THE ACHIEVER’S END :Chapter 2::Why and How “I” travelled to London? How I chased my dreams?
Why and How “I” traveled to London? How I chased my dreams? Allured, all dreams, for London’s life and learning I explore the world, meeting men and women during luxurious Sea- voyage to UK.
On 13 October 1955, at the age of eighteen, I sailed from the shores of Mumbai on the ocean liner S.S. Stratheden.  I leaned against the deck rails and waved to all those who had come to see off. Standing like statues on wharf far below, I noticed Mauni Baba and Punjabi Sarkar—saints who had also come to bless the voyage—raise their hands in the traditional gesture of compassion. I responded with my own hands folded, tears welling up in his eyes. They had travelled the important distance from Patna and were pleasantly shocked to find themselves standing by the side of my eldest brother and my brother-in-law Beeren. They too felt sad and a bit lonely for the direction that had been taken in leaving India for knowledge and adventure.
Thus was life given to my heartfelt dream—a focus that I had planned and charted, my new direction, visit to the UK, to be with those who had ruled India for over a century. I wanted to understand and come to know a truly democratic society; its freedom and its welfare state, and to experience its life—to learn, and to grow in to wisdom. Perhaps I was an explorer, a traveller trying to nurture my pioneering spirit. Oxbridge educated teachers had fired my curiosity .About Keats, Byron, Shakespeare, Dickens, Swift, Shaw, Virginia Wolf and E. M. Forrester and the British way of life. The prospect of city night life with the BBC, magazines and films motivated me to understand the process of government in studying for a degree at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the early years of Free India.
Stood on the deck for as long the shores of India was not out of sight. It meant travelling to the worlds unknown. Perhaps for broadening vision, widening horizon personalizing and enriching my mind
Looked for cabin in the First-Class just when found the coast of India was lost from view. It was luxuriously furnished. Then I walked to the dining room. The steward directed to join a round table. The middle-aged Europeans were already seated. Did not know what was to do. An Australian woman seated next to noticing shyness introduced to others and the menu. After that taking command of self, took part in polite conversation. The Australian woman advised: that must enjoy this trip, soak as much sun possible on the deck. For this was a seventeen daylong journey.
When the food was served, could not eat much. I had soup, a cutlet and ice cream followed by coffee. Returned to cabin, with tears in eyes fell asleep and dreamed: On a floating wild green plant a baby with flute! Banks were full of Roses, Saffron and Pomegranates. The plant got pale in storms and scents. Plant was being washed away with the flood
Early next morning steward woke up with a tray full of orange juice, toasts, marmalade, and tea. He showed where could take shower. After a quick bath, went up to the deck. We were still in the Arabian Sea.
Leaning on the rails of the deck, I watched the lovely green waters of the ocean, clear blue sky, with no land in sight. Felt am moving to an unknown direction. Thoughtless! Nearby on the deck a young woman slightly older than was writing letters seated on a deck chair.
Our eyes met and smiled. Then not knowing how to cause conversation, tried watching the sea. As she was a bit older, she opened the conversation. Learned her name was Phiroza. She was from Mumbai on way to London to study Nursing. We were both in a mood to chat. We chatted about being in a foreign land. What adjustments one would have to make. Will be a new life .One needs to be ready for some shocks. She enquired whether I had some spare envelopes had. It was in cabin. She accompanied to borrow one from. As we entered the lift, it felt we knew each other for a long time. That afternoon during tea, found her again on the deck resting found her reading a book on a deck chair. She smiled and invited to sit by her side. Saw the passage she was reading. She explained: It is a long stream-of-consciousness Joyce’s novel all about sensuality and beauty. She commented the book may not be suitable for me. Yet noticing her playful smile, shyly emboldened I looked over the pages:
I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a woman’s body yes that was one true he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn’t answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many he didn’t know of . .
Embarrassed, unaware of such a read as was still raw: with inner theatre of unlit desires. A bit tongue-tied. Not yet, sure in which direction may take full plunge. Not yet understanding the chemistry of cupids. What is it?
“You are blushing. Relax! Curiosity or adventure for exploration in this field is normal. We Indians are a bit repressed. We were not so in old times. We had openness of attitudes about sex. Have not we KHAJURAHO and KONARK temple depicting sex on stone? Aren’t we a bit hypocrite?”
“I don’t know.”
The stewards serving ice cream saved us from embarrassment. We both ate. We did not need words. Were inseparable companions in the sea? Just before dinnertime, she asked to get ready. We walked to her cabin. She touched lipstick over her well-fleshed lips before the mirror, brushed her hair. Then she smiled through the mirror. Suggested playfully that turn face so that she could change her dress. She was in Purple and Pink. She caught shy being from behind and began to brighten my face with a towel and then some moisturizer and to comb hair. . Being skinny, smart and fit I suddenly felt melting in some magnetic field. As if was her soft toy in budding of sort. Nevertheless, we did get ready for the evening dinner at the dining room.
Next two weeks flew chatting, listening trivial, close to each other sometimes with arms around each other. We spent hours together, either seated on sofa or walking together on deck for fresh sea air after dinner. A lonely bird fallen from her mama’s nest that had yet to be coached to fly solo in a trance. As if she lifted me in her palm! In some way, this loosened the fear of woman a bit, with some sort of awareness to sexuality and restlessness.
In no way it was going away from the images of higher or purer side of women. In addition, it did not have overwhelming physical expressions. We felt honoured and safe with love and caring. Close and warm. However, during mild hugs of a loving kind between moments of silence would stress ‘focuses. Feeling good together thus time spent worthwhile for both of us during long sea voyage. She did hint that women try to understand what men expect them to be. However, they have different views too. She whispered in my ears: “If wrong you do false you play in summer among the flowers. You must atone, you shall repay in winter amid the showers.”
The fortnight of sea voyage made us meditative. Unending sea and the sky above watching them made one look within. . Felt clueless about her feelings did not know what the problem was between us. What we wanted from each other. How each of us thought about the other. What block existed? Did she evaluate me in some way? What was going wrong? Yet, we did hang out together. Had doubts, what was proper? Why did I leave home? Did have secret reasons to run away from home from the siblings or parents? What did I want?
 Gross Registered Tonnage – 23,722 tons
Length x Width – 664 feet x 82 feet
Builder and Year of Build – Vickers-Armstrongs of Barrow – 1938
First Class + Tourist Accommodation – 448 + 563 persons : Total 1,011 passengers
Sister-Vessel – S.S. Strathallan
Subsequent Names – Henrietta Latsi (1964) Marianna Latsi (1966) [Greece]
Ultimate Fate – Broken up at Spezia in 1969
 Ulysses – Page 525
How I Explored fashion, films, theatre, flavors, intimacy in Europe and Received education at the LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS for understanding private and public initiative in the Society and Politics..And how I picked up ART OF THOUGHT?
THE L S E
I joined the LSE as a first year student, in the first week of October 1955. LSE occupies a significant presence in the heart of International students and London. The ambitious students at LSE prepare here, to shoulder great responsibilities of excellent organizations. LSE library is one of the biggest in Social sciences. The library, researcher’s students, tutors and professors hastened my thinking. .
Professor Ralph Miliband Tutor at the LSE.
The tutorial is one of the major strengths of Oxford, Cambridge, and London School of Economics. A tutor, every year was supervising my weekly progress. He guided my academic development and learning at the LSE. He guided intellectual development. He gave assignments. He counselled how to make the best use of time for educational goals. One had a new tutor in each year. However, one can never forget the first one. The assignment: When is a village not a village? K.M.Clayton as first tutor at the London School of Economics wanted presenting first assignment at the end of the month. He gave free hand to write as felt like. At first I thought, I could easily find the material in a few books of the library. I believed so, as I had earlier been a topper in an Indian university. All I thought was to collect related books in the library. In addition, collect my information and collage it. However, this assignment was not easy. I could never find the answer in any book.
LSE library is one of the biggest in Social sciences. I tried looking in to hundreds of books. No one had written on this theme. Once I did not find the answer, my self-image of being a top student received a jolt. The practice with which I was familiar in the earlier schools and colleges was different. I had just to compile information with quotes. However browsing the subject in the books from the point of cooking up an essay, after few difficult days, it dawned I explore when a village is not: town? Then I began looking at what towns or urban settlements are. This meant I began to think. I learned what are the primary, secondary activities, and tertiary in human settlement. Then at that moment, I had begun to understand the whole development a village? What changes make its growth in to a city etc?
LSE activated me in hundreds of ways, during the four years of undergraduate days. The students, visiting pupils, tutors and professors hastened this. Some of the professors whose lectures I had attended later had the Nobel Prize in Economics.
I did invite one Karen Mullins as date to dine one evening at the VEERASWAMY restaurant at the Piccadilly Circus. She was my first date. I filled my pocket with much money. We dined; window-shopped and dropped her home. She waited for minutes at her door to say Bye. However, I did not know whether I was expected to kiss her. The following day at the LSE, my senior Indian students asked me whether I had introduced her to Indian food. She had praised me before others of my night out with her. I did have a couple of letters from her. Later she met me for lunch at the Copenhagen. She taught me how to walk slowly at the pavements so that she could keep pace with me. However, in the Copenhagen did not spend evenings at the TIVOLI with me on some excuse.
In the weekends, visited pubs and museums and especially the National Art Gallery, where would take a stroll. Often sit staring at Renoir’s La Para puree. I would love the impressionistic paintings. It talked to me. The brush strokes, bodies, eyes, lips, breasts, arms, waists, soft curves, body, legs, shoes lingerie, long hair: all so much alive energetic and captivating.
Just a peek at the paintings with pink and rose tall soft curvaceous babes would do something to me. It was gratifying .I bought a large print of THE UMBRELLAS and hung it in my bed-sitter’s wall. Perhaps British Museum (has a lot of Buddhist and Tipu Sultan’s items), Tate Art gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum had miniature paintings and statues collected by the RAJ RULERS on ‘the wonder that is India.’ I loved the miniature Buddha &Krishna paintings.
Renoir’s La Para puree.
Walked by the House of Commons, were photographed with the
Big Ben in the background.
I could do whatever I wanted. I was so hopeful and free amidst people of hundreds of countries making London a multicultural global hub.
Lord Bertrand Russell
Meeting with Lord Russell:
I specialized in contemporary social economic and political thought in my B.Sc.Econ. (Government) final year. I came in touch with Lord Bertrand Russell through my interest in Vienna circle (Wittgenstein, Rhyle and Ayer). I was deputed by one of the LSE newspaper to interview him. The meeting with Lord Russell is significant. I interviewed him regarding his philosophy and his concept of happiness. He advised to find work in tune with ability, aptitude, and interest. One must not do anything that is antisocial and puts in prison. Finally, one must find a sex life acceptable to the culture one lives in.Surprisingly this philosopher looked very humorous; he offered me Chinese tea and cigarette. He allowed me to record the interview. He joked with me that I had a cow in my tape recorder.He shocked me by stating that Nehru lost the opportunity offered by history. Nehru lacked courage to play the PEACE ROLE which destiny had offered him in the world.
At the end of my first term, we had to sit for an examination where LSE was to check who was coping with the Economics Degree. It was just a one-paper examination. The questions were like. “What will be the effect of rise on the daily wages of bricklayers if the demand for typists went up?” I had not devoted my evenings to study but to acquire social skills I did not do well in this examination… I lost my self-esteem.
A few days before Christmas, a Jordanian friend and a Gujarati classmate invited me to join them for a trip to Paris. At Paris, we stayed as guests of the Quaker Center. Every evening we sang Carols with the American men and women.
The American Lady in charge used to take us out to show us “Paris by night.” Walking by the river Seine was romantic. Visiting underground coffee bars, listening to folk songs was great exciting. After that we visited bars past midnight, and sipped champagne offered by strangers. We had party games and feasts at the Quaker Center on Christmas Day. We went to the Louvrer. I did not feel impressed by the Mona Lisa but several other sculptures fascinated me one of them Venus d’Mallow. Visiting Bastille, the famous tennis court and the National Parliament were inspiring. Napoleon’s Palace was and the visit to Versailles was a fantasy. It was a luxuriant set up. On Christmas Eve, we visited the famous Church of Notre Dame and on the following night the Moulin Rouge. I loved the Cancun. Only half a century later did I understand nostalgically the story behind this nightclub clearly when I saw the film Moulin Rouge? Like all the tourists, I saw the artists in Mon-Maître, Pig ale and went up the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps all these experiences where connecting me to the historic and firing me towards some mission in life. I discovered the French philosopher Barras, “Undying spirit of France.” It charged me to identify myself with India. No wonder when I visited Vellore on my return to India learning all about Ida Scudder the American female about whom I had learned that ‘ the diseases shudder at the name of Ida Scudder”. I vowed to work in India for contributing. If this foreigner gave India its first School for Nursing, an institution that created for India the first batch of women doctors and raised funds for the service of India giving up all the attractions of the American comfort. Why I cannot? The following evening we had booked for the famous Lido nightclub. Unfortunately, I had fever I stayed at home resting and reflecting. On the New Year’s Eve, we went to the Pig ale, Mon Maître area and to an underground drinking place. There were singers of famous French songs. At midnight everyone kissed each other wishing “Happy New Year”. Thereafter our American hosts returned to their flats leaving us to explore the area. We started roaming .On a street corner, we saw a French woman with some dollars in her hand waving at us. She was a sex worker. She negotiated with the Gujarati boy, he asked me to hand over some money as my contribution. That female took us up a flight of stairs where three scantily dressed females were sitting on a bed surrounded by chairs. They made a small presentation, breaking the ice:
“Guys come to us for sex education, adventure relaxation and reassurance of their potency and erotic breaks!”
