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Chapter 12: Every Joke Has a Great Reason

He said, “This is very great. I am immensely grateful to you.”

Almost twice or thrice a week I would write a letter, and he would take the letter and hand it over to the girl. She smiled, because this was becoming a strange drama. And she knew my handwriting.

I told her, “It is very unkind not to answer his letters.”

But she said, “You are getting me into more and more of a mess.”

I said, “Don’t be worried, I will get you out any moment. The day you want to get out, just slap him and that will do.”

So it continued for a few months. She started writing beautiful letters to him, and he would come running and show to everybody what a great love was flowering. Finally the moment came - the girl slapped him.

But he said, “This is very irrational. I will go to my master, who has been teaching me how to love, and ask him what has happened.”

He came back and I told him, “I was just giving you a chance - perhaps you can learn something - but you seem to be incapable of learning anything. It is finished.”

He said, “My God, and what about the letters that I have written?”

I said, “What will you do with those letters?”

He said, “I can’t write those letters, so I’m going to take them and try them on another girl.” And he was rejected from everywhere, because everybody by and by came to know that the handwriting was mine, the letter was mine, and this fool was not even aware what love is!

Response is not out of the past. You don’t have to learn it, you don’t have to be taught it; it comes out of your silence, your serenity, on its own accord. Hence I say that many of your acts are not acts, because they are coming from the memory - they are reactions. The authentic act comes from your consciousness.

So the first thing is, change the wrong connotation of responsibility. The mother says, “You have a responsibility to take care of me”; the father says, “You have a responsibility to take care of me”; the whole family says, “You have a responsibility, a duty..”

I had a very deep, intimate contact with my father. He was a rare man - because whatever I said would have irritated any father, but he always pondered over it, contemplated it. I said, “Listen, I don’t have any responsibility for you. You never asked if you could give birth to me. That was the point when we could have made a contract: ‘This is going to be my responsibility..’ You have brought me into existence without even asking me. It is your responsibility, not mine. If something goes wrong you will be responsible for it.”

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