Baba’s domestic troubles

Posted By Author on May 23, 2011

4/11/1967:

In the morning Gobind left for Siliguri to receive Ramesh Saxena.  I got up at ease. Typed a letter and took bath.  Since Falakata township was boycotted I had to send a man to Birpara for posting the letter.  Then  I called upon Dinbandhu as he had fever.

The secretary Ramanidada too was groaning with throbbing pain due to day before yesterday’s excursion and exertion.  I was the only person before whom he could open his heart and pour grouse.  Suddenly he became vivacious and got engrossed in talking with me.  He talked for long time.  In the end he told me to guard his secret that he had a vision in dream that army people arrived to obey Baba’s command etc. I was amused.  Clock struck 11 A.M. I wrote diary.  Yesterday a T.M.O. of rupees one thousand came from Assam and so some ration was brought.  It would last for two days and then as usual there would be bleak uncertainty.

I had lunch at Dinudada and again gossiped with Ramanidada.  Then loitered with intent to while away time.  At 2.30 P.M. Shibnath Bose unexpectedly landed.  He came by plane from Calcutta, as his soul was restless.  He handed over rupees two hundred to Ramanidada.  I then went to snatch a nap. However Ramanidada called me loudly. I dashed.  What a fiasco.  He showed a long smoke line in the sky and thought that rocket was being launched.  I explained to him that it was nothing but trail of a jet plane’s emission, common phenomenon at high altitude.  Then he engaged me in delicate talk in absolute confidence. Baba sent a letter to Ramanidada from his camp at Jaladhacca.  Ramanidada depressingly read it out to me.  It was old method of despondency and torturing.  It mentioned that if Chinu died as she was away from him with Gita, Gita was reluctant to live with Baba and leave her mother; logs should be prearranged and kept ready for her cremation.  Another letter was sent to Gita that she should not cross the boundary of the Ashram and her mother should be prohibited from entering the Ashram.  Gita’s mother, poor lady, was incessantly weeping.  It was pinching and painful to me.  I was stirred.  Ramanidada was conversant with my power of mediation and hence he requested me to see Gita, convince her, and along with her mother they should be persuaded to call upon Baba and say sorry.  He prognosticated that the present predicament would peter away.  I also knew that the tension would dissolve but the situation was complex, complicated and precarious. Gita’s mother was surviving for daughters otherwise she had no hope or attachment or expectation from her husband.  She was in trauma due to virgin Gita giving birth to Chinu. She did not see Baba since his arrival from the Himalayas.  He was reluctant to come back but Gita insisted and hence frequent conflicts and his forays to the confluence and Kedarnath.  Baudi called Usharani is Mrs. Ramani Ranjan Das. She refused to go to the Himalaya to see Gita and her newly born daughter in spite of Baba’s messenger Ratan was sent to fetch her. Baba was already seething with insult. A fresh boycott of Gita’s mother added fuel to his insult. She pinched his guilty conscience.  His methods were unique, harsh and tragic. He wanted to force Gita’s mother to accept him without any rancour and her unfettered submission to him otherwise she would be separated from her husband and daughter and socially ostracized. It was Hobson’s choice.  Where could the the poor lady go.  I remembered Radhakant’s axiom in Hindi, ‘Jabra mare rone na dey’ meaning forcefully beating and yet warning not to weep else would get more beating.

It might be mentioned again that similar Hobson’s choice was thrust upon Gita to dissuade her from leaving Gangtoli to see her mother.  Either she would go without Chinu or stay.  I contemplated Baba’s plight.  First in despondency he went to the Himalayas for Gita’s delivery under the pretext of recouping his health just to avoid derogation, degradation and derision.  His greatness of mind did not allow him to abort the child or deny the deed.  The first jolt was from the Statesman, Falakata episode insinuated an innuendo, and thirdly defiance of Gita’s mother was symptomatic of how people at large would accept or reject him.  In spite of his glorious past and reverential position as a spiritual Guru, Gita’s mother rebelled, as it was shocking for her to expect this happening from this great man.  Moreover the vast difference in age of the couple and forced motherhood of Gita haunted and fainted her.  With this experience I doubted Baba would ever reveal himself in spite of mounting economic catastrophe.  I felt he would leave the Ashram dejectedly and permanently with or without Gita.  I was assigned the impregnable task of unfastening the Gordian knot.

As an unauthenticated diplomatic representative of Ramanidada I embarked upon the domestic peace mission amongst the recalcitrant participants.  Gita had absolute faith in me and many times she confided her most personal woes and worries and sought solutions.  I am not egoistically bragging but I was the only person left in the world from whom she would seek solace in her perennial predicament.  Knowing this I approached her.  She was drawn, depressed and despondent sitting alone.  I took a prudent move and engaged her in light talk and humour.  She brightened and revived.  I gradually insinuated the explosive and volatile situation and exhibited sympathy for her mother and abhorrence for Baba’s cruel methods.  She revealed oddities and too personal problems between her and Baba that I can never reveal and commit heinous breach of trust.  Her melancholy mood vanished in thin air and she made a clean breast of the current setting.  She consented to dissipate her mother’s tension.  In tandem with me we approached her mother to sooth her ruffled feathers.  We discussed.  She was in a state of bewildered shock and confessed that she was at her wit’s end knowing not what to do.  She requested me to tell her as to what she should do and accordingly she would make a move.  She gave a solemn promise that she would talk with Baba as per my wish.  She was nervous and panicky.  I assured her not to worry at all and I would see the rest and promised to stand by her.  It was decided that she, Gita and myself would proceed to see Baba next day.

I returned to my hut.  Gobind arrived with Ramesh Saxena.  We talked and I found Saxena landed penniless.  He brought pickles for Gita.  We went to Dinudada for meals.  Dinudada had high fever.  We returned and I called it a day early.

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