Gita’s misery

Posted By Author on September 24, 2011

13/2/1969:

My friend Anand Patwardhan, D.F.O. Melghat came to see me.  He met Shri Baba who sent him with a message for me that Shri Baba left for Dharni afoot.  Anand discussed about his workshop to be arranged on Yoga with Swami Shivanand.  He left.

I was scared to see the whole situation and Shri Baba’s plight.  I withdrew amount to the last penny from the bank.

The message came on the 13th and actually Patwardhan saw me on 14th.

15/2/1969:

Mahashivaratri.’ My phone crackled, Banya Pawar spoke from his Navyug Book Depot informing that Haribandhu was there.  It was yet one more jolt.  Haribandhu told that Prof. Omprakash Bhatnagar of English had been to the camp and had darshan of Shri Baba.  He was to be informed to meet at the Bookshop.  I promised to do that and be with him at 12 noon.

As promised I reached the shop in time. Prabhakar Wadodkar and Bhatnagar were already there.  Shri Baba had dictated a letter in the name of Secretary Ramani Ranjan Das demanding money. The letter was handed over to him He went through it and promised to bring money whatsoever was possible by 5 P.M.

I took Haribandhu to Vijay Lodge as he refused to stay with me as per categorical direction of Shri Baba.  He disclosed that on the previous night he accompanied Shri Baba and came afoot to Paratwada.  Assan Sindhi had a small cloth shop near ‘Gujri’.  He offered fruits and milk to Shri Baba, which he accepted and then left towards Akot road.  Out of dejection Shri Baba told Haribandhu to go to Etawah at Ramesh Saxena and seek a job and for ticket he should collect money from Prof. Bhatnagar. Hari disclosed his intention to stay at Paratwada but I persuaded him to save money and be with Ramanidada and Gita.  After leaving him at the shop I came home, had lunch and attended the shop exactly at 5 P.M. Haribandhu also had come after having lunch with the five rupees that I paid him.  Prof. Bhatnagar came promptly and gave a packet claiming that rupees sixty-four were there.  Unfortunately later the amount turned out to be rupees fifty-six only.  Banya Pawar contributed twenty rupees and we handed over all amount to Haribandhu.  He left for bus stand promising that he would push off early in the morning.  I went back home.

Daytime temperature at the camp was gradually soaring high and Shri Baba was oppressed by heat.  The stream became a chain of stagnant pools of water.  In the previous meeting Shri Baba had told me that he used to take long walks along the road and once he came across a ‘dingo’.  I knew not this word and he explained it as wild dog.  Monetary situation was getting worst.  I knew the real causes of self imposed intense suffering of the great man who could easily have rolled in power and riches within no time.

16/2/69:

I left Amravati with Haribandhu to Paratwada at 7 A.M. At forest depot came to know Baba was at village Safan 3 miles away on Akot road. He contacted D.F.O. on phone for car. We reached huts. By 5 P.M. got truck and I reached Paratwada and by bus back home.

3/3/1969:

With wife arrived from father-in-law’s home at Murtizapur and dashed for Bhokarbardi bus.  Got it in time.  Reached the destination when shades of evening were crawling.  All were there except Shri Baba.

Gitamasi was extremely upset and irritated. She hated her confinement to the lonely place.  She gave a letter in English written to me expressing her plight and desire.  She told that she urged me to make arrangement to send her to her mother at Shaulmari.

I took Haribandhu to the stream and in secluded place asked him as to what happened.  He told that Shri Baba arrived to his hut on Wednesday, stayed on Thursday and left for Paratwada on Friday along with him. There, with Assan Sindhi he maneuvered to collect rupees two hundred from different shops and entrusted the amount to Haribandhu.  Then in a truck belonging to the Forest Department both of them left for the Melghat.  Haribandhu was dropped at the campsite and He went further telling Haribandhu that he was proceeding to Dharni and Burhanpur and that he would not return.

Gitamasi took me aside.  She broke and wept.  It was very pathetic situation.  She stunned me by revealing that her father and Shri Baba whacked and tortured her for her persistent insistence to go to her mother at Shaulmari. In fact from Amarkantak Baba was trying for second child after abortion and Gita refused. Now here same thing happened. She avoided conception and consequent result was whacking Conception was forced. I too felt that these people lost sense of proportion. I was shocked and disgusted. Gita reiterated that I should immediately manage her return to escape from clutches of these people. She was forced to reach Amarkantak. From there she wanted to escape back to mother to avoid conception. She was about to leave but at the last moment at Pendra Road railway station she was traced and trapped and forced to cancel her journey to mother. On my word of honor she came here. I promised her, consoled her and assured her to send her to Shaulmari.  I was at a loss as to what I should do.  Shri Baba was unpredictable and if he returned after I arranged to send Gitamasi I would envisage his wrath.  While parting I left Rs. 10 with Chinu.

Shri Baba formerly expressed his desire to train Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar’s son to carry on his legacy but he knew Sarama i.e. Mrs. Mazumdar would not allow it.  With age Niharendudada had mellowed down and she was commanding everything.  Then Shri Baba unfolded his strong desire to have a son after Chinu for whom he would leave brass tagged evidence to prove the child’s legitimacy.  I was to preserve and safeguard that in a bank till he left this mundane world. He wanted Gita to accept marital status and behave like a wife and serve him heartily. She was already frail in health and in a state of shock, the age gap between her and him was much, her brothers and sisters were thriving moribund living.  Both Baba and Gita individually opened their heart and confided their woes to me.  Certain aspects cannot be revealed, as they are too personal.  I could realize Shri Baba’s condition was like a caged ferocious wild tiger and Gita as a deer in trap.  I knew he could not come out because people might not accept his second conjugal relationship.  At times, he would deny that he was worried of the relationship and consequent public criticism.  Sometimes he would lament that he was under a Divine oath and hence could not come out and start work.  Once he asked me whether Tantya Tope or Nana Peshwa ever came out after losing the war of independence of 1857.  He wanted to emulate the same.  He even performed his own ‘Shraddha’ at Gaya. His former wife Emilie Schenkl and daughter Anita were there in Germany. That too might have had vexed the problem as to what shock they would receive.  He was so deep a thinker and meticulous planner that for public work all details were thought over.  His only problem remained how to train honest, diligent and selfless machinery to run the Government.  The plans to establish Universities were also ready.  To be frank things were so complicated that I was unable to opine either from his or Gita’s side but one thing was certain that he would not come out.

Today was Holika Paurnima, the greatest festival of the tribal Korkus.  They just drink and dance and dance and drink so that the spirits keep their spirit high for the rest of the year and spirits of ancestor rejoice it.  They also toast to their departed spirits.  I was intoxicated with thoughts and worries and in that I went to slumber in my hut.

4/3/1969:

Dhulwad’. The whole day Gitamasi confided many things and insisted on to leave the place, of course, with Chinu as early as possible.  Dada was deaf and dumb to all problems.  Haribandhu was scared about his future.  As usual I played with Chinu because that was always a great relief to me. Because of servant Rewa, Chinu began to talk Korku words. She spoke Hindi too. I took lunch and at 2 P.M. I left Gitamasi and Chinu by a private bus with heavy heart and a promise to come back before long.

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