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Chapter 5: The Odyssey of Aloneness

But what a misery to see him. He is far worse than Gulam Ali! Gulam Ali at least seems to be a conductor on a bus, but Mehdi Hasan is not even worthy to be conductor. While Gulam Ali does not fit with what he is singing, Mehdi Hasan is exactly contradicting what he is singing. Strange that the two persons I have seen on the screen, I have not met. This has been my general practice my whole life in India. I have read poets, heard poets on the radio, but I have not met them because my early experiences of meeting poets were just shipwrecked.

Maitreyaji is sitting there - he knows one great Indian poet, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. They belong to the same place, Patna, and they were both friends. He has written some high-flying songs. He has contributed much to Indian poetry. He was known as the great poet, mahakavi; not just kavi, a poet, but the great poet. He was the only man known as the great poet.

He used to come to see me, unfortunately. He loved me, I loved him, but I could not like him. Love is spiritual, you can love anybody, but liking is far more difficult. Whenever he came he would talk of such stupid things that I told him, “Dinkar, one expects something poetic from you.”

He said, “But I am not a poet twenty-four hours a day.”

I said, “That’s right! But come to me when you are! - otherwise don’t come, because my acquaintance is with the poet Dinkar, not with you.” Whenever he came, he would talk about politics - he was a nominated member of parliament - or he would talk about his sickness continually; he was making me sick! I told him, “Stop talking about your sicknesses, because people come to me to ask something of value, and you come to describe your sicknesses.”

But if I prohibited him from talking politics, he would talk of sicknesses. If I prohibited him from talking of sicknesses, then he would talk about his sons: “They are destroying my life. Nobody listens to me. I am going to send them to you.”

I told him, “You are too much. And you are spoiling my joy for when your book comes out: I cannot read it without remembering you. In between the lines you are standing there talking about your diabetes, your politics..”

He would talk about diabetes, and he would ask for sweets! “these,” he would say, “I cannot leave.” He died because he continued to eat things that the doctors were prohibiting. And he knew it; he would tell me everything that the doctors had prohibited and ask me, “Osho, can you tell me some way that I can manage to eat all these things and still the diabetes.?” Maitreyaji knew him perfectly well.

In Jabalpur there was one famous poetess, Shubhadra Kumari Chauhan. I had read her poetry from my very childhood; her songs had become so popular because of the freedom struggle - she was continuously fighting for freedom and revolution - that even small children were reciting them. Before I was able to read, even then I knew a few of her songs. When I went to the university I discovered that she had also moved to Jabalpur. That was not her original place; her original place happened to be near my village. That I discovered later on, that she was from just twenty miles away from my village and that she had moved to Jabalpur just two years before I moved there.

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