Netaji’s mother

Posted By Author on November 30, 2010


When I was on the river taking bath message came that I was summoned immediately. I hurriedly approached.  He changed his mind and told me to come after his early meals.  I finished breakfast and by 9.30 A.M. we were together.  He opened talk on poets.  He described alliteration of Scott and then stories of Keats, Yeats, Browning, and H.G.Wells followed.  He said, “Suresh, always remember sentence of Oliver Goldsmith, ‘ Modesty seldom resides in a breast which is not enriched with nobler virtues.’ ” Then he said, “ Write down this sentence of Sophenhauer,    ‘ Real is difficult to find in one’s own self but it is impossible to find it elsewhere.’ ”  He then related philosophy of Kant and Hume.  After chat on other points he directed me to inform my brother R.S.Padhye to withdraw the case against the Nava Bharat Times at Amravati and proposed that it could be revived in future.  Then he made slight changes in the letter addressed to Sub Inspector Baljor Singh.  I marked that his mind was always wavering till last moment until he was absolutely satisfied.

Baba told Chandrashekhar to go to Amravati on 30th Jan., i.e., three days after.  He told me to go on 25th February and remarked that even if I extended the leave I had no idea of Mother’s heart. Baba related, “ When my mother came to know that I died she was unconscious for three days. Chandrashekhar, tell at his home that Suresh is not taking saffron dress and becoming a Sadhu. This is not the principle of Ashram. Suresh, I have in mind to bring your father and mother here.” After a little further chat he went in.

Comment: In his childhood father of Subhash used to be reserved. He felt somewhat closer to mother. He used to write letters to her and express his thoughts and feelings. Mother spoke Bengali only and she initiated Subhash into the religion, scriptures, myths, and folklore of Indian society. He heard stories of epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata and Bengali religious songs from her. He was very much attached to her. When he would create problems by his uninformed escapades for social work in epidemic hit villages, to religious places all members of the house used to deride him but mother alone used to protect him. Reuters, World News Agency, on 28 March 1942, flashed death of Bose in air crash on the eastern coast of Japan. Bose was in Berlin, as Mazzotta and the world knew not his whereabouts. The intelligence agencies of the Allied Army thought that he would declare that he was alive so that mother would not get permanent shock but he restrained. Actually Gyani Pritam Singh of IIL died in that air crash. N.G.Ganpule has given description of how Netaji brooded and tears rolled to think of mother’s shock when she would come to know about his death.

In the noon I washed my clothes and then got busy in frying ‘puris’. About twenty people from the neighbourhood were invited for meals on Baba’s direction.  When money was there, there was no end to liberal spending.  It was Baba’s technique to offer a molehill and squeeze a mountain out of an individual. Cooking food, throwing dinner parties, giving alms to beggars, priests, Sadhus and Sanyasis was marked common trait of Netaji as well as Babaji. Even in adverse conditions both indulged in ‘Aristocratic Generosity’.

Baba called me in his courtyard in the evening.  He was seated on the chair and immersed his feet in a bucketful of warm water.  He gave instructions to Rajat in Bengali as he was leaving for Ashram to attend court case.  Suddenly a cyclone set in.  Clouds gathered, dust swarmed, strong winds blew with slight shower.  The tarpaulin of our roof flew away.  People were pouring for meals.  Cold wave set in.  I packed my holdall for journey.  It was raining. While we were dining Radhakantji arrived.  He brought taxi.  Instead of Rs.600/- it was wisely fixed for Rs.215/-. With difficulty it was turned to face Rudraprayag.  Servants were sent to retire for maintaining secrecy. Radhakant and I were called in his hut.  Radhakant blew his own trumpet and told Baba as to how he brought taxi in one-third fare and how he mesmerized the driver by talk of forest, caves, etc.  Baba became indignant because in Radhakant’s bragging the secret plan was leaked.  He declared he would not go.  Radhakantji catapulted and assured Baba that nothing was leaked about the plan and his apprehension was hypothetical.  Baba suddenly became lenient and approved.  Chandrashekhar, Saxena and Rajat were sent uphill to process the car, i.e. washing and rubbing with lemons.

After a little gossip the earlier described occult process of transmitting human energy or current was performed. Gita, Ramanidada and Chinu were involved.  Then Baba told Dipali to sing a song after Divine process was over.  Then other prayers and chorus of ‘Mahasenapati Bibekananda ’ was recited.  Lastly after united meditation at 11 P.M. we were dispatched with a strict warning to be ready by 3.30 A.M.

I packed my things in a suitcase with Dandge’s camera and kept it in Ramanidada’s hut.  He gave me a pair of ‘dhotis’ because Baba specifically warned me, “You have to become complete Sadhu.  Do not read English.  You will have to be in dhoti always.”  I returned to my hut, packed holdall and retired.  The sky was clear.  It was 11.30 P.M.

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