They explained with their associates what sexual pleasures are! We were so naive! At the end of their half hour show, they asked us to try. All three of us looked at each other and quietly slipped out. We were all afraid of the possibility of sexually transferred disease. The visit was just for curiosity.
Back in London, my folks from India demanded explanation for this short visit to Paris. I replied we had gone there to see the places connected with the French Revolution.
The annual examinations took place, not everyone was asked to take it. It exempted those who did well in the examination before the Christmas vacation. Although I worked hard to appear for the coming exams, yet when I noticed my name on the list of candidates expected to explain their realities why they should not be asked to leave the school I began to cry. I must kick my habits that did not match with my goals.
The board chaired by Dr. Vera Anstey had four other members. I told them that it took me a while to adjust in a different cultural where everything was different. I discussed the time I took to deal with CULTURAL SHOCKS arising out of: the Weather, Life-style, Food habits and the way of my peers: as my first obstacles to performance. I promised them that I should not let the LSE down. I am ambitious. In addition, I have learned to organize, work towards the successful completion of the B.Sc. Econ degree. In response to my commitments, Dr. Anstey as chairperson assured me with a place in the Pass-field Hall of Residence. Nevertheless, she gave me the task for the coming three months vacation. I was instructed to write researched essays on the twenty questions that were given to me during the finals. That I must work on each question in the library. Submit the essays on the opening day of the next semester. Therefore having worked hard in the LSE library over my assignments, I felt a rise in self-esteem.
I would study in the library; go for snacks in the college canteen. Sometimes finding lovely warm summer weather, I would walk down to the Trafalgar Square. I became fascinated by the Italian restaurants and then Neapolitan Pizzas (Round, in diameter .35 cm, about 0.3 cm think, having a crust of two centimetres, soft. having a royal taste (only later in USA I discovered its other variation Chicago and New York etc.) Then I would walk up to the National gallery. Seeing the lovely paintings would cheer me and fill me with joy. I would become dreamy and hopeful! Fascinating light and colours of the paintings and London filled with tourists suddenly looked full of lovers!
However, discovering Pierre-August Renoir’s “The Umbrellas” stimulated me and made me speechless. I sat down to watch and absorb the beauty. I imagined this is the sort of living girl friend I may someday find! I researched about this artist and saw other creations of his. Renoir’s ideas: “PEOPLE LOVE TO BE NICE, BUT YOU MUST GIVE THEM A CHANCE!” This was enlightening. He was a hardworking family man. Even when he had some physical ailments, he kept painting JOY& BEAUTY.
His favourite theme being “PEOPLE ENJOYING THEMSELVES: THE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN HAVING FUN” as in THE BATHERS. LE MOULIN DE LA GALETTE taught me how the sophisticated women and urban men dance. The painter enjoyed playing with Rainbow colours. The sunlight filtering through! The rosy flesh tints! Yellow-orange! Cobalt blue! I read he was not satisfied with his paintings until he felt like “touching and pinching” his beautiful creations. The way he captured “endless delights in the human form” simply opened new vistas in mind. I too began to secretly long for such an ideal woman form not found in realities. Where was the woman with “inviting eye”? Aspired to have such a wife with who could dance as in the Renoir’s “dancing in the country” and friend with whom could have Sunday lunch as in “The Luncheon of the boating Party.” Thus began a search for a girl friend. I wished to feel the young woman in “The first night out.” In addition, “DANCE IN THE TOWN.” Was I trying to access the “OUT OF THE WORLD “experience of the ETERNAL in nature?
The Luncheon of the boating Party..
On hindsight, I feel I may have been looking for a woman unconsciously a Mom. Several young women appeared who were slim and friendly who wished My Company. I hardly understood them. In addition, I would rather seek a Kind for whom I would feel physically attracted. I learned to dance beautifully a Rock-n-roll, waltz, or a fox trot. After a few dances would opt for those with whom I could dance much in tight Hug in slow dances that helped move for the embrace. I could not be clear in my mind what to do with bodily needs. How could they be satisfied? Why we have sex organs at all? Is it a sin to use them? I did not know whether I could handle a long-term relationship? Perhaps knew nothing about it. What was correct for me? Yet I couldn’t avoid my needs. Was to be attracted to a lovely female a sin? I felt sexual instinct to be a powerful, which had ability to bring life. Two-do .One does long for a special body, heart and thoughts, all get involved. Perhaps marriage is the platform for such passion. But do you? Does one need to prepare for such a hunt? Is one having the right equipment or tool for the hunt? How do you sharpen your spear? What about the fear of pregnancy? But how can one prove strength? Do I resist temptation? Am I becoming soft by such temptations? How do I learn the love-craft? Do I need to meet the young women? Why not at dance floors? I do need to be acquainted with some to understand. But where is the one I am looking for? Without such company I feel less of a man, is that true, with such train of thoughts I became a bit upset. I did resolve not to be seen where I do not feel I should be seen. I did wish to remain an honourable man. My thoughts became an unending spiral moving towards an unexplored mystery.
I kept a journal. I would copy ideas, poems and thoughts I liked from books, magazines and newspapers:
Everyone is looking for something! To be complete! To be what we are meant to become? To escape from limiting finite! To have what we don’t have! Are they outside us? Or they are hidden in the folds of our inner being?
I loved to recall Lord Tennyson:
A life in civic action warm,
A soul on highest mission sent,
A potent voice of Parliament,
A pillar steadfast in the storm,
And then Shakespeare’s
“For forth he goes and visits all his posts. Bids them Good morrow with a modest smile. Calls them brothers’ friends and fellow citizens. A largest universal like the sun.”
Being a resident near the KEATS HOUSE in the HAMPSTEAD HEATH Area, which I passed almost every day, I would fantasize:
‘Pillowed on the ripe breasts of my fair love’. I would yell within me silently:’ where are you?”
One late afternoon, while returning home from day’s work at the school, I briefly came close to Janet Strong of Cardiff preparing for a career in Law, after completion of the LSE degree. I had found our eyes being locked with each other in the common room, half a dozen sofas away a few times. There was curiosity, energetic quest of the other: nonverbal scans of the person? Later at the Tottenham court road she too I found, was waiting for the Northbound underground metro. We just came close on the platform of London metro. She smelled Channel or Poisson and liquor. In the crowded underground train, standing close to me, I discovered flow of energy through her whispers and seductive smile! She asked me about my halt. At Belsize Park, She came to my bed-sitter! I quickly tidied my room. She just dumped her stuff. However, went over to my bed! She exclaimed, ‘I need to unwind!’ “A party!” Offered her a cup of coffee. I made a toasted sandwich with a tomato and cheese. She needed them. Then her defenses broke down. She was in tears. She held me tight looking for support and disclosed, ‘I flunked in my Final Law examination!’ She confessed she has to take an early morning train to Cardiff to her parents.
The June, found us a bit ‘sexually active’. Did biology or the northern climate that made this month for passion play? The weather in London in summer is aphrodisiac. Outdoors during June – September we came close to each other’s eyes. The heart did something. We wore fewer clothes in summer. Our hormone levels were high. This naturally pushes us to find a Partner.
“DANCE IN THE TOWN.”
The influences of films television and ads in London on my mind was on me was that Either I looked for the ideal depicted in the paintings like that of Renoir or Wanted fully developed seducer like a Marilyn Monroe; Diana Ross, Brigitte Bardot or other females I saw in the shows and theatres.
Where was my delight coming from? Unplanned afternoons? Italian food walks in the green, sipping coffee at joints, chatting in smoke-filled dark coffee bar corners with young females, Visiting Museums, and art galleries and watching theatre from gallery seat. Living each day at a time!
What happened to the books on History, Economics, or Politics which in the library I had to look up from all the references cited? Why was I more interested in listening to the debates in the parliament?
I began to wonder why I was suddenly not able to concentrate on my studies. All around me were students from all over the world who could interact with others smoothly. I too tried to take initiative and began to talk to all students around me. I too could have blast in London. I had a tanned sort of dark handsome look.
Where were the right women? I began to develop a hunter’s persona showing bravery. I felt cool with the chase idea. I tried a new avatar. I felt I must be in a good physical shape. I did come off as an honest, open, a bit emotional and naive. I needed social skills. For the International set. But it seemed difficult to pick up. Yet I needed to skill up. I needed to understand the people. That meant I had to interact with others of my age in various social. I did plan to learn dancing. Arthur Murray Dancing School taught me rock-n-roll, waltz, and foxtrot. It was then that I learned the ‘magic step’, which could work in most dancing. This increased my chances for social.
I began a battle with me. Was I breaking the vows?
This self-evaluation meant I became aware that I had started smoking to look ‘Macho’. I went to films of “Brigitte Bardot.” I visited rock-n-roll joints. However, was all this contributing to a sense of meaning in my life? I had become the best-dressed man among my peers and I had learned dancing and techniques for beginning conversation with all kinds of people and races. Ideas and were opening. I had my telephone book full of new numbers. My only worry was what had happened to my examination performance. Why B- or C? When I was the topper back home!
I sought comfort in literature.
One worked hard in the school. Somewhere I discovered a poem and its lines:
What lips my lips has kissed? What arms my arms has held? What birds have come and gone? Here in the winter stands the lonely tree. The rain is full of ghosts tonight, the tap and sighs. Listen for the reply! I only know that summer sang me a little while, it sings no more!’ (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Now I felt that I was getting sophisticated perhaps a bit too much. Suits from Austin Reid, Simpson’s of Piccadilly were my choice. I had heard Indian ambassadors bought their stuff there. I tried to work on my sexual quotient. I wanted to learn how to please women. I looked for every secret on the subject of intimacy and was curious about bedroom equations. I could never find a manual. So far I was driven by physical appearances only. Education, religion or race did not matter. All that was essential for me to survive and enjoy in company was sandwiches, cheese pizza, chocolates ,coffee ,milk shakes and coke. I did make conscious efforts to pick up good social behavior. A close English friend said: Those who come to study at places like the LSE, are serious career minded, do not need to be in a relationship to be fulfilled. The women have multiple sex partners. They often go out with friends for good time as if on a sexual safari. They frequent pleasure spaces like bars, clubs, nightclubs, parties and other dance and music avenues. Often they try to compete with their friends as to how many men they pull to themselves. They are all for nightlife experiences. They often frequent underground clubs for fun, socialising, casual sex and pleasure-seeking urges.
Colin was guide on the laws of attraction, Kinesics and ways of a flirt:
FEELING people through observation of behavior, nonverbal communication, and a concept hitherto unknown to me. It was essential to have EYE CONTACT during communication. Relaxed eye movements revealed honest and trust. Annoyed displayed raised eyebrows crossed legged seated with kicking feet revealed bored disposition. Rubbing nose meant rejecting attitude. Touching and patting meets meant those doing so are evaluating.
The opposite sex has been a mystery so far. We began sizing up people. Mirroring the other’s body languages assuming it relaxes the other and opens channel of communication. Understanding nonverbal cues makes transparent the hidden. Colin mentioned fifty ways .The cues. One hardly understands a dozen! Initiative on gut feel is the key. ‘Tears’ in eyes, rise and fall of ‘eyebrows’. The ‘inviting eye’. Women may like a stranger and try being in the vicinity. Complement on trivial; Touch with Fingernails between lips. Bite their lips. Move breasts. Long gaze on legs. Move bodies and sliding fingers up and down around the glass adjusting voices to their listeners. Match interests. With those in whom interested. Copying body positions and languages.
Men too can give signals. Parted lips, noisy behaviour, Raised eyebrows, standing erect, rubbing chins, surprised looks, and fiddling buttons, stroking cheeks and ears, touching gestures, autocrat behaviour. Learned to give attention to small, attacking verbally in the beginning, vibrating slight sexual tension of the attractive energy field.
Colin introduced a barber in Mayfair who trimmed the actors of the hip-hop world in style. I became a frequent visitor. Also a friend to talk to! He gave me a hairstyle with no parting and persuaded me to buy his especially prepared hair lotion. The barber gossiped on Norms in India, China, Malaysia, Japan and Americas. He considered sex as a necessary of life. If it makes one happy, then where is the problem? Why introduce right or wrong judgment to it. I just listened. What is so big a deal about virginity? How does one lose anything by being to one another? He would hum” What’s a little kiss between a fellow and his girl?” Sexual longing is a reality. It needs to be attended to not repress. If two people can attend to themselves economically and professionally in society, then what they do together is nobody’s business. To remain virgin or not is their own choice. One should be familiar with types of contraception. Why should society sit on judgment? It happens too. The right people do come .As most of the marriages do not fulfill all the expectations, one often wonders about this institution. Perhaps half the marriages in Europe and America fail to fit in the ideal category. Meanwhile one can find a lover for short-term mutually enhancing friendships based on trust as well. Pleasant companionship. It is difficult to explain love. Historically different cultures talk about it differently. What is most important is mutual trust, encouraging recognition of each other. He talked of DATING styles in different countries. He showed magazine articles on ‘sex without strings or relationship’: Low commitment and casual. He asked me to check whether I was aware of Indian erotica the KAMSUTRA and all.
In India on the first night you meet parents, on second fix the date of marriage. On the third you are married and have the Honeymoon
In China on the first evening you take your date to expensive eating place, on the next to even more expensive one. The third occasion may not come
In Malaysia on the first evening you touch, second meet in privacy, on the third you get circumcised. Then the marriage you promise to keep the bride’s family. Religion only allows these stages.
In Japan on the first date she is shy and hesitant, one cannot kiss. On the second one can bathe together. On third date you have sex and say SAYONARA!
