Chapter 13: Speak to Us of Work
The whole family used to watch - “What kind of crazy boy is this?” Soaked in the falling rain, in the dancing winds, and because that was the dead-end, I used to stay under a tree as long as it continued to rain. The family was certainly curious. They wanted to inquire, “Who is this boy?” But the head of the department of physics had become interested in me for other reasons. He was a lover of books and he always found me in the library. There were days when we were the only two persons in the library.
He started becoming more and more loving and friendly toward me and he said, “You are a little strange. You should be in your class, but I see you most of the time in the library.”
I said, “In the class, the professor is almost always out of date. He is saying things which he read when he was in the university thirty years ago. In those thirty years, everything has changed. I want to keep pace with the growing wisdom, knowledge, science. In fact, in the library I am more a contemporary, in touch with the latest findings. So I go to class once in a while when I feel a desire to argue. My professors are happy that I remain in the library because whenever I visit their classes, it is always trouble. There is a gap of thirty years and I have all the latest information.”
He said, “One day I would like to take you to my home. I want you to be introduced to my children, my wife, to show them that here is a student who has come to the university, not for degrees but to learn; not for certificates and gold medals but to keep in tune with the explosion of knowledge in all directions, in all dimensions. Sometimes, even although I am the head of the department of physics, and you have nothing to do with physics, you know more than I know. Now it is too late to cover the gap of thirty years; I have lost contact.”
So one day he invited me. He was feeling that his family would be immensely happy to meet me, to talk with me, to listen to what I had to say. But he was very much shocked - as we entered his house, the whole family started laughing, and they escaped inside the house!
He said, “This is very strange. They have never done this before. My wife is a postgraduate, all my children are getting educated. This is not a behavior.”
I said, “You don’t know; I know your family, we are well acquainted. Although we have not spoken to each other, we have known each other for two years.”
He said, “This is strange. I wasn’t even aware of the fact.”
I said, “Don’t be worried and don’t feel sad and sorry and hurt by the behavior of your family. What they have done is absolutely right.”
We entered, and the family gathered. He asked them: “What was the reason for you all to start laughing and why did you all escape? Is this a way to welcome a guest? And I had informed you that I was bringing a guest that you would all love.”
They said, “But we are almost in love with the guest already. He’s the craziest fellow in your university. Not only does he waste his time, when it rains, he wastes our time too because we cannot go inside until he leaves. He’s an interesting fellow.”