Return to Rambada

Posted By Author on December 28, 2010

10/2/1967:

Got up late.  Baba called us. He told his decision that he would not return. He said that he studied all the avenues but no way out.  It was of no use. He decided to proceed farther and told us to start when the Sun would be sufficiently high in the eastern sky.  He told us to take rice and himself took only warm water.

We ate rice with salt.  We packed up and started at 10 A.M. We waited for him, as he was finishing ablution near a spring.  Afterwards he joined us and in a group we proceeded. Yesterday’s Shyamanand Muni met on way.  He had been to Kedarnath; he had food with Falahari Baba, the only person who stays in verandah at Kedarnath in winter   Shyamanand was on return journey.  He had a kilo of wheat flour. I proposed and Baba accepted.  We took possession of flour and I put one rupee in his bag though he was reluctant. I explained to him that without payment Baba would not accept it. I was hungry and exhausted so I asked Shyamanand Muni if there was anything to eat with him. He had half black roti of ‘mandawa’.  He expressed that I would not like it. I snatched it and devoured it. It was a delicacy on awfully hungry stomach. Hunger teaches true value of food. I invited Shyamanand to our camp at Gangtoli. I joined the rest and resumed our march forward.

On way we crossed labourers of contractor working on the road.  We returned their borrowed cooking pot.  We were taking many intermittent halts and rest.  Baba discussed on education and he was against long leave.  I explained as to how it was needed.  We expressed our desire to visit Kedarnath temple but he said there was knee-deep snow.  He would think over and tell.  He asked Shomu that why did he not ever think of ‘padalanghan’ meaning going ahead of Guru.

We reached vicinity of Rambada.  Wherever water was dripping from rocks, long transparent stalactites and stalagmites of ice were formed. All of us were amused to see it.  I explained to Baba as to how at zero degree temperature during evaporation latent heat escapes and as temperature of dripping water drops below zero degree ice is formed. I also explained to him that during snow fall the weather is always warm as latent heat is released. Baba pointed beautiful blue, violet and purple flowers of wild pansy. After discussion on these wonders of nature we resumed the march.

We arrived at Rambada at 4 P.M.  It was a settlement of about sixty hutments, occupied seasonally, and was 9000 feet above M.S.L.  We surveyed the lanes.  I opened doors of some houses forcibly.  Most of them were jam packed with furniture and goods.  In one house I slipped and injured already aching left knee.  I could hardly walk and Baba got worried.  After a brief rest I opened another room.  He told to remove all timber lying inside.  Half of it was removed and he saw a mat spread up there.  Therefore it was cancelled.  Then we inspected a cattle shed.  That too was rejected.  He then chose an open Verandah. Adjoining to it was a room without door.  We cleaned the place, brought water from a nearby spring and sprinkled it all over.  He put his ‘asan’ and ensconced for rest.  I lit a fire in front of him.  Logs were readily available in one of the rooms and we decided to repay the owner in future.

I requested him to take food.  He agreed.  I sat near him discussing various issues and Shomu got busy preparing food.  Baba questioned me, “Suresh, tell me whether it is better to have power first or first arousing the masses and then taking the power.”

I answered that I preferred power first because work could be implemented and accelerated so that masses would not be displeased.  Then, Baba remarked that had Rajendra Prasad been President of India for more periods the picture would have been different.  He said, “If Radhakrishnan does not contest for Presidentship then we will see.  I feel Vijaya Laxmi is proper person for that.  She is a good lady.”

Shomu arrived after washing raw pulses and rice.  Baba asked him as to which water he utilized for washing. He told that it was performed by nearby spring water. ‘Gandgol’. Everything was upset.  Grain became useless for him as that water was flowing from the side of a latrine.  He growled.  I requested him that fresh one would be taken for him and we would consume spoiled one. Again fresh pulses were drawn and washed but again for some flimsy reason ‘kaj’ (work) became ‘shesh’ (finished). I lost my patience and without a word walked out.  Poor Shomu was crestfallen. His eyes blurred with tears and countenance flushed by repentance.  Baba called us back. We were sent out after winding up lock, stock and barrel. I told him I would not take food and after reaching the camp I would think over.  Baba said that I should not be childish.  He coaxed me to partake food.  I refused and remained stubborn. He remained silent for fifteen minutes. My obstinacy paid dividend.  He yielded.  I received the desired effect.  He told me to go and call Shomu with rice.  Again cooking began.  I sneaked out under the pretext that Indersingh was alone and would be scared.

Inder cooked his own rice. With Shomu we fetched water.  There was snow everywhere and cold was unbearable. Then we cooked our food and lit the fire inside the room.  Red ants were profuse.  Floor was cold.  The side facing fire would become warm and the other one would remain cold. In rotation of body I passed a sleepless night.  In wee hours I added fuel to fire.  I wanted to go out to piss but windy cold and ice covered land restrained me.  In my memory probably after infant stage for the first time ultimately the inthinkable.  I ran out on the ice.  No sleep.

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