing what he did to me. It’s like thanking my lungs for sucking oxygen from air to keep me alive! I cannot describe my relationship with him any other way. I am in no way hinting that it is a mystical or spiritual or an abstract, mind-bending, superlative state of coexistence. It is unlike any we have with our family or friends. The demands of a typical relationship are completely absent here. It is an ordinary way of living that neither accepts the imposition of social conditioning that lead to misery, nor imposes itself on anybody. It is so plain that it will seem unattractive to most people. It is akin to living on the edge but without any burden or pressure. The connection renews itself continuously owing to the spontaneous nature of exchanges. Nothing is premeditated, and nothing can be carried over. It is like two birds flying together. My deep resonance with his disposition has shrunk my emotional thought-space that used to dominate and weigh me down. He allows an immense space between us, in which I freely express myself. He is so ordinary that there’s no pressure on me to behave or be in a certain way. Consequently, there’s no movement anymore in me to understand him or to please him. I don’t think how he will react before I do anything. Whatever I do around him, I do with joy. I feel life’s unforgiving momentum burns its way rapidly through layers of conditioning once it has acquired a critical momentum in the presence of an ordered system like G’s.
My banks have broken. I don’t know what’s going on inside me but I feel heady and high and drunk with happiness.
Today’s morning walk was special. The trees, birds, fish, fragrant flowers, the crisp air, the ripe fruits hanging from trees together created a blissful intoxication in me. Every sight, every sound feels like a shot of joy in my bones. A big bunch of lotuses are in bloom in Padmapukur. We both walk fast and run in short bursts soaked in sweat. All along we joke and sing songs. G loves to watch the fish. As we walk by the lake, we see millions of tiny fish born a week or so ago along the entire stretch of the lake. This year because of clean water and less pollution there has been a profusion of new life in the waters. Nature got a chance to rejuvenate itself in the absence of human interference. Somedays when the light is good, I take pictures of him running like a white gazelle under the banyan tree or by the lake. He is so light, his company has a rare unburdening quality. All he does with his friends is chit chat, discuss, crack jokes, roll with laughter, sing songs, call out the farce of religious gurus and the days pass. The undercurrent of something powerfully transformative, to which my body responds like a live wire, pervades everything he does or does not do!
Handmade Home, Kolkata
I see many men of his age in the park. Most of them look exhausted and anxious. I can overhear them talking about being lonely and having nothing to do for the rest of the day. After meeting him I understood first hand that loneliness and frustration are the result of our messed up sense of self. They have little to do with the situation we find ourselves in. No other life form suffers from boredom or feels out of place in its native environment. Our idea of a world that does not otherwise exist, interferes with what we have at hand. It disturbs the delicate dynamic balance that is essential for maintaining the integrated well-being of every living thing. Let’s say, I see the world around and out of this perception I gather knowledge which comes to me through language. Then I form ideas and beliefs using this knowledge. They shape my way of living. They also impart a personality to me. What I believe in makes me who I am. What makes me believe certain things and reject the others? It is my unique background and culture. Culture is nothing but a massive subset of knowledge that has evolved over generations in a particular geography to deal with the challenges of survival unique to that place. We humans are a highly evolved species on the scale of evolutionary advancement. Our built-in capacities are mind-boggling. The most powerful instrument we have is the intellect. It is so powerful that even the slightest misuse can lead to a catastrophe. It is like a nuclear bomb that demands the highest levels of care and safeguarding least its inappropriate use destroys the world. This care, this awareness can channel it to serve the purpose of our individual well-being. If such a thing happens, the dynamic balance, which the body is struggling to get to for its own sake, begins to find its foothold. Nowadays, I feel if someone gets even the slightest hang of it, he or she will never dare do anything to disturb it.
We had a big Sunday zoom today with all his Bengali friends. He mostly spoke in Bengali.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
On today’s morning zoom call, he said, “Behind every satisfaction lurks a dissatisfaction.”
Handmade home, Kolkata
Yesterday some time after breakfast, I started feeling odd. A pressure was building up in my abdomen and my stomach felt heavy. The pressure went on increasing and I felt as if there were bricks inside my stomach. This is not a new sensation for me. I suffered similarly for a week or more when I was in New Jersey in the winter of 2018. I remember I used to walk holding my tummy, it used to be so bad. Anyway, I ate a little lunch and we watched a bit of the British series “Stranger” on Netflix. It had a fantastic and engaging plot but I was feeling extremely drowsy. G said I should go and rest. We went to our rooms around 2:30 pm. He asked me to wake him up by 4 pm for coffee, if he didn’t come out by then.