In America on the first date can say goodnight with kiss, on second you can be all over for a feel. On the third date you can enjoy missionary position with a promise to marry. You may leave all such thought.
On my summer visit to India in 1957, I was surprised to find Nargis next to me while checking in at the airport. She gave me an autograph on my favourite book. In Cairo, there was a long halt at the airport. In the airport lounge, she was sitting and chatting to some film people. Luckily, I was standing nearby. She noticed the shyness in me. She waved her hand and asked me to come and sit at a nearby (sofa). I did not know what to talk to her. Nevertheless, she was very compassionate .We had to wait for a couple of hours for the plane to take off. Therefore, she acted as an elder sister.
A couple of jobs I did in holidays: first with my hostellers in summer vacation. On Euston station we would report at 10pm. We got the Porters dress. Waiting in canteen, drank tea and smoked. After midnight trucks containing DAILY MIRROR bundles arrived. All we had to do is to place them one by one in the Parcel compartment of the train for two hours. According to the union rules had to wait in the canteen till 6am this brought overtime salary. With it emerged bags under my eyes and sleepy feeling whole of the day. Caught sleep but did not feel the sunlight and this brought depression.
I was frequent visitor to MARX HOUSE where LENIN had lived underground for some time. I went to HYDE PARK, either to listen or to be part of playful processions in which we would practice giving out any free literature we got hold of! We would watch the famous speakers from the gallery seats of the Houses of Parliament. It is at the London School of Economics (1955-59) I had first received multi racial-cultural-national exposure. And a very rich insight in to the evolution of ideas and institutions. LSE’s connection with India is well known. B.R.Ambedkar the main architect of Indian constitution had studied here. However, with introducing “ONE MAN, ONE VOTE” principle I fantasized that shall one day is capable for a major role in India. That is why was so excited to be a student here. Unfortunately I had not so far been aware of the “life of contradictions”. Perhaps I thought the society ran on principles. I looked forward to understand this. What a naïve one is in the undergraduate days! What does one know: that social and economic continues to deny “ONE MAN, ONE VALUE “in reality?
One evening after a hard day’s, work in the library feeling a need for company just Loitered in Soho. In one of the corner alley a woman whispered in my ears “short time 30 shillings” as a ‘favour’ for the ‘lick of banana’. This sex worker smelled of liquor. I being shocked, finding her repulsive just walked away, ran fast to the underground tube and returned to my room where I was staying. Sleep deserted. That night felt guilty. Why did we pass through such area the following week had constant headache. I bought myself a packet of cigarette. I remembered what had read in Gandhi’s autobiography: Gandhi was once tempted to descend into action, but was saved by ‘vow’ to his ‘mother’. He too discloses ‘I was trembling when I reached my room. My heart was racing. My condition was that of a wild animal who has just escaped the hunter’. (P.90 Gandhi and women’ in INTIMATE RELATIONS: Exploring Indian Sexuality, Sudhir Kakar, Penguin Books India (P) Ltd 1989)
I read a book by Karen Horny on Feminist Psychology. It talked about men’s fear of women as mother. That’s why the Carol men folk have created pseudo concepts of penis envy. Women only want to be like father because of affection and admiration. As women’s private parts are hidden not so much outside like men, they are some mystery. The only fear they have is of damage. But everyone enjoys being loved. No wonder I found women dressing up in a way, which gave a little peep in to their lingerie. I noticed they secretly enjoyed displaying cleavages: groomed hair, lips nails foot, legs and shoes. However men failing to understand the hidden vagina, deny identity to women. I smiled internally with all this read and felt having capacity to entertain. Just then I discovered a couple of students discussing Buddhism as well as watching myself enjoying my read. Ray and Carol involved me in conversation. I did not then know much. They were debating on DHAMMAPAD: Grief and fear is by-product of lust? Buddha felt when one is free of lust; sorrow and fear are never around! Ray couch man became a friend. I told them my life experience through a poem: A knife, a Lamb or a Lily, What are you? Knife is vulnerable to rust as Oak can fall in thunder But a Lily? Pure and sweet within water or without a willow that stays forever!
Since then I had noticed weeping willow in Oxbridge, I loved this plant. Ray Couch man hitchhiked to India, stayed with my parents in my absence one summer. (A couple of decades later after becoming a diplomat, on a holiday with his wife he visited me in my home at Laheriasarai where I was nursing my constituency .He expressed his opinion: I him a priest in Jungle).
My parents began to ask me for a monthly report on my expenses. Phiroza wrote to me a couple of times enquiring about the delay in mailing her pictures which I took in Cairo with the Sphinx in the background. In one of her angry letters, she enquired ‘Have you mastered the female chemistry?’ I did not write back.
It was in London that at the age of twenty I was again suddenly lonely. Large number of young men and women were having an active social life. I remembered the vows I made to Mauni Baba. I was a little angry at my upbringing and on myself. I did not know how to fit in the social circle.
Under a garden umbrella!
One Friday night wanting to be in good, cheer sat under a garden umbrella outside seating of a coffee bar at Swiss collage in a suit and tie. When the waiter asked to order, noticed a group of young women were chatting with one another and watching. They overheard that order was an aspirin and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate arrived. I had a quick swallow of the aspirin before drink. I noticed the smiling young women. They pretended to be enjoying the chat with each other? Having finished the hot stuff, they too began to get up. On paying, I too stood up. The young women were close, at the counter. The tallest among them smiled. Smiled back and walked with them on the way out. We got talking watching each other’s eyes our shoulders brushed. Her name was Marianne. She was a German. We exchanged phone number .She. Spoke: would call you.
’ Later the next afternoon she answered phone, wished to meet her. She invited to her apartment. The Montessori school where she taught provided this to her. Took her a rose bud, wrapped in cellophane and handed her on meeting her. She welcomed. After chitchat, she got ready to come out .She needed to freshen up. Therefore, she brought a comb and combed hair. On my lips too jokingly rubbed a lipstick. Noticing me pleasantly shocked she wiped my lips with a tissue paper.
We went out for a walk on the Hampstead health, talked with each other. ? I noticed Londoners had no problem with their libidinal life in public spaces: parks, stations, train compartments or behind the bushes. What was my problem? She had brought camera photographed me with a weeping willow in the background. Then we had ice cream together. In addition, I brought her to my room in Belsize Park. I played my record player with a record of cherry pink we sat close to sofa close with arms around each other. Quietly want rose. But we would just chat. And feel the ecstasy. She would just take my hands in hers. We would be cheek to cheek. This is how we became friends. I became happy. After school, we would lie together
After a few meetings, she announced: she was returning to Germany. I was sad. She gave me a record as gift Ray Martin playing waltz from the film Carousel. Noticing my mood and me, she promised to write every day.
Motilal happened to be one of the senior actors whom we admired in his film ‘Mr. Sampath’. The students living in an adjacent flat at the Belsize Park were related to MotiLal. I was invited to a party in his honour. Marianne and I visited this party. Motilal disclosed, while he is famous He too longed for intimate friends.
Marianne expressed: she would play my mother during school in England. I did not imagine how this could be. I could not then visualise in MOTHER image. My mind sensed a woman whom I could be with as a companion. She engaged my mind. Being close to her my heart would blossom to a blissful state.
I was nineteen. She was twenty-one. .We wrote to one another every week. For Christmas vacation, she took consent for me from her parents to invite me for a visit during Christmas at her home.
I left for Xanten thinking I will return after the Boxing Day but did stay until 2 January 1957. I travelled via Rotterdam where Professor Parmanand Prasad who’s textbook in Hindi was published by my dad. During my senior school, I had worked part-time for the Publishing House after school hours. The work that, I was assigned was to label the diagrams of ‘The Economics of firm.’ That is when in 1949 became aware of the discipline. I had done the needed work neatly. When I met him doing his doctorate work at the LSE with another Patna’s teacher Chetkar Jha I was delighted. The latter explained to me Separation of Powers in the very first week at the LSE. He had proposed my name for being an office bearer of the India Society. He had also suggested to the secretary LSE Union that I can help in the work of fresher’s welcome. As I had discovered both were graduate students for then Ph.D. degree under Professor Robson the great expert on Public administration. Mr. Chetkar Jha was good at public relation. Therefore, his supervisor was pleased. Mr. Jha I had discovered during a field trip at the Fertilizer factory at Sindri with Professor P.P.Karan a couple of years earlier. Mr. Chetkar Jha was a local guide to Professor Robson showing the new Public undertakings in Bihar. He was showing the Public under takings newly set up. Unfortunately, Mr. Robson being slightly displeased with Prasad the latter transferred to Rotterdam for D.Sc. Under Professor Tin Bergen (who later received a Nobel Prize).
Mr. Prasad acted as my local guide in the city of Amsterdam (City of canals) where the sex workers were displaying themselves on the balcony. There were window women visible through our motorboat. Our motorboat passed through the canals. On both sides of the canal were streets full of sex workers on their windows. Young women of Asian origins clad in bikinis seated on sofas in well-lit cubicles behind the glass windows were visible to the tourists. Smilingly they were displaying themselves. Tourists were negotiating with these females. Each glass window had name of the hooker. On one, I read: JUICY I am sexy! It appeared this red light street had support of the Government’s Tourism department. I was shown all this on a motor launch by Mr. Prasad as a tourist guide. Mr. Prasad entertained me at a nightclub where I heard romantic songs during the dinner. The next morning I took a train to Achaean where Marianne had asked me to come to. Her older brother Carl and Marianne welcomed me at the station and drove me to their home in Xanten. Her dad who was an army officer during the Second World War welcomed me. He avoided any talk of Politics or war. He looked compassionate. I learnt to call him Farti and mom Marti. Younger brother Albert was called Ali Baba. I used to get chocolate cakes and coffee for breakfast, three-course vegetarian lunch with cheese spread on toast and boiled vegetables for lunch, homemade bread, spaghetti, macaroni raw cheese, slices spread on pieces of bread and wine of Rhineland for dinner. The family looked after me. However, I never had privacy to be with Marianne. She always was helping in the housework-assisting mom. In addition, she met me when all would be present. This made me internally angry. Noticing my mood, her dad involved the two of us in joint projects out in the cold backyard gardening and for chitchat. Perhaps he did this to check our compatibility. The significant task assigned to us was for cutting a tree.
. One afternoon, Marianne invited a girl of my age to join us. We did all roam together and for dinner at local restaurants. They took us to shop, church and visit a hairdresser in the village. On Sunday, Marianne and I went to pray at the church. For Christmas, I had gifts of chocolates etc. On New Year eve we went with Carl, Marianne, and Albert to a family friend of theirs. They had a newborn baby. Her husband had arranged fun and games for us. The host opened her blouse openly placed one of her nipples in the baby’s mouth. Perhaps this was a custom or a ritual I did not know. Then at midnight, her husband was kissing Marianne. I was not used to this. I felt possessive and became sad. To repair the damage all the women offered to kiss me. Marianne wanted her younger girl friend to kiss me. I did not feel for it. Around 1 am all of us left for our house. I was crying within after reaching the house I slipped into my blanket. The next day I took a train back to London .I did not talk to Marianne, she quietly saw me of at the Railway station; she had organized the reserved seat for me. Before the train moved out of the platform, she said “Bittersen!” back in London; I did not socialize at all! Feeling guilty for how I had waylaid, I tried to overachieve all though the 1958-59 worked hard on studies withdrew from the society and vowed to work for the downtrodden of India.
Footnote: On the hindsight I feel it took me a quarter of century to understand my defensiveness Took two decades of idealistic. Service in India’s villages and towns some sort of penance, Trying half a dozen ventures later I went ‘OUT OF INDIA again to the USA .On university financial support to prove that I am GOOD! At the US universities during study of Behavioural sciences, I became aware of the defensive part /aspects of my personality which was out of my first love! Only after preserving my A level grades during the three year period of Research and Teaching Assistantship that I had won to complete two master degrees through which I gathered applied professional and personal skills at Akron where I had during the weekdays, worked very hard and freaked out in the weekend evenings, resulting in A grades, a job at the government of Kentucky as a Senior Planner that I got back my sense of self-as a professional and acquired the expertise of a change agent).
Life at Pass field Hall was fascinating. On Friday or Saturday night we had an underground cellar where could have beer. During dinnertime, we could invite our young woman friends. At the head table the warden often brought woman cousins. I wondered about his dozen’s of attractive ones who appeared one by one at a week’s interval. I too invited women regularly during autumn, winter, and spring semester of 1957-58 almost daily .for evening dinner and later for joint study or for visiting the London’s hangouts. They would spend time with me like birds on a wing, often until late evening or we went to theatres, bars, and nightclubs in the West-end. But the young women at parties ask for gin and tonic. With American students it was fashionable to order martini. I became familiar with ‘Gold diggers’. The American woman friends of Sarah began to notice me, were asking me out to introduce them to Indian restaurants. But as I was devoted to Sarah I did not cultivate others .All that we did with these women were to visit houses of parliament regularly with Sarah’s local M.P.’s provided passes The young women from USA with whom I peered in the cafeteria over coffee during lunch or tea breaks would often take out large king size menthol cigarettes. They offered me before lighting theirs. Matching their friendly gestures I would also take one and puff. Inhaling and exhaling felt manly. Thus I was initiated in to a habit which took me decades to give up.
One Saturday night while one of my guests overstayed past midnight in my single seated room (which I had luckily got through lottery) our warden R. Chapman knocked at my door, Sarah got scared as she was on state scholarship asked me not to speak about her identify. When I opened the door, the warden just told me, ‘it is passed midnight, come and see me in my office after breakfast.’ I too got scared Sarah asked me to escort her to the College hall. Immediately afterwards, I ran to talk to one of my veteran seniors. My seniors advised how I should face the warden. I went down to the cellar where the warden spent time with the boys telling them dirty jokes while enjoying beer! I told him, ‘I am sorry Mr. Chapman, my watch was not working, I am sorry. It will never happen next time. Am I forgiven? May I offer you a beer?” He replied, ‘Okay! Mr. does not do it again! Yes! , A Carlsberg would do!’
