Baba’s wrath & outing

Posted By Author on April 4, 2011

15/5/1967:

Got up late.  Finished routine.  Schmoozed for a while.  Rajat and Gobind went in search of Baba up to Bhiri about seven miles away.  No trace.  They came back.  A boy named Sudhir Chandola came at about 9.30 A.M. and informed that an old man sitting up was calling one of us.  Boy knew not he was Baba from the camp. Recently he visited us for Darshan and was engaged to a Bengali girl. Immediately Ramanidada, Saxena and me climbed up.  Lala too joined.  Baba was sitting beneath a tree.  He told us to remove the tarpaulin of his hut.  He wanted a hut to be built on the confluence.  Shyamlal and Tarasingh Pradhan also joined us.  With Lala and Saxena we came back to the camp.  We collected tarpaulin, sickles, rope, incense, fan etc. and began our journey.  Ramanidada was returning and crossed us.  Baba went ahead and for some distance Sudhir Chandola accompanied him.  All went ahead and I accompanied Baba. With intermittent rest we reached the confluence at 1.30 P.M.  While descending the footpath it was covered with dry but damp leaves and I slipped twice on it.  I therefore cleaned the path for Baba by removing leaves.  We arrived at the confluence.  All were busy in constructing the hut.  I too went up in the forest and brought ringals to tie poles.  At 4 P.M. the hut was ready.  For the last forty-eight hours Baba had not taken a morsel of food.  I burnt incense in the hut.  I then requested him to take Malta fruits. He agreed. Later he made us sit near him.  This was docile and affable Baba as against yesterday’s furious and recalcitrant Baba.  I again remembered strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde of R.L.Stevenson.

Baba gave a list of condiments that included one and a quarter liter milk, one and half kilo rice, quarter kilo mung dal, one kilo sugar, vegetables, utensils etc. They were to be brought before 7.30 P.M.  Then he showed a house of Chunni and told to arrange to send daily two liters milk which should be left at his door at 7.30 in the morning regularly. He asked for a blank paper and pencil to write instructions if any need arose.  Baba always used pencil for writing even in his earlier life.  Saxena’s last working day of the school was 19th May and I pleaded for him.  He was permitted to leave next day.  Baba’s selection of place is always aesthetic. This spot was in dense forest with the Saraswati and the Mandakini embracing at the front with panorama of snow peaks at the skyline.  I killed one scorpion.  Shomu ran and collected a bundle of dry sticks, as we had no fuel in the camp.  We returned to the camp at 5 P.M. I was lucky.  A snake rushed away three feet from me in the forest while we came by shortcut.

I immediately gulped rice, as I was awfully hungry.  I took rest.  Shomu, Rajat, Lala and Inder went to the confluence with things instructed.  Gobind went to Okhimath to bring dak.  Saxena went to Guptakashi to bring insecticide and then to Okhimath to borrow money for his return ticket.

Up to 9.30 P.M. none turned.  Ramanidada became impatient and worried.  He told me to go in search of them.  I assured him not to worry.  It was 10.30 P.M. All arrived.  There was no food stock.   Gobind and I slept without dinner while others had morning’s leftover.

Our party at the ‘Sangam’ (confluence) washed rice and lentil with fresh water and hence sand entered in food.  The water was supposed to be kept still in a utensil to allow sand to settle down.  This was not followed and it did upset him.  He returned everything without taking anything and warned not to bring anything next day.  For next day milk was not available and sugar was out of market. In a way it was a boon in disguise that Baba ordered not to send anything. In normal course I did not see Baba on fast but during anger it was always there.  I wrote a letter to Prabhakar to send hundred rupees by T.M.O. and slept.

16/5/1967:

Got up at 4 A.M. I wrote six letters for Kaithi.  Secretary Ramanidada came.  He signed letters and gave them for posting to Saxena.  He left for Etawah.  I slept again and got up at 8 A.M.  Ramanidada told Rajat to go to Sangam but he was too exhausted because of his twenty miles round yesterday.  Ramanidada told Shomu to go and he too was reluctant due to fatigue.  Ramanidada got upset and left to carry things to Baba.  Shomu then accompanied him.  Lala had gone to Chunni to fetch milk.  Gobind left for Guptakashi to fetch fly-killer insecticide.  I took bath leisurely.  At 10 A.M. Gobind and Lala arrived.  Only three rupees were all the balance at hand.  Gobind jocularly said that he could not purchase rice, flour or pulses but had brought poison for us.  The remaining three rupees he said were kept for Baba’s sugar as kalakand or rosgullas were indispensable in Baba’s meals.  We had nothing for cooking.  We engaged our-self in chitchat.

Shomu arrived with a directive that all of us should stand on road to Okhimath with blankets and Baba’s sweaters.  Baba would arrive and go to Okhimath himself for selling it.  He said Baba and Ramanidada would arrive together and so we were watching from the camp for their approach. I was very hungry.  I secured three Malta fruits from Dipali and distributed half to each of us.  At 11.30 Gita served khichari.  We saw Ramanidada arriving on the road. Shomu rushed up with blankets.

Ramanidada arrived in the camp and collapsed on ground out of utter strain both mental and physical.  He told to call Shomu.  Gobind went up the road and brought Shomu.  Ramanidada informed that Baba climbed some distance but he was so exhausted that he had to return to his hut at the confluence.  He was without food for the last four days and could not bear the strain of walking.  He sent a message that rice, Mung pulse and vegetables be sent to him.  Rajat and Shomu rushed to him with necessities. I took nap.  At 4.30 P.M. Shomu returned via Okhimath with dak.  Rajat too arrived earlier. He cooked Khichari for Baba and returned.  Baba was off on him for bringing bigger saucepan instead of small one.  Baba then directed him that daily some one of us would attend him between 6 to 7 A.M. If he did not come out during the stipulated time person concerned was to return.  On Saturday the twentieth, one of us was told to reach by 5 A.M. Similarly he sent a message that the letter, which was to be dropped to Saxena informing him not to come should be cancelled.

We had good time in chitchat as Gita and Dipali too joined us.  Then with Lala I went to Chunni to bring milk.  Shyamlal’s son Ramprasad met.  As per plan Baba told Shyamlal to bring Ramprasad back and so poor fellow arrived after closing his shop near Kedarnath.  Because of Baba’s plan he had to come such a long distance and after a couple of days he said he would return to Kedarnath.

Gobind had left for Guptakashi with blanket to sell.  He was ordered to go daily for that purpose.  He was awfully exhausted when he returned.  He told he left smoking.  In remaining three rupees it was decided that Gobind would attend a fair at Agastimuni and try to sell blankets there.  Everything appeared ridiculous. Rue it is that great men’s vices are esteemed as virtues. After gossip all of us were given one glass of liquid rice and that was the end of the day.

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