I dragged myself out of bed at 4 pm as my alarm rang. I freshened up and knocked on his door. He was still inside. I felt so drowsy I could slip and fall. I went and sat on the living room couch. He came out in two minutes and asked how I was doing. I told him about my drowsiness and pressure in the stomach. I said, “I think I will sleep for three days straight if nobody wakes me up.” I can’t explain how heavy my abdomen felt.
Anjana and Sophie were keen to talk to him again, so we were going to have a zoom at 5 pm for them along with the usual group. I barely managed to make coffee for us. There was now a huge pressure inside the center of my head that forced my eyes to shut. I started feeling feverish and passed out as soon zoom started. I could hear the voices of G and friends talking but was immobile like a dead body. G told me after I got up that I was out for one a half hours. He was on fire during the meeting. He smashed all arguments to the ground ruthlessly. An elderly lady friend from US tried to push him a little, saying he was using too many words. He asked her to express herself without words right then and there. He was in an unforgiving mood. He said we could go for satsangs and spiritual discourses elsewhere, if we thought we were going to get something out of them. When he emphatically asserted, “There is no such thing as spiritual potential. You are greedy that is why you are here. You want something you think I have. Is that not greed?”, he exposed naked our gullibility and showed, the spiritual seeking that we are so proud of, is a farce, a game we play with ourselves. He pumped such energy into every word that quite a few his friends said they slept for the whole day after the call was over. I was physically miserable. I developed a lower back ache, maybe because I passed out in a wrong sleeping position on the couch. We had an early dinner and I was still feverish. The day got over when we finished the remaining episodes of “Stranger”.
When I woke up this morning, I felt the back pain and a serious pressure and heaviness in my abdomen. It felt as if some monstrous force is squeezing my insides. He said I should drink lots of water. I went out for the morning walk but sat on a bench and watched ducks and noisy cormorants fishing in the lake. Grasshoppers and butterflies were everywhere. I still feel unwell but words are flowing from my fingertips as I write this diary. He expresses a lot of satisfaction when he sees me writing. He digs the internet to find classical bandishes for me to practice. He is ecstatic when I practice the swaras at high speed. He only wants my best, and for whatever talent I have to flower. My joy is his joy. There’s no exaggeration when I say this. He has no expectations from anyone. That’s why he is free. When he sleeps, a serenity pervades his face that is hard to describe. How can worry enter a head that is singularly incapable of exploiting others? The twisted intentions of the sense of self have been burnt to smithereens in his ordered body-mind. It is easy to experiment with him and find out for oneself, if this is true. Nobody can tell me, I have to find out, and I have, time and again.
Handmade home, Kolkata
I have been very uneasy today, huge discomfort in the body. Can barely move or sit, such is the pressure and twisting inside the abdomen. A pressure inside my head and between my eyebrows is making me drowsy. I slept after making coffee, got up just in time to make breakfast, then slept again. I skipped breakfast. From my room I could hear him practicing his songs. Then I heard him talking to friends on phone. I got up just now. He said he sang and played his and my songs and made daal. I saw he had cleaned the kitchen like a pro. When he is doing something, there’s nothing else in his head. He is like an animal. If he has food and water and a place to stay, he does not want anything more. He does not need anybody to be the way he is. He told me, “You are witnessing me up close for such a long time like nobody has before. What you are seeing is the core movement of life, simple, just the way it is.” Although he emphatically denies every idea we harbour about his greatness or spiritual power, his impact on his close friends is undeniable. The physical response that is generated in his presence is as real as a severe headache or a stomach cramp. The deeper the resonance with him, the more mysterious it becomes. He told me, “When the deeper conditioning begins to unsettle and relieve itself, the system which has been oppressed for a long time, experiences a huge effect.”
Handmade Home, Kolkata
The abdominal pressure was far less when I got up today. I can move and sit freely. What a relief after two days of torture! I feel light as a feather and happy as a kitten!
I came out to the living room at 4:30 am. He was still in his room. I made coffee and waited. I could hear the gentle hum of his voice, he was singing dake barobar dake in his room. He has been practising and recording tracks of this song since the past two days. He thought his rendition had some flaw and lacked the bhava that he would like to bring out. I couldn’t help him since I was so miserable all this while. After coffee he said he wanted to practice with me. I suggested it would be better if we both sang and recorded two tracks of the song – the first and last part separately. It came out well. Then I asked him to sing each portion one after another without music, so I could hear if he was singing the finer notes clearly and fully. So, he sang and I corrected his notes. He said, the song was way more intricate than he had previously thought. Whatever I pointed out he corrected immediately without second thoughts. He has paripurno astha on his music teacher!