I learned to be a sophisticated in the west end ever partying, eating at exclusive places, visiting almost all of London with Sarah daughter of Methodist priest. She came from Yorkshire. Her parent has had a long stay in Australia. She was interested in day visits with me to NGOs, welfare centres, community development centres, meeting her member of parliament and getting passes for me and her American woman friends who knew of my visits with Sarah to all the special eateries They would persuade me to come with them only in f the evenings.
But I played ‘one person’s pet’ to my danger. Soon my heart was broken. Her dad the priest drilled her to think ‘What’s the future with this person?’ Suddenly little doubts, fear and other undefined emotions began to surface. Just on the night of 9th February we had thrown a party on my student allowance for which she prepared all sorts of munches I footed the bills for all the wine /bear and food with more than 30 students invited including the warden Mr. Chapman. Top my surprise she began to belly dance for my warden who enjoyed like others.
When after the party I needed to be with her she grew distant and I saw her off at her hall of house where her friends would hide a key under the doormat of entrance. Although I had bought two seats of ‘My fair lady’ show in advance for my birthday in April ‘we did not go together.
Yet socially we looked like a couple all over. We still moved together. Somehow then I was just a carrying out of rituals routines and responsibly remaining a civil couple before the people. Even tears had deserted me. I sought comfort though letters to Marianne. She began to write almost every day till my stay in UK.
Even though externally we were viewed as fearless cute couples, internally I felt a convict for no conceivable cause. All of this led to my withdrawing in my cocoon while she continued hers. Life progressing coolly in to her academic and career oriented pursuits. Mentally withdrawn in my cocoon and study, some a cave, where I spent most of waking hours counselling fresher joining the LSE community.
Several decades after having become aware, I sought solace in advice work. And the costs I paid were later turning me into a victim of conditioning childhood. Although all whom I met considered me classy, in my life of intimacy I found cooling off as the blocks had crept between each other I could not set up and re-establish the contact I wanted. It took decades of being in every volunteer work role I undertook in India’s society to be in a safe masked over achieving through the tasks I undertook academically to build up my self esteem. After that worked in every project vaguely related to what needed. However in my minds inner world I had become denied any treasure out of the meetings. Whenever I played a professional at work I would long for companionship that I had lost. Either I was overfriendly or internally desiring closeness.)
Decades later when I got to process on phone the reply was, charming that you have been and recognize the choice of your “Glory of Bihar” in pictures as your gift. I felt my bruises disappearing and could recognize some reflections on what went wrong) we had the audience towards ourselves only. She disclosed, “I have loved you the time.” I did reassure her of my caring attitudes and some expression or posture of feedback as helpful in coping with my reality. There has been a: feelings exchange. The vacuum that was artificially created due to conditioning and cultural and racial or social stereotyping: One had to fill that never wished anything that would act us blocks. It was no fun. After this discussion, when the blocks evaporated I remembered I was running away saving my skin, being chased out of most roles, by the mafias of our social space.) Earlier when Sarah and I grew distant after a stormy affair, even tears had deserted me. I remembered how often punched my pillow, how many lines I entered my journal. How much I was holding back. No one knew except me. I had the pain bottled inside.
Having become a Londoner, I learned the magic steps, dressed in Austin reed / Simpson’s dresses gaining confidence to visit theatres gained ease for, during interval a suitable drink for himself.
While young woman/ date knew what to order I would ask for a Bloody Mary of the day, or a Carlsberg beer, or vodka with orange juice or a cognac with seven up or Rum &Coke. At first at pubs when I did not know any of them before buddies introduced me to Virgin Mary Tomato juice with sauce.
After a while I began to love the Carlsberg lager during a visit to the Copenhagen. In the spring of 1956, one of English class mates invited me to the ‘Wine & food society’ sponsored Rhineland’s wine tasting. At the university students union building there was 45 different kinds’ wines bottles on a large table. The wine association representative invited to the students to taste a sip, of most, one by one and throw the rest in the portable sandbox. I began to float.
Having tasted most of them later I discovered I would during dinner have a red wine. Rationalizing I convinced myself they one made of grapes. Rum & Coke I would take when out at ‘Rock N Roll joints’. And all by me I would order for me Cognac with seven up. The first I bought a small champagne bottle when Sarah visited my room to welcome her after she broke up with Mason the American and joined me. The students kept Vodka to mix with any soft drink when entertaining their young woman friends.
Ray Coachman hitchhiked to India, stayed with my parents in my absence one summer. (A couple of decades later after becoming a diplomat, on a holiday with his wife he visited me in my home at Laheriasarai where I was nursing my constituency .He expressed his opinion: I him a priest in Jungle. )
Posted by SARAN at 02:54
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The Achiever’s End : Chapter 1 : What was it like to grow in India in the backdrop of surging New Nation ?
THE ACHIEVER’S END Chapter 1::BACKGROUND:what was it like to grow in free India in the backdrop of surging New Nation?THE ACHIEVER’S END
BACKGROUND: what was it like to grow in free India in the backdrop of surging New Nation?
One afternoon father gone well-dressed for being part of JURY in the local judge’s court, I ran to my mom. Inside the residential quarters on the veranda, my mom was having her massage by the maid, and listening to the gossips of local women. Despite calling for her attention, she never turned towards me, somehow preoccupied. I had to lie down by her side and fall asleep confused.
The postman brought a cable. My dad having read placed it on his desk. A cousin of mine, my age saw the contents from behind. Thereafter he ran to me “your dad will be chained.” How come this the message he received. I ran to my dad who was stepping in to take a shower. On my anxiety writ large on my face, seeking clarification on the contents of the cable, my dad explained “Badhai!” means congratulations.” The golden jubilee celebration was the occasion of dad Father’s:
Fifty years of successful publishing and the literary and cultural contribution. It was a service to the humankind .It brought an appreciation from Mahatma Gandhi the greatest Indian leader. He sent a message: “Brother! I appreciate your work. Keep on with such service. Blessing of Bapu” I heard dad tell those who came to honour him:
“I came to this city 33 years ago. Neither I knew anyone here nor did anyone know of me. My small home was my world. Nevertheless, I found the LORD here! The Almighty gave me everything! I don’t know what good deeds I did in this life! Now I am enriched with bounties: the Divine Gifts. Some of you called me PIONEER, Entrepreneur, mentor, industrious! I don’t myself know what I have done. God spun me like a top as He wished wanted energized me as an instrument I performed. I do not consider myself learned. Alternatively, even a literary person! I only know that with all my might and dedication I served my mother tongue. Which are generally beautified by artists, I have humbly offered some raw flowers. Even in my dreams, I never knew these would be ever recognized. However, the true service of the literature has been my past time. I never tried as a commercial for the market place. I have always neglected self-publicity promotion or clique. My mantra:
“Dedicated my services to literature only!”
Some called me CHIEF of the publishing enterprise, I never considered myself so. The Divine powers created me and evolved the enterprise to serve from for service. I believe within my core:
I am just means to Divine design. Each event has unfolded according to such a script for the present drama that has unfolded. My inner experience gave insight MY FAITH becoming firmer: gaining of worldly grandeur, honour, or label is not so valuable. They are made and unmade with the passing of time. The everlasting truth unchanging, indestructible is the persistent application of intelligence and efforts bring pure happiness: SATVIC ANAND! One principle ran my life: ANASAKT KARMAYOGA! Always did duty the KARMA without craving or attachment for the fruits of my work. (Karmanyewadhi karastey, ma faleshu kada chinah) As an innocent babe, I obeyed God’s dictates and left the rewards to HIM only. MY unshaken belief being:
Whoever loves Him is always protected and taken care of!
I may have committed many mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. I may have brought pain to some. As I consider myself ever at the feet of the DIVINE COUPLE (SITA-RAM/RADHA-KRISHNA), I feel confident that all those who have surrendered to HIM receive FORGIVENESS! “Each cell of the universe is divine, I bow with folded hands”
My mother Chandramani:
My mother Chandramani (The Jewel of the Moon) gave me birth at 6.41 pm in Laheriasarai, Darbhanga (Mithila) on 13 April 1937, in a publisher’s family. I have been told that on southeast corner on the veranda surrounding the open courtyard where a room 10X15feet was made ready with all medical, pharmacy facilities for the town’s famous lady doctor to help delivery of me. The room always had fragrance of burning incense stick underneath a lovely painting of the child KRISHNA. All of us were born in similar set-up. A well -known lady doctor would come and help such events with helper’s, nurses, and midwives. Dad amply rewarded them.
The woman doctor of this town is rich. She served exclusive clients like mom or the princely family in the near city, rich businesspersons. During delivery of my younger brother and sister’s one doctor Bella Ghosh would come. This lady doctor was great favourite of the Darbhanga Raj.
Darbhanga and Laheriasarai are twin cities. The former is headquarters of the feudal kingdom. They had their own airport. The latter was on the world map as the hub of publishing by dad. His company was employing five hundred locals. They were trained by him in editing, production and marketing for best planned effort in South Asia including BALAK magazine and innumerable valuable creative projects. He was catalyst to canalise the energy released by the nationalist creative talents for freedom in our country, through transformation in to literature, informative inspiring books for the masses: 100 essential books for rural Libraries. The Almanac, inspiring books on Indian civilization were mass-produced, efforts of think tank for renaissance in India. He was regularly playing host to saint, artist poet, philosopher, social worker educationalist, policy planners, and bureaucrats of the region. RAJA and the princes of Darbhanga Raj visited my father to publicly honour his contribution in the city and developing intelligentsia’s creative artists, writer poets, and spirituals. Darbhanga raja had a private airport. We chartered planes (small one that flew my dad and sisters returning from in laws) here. The Raja’s estate manager one Mr. Danby an English person was a tough administrator and an escort to the Princes during their visits to European places for business and pleasure.
Mr. Danby was harsh in collecting revenue. His guards for not having paid the revenue took once a farmer’s house away. Therefore, this person decided to appeal. Knowing no procedure, he would stand outside the main entrance of the king every day with folded hands. After several days, the king did notice him while passing though on his Rolls Royce. Mr. Danby was at his side. The king asked the reason, the humble farmer asked:
‘Kindly make me a ‘dog’ in your kingdom
‘Managers in Raj look after them. They are provided food and blankets as well as mosquito curtains. I have been strapped of all my shelter and home’.
How the Local Elections took place?
I learnt from everybody in the campus the local Town was having election in the town to select those from every c corner of the town who had been give highest number of votes by the residents of the area. Our town was divided in roughly two- dozen municipal wards. Each ward contained perhaps five thousand residents. Only those who were adults were wanted to register months before Election Day, in lists printed.
Therefore, bordering to our campus this was taking place. Discovered people looking for the Muslim woman’s Burqua. So this could vote many who had not voted from the Muslim woman category covered ——. For this some social activists had brought dozen’s of saris. Some women sometimes changed into women’s saris, at other times were not in Muslim’s cloak. Before they went to cast their vote, they were coached with details to use for impersonating the absent voter .I must describe what the political worker
I wish I had recognized father as a spiritual guru within his lifetime. Then I did not realize what a great-realized person he was. He was granted with the cosmic! I went all over the world looking for and all that. What I vaguely sought travelling out of India, the divine bliss was achievable at home with dad’s MANTRA. Imagining mother of universe personified as the Lotus like queen of VIRINDABAN! The eternal joy is hidden by veil of dust within self. Often the defences block our bliss. Only the genuine feel connected with the cosmos.
It has taken me three decades to understand the secret of dad’s life. How did he keep ever growing in balance juggling within his institution: customers, government politicians, grassroots cronies, always and professional, compassionate ethical standard setter? The inner wealth that father found was a source of great energy always accessible to him to his every breath? His each action produced wealth, bliss, through the team of people under him. This group was the countries best nurtured to scale height, after a decade of apprenticing with him. They were invited later in their careers to fill parliament legislatures and free India institutions, media and what not. He received praise from India’s leaders. Nevertheless, decoration came to those whom he trained.
( This understanding came two decades later through active citizenship. Research, multivariant analysis of the country’s 40 socio economics variables and 14 crimes variables as well as organizational behaviour, change, applied social science expertise and institutional consulting in India and out.)
My sisters were always reading literary magazines, and our brother-in-laws admired her.
Like everyone else, tiny models of whatever I would find in Bhai’s possession fascinated me: Hornsby toy train set, flying model planes. However, no one ever gave me. Not able to tell my need I only felt like running to mom for support.
On a gas balloon to the land of fairies!
I always fantasized: a gas balloon to the land of fairies. Travelling saints from far distant places would come and tell their experience and often share insights and songs. Sometimes someone would come to play the flute, tabla, and the harmonium. Every Sunday such gatherings would charge the participants; sometimes saints from Vrindavan would say “Dear God lovers! Learn the goodness of Sri Vrindavan. There is no end to the bliss there. The queen Shyama gives you the feel of spring every moment.” Another singer would voice feeling her associates “Listen Lover… Lal Bihari Krishna has stolen the heart.” Five days every rainy season a swing of flowers were hung. On it young boys would dress up, as Radha and Krishna and the devotee singers would sing “Jhoolat Shyama Shyam”
As usual every night while going to bed we had to change into easy clothes. As soon as our eyes would close, mother used to send her house cleaner to oil legs. Remember (in my campus)! How when was four, loved to hover round artisans, carpenters, masons, bookbinders, printers, camera operators at work, photographers, artists and painters at their work. Father wished to see me study. He considered education and picked up skills are the real wealth. If I came late, Bhai would make up a song ‘a basket, a pale and a spade! For white rosy babe!’
