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Chapter 32: The Face behind the Mask

I said, “I can say only one thing: I have not done it. I cannot say anything about you. And who knows? Your husband may have done it for some reason before going to the shop. Nobody knows.just wait, we will try to find out; but unless we have found out who has done it, your being angry at me is not right. And remember that I have been giving you the signal up to now. From now onwards, it is finished. I am not going to ring the bell. You stay prepared.”

She cooled down, seeing the situation. She said, “Forget it. What happened, happened. But don’t stop ringing the bell.”

I said, “What is the point of it all? Neither you nor the person who had come had any intention to be authentically sad or sorry. When I saw him, he was coming singing a song and smoking a cigarette. Anybody could see that he was in good spirits, enjoying the morning air, the fresh sun and the beautiful gardens all around” - because that place was in the most beautiful part of the city and all the bungalows had gardens.

“And just as he entered he threw away the cigarette, pulled his face down long, became sad. I was watching, and by chance this bell failed. And he showed that he was so much shocked - that was also hypocrisy because he was not shocked. He was also pretending, just as you were pretending. The only man who was not pretending was me.”

He went out and he lit another cigarette - he did not think that I belonged to the family. I lived in the house but he was not aware of the fact. And he started singing a film song and went away.

I said to her, “Stop all this nonsense! Just simply say that you are relieved.”

That woman had been suffering unnecessarily, there was no cure. Everybody was waiting for her death; the doctors were tired, they were also waiting for her death. They had said that there was no cure, but she could go on prolonging. She was very old.

And it often happens that young people can die quickly, because death also needs a certain energy. Old people, very old people who should have died long before, don’t even have the energy to die. They simply go on pulling. They have become so habituated to life, they have forgotten to die. In fact, what had to happen long before has not happened - they have missed their date. And perhaps, in the bureaucracy of death, everybody has forgotten their file, too.

You know that as you go on longer in life, you will find that fewer people die. For example, at ninety, less people die than at seventy-five. At one hundred, even fewer people die. At one hundred and ten, rarely does somebody ever die. At one hundred and twenty, nobody dies - the file is forgotten, the man has forgotten to die. So here everybody was relieved and still just kept showing a face which was not authentic.

This whole society has been created around a certain idea that is basically hypocritical. Here you have to be what others expect you to be, not what you are. That’s why everything has become false, phony. Even in friendliness you are keeping a distance. Only so far do you allow anybody to come close.

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