G often tells us that when he sang for the first time in front of UG, UG had remarked “You missed your calling buddy!”
No hunger pangs for almost two days now. Smell of food is making my stomach churn. I thought I was a little hungry and ate about four table spoons of salad around 9 am. After eating I instantly felt heavy and uneasy. I should have avoided eating altogether. I wasn’t hungry the whole day but didn’t feel any lack of energy either. This is strange. I think the body does not want much food and I am feeling better on an empty stomach.
Rabindra Sarobar, Kolkata
I feel like a prisoner released from jail after a long sentence! The choking squeeze in my abdomen seems to have loosened its iron grip after two days. Looks like the body didn’t want any food during this time, so I didn’t feel any hunger. If I ate anything at all, I felt an instant discomfort and mild cramps in my guts. I think I lost some weight too. G said, “You still look quite prosperous!”
This is the first time I am writing at the Lake. I feel fine but cannot walk as much or as fast as I otherwise do. So I am sitting on a bench by Padmapukur. I just saw a water bird walking and running on water over large swathes of lotus leaves. Its feet have three or four thin, long and protruding toes that spread out on the lotus leaves distributing its body weight in a way that there’s not enough pressure to break the water. G had explained this to me the other day while we were watching water insects.
Nature seems more alive and beautiful than ever before. The same eyes, the same ears, the same brain now sense things in a more vital way. So, what changed inside me and how? I really cannot pin point. What I can say though is: the huge energy drain that I earlier used to suffer from as a result of my habitual thinking, seems to have been plugged to a great extent. This, I have no doubt, has been possible because my system suddenly developed a monstrous attraction for G, which left little space for distractions. Unnecessary thoughts are a huge distraction. Over the last three years after meeting him, I observed my system develop a piercing, one-pointed focus. My voice, with hardly any practice or training, started exhibiting its core beauty which was preprogrammed at birth. I learnt singing from the age of seven for several years, but I lacked the drive to achieve anything in the world of music and eventually gave up singing altogether. When I met him in Oct 2016, it was thirteen years since I had stopped singing. Then everything changed. He says music is the bridge between him and me. He adds, “It’s your voice that hooked me and my attention fell on you. In Nature, flowers have bright colours and fragrance to attract the bees. We are no different!” I now realise music is a very powerful medium of communication. I don’t feel shy to say this: Maybe it was Nature’s sweet conspiracy to gift me a voice that could hook someone like G, so that my system could have its core existential crisis addressed. It is the symbiotic nature of life. A living thing needs another living thing, how can books and pictures be of any help?
Today at the Lake I lost him as I sat writing on a bench by Padmapukur. I waited a long time, then went up to the gate of Lion’s Safari, then walked down to the main entrance next to Southend Park to check if he was there waiting. No luck. I walked back to Padmapukur again. I was exhausted by then. Anyway, I decided to go back to our apartment since it was already 8:10 and the park would close at 8:30. I walked in and there he was on the red couch! He got back just ten mins before me. I gave him his morning concoction of bitter gourd and jamun juice and rested a while. I felt worn out. Then we got to making breakfast. As usual, I cut the veggies and he cleaned the greens and threw in a fistful of whole moong beans and quinoa into the pressure cooker. While serving him the delicious mix in a bowl, my stomach started twisting in an odd way and the smell of breakfast, which is otherwise so appealing, seemed repulsive. I kind of forced myself to eat two spoons of the vegetable and grain mix and that set my stomach on fire. Then my guts twisted and turned. What a punishment! I felt irritated suddenly. Then G started talking about what we should eat for lunch. I said gravely, “When I can’t eat, I can’t think of food”, then rolled my eyes and said “Whatever!” I was in no mood to talk about food! He said gently that it was ok as long as I didn’t philosophise the matter. He felt my difficulty.
I am in awe when I reflect how the bio-mechanics of the body control every single aspect which I earlier used to think, I was in control of – my hunger, my likes, my dislikes, my habits etc. I now see, I am actually helpless, I have no idea about what goes on inside me. All I try to do these days is, what G calls “trial and error”, to see how my body responds to a particular action of mine, and then take the next step accordingly. It is almost like learning everything about myself from scratch again!