Then Bhai would call me ‘BILLO’ and I would respond ‘LIBBO!’ He shared story books ‘PARI DESH KI SAIR” (story of a small boy who flew on a gas balloon to the land of fairies). A story of WHERE UNCLE WENT ON A LONG HOLIDAY WITHOUT SPENDING MONEY with one paper currency note of 100 (‘ TAUJI KI SHILONG YATRA’) .. He always teased me. He would wrap sugar in little foils. He told me that chemists have given this for a better concentration in studies. He remained my banker until I was eight. On the day, he joined senior school he asked me to keep my cash with me. Then I had to mind my affairs. I shall ever remain grateful to him for his protection until then. He encouraged me to speak before gatherings.
He had a special car to go to college, learned tutors, and friends. I would just act a messenger attending to his chores. He would give me storybook, cherries and secretly take me out for a cup of tea. He would show me a fresh paper currency note stitched under the cover of his books. I never found in any of my own. Often I could not cope bullying my oldest brother, and not finding my own psychic space, I tried to be around father. I performed odd jobs, to seek his company for security. My father and I related well. Nevertheless, I only presented my brighter side before him. However, the darker side in me disturbed me. I had no one to share. When he came, I would tell my anxiety on arrival of.Mauni Baba.
I was in reveries:
Older sister’s husband Nand arrived. We would be very excited. He ran a chain of refreshment rooms on dozens of railway stations. A young man of twenty-one always elegantly dressed, a born storyteller a perfect person from Gorakhpur the headquarters of the OTR (Oudh Tirhut Railways). His family was very popular with the Bruisers who ran the Railways. He always brought gifts: Huntley Palmers biscuits, Kellogg’s cornflakes, and imported toffees. I always enjoyed the opportunity of a possible treat. Nand gave us treats at the local Railway station where he had his refreshment room where he took us for a tea party. Our guestroom was immediately readied; fresh linen and flowers were. My mom was supervising to send him tea. Lipton’s Green label Tea in silver tea set. Every Item separate: milk, sugar and crisp toast, with Rasogullas and Sandesh and salted Cashew nuts and choicest mangoes peeled and cut into pieces.
Sister first advised him a shower. Immediately he opened the box and took out fresh white shirts, trousers, and underwear. The bathroom was really quite large. I was always behind my sister. Nand’s stories were unending. Immediately having brushed he removed his clothes but for the jockey shorts. He went under shower. The water rushed on him. Nevertheless, little stories continued to entertain my sister who stood at the entrance. The whole scene was interesting. None of his words were intelligible to me. Mother alerted every one “Breakfast is ready.” Sister replied, “He is coming.” My elder brother Bhai and sister Bhawani always monopolized the conversation. I was just an observer. However, Nand always kept me in through a compassionate glance now and then. He had brought a new Radio set as a gift produced by General Electric Corporation. What my brother was concerned about was how it could be set properly with the aerial. Soon the Radio was taken out of the carton and placed next to the window on a small table near the window and plugged to the electrical connection. A large wire for an aerial was attached and it is other end taken out of the window and linked to the aerial net.
Nand switched it on. Then the knob tuned it to the AIR (All India Radio). It started: This is All India Radio, now you will hear the latest news from the Melville’d mellow. The German’s have bombed some areas of London.
Prime Minister Churchill has resolved, “We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight on the beaches on landing grounds on the streets …We shall fight on land. We shall never surrender.”
Nand told the family “Japanese bombers are active on Burma’s border.” “British soldiers are very organized in Calcutta to meet any eventuality. Our warplanes are flying in all directions for practice.”
All of us dressed up in our nicest clothes. My eldest sister Shanti was looking glamorous. Our brother-in-law looked so smart in his well-cut navy blue shirt. Bhawana plucked a yellow rose and presented it to Nand offering to place it on his buttonhole. Thereafter Nand drove us all to the Railway station at Darbhanga junction where he had one of his twenty-one refresh rooms contracted by the British owned Railway Oudh Tirhut Railways on the Railway platforms.
The manager of Ganesh Lal &. Company at Darbhanga Railway Junction unit was waiting with all his staff at the main gate, which welcomed Nand and led us inside the dining hall. A large table for twelve persons had been ‘Reserved’ written in the middle. The table with cutlery, napkins, and a flower vase with fresh cut pink rose buds cheered us. Moreover, I felt good. Sister helped Nand chose items on the menu. We were going to have toasted cucumber sandwiches, hot Gulab jamuns, followed by the nicest Darjeeling tea.
He introduced us to formal European lunch or dinner manners. He explained about use of cutlery. There is a cutlery for each course. One has to put napkin overlap. Should never place elbows over the table. The fork is held in left hand. One must chew with closed mouth. Never smoke. Till the host touches drink one should never touch wineglass before toast? Butter knife is placed on the left side of plate. Appetizer fork and salad fork is placed between appetizer plate and main plate on left side of plate. The main plate has a napkin with in ring. Salad knife, soupspoon and appetizer knife is placing right. Dessertspoon, dessert fork is placed in front. Wineglass has to be over the right hand corner.
A meal comprises of appetizer, soup, salad, main dish, fruit and cheese and coffee or tea. Continental vegetarian food in his company uplifted my spirit. He introduced me to a variety of cheese and bakery products. Such good food, drink and warm company always made me long for life.
The smartest ‘Role Model’ for all my siblings happened to be Nand. A graduate in philosophy from Luck now, generous, social, modern best dressed person and a storyteller always surrounded by admirers in every elite circle, a civic leader and a great connoisseur.
Darjeeling Tea in an elegant silver teapot with the milk and sugar served separately. He took only a spoon full sugar for his teacup. I watched and I followed.
Waiters dressed in starched white and an attractive cap with the insignia of the ‘Ganesh Lal and Company’ served us. I loved cool fresh lime with water with sweet syrup. Though the tea had the finest Darjeeling flavour, yet my cup did not taste sweet with only a spoon of sugar. Yet, I pretended to enjoy it.
THE WISH FULFILLING TREE
Mom had told me about the KALPBRIKSHA-the wish fulfilling tree!
I fantasized that I shall ask the tree for bounties. I remember one of our annual holidays with an army of servants, cooks, house cleaners, helpers, tents, utensils, edibles, and fruits to foothills of Himalayas .This was to JANAKPORE the traditional capital of the Mithila. . The mysterious tree was on the periphery of this region.
On several occasions we had decorated elephants that symbolized Lord Ganesh in our houses. We learnt to appreciate them. They had large ears; so we are better listener, big stomach so we too must, keep secrets of other safe inside. They had two sets of teeth. One was for social appreciation as an ivory tusk. And another was for chewing. Similarly, should have Philistia that is Cultivate our inner thoughts into an integrated and Sophia i.e. personal just attractive enough for human interaction. Sri Ganesh is supposed to be a constant reliever of suffering and a hard worker protector with a mouse as his assistant (constant worker) and ever seated at one place. That means we should not fritter away our time in useless wandering.
Whenever one rides the elephant that is fitted with lovely sofa like seats it is time, but the ones normally in use have just ropes to sit clinging to. It makes giddy. Best for riding the elephant, the Mahavat the caretaker makes them sit down for us to climb. In addition, have given coins as tip to the top of elephants nose like trunk and it has been given to the caretaker to keep.
I was one of the several children fewer than ten who rode the elephant, while the other members walked around this area on the circling path of eighty-five kilometres (of which Janakpore is at the center) for fifteen days. Janak the King is still cited as one of the best role models of a well-off person who while he lived a full life was never attached to anything.
Janak lived a balanced life. His daughter was Sita. Sita is considered one of the ideal woman icons. She was married to Ram the Ideal human icon. He won his bride by the display of his valour in a competition between India’s great Princes. Janak had announced whichever prince could lift and use the Shiva’s bow right can win his daughter.
The spiritual significance of walking around this region i.e. every day covering 5-7 km., camping in different halts in a direction, and be part of thousands of families had hidden messages. It was a moving carnival. It taught us transitariness of all our involvement in this life and planet. One of the famous halts was PHULWARI. This is where Ram first saw Sita with his younger brother Lakshman while collecting flowers for his guru Vishwamitra’s worship. It is said Sita with her friends came to offer prayers to the Goddess GAURI (Mother symbol).
When Ram saw and felt love for Sita, he shared his feelings with his younger brother Lakshman. As usual at this halt, which was a fair, there were many attractive mementos and sweets being sold. My two-year-old brother Lally escaped our tent and went to one of the attractive shops where some phoney saint picked him up and tried to move away. My brother Bhai the oldest one noticed, shouted, our servants ran with him and after a kilometre chase, were able to snatch Lally. After that my mom always tied him to a long rope on his tiny legs and our tent. This meant he could only move around the tent in semi circles. We moved from halt to halt, the children were given enough dry fruits and sweets and munchies while on the elephants. Although the elephant helps us walk through forest and rough roads with ease, I got vertigo.
The most interesting halt was the KALPBRIKSHA. At this halt, we all got our chance to seek wish fulfilment by making our private prayer. This tree had the reputation: whoever devotedly sought a wish got his gift.
What did I pray? Eldest brother Bhai never allowed me to touch his toys. I prayed for my own electrical Hornby train set and a Meccano set! I still laugh over what I asked for.
The significance of this trip in wilderness, with many families in mass moving from one place to another seems now to be great. Every day we walked, set up tent, bathed, dressed, prepared food, prayed, mixed with others and conversed and sang, with local saints, reflected, slept under sky, and next morning after sunrise after twenty four hours moved in a planned direction. The process of life: Life is a journey and we move ahead to the next halt. We saw a variety of natural environments, scenery, and people of all trades, culture, types, and age.
At the final destination, the last halt: JANAKPORE we stayed in the JANKI Temple’s guestrooms. There were other families in neighbouring near rooms. However between the rooms was common toilets and bath. As the breakfast was still being readied, restless I noticed a Nepali female enter a bathroom; I bolted it from the outside.
Somehow, one of my dad’s senior staff noticed, after unbolting it with speed, brought my mischief to the notice of my mom. She scolded me that Ghurkha’s are always carrying knife, they could cut my throat for this. I got nervous, and frightened.
In Janakpore, Mauni Baba came and took us for a round of his service delivery centres, schools and other civic he created through fund-raising for the tourists. He fed us all well with yoghurt, with CHURA i.e. crushed dry rice, Jalebis, Rasgullas and what not.
This trip was an environmental exposure, on elephant, tent living in open, through forests, wild flowers, fairs, hills, sky, butterflies and getting a feel of the common folks outside our home!
All the home or the nearby office of father did was creating literature. Seldom had I had to read anything of my interest. The sisters were getting married. My elder brother went to college. Kids were being born to sisters. They had nice dresses, toys and knew how to play cards. They talked of films. They sang songs” Anna Meri Jaan, Meri Jaan Sunday key Sunday!”
I recalled the love story of Shyama Shyam. The visitors who came to father for counsel, were discussing soul and God. I overheard him telling another of his friends” We two souls.” My father always advised me that whenever I met a spiritual master I must be humble with open mind. Their energy will reach me just by being a listener at their feet. Humility and association will make me stable to deal with any kind of situation. We shall gain entry to the Everlasting love source within us. Our main goal in life should be to experience God! In addition, gain the love of Shyama Shyam. He disclosed: this is possible when one fully surrenders to lord Krishna. Once he accepts a devotee they become, as God as Him. This can be only possible: when becomes pure in heart. By chanting of ‘Krishna’ name and dwelling on his, one’s tastes feel like sugar candy. One’s heart can experience the everlasting bliss of Radha Rani. The most treasured friend of Krishna. By praying to Radha Rani under guides spiritual master one becomes a transcendental love beyond sensuous.
Whenever father was away on business tours, Bhai being the eldest son dominated our lives. Bhai, once in dad’s absence, chartered a plane for family to Muzaffurpur and back. When dad learned of this, he was not too pleased. Nevertheless, we loved travelling, we always travelled in style. Travelling in only reserved compartments and reserved berths always pleased me. We always carried lots to eat and Nand’s hotel managers at various stations en route will bring us toasts /marmalade, chops and fruits. I learnt that Nand brought a special train during his marriage to Shanti. All the berths were full of guests of his father. His father was chief of the British owned Rail in our part of the country .In preindependent India. Watching the British family travelling with their Tiffin-boxes, fruit baskets, lemonades, garden umbrellas and attendants in uniforms were interesting sights.
Preparing for adult life in free India:
I was preparing for adult life in free India. We got the sense in 1947.In 1947, India became free with the accompanying fanfare ignited my national consciousness. The visiting All India Congress party President J. B. Kriplani took me in lap. Dad’s organization had worked for all in the region. Now that the new regime looked everything from caste filter, co-opted those key staff that fitted with the caste of the party and government officials. The opportunistic staff organized a strike; managers deserted us, siphoned many resources for their parallel company at PATNA, and conspired to murder dad. RAMOCHAN flew to his PATNA office and took control and in a few years re-established his company. He took me with him and got me into a proper educational institution, but was always accessible. He entrusted me with a magazine project (part-time). I led this group since 1950, and created a successful magazine with 35000 readers. Dad had me escort him to have tea at the Bihar Governor’s official house, to attend a reception organized by Kolkata’s media, educationists, artists and his events to the Raj Bhavan, Bengal. I read many books in his office. He launched his Gandhi’s footsteps series at the Delhi University inaugurated by Sir S. Radhakrisnan, then India’s ambassador to Moscow (who later became President of India)? At my Junior college, I got attracted to my professors who had Ph. D. at the LSE. Lecturer KARAN was very close, who was trying to win a graduate level scholarship opportunity in USA. During student society elections, I would run for office. My best friends would themselves become neutral in public and arrange someone unknown to me probably closer to my social category to work for me. I went to LSE on recommendation of the professors including a lecturer who had just arrived from UK? My Dad’s friend Syed Mahmood, minister of external affairs wrote a letter of introduction. He wrote to Madam Pundit, the then high commissioner in London, to help my studies in London.
