Ashram news

Posted By Author on August 12, 2011


A small secondhand generator set was available for five hundred rupees and hence sent a telegram to Ramanidada accordingly.


A telegram was received from the Ashram that I should send the generator set by plane.  Austerity was not the word in Baba’s dictionary.  I went to Prabhakar and suggested to send his younger brother with the set to Calcutta but as Calcutta witnessed shooting and curfew he refused.  I took trial and purchased the set for six hundred rupees.  Extra hundred went in commission. That was too much.  I went to Badnera railway station to send the set by railway parcel.  It was refused as inflammable goods.  My friend, the ticket collector Mr. Bhonde promised to give a seat in the Calcutta train and hence I decided to go personally.  I sent telegrams to Salil Mittra, Shibnath Bose at Calcutta and to the Shaulmari Ashram.


In the morning mother gave Tiffin and father gave fifty rupees.  Left home.  With bribe of Rs. Three and half got berth in three tiers through Mr. Bhonde.  Boarded the Howrah mail.  At night at Raipur accidentally met my cousin Sachitanand Padhye.


Reached Howrah at 11.30 A.M. Salil came to receive.  Left the set and suitcase in cloakroom and by bus went to Shibnath’s office.  He had been to court and hence searched him there too.  He received telegram from the Ashram and instructions to receive me.  So poor fellow wasted Rs. 30 on taxi and reached station hastily.  There was a possibility of riots, firing and traffic jam and hence I rushed to the railway station by 3 P.M. Gobind arrived.  Gave him the Generator.  He told that he would not be able to start next day as the T.M.O. of rupees thirty two hundred from the Ashram came today.  On 30th and 1st there was Calcutta ‘band’ (close)


As cousin Sachit came I had to make a break journey at Raipur. Met my elder brother Umeshchandra and his wife Padmavati. Spent day at Raipur and caught a passenger train at 9 P.M. and reached home on 30/11/1967 at 6 P.M. Next day was the opening day after Diwali vacation and hence attendance in the college was a must.  Made arrangement to pay for the generator from my pocket, a very painful and pinching maneuver.

On 1st December 1967, joined college and the principal Dr.Mukherjee remarked in the open meeting of the college council, “I am surprised to see Dr. Padhye present on the opening day.”  Everybody looked at me with suspicion and curiosity.


Cleared payment of the generator and some loan of the Ashram, painstakingly with my money..


Sent papers by book-post to the Ashram.  Also sent photographs of Chinu and others by Regd. Post to the Ashram.


Today Salil’s letter received from Calcutta.  He informed that a third hand generator set was purchased at Calcutta and sent to the Ashram.  It reached late and hence Baba’s lividity knew no bounds.  Moreover the generator failed to work.  It added fire to the fuel.  The set was of 750 Watts and the dealer deceived in the bargain.  Then Gobind left by plane for Ashram with my generator set.  On 2nd Dec. a drive to collect money from people was embarked but it did not succeed, etc.  I wondered why Baba could never cut down his lavish and aristocratic expenditure and never bothered saving for future. He was reckless in money matters.

I read in newspaper that Netaji’s sword was to reach Delhi on 17th December and a grand gala reception was to be held which was to be attended by President of India Zakir Hussain and Vice-President V.V.Giri was to deliver a speech.


Shibnath Bose’s telegram arrived from Calcutta asking that he was anxious about us all.


Gyandada’s letter arrived from Ashram.  He informed about new escalation of ‘Gandgol’.  On 5th Dec. Baba with Ramanidada and Dinbandhu left by taxi for Banaras and since then there was no news about his whereabouts.  He also confirmed that the my generator worked well but it could run only one fan.


The President of India received Netaji’s sword at Red Fort.

Gyanbabu’s letter from Ashram informing me to procure five copies of booklets written by Dandekar as a report on Naxalbari in which aspersions were cast on the Shaulmari Ashram.  I sent an express delivery letter to my friend Dr.Shekhawat at Bombay where his wife is Deputy Minister in the State Cabinet.  She continued her mainden name as Pratibha Patil.

Three hundred and fifty Members of the Parliament demanded fresh enquiry into disappearance of Netaji.

Sent letters to Shibnath and Salil at Calcutta and Samareshwar (Shomu) at Ashram.  Completed reading of book on Netaji by Shri Rama Sharan of Agra.  Good one.  Told my chum Ballu Shingore to get Naxalbari report as there was no response from Dr Shekhawat. He is Excise Assistant Commissioner at Bombay.


Since a week I was not taking food at home as both brother and father taunted about spending money on Ashram.  My mother arrived from Bombay and she compelled me to take dinner.  My father surreptitiously read my diary and commented.  I did not like it.  I told him that I write daily diary for self-analysis, self-correction and self-purification.  It widened the outlook and elevated the soul.

Sent telegram in the name of Ramani Ranjan Das, Secretary Shaulmari Ashram: ‘Happy new year stop Brother’s operation successful stop No news since one month wire immediately.”

Through Prabhakar Wadodkar gave address of Naxalbari Report to his elder brother Balasaheb who was going to Bombay.

Shibnath Bose’s letter arrived from Calcutta.  He informed that there was no news about whereabouts of Baba at Ashram.


Received letter of Salil from Calcutta, stating no news about Baba.  At 1 A.M. in the night Rajat’s telegram from Shaulmari Ashram came informing no news about Baba.


Radhakantji Pandey’s letter reached extending New Year’s greetings. I sent a reply to him intimating Baba’s vanishing trick.

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