It happened last Tuesday. I had seen the welcome banners for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as I entered Sector 40 enroute the park where I take my morning walk. I could understand that he must be attending some function of his followers of ‘The Art of Living’ group. But I couldn’t know the place and time. Many a times, some of my friends and his followers wanted us to join the course, but because of my lethargy, we could go for that. I had also read about him in newspaper and seen him on TV. To me Guru Ravi Shankar appeared to be a good modern spiritual thinker. Perhaps, I found him pretty liberal and secular in approach. His disciples are from middle class and even rich ones. One of my friends once narrated to me how he brought a change in the life style of the colorful Vijay Mallaya. Perhaps my friend must have read about the story somewhere. With so much input, I was already pretty inquisitive about him. In heart of heart, I wished to see him, but I didn’t as usual made any endeavour for that. Yamuna had planned for a movie in afternoon, and I had heard her instructing maids accordingly. We were to pick up Aroras at around 4.30PM from his residence.
At around 1.45 PM, Yamuna got a call from Sangita Jha. As her husband, Mithilesh Jha was busy with some meeting she wanted to accompany us to the function for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, presuming that the Mrs Sahay had invited us too for that. Mrs Sahay is a member of a kitty party in which both Yamuna as well as Sangita are the members. Yamuna is always ready for such a function. She agreed without asking me instantaneously, as the function was fro an hour starting from 3 PM. I was very happy, as my wish got fulfilled. I thought it something as a divine dictate. When I informed Arora, he also wanted to accompany us. But after few minutes he informed that he would not.
We reached the residence of Mrs. Sahay around 3 PM. A huge crowd was already waiting and singing in the living room. Many were on road itself to get a glimpse or perhaps they were not the invitees but wished to see the Guru. I managed to sit on floor though with a lot of inconvenience with men and women all around. Yamuna could get a chair in one corner. The disciples were continuously singing religious songs with many young and old women dancing too that have become a usual practice these days. Every one in crowd appeared to participating and eagerly waiting for the Guru. In between, I got restless sometimes, because of the physical torture of the postures I had to follow in sitting. But I could manage and continued. The Guru arrived. I could see him from a near quarter. The people were busy in touching his feet and giving their offerings- garlands, flowers, envelopes and packets. I was only busy in looking at his face. I expected some sort of halo on his face, some godliness in gestures and blessings, and some unusual brightness that we as less human don’t have. He appeared to be very tired and drained off. His dark complexion seemed gone darker. He happened to be so much unimpressive that his photos don’t say. Perhaps, he is more photogenic than what he really is. Only very few perhaps the host family or the close disciples could reach him. And for so many of the followers there he didn’t utter even a word. I was morose as I could hear his voice.
I wish he would have at least spoken a little, or, may be, blessed the people in general who had collected there, in few sentences. I still wonder why he didn’t do that. And my disenchantment with the guru system got further accentuated and this time a little more bitterly.
Perhaps, Guru wanted us to go to its website to hear his voice.
And finally, we returned, I consulted Yamuna and went staright for ‘Race’.