My father charted a plane, rushed to Patna office, and took command of the business. The managers had left several unpaid bill of supplied raw materials and machinery.They were never received or used by the company, clandestinely the departing managers had siphoned the lot of resources at the state level head quarter of the firm. Took nearly seven years for Dad is to reorganize and rise again. Afterwards, in 1948 January I was brought by Dad to live with him in Patna while he manages the company affair. I then began to learn to cook, watch him manage during out of school hours and encourage looking at the magazines side of closely. I joined Patna collegiate school in class 10. Dad had again collected talented writers and personnel books and magazine kept me company. A picked legislator Mohan Lal Mahto Viyogi the poet encouraged me writing stories. Radha-Krishna Prasad encourage to broadcasting children program. Every morning I accompanied dad in walks by the river Ganges in Ranighat temple.
Every day after walking, we sat at Ganges bank temple terrace. I noticed dad loved the pink sun rising at the horizon. After such events father would be ready to answer my curiosities. We got eternal feeling by the river as if one was in the Ganga’s lap: a river in slow motion. Perhaps PATNA 14 kilometre long city was running close in embraces witnessing all our moods stages. We are so transient. But the river GANGES ever flows as the eternally compassionate one. Yes it emerged youthful energetic from the snow clad Himalayan peaks was joined by another river YAMUNA at Allahabad, after that they in middle valley became slow muddy giving birth to the mythical river SARASWATI forcing us to think of its new emergence in our minds. No wonder each family valuing it keeps its water in bottles in a corner of house always available as first drop to a newborn. Even though the river Ganges now got polluted in the civilized plains, is considered holy. One has to look deeper beyond the muck to understand its piety. We caress the river umpteen times in our lives.
One Sunday evening dad took me to visit the funeral of one of his senior friend Sir Satchidanand Sinha eminent barrister who was instrumental in the carving out of the Bihar state out of Bengal. The resilient father entered the great creative phase. Every morning, after the walk he used to charge himself to write a new literary creative piece or story as soon he returned home. He wrote 35 stories of India’s freedom children. Are we to carry out supernatural objectives?
Dad was a handsome tall personality. National poet laureate was his friend .He believed each one of us has the ability to play as god’s representative. He considered our birth in human form is for carrying out the unnatural objectives. He would be angry with those who wasted time or were not sincere.
I remember how when H.S.L.Polak, Mahatma Gandhi’s friend and associate, came to visit him at the Patna Airport, the entire state level leadership came to say ‘Hello’ to my dad.
My father mentioned ‘Yes I am the one who is by the so-called literary talents unrecognized by the system’. On this Sri Anugrah Narain Sinha, the then Finance Minister and Sri Krishna Sinha the Chief Minister’s gestures were apologetic!
I did not then realize the new leadership was for this rich State (then in the first two ranks in India) to become the poorest. The political interference was turning the institutional into the worst of its kind.
Yet, I valued BUDDHA, MAHAVIR, JANAK, and CHANAKYA who were remembered for promoting good. Perhaps Then I was never destined to be a greedy gangster having a taste for violence.
I got a sense of DELHI
In 1948 January I was brought by Dad to live with him in Patna while he managed the company affair. I then began to learn to cook, watch him manage during out of school hours and encourage looking at the magazines side of operation closely. Dad had collected talented writers and personal books and magazine kept me company. A nominated legislator Mohan Lal Mahto Viyogi the poet encouraged me writing stories. Radha-Krishna Prasad facilitated my broadcasting in AIR’s children program. Every morning I accompanied dad in walks by the river Ganges in Ranighat temple.
Every day after walking, we sat at Ganges bank temple terrace. I noticed dad loved the pink sun rising at the horizon. After such events father would be ready to answer my curiosities. We got eternal feeling by the river as if one was in the Ganga’s lap: a river in slow motion. We all are so transient. But the river GANGES ever flows as the eternally compassionate one. Yes it emerged youthful energetic from the snow clad Himalayan peaks was joined by another river YAMUNA at Allahabad, thereafter in middle valley became slow muddy giving birth to the mythical river SARASWATI forcing us to visualize its new emergence in our minds. No wonder each family valuing it keeps its water in bottles in a corner of house always available as first drop to a newborn. Even though the river Ganges now got polluted in the civilized plains, is considered holy. We cross the river umpteen times in our lives.
One Sunday evening dad took me to visit the funeral of one of his senior friend Sir Satchidanand Sinha eminent barrister who was instrumental in the carving out Bihar state out of Bengal. The resilient father entered the great creative phase. Every morning, after the walk he used to charge himself to write a new literary creative piece or story as soon he returned home. He wrote 35 stories of India’s freedom children.
Sarvpalli Radha Krishnan agreed with dad to be the editor of “In Gandhi’s footsteps series” he launched first three publications in Delhi. A new Sherwani and Churidar were tailored for us too. We did wear it on that occasion .The was at the Delhi university campus. . My father and I during our stay in Delhi went to airport to receive Sarvapalli Radha-Krishnan and Alladi Krishna swami Ayer. Sarvpalli Radha Krishnan was to go to Moscow for taking up diplomatic assignment.
At the, the capital’s intellectuals were gathered to celebrate the launch of the Series. One of the most attractive books produced was ‘Tolstoy and Gandhi’. Jamini Ray and Nand Lal Bose designed its cover. The Book contained the correspondence between Tolstoy and Gandhi highlighting the strength the Hindu way of life. All the letters from Tolstoy were labelled ‘A letter to a Hindu’. It emphasized the inspiration from Lord Krishna.
I got a sense of DELHI. The seat of power throughout Indian history: the Pandavas, the Mughals, Viceroys, Nehru-Gandhi. The invisible BABUDOM perpetuates now since 1911 Delhi’s DARBAAR days. How the intellectuals from Allahabad, socialist sympathizers of PATNA, poets of CUTTACK, musicians of MADRAS, Sardars of AMRITSAR were all merged in the System. They all read magazines like THE ECONOMIST, TIME and spoke ENGLISH. Our guide was Y.G.Krishnamurthi an editorial assistant of dad from Karnataka who regularly read London Times Literary supplement. I heard him tell dad that the bureaucrats often only wrote few pet noting on file:” discuss”, “prep one” “meet” “advance” “forwarded”. Their favourite places in the city were Bhartinagar, Rabindranagar, and Kakanagar and Pandara Park. They all drove in white Ambassador. They all loved a ‘peon’ as symbol of “Sarkaar” They shopped in Khan Market. Walked in Lodi gardens. The bureaucrats of DELHI are of several kinds. Clever ones try to join International agencies or try for Diplomatic assignments after retirement. Some courtiers enter the political party. Less enterprising persons look for company directorship. Inefficient ones just sit in a library (now in India International centre) and read books and journals. BABUDOM was relevant to the people of India. I understood this later through during 1959-88.
At Calcutta Raj Bhawan, Governor House with famous painter Jamini Ray and Governor Kailash Nath Katzu my dad launched another set of new publication on Gandhi. At the function, I sat in the second row with in my silk Sherwani and Churidar. On my right were the daughters of Mordecai family, the book designers. KATZU the Governor of West Bengal talked to me. I got his autograph. His message was “Pray, so the country may be flooded with love and truth.’ Jamini Ray was the greatest artist of that time. When Katzu, Dad and Jamini stood up on the stage, the Trio looked like the greatest Icons, the Trimurty: creator, preserver and dissolver.
Jaminee Roy invited us to his studio. What impressed me that he lived-in a small house but had a big one for the display for his paintings?
Maumachi (Bimal Ghosh) the popular organizer of MANI MELA the children’s organization and editor of the children’s page of Anand Bazaar Patrika (KOLKATA’s largest circulated newspaper organized a reception and honoured Dad.
In a large playground thousands of children organized an entertaining show. The occasion was to honour Dad’s contribution to child literature. A couple of songs, I still hum:
‘Tie tie tie, mama Bari jayee Mama bar maza,
Keel chal nayee.”“Ghora gari nay charbo
Uto pura Dhaka.Taxi ami naiee charbo lage besi takka.
Sabse ala pa gari…”
I thought of the first month at the college while entering the geography department. Dr. Saiyed Abdul Majeed, a tall professor, head of the department, noticed me on the stairs when I tried to climb up to the lecture hall, he placed hands on my shoulders and declared “your father is an icon, I know him as a senior friend!” In seconds I felt secure in the college and became an insider. I was thrilled to be confident in this college.
. My parents encouraged me to promote myself on a “platform of goodness” and “creativity,” A perfect role model, according to my father will get the attitude of Gopis. “Go” means senses; Gopis dedicated all their senses towards devotion, to the ideal icon ‘Krishna ‘.The latter was the love personified. The ‘methodical life’ is ‘tapasya’. The demands of body are that of ‘tongue’, ‘belly’, and ‘genitals’. If one eats after offering first to ‘Krishna’ then this is ‘Prasadam’. The demands of belly and genitals can be managed .It is to eat vegetarian food of cereals, vegetables, fruits and milk products. In this way, all diseases of belly are kept away. The result will be mind being pure will not stimulate one to indulge in sex life not sanctioned. Unnecessary Lust, anger, or talk will be in control. In our worldly life we do have to work, to keep our body nourished clothed and other basic needs. The devotional life needs listening to glories of Radhakrishna, talking about them, remembering them, mentally serving them and worshiping their images, offering all that we have to them first and then use it for the world and us. We must believe that we are their servants .We must have a friendly with item. One must surrender to them. .
I had fantasized becoming like Nkrumah, Nasser, Nehru, Mao, Lenin, and Jomo Kenyata. When I learnt Jay Prakash Narain is coming to deliver a lecture in London. I went to listen to him. I fantasized giving up all my possessions and life for a cause: Nation Building. But when I went to meet him after the lecture he was no communicative. Madame Vijay Lakshmi Pundit (ExPresident, UN) the then India’s High commissioner in London invited me at the INDIA HOUSE reception I was introduced to her by a friend of my father Dr. Syed Mahmood the External Affairs Minister of India, he had written a recommendation letter to Madame Pundit for my admission at the LSE. During Mahmood’s Congress ministry in India in late thirties my father received a GOLD medal for the contribution to creation of hundred books for the rural libraries. UNESCO later recognized him. It referred his contribution as FIRST BEST PLANNED LITERATURE for MASS literacy in ASIA!
My parents discussed with MAUNI BABA our spiritual guru about my wish to go to the UK in 1955. He advised:
“You should go overseas for education provided you avoided prostitute, Liquor, Smoking, Theatre, Dance, or Movies”
Baba as the wisest mentor can never be forgotten, always gave objective conclusions some say he was over hundred in ages. He lived very simply. Almost without clothes just a bit of cover his lower portion. Only in extreme winter, he had a blanket wrapped. He kept silence all the time, yet he radiated total energy love and compassion. Whenever he visited our home, I would go and spend time at his feet.
He looked at me and advised, “You should begin to meditate and pray:
“O daughter of the wisest Janak, King of Mithila, beloved of Lord Ram, I bow to your Lotus feet May my mind be blessed by your kind grace and bring clarity of vision ”
INTRODUCTION:THE ACHIEVER’s END: Search for Autonomy, Knowledge & Purpose
Linda Nance NEA Writers:
I think this would be an amazing book that might not only find interest but inspire and help motivate others. This would be interesting : a series of blogs discussing the different issues or special points of interest allowing others to build and interest with you as a writer and the book when it is available.
Thanks Linda Nance! =Saran
The Achiever’s End: Search for Autonomy, Knowledge, and Purpose
– Memoir / Biographies / Politics / Philosophy / Motivational, 54,000 words,
paperback. Manuscript is complete, including professional editing.
At 22, I graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in
government. With only this education to prepare me, I moved back to my
hometown of Bihar in Darbhanga and national capital New Delhi, where I
plunged into Indian politics. Here, in Darbhanga, where nursed a parliamentary
constituency, I witnessed firsthand the realities of Indian democracy and the
nature of the party in power.
The experience forced me to question whether my political training at LSE –
Including learning how society, as well as the British/American political system
works -was of any true advantage to an would be Parliamentarian in India. Had the
Indians truly inherited the way parties and government work in Great Britain?
My story maps out the personal and political terrain of my quest for clues,
answers, and insights which would allow me to carve a niche in India’s corridor
of power. But beyond this, The Achiever’s End details my coming-of-age
journey trying to find how I fit into the world, chasing dreams and ambitions
throughout Britain, India, and the United States.
My travels were an exploration of academia and a variety of lifestyles,
someaspects of which had been strictly forbidden by my elders. My new
discoveries were initially intensely exciting, but as a sensitive young man, I
was then somewhat overtaken by low self-esteem, confusion, and fear of being
Later, I unconsciously took on the role of an idealist, which gave me the urge to
exercise my constitutional rights as a citizen back in India. Little did I realize
the incapacity of grassroots movements to influence the gatekeepers in the
corridors of political power in my home country.