The monsoon rains have infused new life into the potted plants in my balcony. Tiny, shiny dots of green are crawling out of tender stems in a breath-taking symmetry. The stately Kadamba tree bending over my balcony is heavy with perfectly round ball-like flowers. Life renews itself continuously, moving all the time. In Nature, I see no signs of stagnation. The momentum of life does not allow such a thing, it seems. I see the same signature in my day-to-day living with G. It is not difficult to see if one flows with his ways. He does not sit and ruminate, he is busy all day, even though he has been restricted to an apartment for four months in a row. He gives thought to things when necessary, then no more, he moves to the next one. What is important to understand is, this is not the outcome of some kind of discipline or practice. He has a basic daily routine but I have seen him toss it out with abandon, if he felt like it. He sleeps when he’s sleepy and eats when hungry. He showers in the morning or in the evening or not at all, depending on what his body demands that day. A few things are constant though, he gets up at the crack of dawn, has his morning coffee, then goes for a long morning walk everyday. I haven’t seen him impose any routine on himself just for the sake of it. Most of his habits depend on factors like temperature, humidity and availability of things in the part of the world where he happens to be at a particular time.
On the contrary, fearful of the future, we constantly invent ideas and methods, which we then act upon, hoping to ward off that fear. We impose new habits and routines on ourselves. Without them we feel wasted and useless. Does it take away fear? No way, it only adds more fuel to it. More information, more conflict, more fear. Our effort to arrive at a point mentally, when knowledge will dissolve all our problems, is a huge drain on the body’s vital energy. Thought cannot do anything to resolve it, it did not solve any of my problems, only aggravated and solidified them. Stagnation is an inevitable side-effect of our powerful reflective capacity.
For three days in a row, I was in utter discomfort and felt half-dead, today a gush of fresh energy is coursing through my veins and guts. I feel so charged that I can barely recall the recent misery. It is just not there. What can I call this, other than “A renewal”? This “almost dying” and then springing back again has happened countless times since I met G. They became particularly intense since our Kodaikanal trip in 2018, I think.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
Today I got a pair of new shoes from Amazon. Guess what, they are the same fiery red pair G got for himself a month back! I looked through hundreds online but couldn’t find any other pair that I liked. I tried them on and asked to take some pics. I was wearing a red T-shirt and black trousers matching with the red and black shoes! I said its G and baby G! He said, “You have been eating G-protein for such a long time!” I said, “Ya I am eating all the time yet loosing weight!”
G is talking to his friends on zoom. It’s the regular gang. He just spoke to his psychiatrist friend from US. The guy recently lost his mother and is feeling depressed and lost. Mom was the only friend he ever had. G gave him some friendly, practical suggestions – see if you can exercise, or go for a walk every day, keep yourself healthy as far as possible, keep a space for yourself you can go back to when you feel like being alone, that’ll ensure your independence when your relatives get busy with their own lives after the grieving period is over. Not once did he console him, not once did he say everything’s going to be alright.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
Two of his friends from Hindmotor came visiting today. One of them is his childhood friend. G says this friend was his partner in every crime when they were growing up! These local friends are fond of him and enjoy his company, but in a different way. They think of him as a good friend to laugh and joke with, but they are not really interested in what he has to say, what his existence is all about. They somehow don’t connect to that aspect. They are too entangled in their struggles, their political ideologies and their facebooking. G spent the first seven years after UG’s death talking relentlessly to his friends in Kolkata and Hindmotor. He says, he spoke for hundreds of hours trying to give them a glimpse of the solution that had taken place in him, and the real possibility of that happening to them. But he was disappointed. Not because they didn’t understand him, but because they lost a rare chance to understand something that could have given their system an opportunity to work out the problems it is plagued with. There are many videos from 2008, 9 and 10 where he can be seen talking intensely to big groups of people. His intense energy, the punch behind every word falling from his mouth, his body language is too powerful to be overlooked. He told me recently, that he started focusing on individuals from 2015. Before that, he would engage with many people at a time, and his energy was so volcanic that many of them would get affected. But the energy somehow could not make inroads deep enough into any single individual, to make a real difference to his or her ways of thinking and living. This scenario changed dramatically after 2015, when he took a road trip from New Jersey to Chicago, via Detroit, then flew to Mumbai and continued up to Kochi, then drove down to Kanyakumari, then flew up to Delhi and drove further up to Kasauli, via Parwanu, finally flying back to NJ. He also mentioned that he somehow felt all the important connections that he had to make would be done by 2016.
Handmade Home, Kolkata
He didn’t take any calls from afternoon till night yesterday. He asked me not to respond to any enquiries from anyone.
