Operation fox

Posted By Author on December 7, 2010

30/1/1967:

Got up early and together with Chandrashekhar alias Bhaiyya, we finished routine.  Baba was already sitting outside in the morning Sun.  We approached and realized that an inconceivable and unconventional problem emerged.  At night a fox entered Baba’s kitchen and relished surface layer of ‘ghee’ stored in a container.  All contents of the kitchen were taken out and the Ghee was sent to us.  Baba irritably decided to keep wheat flour and salt alone.  He scared us as usual that he himself would prepare his chapatis with salt and nothing else should be kept for him.  His food could not be cooked without ghee and he regretted that there was no money to spare for extra ghee.  It was concluded that the very fox must have had stolen Dandge’s and Dipali’s leather sandals.

I suggested that we should get butter from Meerut and after persuasion he yielded.  Shibnath earlier requested me to plead for him to get permission to go home.  Therefore I suggested his name for this mission.  Baba told him to obtain and send three hundred rupees from Calcutta and Saxena was assigned the task of butter expedition.  He specifically told that Radhakant and Gobind would not go. Everything was finalised and timetable was chalked out.

Operation fox came for discussion.  What strategy and maneuvering was to be adopted was suggested by each one.  Radhakantji proposed to purchase corrugated iron sheets but was rejected, it being a costly affair.  Gobind initiated poisoning and it was accepted. Shomu’s live trapping rejected.  My plan to convert kitchen walls impregnable by additional walls of wooden posts was instantly accepted, as it required no money but manual labour only.  Our platoon was entrusted with the task and time limit was set. Both the axes were blunt and so Bhaiyya and I went to the river and sharpened them by rubbing on stones for an hour.  Then we collected about five maunds of posts from a brittle tree. We sweated a lot, as muscles were not attuned to this sort of strenuous work.  While engaged in cutting the logs to equal length Shibnath came panicky and told that another hurdle was impending.  He told that milkman had come and was demanding four hundred rupees.  I pestered him and paying two hundred rupees as part payment he left contented.  We had a lunch break.  Budhiballabh left in the morning and Ramesh and Shibnath left at 1.30 P.M.

After my lunch Baba called me.  He was sitting under the shady tree near Ramanidada’s hut.  His mind was wavering. He said, “Suresh, you don’t go home.  I am bent upon to start work irrespective of hurdles and impediments.  The money problem must be solved.  We must get one and a quarter crore rupees.  There is no problem of next hundred crore.  The initial one is the Himalayan task.  I am not going to wait till Full Moon.  On the coming dark Moon I have decided to roll wheels. You may go on 24th March so that your people at home will not deride you and make a fun of you.”  I nodded.  He added, “Our old basic plan is not possible. We have no time at our disposal to train children to take reins of the country.  That step I am leaving to successor.”

Again we got busy on operation fox.  One cow was giving less milk and it was not economic to feed and hence I arranged to send her to Shyamlalji.  Ramsingh was already on mission to search a new cow.

We packed bundles after bundles of logs and from beyond island brought them on head to Baba’s premises. I could experience the plight of epic hero Satyawan, husband of Savitri who defeated Yama, the head of the death department in heaven.  We started tying the logs to the kitchen wall.  One wall was completed.  Baba came and saw it and deflated us like a balloon.  Baba’s ghee went to fox and our day’s toil went to dogs.  He revealed that the species of which we brought the logs was highly allergic and this wall would result in itching.  His knowledge of the Himalayan flora was indeed thorough.  We unfastened the structure and removed all material.  Again we cut logs of another species and I alone tied one side of the kitchen with vertical posts.  Gita was there to encourage us by her innocent gossip.  She boosted my morale by offering ‘halva’ (sweet) in her hut.  The work was completed when pitch darkness engulfed the island.  Principal Shridhar of Guptakashi Vidyapith came.  He was given snacks and tea and then left.  With Baba’s permission I sought retirement for the day as body was aching. Gulped Khichari and slept.

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