Most significantly, The Achiever’s End is woven through with how I was
eventually able to find success, built upon attainment of three skills that have
been the foundation for all my subsequent personal and professional growth:
Autonomy – the freedom to be self-directed,
Mastery – the opportunity to become competent,
Purpose – a reverence for life and humankind, reflected in one’s every
In my blogs, readers learn how, after ten years of disillusionment post-LSE, I
managed to redefine myself. With the financial support of American universities,
I pursued graduate studies in Management, strengthening my skills through
Work experience at universities and in government positions. My growth led me
Back again to India, where I became a Certified Management Consultant
working with local, state, national, and international organizations.
I viewed the world through planes in the skyLoved the creator for the sunrise
And Playful moon amidst stars
Enjoyed the taste of fruits
Grapes, oranges and mangoes
Felt the warmth of hugs and friends
Valued the coins in market for sweets !
Poetry opened eyes for company
Maps showed me places to go
Films shared others’ stories
Loneliness created the dreams of my own.
Ships took me to the ends of oceans
Lights , pubs on the high streets
Brought me close to my kind
Whispers dances drinks and embrace
Brought lips together and tastes so sweet !
All the pleasures I got from
The world outside,
None of these came home with me
As I close my eyes
I ask myself
Who am I ?
Am I just a mirror
Or have a bliss of my own
Am I just energy not my senses?
Is love peace happiness my
Real nature? Then what I get
May be we just exchange our
Perceptions or share our energies
With nature flowers people
And all !
Copyright: October 24,2013
HOW I BEGAN TO MEDITATE?
I had heard of meditation, but had never learnt how to practice it. A chance meeting took place at YMCA in New Delhi in 1991 with a female Psychotherapist who was also staying there. After lunch I was sitting in the lounge where a young woman was practicing some sort of dance exercise. On enquiry she told me that this was dance therapy. As she sat by my side she introduced herself as Tania who was visiting India after graduating from University in Wales. She revealed that she was accompanied by her mother who is an acclaimed psychotherapist. She pointed her mother out who sitting by the window enjoying the winter sun. On my request she introduced me to Ms. Yig Labworth. Yig had assimilated ancient Indian learning with her European psychotherapeutic training and practices. They had just returned from a Dharamshala conference on Tibetan healing. I found Yig a very compassionate person. She encouraged me to tell her all about myself. After a brief meeting, she advised me to correspond with her. Later I discovered she had trained and taught at a Buddhist oriented psychotherapy institute in the UK (Karuna Institute) and had trained at the Centre for Biosynthesis in Switzerland.
In each letter I raised a question. She answered me in her own hand. Now I have over two dozen letters. I share below clips of this dialogue:
Saran: I feel sad
Yig: Why not search for the cause within yourself? Discover your good qualities in you. And pat your back. If something bothers you, show no anger to yourself. Forgive! Make friends with the Child in you; develop that friendship. One must Value Self-esteem. Attempt to understand the spiritual in yourself. Any drama in outer world is linked with the drama within. Expand your good qualities. Understand your anger and inner conflicts. Do not feel failure on other’s evaluation of yourself.
Saran: Life looks difficult?
Yig: Every individual in each place experiences difficulty. Listen to your soul’s calling. Try to be a Karmayogi. Do your work which is in your hand and do not worry about results. Develop healthy relationships. Keep healthy. Do not hate yourself. Learn Pranayam (Breathing exercise), Bhakti (Devotion), Listen to Katha (Discourses), watch your breath, observe yourself (Drasta) and understand your true self.
Saran: I feel lethargic and lazy; am I sick?
Yig: Health is related to the natural energy. Sickness is a sort of notice to you. A balance is needed in thoughts emotion and lifestyle. Fear relates to our past life or future. We have to learn to love self and forgive. No one is perfect. We must accept you. God resides in us. We must understand Him and seek His help. This we must realise affects relationships. Each person has God with them. Link yourself with nature. Walk in fresh air and experience beauty of flowers, trees and sky. External nature’s vibrations will provide waves of energy for creativity hope and inspiration.
Saran: How can I improve my thinking?
Yig: We should give attention to sadhana through meditation. We have filled our minds with people thoughts and goods. They do not nourish us. Let us honestly give importance to those who are large hearted and contribute to our health. Our Priority should be health and nourishment. Then only we offer others. One should live with compassion kindness and forgiveness Let us live in present. We only do what we enjoy. As example we love nature’s lovely sunrise, light and air. Why should we be far from this? Life is gift. Learn from birds chirping, growing trees and experience God’s beautiful universe and how to make God happy.
Saran: How to remove sadness from failed relationships of youth? What to do?
Yig: Let us live in Present. And give up old habits. Better concentrate on what we have now. What is life giving us; what gives happiness now? What pleases now? What increases enthusiasm to live? One has to be creative like Almighty, contribute and participate in the development of His creation. We have to make the world a better place. Why accept defeat that we have not done anything? We must accept ourselves as we are. Why should we accept others’ definition of ourselves? Let us look around and experience the world. Give our thinking process a rest. Take joy from life in the world. Step forward: take another step.
Saran: Am I a failure?
Yig: One finds difficulty but may not succeed everywhere. There is no such thing like failure. Things may not happen on our experience. As long one is a needy baby and greedy, things will not work. One has to grow up and become mature. Give up mask; accept the real self. Can false be ever be real? Sometime it is good to sit, lose and accept defeat. Your child self has to be managed by your adult self. Appreciate its goodness; be fathering to your child self. Keep him away from being astray. Make him understand what is for his benefit.
This is the path of evolution and development. One has to give up desires. Giving up false, avoiding places of damage and loss is to be done.
When the child self concedes defeat false self gives up. Then your mind finds peace and so desires less. Then your path opens up without any effort, easily and naturally. Just observe how Vaishnavas keep Das Bhava of service to God.
Saran: My family members have their own perception and choices?
Yig: Give autonomy to each of them. They have to stand up on their own feet. Give attention to your inner world. Let wasteful thought go away through meditation. Do not please everyone. One can show anger without hurting any. One can definitely share feelings. Save yourself from depression. The best way to release anger is by beating one’s own pillow.
Saran: What is the purpose of life?
Yig: To understand yourself and searching one’s own happiness, finding work that is enjoyable thereby doing karma. We have to search bliss on this planet without hurting anyone. Courageously make efforts to get ahead through faith and self-confidence. If one way does not work, searching another path to advance. You are not part of anyone. March on your own roadmap. Complete person becomes creative. One has to search participation with God’s purpose
Saran: Can one ever survive without TV, Internet, Mobiles, Chocolates or Tobacco?
Yig: One can never find satisfaction or contentment outside. When you feel good within, then only outer world looks good. Why must one give up control over you? Let us give up outer crutches, and then see what happens. Do not judge yourself. When opportunities are given up, experience educates. Each person gets different insights. There is no need to compare ourselves with others. What happens in your life is really best for you. Whatever field made you champion once may not be truth about you. Once you give up these illusions, you will be surprised what appears before you. Do not dwell on worries that you made mistakes earlier. They did provide you insights.
Once you become creative, your karma will pour out of the core of your identity. Look within, it will whisper you.
Saran: What must I do to remain sane?
Yig: The light is within you. Give up masks. Come out of boundaries set by you on your capabilities. Do not be serious. Enjoy humour. Learn to laugh. It is true we got unconditional love in childhood. Now it does not happen. Hence you fill yourself with outside thought, food, drinks, smoke etc. Be free from these aids. Learn meditation for sadhana. Enjoy and experience your own energy, love and light within. Learn tom observe yourself: How is it right now? How do I find myself right now? Energy follows thought. We need to be aware. Look for good and beauty in each thing. Be truthful to people. One cannot fool God. When you find yourself resentful and angry with people/family:
“Open your heart to them – send them love- see that hurtful/hateful/nasty/unkind they are because of ignorance. They do not know that we are all interconnected. By opening up to love we start connecting ourselves to the spiritual whole.
Saran: What can we expect from life?
Yig: Visualise what you really want from life.
Saran: How to have faith?
Yig: Open doors to heart compassionately, contact love, faith will enter.
Saran: I have tried some sort of meditation, did not find result?
Yig: Have patience. Donot show anger to the needy deprived inner child. Be kind compassionate and have patience. Reconnecting with your inner energies, you will become a light. And connected with Absolute you will become love. But this is possible if you introduce a routine of daily meditation. One can be love and light only by staying in self identity.
Saran: What creates tension and obstructs me?
Yig: Unexpressed emotion and thought create tension in body-mind leading to mental illness. Therefore meditation and relaxation through walks in open air is essential.
Saran: How should we approach ageing?
Yig: One should focus. Do not have to give up joy. Life is short. Let us forget past. We must not waste energy over what is gone. Take back energy from it. Forgive those who took your energy. No one can keep us in prison. We are free with our thinking and faith.
Saran: What is your advice on relationships?
Yig: Communication the main key to relationships, Stop games. Tell truth. Share what you like and expect. Be compassionate through ‘Reverence of life ‘. Each one is spiritual being. Remain true to yourself while being human on this earth. Give up masks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sitasaran Singh, B.A.., B,S., LL.B., M.S., M.C.P., Ph.D. and Certified Management Consultant, was born and raised in Bihar, India. In 1955, at the age of eighteen, he left to attend the London School of Economics, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, with a specialization in government. After returning to India in 1959, he immersed himself in Indian politics, nursing a parliamentary constituency in his hometown of Bihar. Throughout the 1960’s and ‘70’s, he attempted to put into practice the training he had received at the LSE, devoting his efforts to being an agent for political change in India. Educated idealism, however, clashed with the realities of Indian democracy, and he found himself ignored by the political system in place and by the party in power at PATNA and New Delhi..
Having also earned his Bachelor of Law degree in Bihar. Sitasaran remained in India, maintaining a legal aid practice and a publishing company for a children’s magazine, which he inherited from his father. However, he grew disillusioned with his status in the family and country and relocated to the United States to pursue further post-graduate education at the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Aided by funds from his colleges, Sitasaran obtained a Masters in Community Planning.
After acquiring high-level expertise as a researcher, policy planner, and trainer, Sitasaran was an Implementation Planner with the government of the state of Kentucky from 1979 until 1980- He returned to India in the 1980’s as a Management Consultant .He was certified as CMC in 1988) .He consulted for local, state, national, and international organizations.
In addition to widely-read and cited research publications and articles concerning topics of political significance in India, Sitasaran has authored two previous books, India’s Social Behavior: An Insight Into its Abuses and Multiplexes (2005) and Secrets From the Pleasure Grove of Radha Krishna (2004) He has lived and lectured in America, Europe, and India, and has travelled extensively for academic research, symposiums, and speaking engagements in Australia and New Zealand. Associated with over 350 universities worldwide, Sitasaran currently resides in Bihar and is active as a career advisor to young men and women.
Resilient “I” raise again coming in touch with India’s oral spiritual heritage from Vrindaban. I processed my experience and learned to meditate. After that I repositioned myself as a professional practice as a career consultant.
I began my self-talk:
WHO AM I?
Why I am on the planet? Always reflecting on this meant was trying to define my core. What makes me tick! However, governed by parental conditioning, I lived. Risk taking and doing what believed was the propelling force. I worried about KARMA. After doing decades of, realized “DOING” and “BEING” are two different ideas. Only after withdrawing from my outside focus and looking to my inner world, trying to live a real life I could “be.” However, it took more than three decades to understand. Energy, love, satisfaction, contentment, growth, and bliss are not dependent on outside reasons. One can be open to all points of view, yet aiding one’s creativity needs one to be responsible, free from guilt, being true to one’s conscience and having no defensiveness. During the 1959-77 phase of my Life in India, I did not know this.
Now 21st century India is different! India’s software services, auto-parts and Pharmaceuticals look as the only torchbearers of the New India. It will attract global visitors. MBA graduates are making summer visits to understand. No more the country is branded as a place of snake charmers or bride burners. It has more!
I became aware of the writings of BHAGWAT RASIK:
PRATHAM SUNEY BHAGWAT Listen to Sri Bhagwatam: through a BHAKTA. This prepares a person for the spiritual journey through KATHA.
II. Understand NABDHA BHAKTI: nine ways of devotion as told by sage VYAS for spiritual advancement through shrawanam (listening of the talks), kirtanam (participating in collective chanting), vandanam (prayer), pujanam (worshipping), archanam (decorating), paad sewanam (serving the feet), sakhyam (becoming buddy), dasam (serving), Atma nivedanam (inner dialogue) (See the elaboration by Swami Prabhupad’s translation of GITA chapter 2, text 61 quoted below.**
II.Find carefully an experienced capable poetic and melodious GURU Once Guru gives blessings one detaches from worldly life of MAYA: Transcend and
III live the Life beyond senses in the WOODS of LOVE, the VRINDAVANAV mentally.
IV.Removing ASAKTI (attachment) to the minimum
V. RAS-BHAJAN needs enjoyment of the TRANSCENDENTAL kind beyond one’s senses and its physical temporary pleasures (Beyond Jeev: after one is experiencing beyond.)
VI. RAS BHAJAN emerges through UNDERSTANDING of the feelings of girl friends of RADHA- KRISHNA at MAHA RAAS at NIDHIVANA.
VII Finally one aspires for .SWAMI HARIDAS’s BLISS
**(Luckily I found further clarity in the following verse:
“Chapter 2. Contents of the Gita Summarized
By Swami PrabhuPad 61 ________________________________________________________________
FOOT NOTE (CONTINUED)
One who restrains his senses and fixes his consciousness on me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.
