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Chapter 36: Session 36

He said, “My God! Two madmen in one house! And you are far madder than I am. Come in, sir, and be seated.”

He was really respectful. Without joking he said, “In this university nobody has turned up for my classes for three years. In fact, I have stopped going myself. What is the point? I deliver my lectures in this room, exactly where you are sitting.”

I said, “That’s really beautiful, but to whom?”

He said, “That’s the point. Once in a while I also ask, ‘to whom?’”

I said, “I will enroll in your class, and you still need not bother to come to the classroom. It is almost one mile from your house. I can come here.”

He said, “No, no, I will come - that is part of my duty. Just one thing, forgive me, but although I can start my lecture on time - if it is eleven, I can start at eleven - I cannot guarantee that I can finish when the bell rings forty minutes later.”

I said, “I can understand that. How can the poor man who rings the bell every forty minutes understand what you are doing? And not only you, what are all the professors in the whole university doing? If they stop, then they are stupid. The bell does not know; the man who rings the bell does not know, so why should you stop? If you make it a point that you will not stop, then listen, I will also make it a point, man to man, that if you stop I will hit you so hard you may not survive.”

He said, “What? You will hit me?” He was a Bengali man.

I said, “I simply meant metaphorically. I will touch your head slightly, just to remind you that you need not bother about the bell.”

He said, “Then it is okay. You need not go to the hostel, you can live in my house. It is very big, and I am alone.”

That day I thought of Masto. He would have enjoyed that house, and that man with his contemplative eyes. That day too, I remembered this story. I will tell it again so that you can follow:

God created the world. He finished it in six days. The last thing he created was the woman. Naturally, the question arises, Why? Why did he create the woman last? Of course, the feminists will say, “Because woman is the most perfect creation of God.” Obviously he created her after his experience of creating man. Man is a little older model. Naturally God refined it, and made it better.

But the male chauvinists have another reply. They say God created man as the last of his creations, but then man started asking questions such as, “Why did you create the world?” and, “Why did you create me?” And God became so puzzled that he created woman to puzzle man. Since then God has heard nothing from man.

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