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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Of Saints And Guards...


I was at the Kolkata Airport last week....The weather was beginning to get cool as winters are now on in almost all parts of India. I was standing with my parents near the entrance gate...the Kolkata airport has a lovely arrangement for passengers to sit with their families before departure, a lot of coffee-shops and snacks parlours available for you to grab a bite before you say your goodbyes.
I had some time on hand so decided to sit down for a cup of coffee..Many passengers were arriving for their soon-to-depart flights, but the atmosphere was relaxed and quiet.

Suddenly, I could hear a siren that sounded like some VIP was arriving with his/her entourage. All heads turned to where the sound was coming from, everyone wanted to see who the famous personality was....As there was quite a lot of noise I realised the entourage was quite big..I was almost sure it was some big movie celeb....

Everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the personality and as I turned towards the now-approaching group, all I could see was armed guards surrounding someone....I could only see the top of a head.....
There were at least 5-7 of these men, the gun-toting ones, all dressed in something like a grey safari suit, the ones that emerged as a trend from movies of the horrible 80's. People had already begun to flock around in an effort to catch a glimpse, the celeb was still guarded....no one had managed to see the face...

And then I saw.....the saffron robe, the dark flowing mane...the bowed head...and when it lifted in a smile..all hell broke loose.

The entourage had been waiting to reach the entry gate before 'baba' finally decided to give all us mere mortals a 'darshan'. As his face became clear to the people around, there was a shout of joy and awe all around, and suddenly, all those apparently sensible people who had been sipping their neat coffees and talking in hushed tones on their phones, now ran like crazy to their 'baba'. The hot coffee was forgotten, barriers giving way as even the suited execs jumped over fences (yes..that actually happened!!!!), mummies held on to their child's hand and broke into a walk-and-run sequence, best of all - the older generation, who were till now sitting quietly and morosely in the chairs, their joint pains too severe in the winter chill to let them get up and walk, had, as if by miracle of the 'baba' himself, now been cured of their one-minute-ago-present pain and were now heading towards the 'Mr. Saint'....
Like a breath of fresh air, a group of three young suited execs along with a foreign colleague of theirs walked past, the Indians explaining to their foreign colleague - 'And here is one one of the best examples of Indian craziness...' So right...guys, if you read this, I am so proud of you :))
I was amused!!!And a little out of place, as I was one of the only few who did not run to get near the mister 'baba' and get his 'blessings'.......hmmm....his blessings..who is he again?
For all those aunties who ran like their you-know-which sides were on fire, I have to tell you this....that if you are in love with the 'baba', rest assured, he loves you too...especially if you happen to have a young daughter with a figure like Shilpa Shetty....nothing derogatory or out of line here, you see, he always loves to see and admire the effects of his yoga on young bodies, that's all I was trying to say here ;) And if you want to see it for yourself...look into his eyes, his love is always overflowing with one other very strong emotion...

Mr. Ramdev, the one in the saffron robe and the one who now has a first name as 'Baba' is as much of a saint as any of us maybe...or, let me put it this way, he is as much of a saint as the lady who teaches yoga to females in our building... Being a saint is a tough job these days: you have to have a full entourage ; you need to employ tough gun-toting bozos around you; you have to remain extremely discreet about all your longings and fascinations; you cannot wear designer clothes though you stash away so much you could probably buy out those designer houses if you did not happen to be a 'saint'. There are many more perils attached the post of being a 'saint', a 'baba'.....well well well.....

I dont know how many years he spent on the Himalaya, or wherever it is that he was meditating and a ray came down from the sky and touched him and said you are a saint...I really did not do that much research (you can let me know if you know). But I just know this, that all those lunatics who think it is okay to suddenly call a fellow human a saint, without any real credibility or justification to it, and help him accumulate the moolah that could have been put to better use...I sincerely wish they can at least be sent to the Himalayas..and made to live there permanently.. For dont you see, this would be such a great solution to curb India's population problem. The flock will never cease to grow, and the more followers the 'baba' has, the more people can be sent away to the mountains...you will say wicked..who? me or him? ;)