The highest conception of yoga perfection is Krishna consciousness is clearly explained in this verse. And, unless one is Krishna conscious, it is not possible to control the senses. As cited above, the great sage Durvasa Muni picked a quarrel with Maharaja Ambarisa, and Durvasa Muni unnecessarily became angry out of pride and therefore could not check his senses. On the other hand, the king, although not as powerful a yogi as the sage, but a devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all the sage’s injustices and thereby emerged victorious. The king was able to control his senses because of the following qualifications, as mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
”King Ambarisa fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, engaged his words in describing the abode of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the form of the Lord, his body in touching the body of the devotee, his nostrils in smelling the flavour of the flowers offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasi leaves offered to Him, his legs in travelling to the holy place where His temple is situated, his head in offering obeisance’s unto the Lord, and his desires in fulfilling the desires of the Lord… and all these qualifications made him fit to become a mat-parah devotee of the Lord.” (Bhag. 9.4.18-20) ..“The senses can be completely controlled only by the strength of devotional service to Krsna.” Also, the example of fire is sometimes given: “As the small flames within burn everything within the room, similarly Lord Visnu, placed in the heart of the yogi, burns up all kinds of impurities.” The Yoga-sutra also prescribes meditation on Visnu, and not meditation on the void. The so-called yogis who meditate on something which is not the Visnu form simply waste their time in a vain search after some phantasmagoria. We have to be Krsna conscious—devoted to the Personality of Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.”
Being resilient believed in updating knowledge and upgrading skills. Because I gave up the load of youthful, resolve to correct the civilization societal and governmental ills. After decades of wasting on delusions, did realize to be a good human being offering services to those who looked up for advise. One can only serve the universal flow by being in tune with natural. What this meant was the supernatural began to work for in micro world! I am lighter calmer and effective person in hanging around in my “”Boringness” The difficulties I faced in my society have been everyone’s fate.
Expert Power: Practical Idealism
I tried to be perfect in every way, so parents, gurus and admirers will recognize my efforts. After that I tried even harder to be even perfect (which still didn’t work). My journal records:
Faced with a loss of innocence, immersed myself again in the Library with several study of Psychological literature: Was I going to be an Artisan? Or a Fox: that does not plan its day. It just goes out each morning knowing that it has to survive. It is constantly scanning the countryside to see if any opportunities present themselves. Was I going to remain Rational: an Owl who just sits high up in a tree so it can observe what is going on below quietly and then swoop down at the right moment continually picking up knowledge and using it to produce better results next time!
.Perhaps I was a A Beaver: Guardian to fill the jobs needing the highest intellectual ability that required industriously working the whole day long so can be prepared for any eventuality.. Others viewed me an Idealist more concerned about seeing that everyone has the opportunity to develop his or her full potential under me..Then perhaps I was like Dolphin gregarious with complex means of communications playful and fun-loving rescuing humans in distress.
I had begun Consulting in a new era for the Indians .Also editing and publishing a magazine. Consulting services offered by me were for Development of Management Skills of private and public agencies. Invitations came from the credit, health, education and corporate sectors. My work was development of Change Agents: groups and organizations. Then published India’s Social Behaviour a book based on experience that I conceptualised .This provided methods for promoting Professional Competence to deal with multi-caste system. My book provides an introduction to the social processes at work in the development of modern India. The inheritors of the British system maintained their hold by perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice. The conceptual framework of British: Indian society’s ‘caste system’ is where Indian had to adjust within the rubric of the British regime. It was believed Indian society must be confirming to British ideals through their interpretation of caste. I tried my hand at creating an Indian model. Institute of Management Consultants India invited my insights Institutional Skills, after they made me a Certified Management Consultant. After that they then published in the Institute of Management consultants’ publication. Research papers appeared in academic journals in Europe, India and Japan.
Took on to intervene, in advocacy role for the state’s population in 1988: At a Conference of heads of corporations, state and federal administration: Crossed path with the system, by uncovering the lies or practices behind Slogans or mission statements (findings based on earlier assignments by the Industrial Association and Industrial Development Bank to research report evaluate train and create status papers). Then the clients distanced themselves.
After that had become a chain smoker. This gave smokers cough. Doctors asked and tried to give up smoking .. It did not work. Nicolette chewing gum I used in Sydney for six months. After that again I took to chewing tobacco in India. Once doctors discovered more than smokers cough I had bronchitis, I got worried. A Delhi doctor in late seventies asked me to give up tobacco. I reasoned that it will lead to withdrawal symptoms in me. He embarrassed me before my wife that I was just giving bogus reasons. After that I gave up! In the beginning whenever I felt an urge drank a glass of water.The doctor prescribed an inhaler to be taken twice a day.Now I felt better. Life was in my control. I smelled better. My tongue was back to being pink.. I looked fresh and cheerful to others.
How I became a professional person, and consultant with local state and in International development field.
Applying Behavioural Science in India
I returned to India in summer 1980.At first I became successful back home with my consultation skills. My journal gives details:
I discovered a training tool: “Caste game” to promote impact-producing service delivery in organizations. A book, on the theme I wrote was recognized by the Dr. Eric Miller of Tavistock institute. My wife introduced me to the nuances of the Indian women thoughts and wishes through literature: Radha, Rajyalakshmi, Savitri and Kiranmayee. We valued each other’s space. We spent quality time together. And always gave each other honest feedback. We take on to be nurturing and always proactive. Became aware ACTION and REACTION are separate events. Therefore to remain cool we listen and then only try to deal with events. We were able to achieve harmonious partnership. My students benefited from my Management seminars at the Business school. It did add their value in corporation’s worldwide.
I got an opportunity to apply all my expertise for bettering the State Financial Corporation. I consulted with the UNICEF, but for recovering my dues from such international organizations, I was made to pay cuts to the state government officials through whom the payment was routed. Many NGO’s had sprung up. The funding to them sanctioned through non-transparent methods.
The Bihar Industries Association leaders invited me to confront Mr. Pranav Mukherji the then Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission. He came to listen to Bihar’s case for development issues I had to address him:
How every district of Bihar contributes to the deposits at above all India average level? And why every district received below all India average in terms of central fund allocation for development. I pointed out that there is no need to import railway lines from British Steel Authority. Reminding him an advertisement I saw in the Economist that ‘British Steel Authority is proud to announce its current exports. Also narrated my read of House of Commons papers of 1850s when the Treasury members in London replied to question of a similar nature. Someone had pointed out when the country had limestone coal and iron ore of quality, why England was doing this? The government of the day clarified their country will develop backbone against England. Despite my speech, Pranab Mukherji did not answer or make comment. The country is already advanced in this aspect. Why are we wasting our resources?
Yet, I made tries to intervene and disclose the lies of the Ruling elites also at the Bihar conference of chairpersons of corporations, state, and federal administration: I crossed paths with the system. I uncovered the lies behind their mission statements. Later some leaders of the Employer Association, and Public agencies clients distanced themselves from me. The “Key people” as administrators did not want to deal with the issues, as they did not want to displease the politician-bureaucrat-criminal link. The bureaucrats kept on squandering funds in the name of Bihar’s development. The local print media reported then how two senior IAS spent a million on their travel to US to allure investors in mid-80s. They carried badly printed brochure “Come, Come to Bihar”. In mid-90s chief minister with a team visited abroad to US, UK and Japan squandered money on their travel. Not a single paisa development resulted. In 2005 again they organised meetings in air-conditioned halls of five-star hotels with World Bank, Planning Commission and NGOs. The local leadership was not there. Again this is “planned to fail”. What were noticed in mid-seventies and mid-eighties is happening now. Even the World Bank spokes- persons were talking of 1. Near breakdown of law and order 2.Electoral banditry, caste politics. 3. Privatisation of state resources 4.Withering of state 5. Poor investment climate, 6. Limited industrial activity 7.Flourishing dacoity, kidnapping 8. Weak civil service 9.Inefficient use of resources 10. Weak property rights and rule of law 11Weak human capital 12 Weak C-D ratios 13 Poor investment regulatory quality  It appeared even well educated competent Economists Ph.D. from Stanford was’ kept out of policy loop on some occasions”. Times of India (June 30, 2005) reports a case of Rakesh Mohan leaving finance ministry: “Lack of role” One has to rationalize to survive.
In the 80’s, I was recognized as a consultant for Management Development seminars. I coached many groups in Bihar Resource Centre. I was invited by The Industrial Development Bank for Evaluation work of the state level Industral Areas Development Authorities. And through the All India Organization of Employers for ILO sponsored state seminars to act as a course director for “Improve your business workshops.” Later in the 90’s All India Organization of Employers continued to use my innovated training methods. The Institute of Management consultants of India documented my insights “INSTITUTIONAL SKILLS” in their publication. I continued editing a magazine “Anand Digest”. A fearless woman Noor Fatima theatre artist acted as reporter: under my direction she provided depth interviews of most state and national leaders and highlighting citizen’s plight with public services organizations. I came in touch with national media planners and picked up friends in the pundits in India’s metro… The topmost novelist Bimal Mitra and humorist poet Kaka Hathrasi became appreciative.
Although have worked in the Media through Balak magazine as a student part-time, and after that adulthood and received success during dad’s lifetime, yet after 1980 edited the Bihar’s number one young family magazine Anand Digest for two decades. This media inspired and entertained the new generation. Top writers, poets and journalists praised it. It received advertising support. I honed up skills in marketing, advertising and public relations through with all the media pundits in India’s metros. It was available at most of the magazine sales counters in the country. However, the big corporate newspaper chains have had hold on the Audit Bureau Corporations and National Readership surveys. They began to have pressures on the local regional media in several ways. Without advertising support no magazine or newspaper can survive. Our publication could not entertain the media buyers to the tune comparable to the large corporations. Therefore, the local magazine lost. It appeared there is no scope for Idealistic ventures trying change the realities. . I too had to bid farewell to the magazine world. Love and rapport with readers, I got for over two decades. Being emotional felt how true the poet has written:
Wo Jameen Pur Utara Tha Hath Me Gagan Lekar
Patharon Ki Basti Me Utara Kanch Ka Badan Lekar
(He descended on earth with sky in his hands, but landed on the village of stones with body of glass!)
 Source Pranav K.Choudhry & Abhay Mohan Jha Times of India, Patna June 20, 2005.
Surviving the graduate school.
Surviving the graduate school was possible on my student budget. The vending machines provided Wholegrain bread, cheese pizzas, French fries, coffee or cold drinks, fruits, milk and ice creams. I reflected on India’s dirt in cities and public life, delinquent, turbulent society, and full of loud and aggressive people dominating the system. How the same people when came over to the west became rich and famous professional and so civil. I do not believe it is the genes. The social set up with the musclemen caste bosses dominating the political democracy through courtiers staffing the bureaucratic with is responsible for the ills. The causality becomes the civility. It is the society that never gave me any share in government, politics or business. But in America I was always talked of as a WHIZ KID. The universities gave me financial support. I got grades. I was made a Senior Planner in the government while a student. . People in pubs talked of me as BRAIN. It appeared I had great possibilities. But somewhere in my heart it felt I was escaping. As a cover up I smoked. Obviously I had within me an inner critic. I was physically comfortable. Creative with Ego satisfaction! But did I sleep very well?
The Pub across the street
However, whenever returned to YMCA room in Calhoun Street at 11pm, found sleep deserting me. Therefore, decided to visit the pub across the street for relaxation. Once when was seated on a stool over the bar counter was just sipping beer. Next to me were a couple. A man in early thirties with a cap I noticed whose shoulders an energetic woman was tapping. They both smiled at me. We broke the ice. Ernie explained: We just got married yesterday. I responded: Do you wear cap all the time?
He shyly smiled.
Sally: Of course! (Playfully).
Thereafter they asked the bartender to activate the game: “SHOOT THE DUCKS”. This way began a great friendship which I cherish they asked me to join them in the game. For the remaining years of my stay at Cincinnati they made me emotionally comfortable as Buddies. Every night after my work, I made it a point to be with them at the pool table, playing, gossiping as inseparable friends. Fun and games always relax. Sally and I were regular. Being together we felt under a canopy of bliss.
Ernie had some time night shift at the toy factory. She had joined some music group and local civic group for some democratic cause. If I have known one-woman friend emotionally truthful with 100% communication, giving each other total feedback honest and other than my immediate family and Urmila, it was Sally. She made me sort out my doubts about myself. She did advise me to be true to my conscience. And I should have my own decisions for ‘one-night stands’ possibility at the Pub-culture milieu of separating recreation from reproduction. On my birthday she would organize surprise party for me when I would visit DWEYE for a beer. While returning back to India finally she drove me to the airport. I felt honoured. Driving, she told me she was born to a Red Indian mother on the hills. And she found her bliss in music, of a higher kind than she gets from others. Parting was sad but mentally satisfying. We had kept our individuality conscience and values. We both bloomed individually as friends. Like stars on the planet we travelled on our journey continuing our own causes, were passing through side by side for some time and moved to our own corners in the universe.
I still remember the party she organized in the DWEYE on my birthdays and for farewell. I decided to return to India in summer of 1980.
She left a note on the book she gave:
TO MY FRIEND
Think of our wonderful
One day my Professor Bolton who had now become chairperson of the Graduate school shared with me: if you can be comfortable changing jobs five times, moving and facing music of divorces, sleeping at night after alcohol you can be a successful person in USA like us. But if you want to sleep well, believe in taking the family along. Just an Engine running fast is not enough. You should take the whole train along even if that means having less speed. In life you only pass or fail. It happens likewise in business. You can be in perfect mental health with your own responsibility when you are true to you without any guilt. What is most important? Sort it out. Do something, which no human has done. Be yourself. In addition, contribute to the society. Do not inflict pain on any including you. Reflect! Understand your emotions. Listen to your intuition. Live in the present. Understand your defences. Once you are one with your emotion, what will happen? You and the universe will be one. Besides, you will be effective. This will make you happy!