He just finished a brief zoom call with J, RI and RV on. He said, “What keeps changing is the photo on your wall. What remains? You! Your dependence on me, your liking or disliking me are one and the same, the result of your twisted intention that needs excuses all the time. I am not involved at all. Whether you know it or not, it is all about you. It is like how you interact with your pet cat. You talk to it and it says “meow”. You think it reciprocates your feelings. You translate it the way you want. Pets are better than me because they don’t cause heartache!
Today’s evening zoom call was something! When he gets on to the call, he has no idea what he will say. But as soon as he looks at all the faces on his screen, words come gushing out of his mouth like a river in spate. He doesn’t pause to think. He says, his brain pulls out the appropriate information from his memory, strings them together and delivers them using a language that is most effective for the audience. This process, he says, is automatic. It is the questioner, the listener, who invokes this process in him. That is why he needs no preparation to talk to people. Today’s call was no exception. Like a surgeon he dissected each part of our thinking mechanism and showed how we conjure up ideas about “A Creator” of this vast universe, based on religious dogma, and then we say we are devotees of that powerful God. He showed systematically that although our intellect is singularly incapable of grasping things like one-billionth of a second or the distance light travels in a year, or how the design of the human brain has evolved to maximise its surface to volume ratio, yet we cockily declare that we know what God is like and how this vast universe with billions of stars and planets was created by him. He said, we are no more important than the bacteria.
One of the participants in the meeting wanted to ask something, so he allowed it. She wanted to know why she felt so lucky to have him in her life. He said it was her SSFR and if it were true, then she should be happy. This irked the lady and she said it was true and she was happy. He retorted that if she was really happy, why would she need to convince him about it? The exchange continued for sometime with the lady trying to aggressively defend herself and G coolly shooting down her arguments. Finally, she relented and stopped. G continued as if nothing had ever happened.
It was 8:30 at night by the time the meeting ended. I warmed up a little rice, curry and daal and took out some leftover pasta from the refrigerator, which we ate cold. We continued watching “Fargo”, a fantastic series on Netflix, marvelling at the masterful execution of every scene and the camerawork. He felt sleepy around 9:30, and we went to our respective rooms, and so the day ended.
Another mind-blowing evening zoom. How can this man keep producing such gems every single day without any thought or preparation?! It is a miraculous phenomenon indeed. He says, doesn’t have to do anything about it, people pull out stuff from him. His brain picks up the most relevant pieces of information, already residing in his memory, in a highly efficient way, then delivers it to his audience in a precise, need-based fashion.
The more I see him, the clearer it becomes to me, that the life functioning in us, which keeps us alive and allows us to think and act, is really an automation, a self-serving intelligence preprogrammed by Nature. It does everything by itself, for itself, using its innate power. This power is not something we can possess to control others or to gain knowledge.
G is talking to a friend on phone and I am noting down whatever I can:
“Thought cannot figure out how it is created in situ. It is impossible for thought to be a part of that process. It is a knowledge game. Because we are trying to figure out if there is a being or force that can make our life comfortable, it becomes a problem. The Covid RNA has no mind. A mindless process in Nature produced life, and a part of that process also produced the mind. The imaginative faculty is an emergent property, it has been created by a process in the brain, which is not part of this framework of thinking and imagination. What you are using is a complex knowledge game and a circular logic to find the source of thought. It is like going round and round to find the end point of a circle. The chicken and egg paradox – you cannot prove or disprove anything there.”
Half an hour ago, as I was typing away on my laptop and he was doing something in the kitchen, the lady caretaker from the ground floor appeared at our doorstep with money in her hand. Since the lockdown started she and her friend have been bringing money every month that I transfer digitally to their sons who are out of work. She handed over the money to me, I asked her if she was doing ok. G added, “Do you have enough food? We get everything online and we have excess food at the moment. We can easily spare some if you need anything.” We had offered her food and money many times before but she had refused politely every time. This time she said, “I hardly have any money left. What can I buy with that?” I said, “If you don’t mind we can give you some food.” “Why would I mind, I am poor”, she said. G immediately pulled out a can of basmati rice and a kilo of masoor dal and gave her. Her face lit up, she exclaimed, “Oh my God, all of it?!” G vanished out of her sight before she could say more. I gave her two cotton masks. After she was gone, I saw G was packing a packet of potatoes and vegetables. He asked me to go give it to her. I finished transferring the money to her son, ran down the steps and knocked on her door. Her friend, another middle-aged lady opened the door. I told her G sent them some stuff. She asked, “Why did he send more?!” I said I didn’t have any answer to that and ran back upstairs.