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Chapter 9: Rejoicing in Existence

My father said, “Nobody knows. You find your way; we have found our way. Nobody comes in his way. Whatever he wants to do, let him do it - that is the easiest thing. He does not do any harm to anybody. Just don’t come in his way; otherwise the thing becomes too big, unmanageable.”

The second day I was again standing silent. He was very angry. I could see that he was boiling within because he felt very much humiliated. He did not call me to the office but I went to his office. He said, “I have not called you.”

I said, “You do not have the courage to call me but you wanted to call me. I could see it in your face, in your eyes: you were boiling with anger. So I thought it better that I come. Why should I wait for you to call me?”

He said, “You seem to enjoy fighting.”

I said, “I enjoy everything - fighting too.” He was standing, so I pulled his chair and sat on it. He said, “What are you doing?”

I said, “I am just simply sitting on the chair.”

He said, “That is my chair.”

I said, “Nobody’s name is written on any chair. A chair is something to sit upon, and you are standing anyway. And I am a small boy. I get tired. You can stand up. You are strong enough” - he was a heavy man, very tall and muscular - “you can stand up. This seems to be more graceful and right that I should sit on the chair and you stand up.”

He said, “Listen, we have to come to some compromise because this way you will destroy my whole reputation and image in the school.”

I said, “But I don’t believe in any compromise. I don’t want to destroy your image. You can keep your image; just don’t come in my way. I never want to destroy anybody’s anything - I am not destructive - just leave me alone. If you promise that much, you will not have any trouble from me.”

He had to promise: “I will never come in your way; do whatever you want to do.”

He also used to teach one of my periods. He was a scientist so he used to teach chemistry. I would go out whenever I felt like it, without asking him, and I would come in whenever I felt like coming in, without asking him. He said to me, “That is not right.”

I said, “I have told you, just leave me alone. That has been our understanding. If I ask when I want to go out and you say no, I am not going to listen to your no, I will go out. So not to put you in any embarrassment, I am simply going out without asking - just to save your image.” He was at a loss.

Three years I was under him. Even the photograph that is taken when you are leaving the school.he was very much worried whether I would appear in that picture or not, whether I would come or not. I not only came, I came with a photographer.

He asked, “But why have you brought the photographer?”

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