I left Ashram again..

Posted By Author on August 11, 2011


Got up early.  Finished ablutions.  Packed my belongings.  Took coffee at Dinudada. Took measurements of frock for Shobha, Pilu, etc. Baba’s call came.  Went in. Had long discussion.  Had early meals in his kitchen in his presence.  Baba told me, if possible, to send a photograph of Dr. C.D. Deshpande, former Director of Education of Maharashtra and a world authority on India in Geography.  Baba assessed him to be a man of progressive thinking.  The photograph was required for Baba’s method of winnowing persons for interview and read the personality.  He gave a detailed plan as to how I should reach when called for D-day.  I then bade goodbye.

Called on Gita and Dinbandhu before leaving. I met Gita’s mother.  She gave a packing of popcorn for journey.  All came out to see me off.  They were very sad about my leaving. Gita was in tears.  It was unbearable.  My luggage had already gone ahead. Ramen and A.K. Das advocates had gone to Mathabhanga for court work. On way Rajat took me to his house.  His brother and mother received me.  She gave sweets and I bed ‘Pronams’ to her and within five minutes left. Then by rickshaw arrived at the railway station.  Rajat saw Gobind and me off.  As expected, express train was very late and therefore we caught the passenger train, a slow one.  Got good space to sit.  We reached New Jalpaiguri near Siliguri at 7 P.M. I finished dinner with Gobind.  Secured two berths in Darjeeling mail. Tibetan lamas crowded the compartment. The ticket collector took ten rupees from poor Lamas in the name of extra luggage.  Actually their belongings were meager and portable.  I rebuked the T.C. He returned their amount and sneaked out.  I slept.


At 7.30 A.M. Khajuria Ghat came.  We got down and took the steamer.  Had breakfast.  Crossed the Ganges and reached Farakka.  Got convenient space in Darjeeling Mail.  Had lunch on way and reached Calcutta at 4 P.M. With Gobind Shah by rickshaw reached his home at 6th C, Kali Banerjee lane, Maniktola.  His house was one room and a verandah occupied by his wife and four children.  They felt shy about accommodation.  However, I became one with them.  After bath with Gobind reached Salil’s house by taxi.  It was near Baliganj station.  After chat and refection we called on Ramen’s house, which was very near.  Then by bus went to Shibnath Bose.  After waiting long for him we left but he met on way and had to take snacks at his home. I had chat with his wife and mother.  He gave money for my ticket.  By bus arrived at Gobind’s house.  Had nice fish curry and rice for dinner and slept in verandah.  On way saw lot of police and army contingent around the Secretariate in Writer’s Building.  Seemed some trouble was brewing and simmering.


After breakfast at Gobind, accompanied him to his brother-in-law who gave hundred rupees.  We returned and finished lunch.  Then by tram went to new market.  Did some purchases for children.  Called on Salil and Shibnath in their offices.  We then searched about seven shops of machinery to purchase a set of generator and fans for Baba. We returned to Gobind’s house.  Gave sweets to his children and bade goodbye.  Arrived at Howrah by taxi with Salil and Gobind who saw me off.  By offering a bribe of rupees four I already had booked a berth in the morning and hence return journey was quite comfortable.


The mail was only three hours late.  (I remember at Hamburg in Germany I asked a railway official at the railway station which would be the next available train incase we miss our connection from Munich to Vienna. I was afraid if our train reaches a few minutes late we will miss the connection as the time between our trains was only two minutes. He shot back that in Germany people set their watches according to railway timings.) Reached station anyhow.  I took meals in dining car. (Brandon)  Reached Nagpur at 8 P.M. as a wounded soldier.  When the train was entering the yard I impatiently stood in the door and some urchin threw a stone causing grave wound but luckily eye was saved otherwise I would have led a life of one-eyed jack.  After dinner in the train reached home at 1 A.M. on 23 rd.

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