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Chapter 42: Session 42

He said, “Again! Because I love to see the stars - but how did you come to know about it?”

I said, “I have nothing to do with it. I know what being a poet is, so I can describe you in every detail. So please, from this moment, don’t be astonished. Just take it easy.” And he certainly relaxed. Otherwise for a politician to relax is impossible.

In India, the mythology is that when an ordinary person dies, only one devil comes to take him, but when a politician dies, a crowd of devils have to come because he won’t relax, even in death. He won’t allow it. He has never allowed anything to happen of its own accord. He does not know the meaning of those simple words, “Let go.”

But this man Jawaharlal immediately relaxed. He said, “With you I can relax. And Masto has never been a source of tension to me, so he can also relax. I am not preventing him, unless being a swami, a sannyasin, a monk, prevents him.”

We all laughed. And this was not the last meeting, it was only the first. Masto and I had thought it was the last, but when we were departing, Jawaharlal said, “Can you come again tomorrow at this same time? And I will keep this fellow,” he said, pointing toward Morarji Desai, “away from here. Even his presence stinks, and you know of what. I am sorry, but I have to keep him in the cabinet because he has a certain political importance. And what does it matter if he drinks his own urine? It is not my business.” We laughed again, and departed.

That evening, he reminded us again on the phone, saying, “Don’t forget. I have canceled all my other appointments and I will be waiting for you both.”

We had no work to do at all. Masto had come just to make me acquainted with the prime minister, and that was done. Masto said, “If the prime minister wants it, we have to stay. We cannot say ‘No,’ that would not be helpful to your future.”

I said, “Don’t be worried about my future. Will it be helpful to Jawaharlal or not?”

Masto said, “You are impossible.” And he was right, but I came to know it too late, when it was difficult to change.

I have become so accustomed to being what I am that even in small things it is difficult for me to change. Gudia knows, she tries to teach me in every possible way not to splash water all over the bathroom. But can you teach me anything? I cannot stop. Not that I want to torture the girls, or that they have to be tortured twice every day, because I take two baths, so naturally they have to clean twice.

Of course Gudia thinks I can take a bath in such a way that they don’t have to remove water from everywhere. But finally she dropped the idea of teaching me. It is impossible for me to change. When I take my shower I enjoy it so much that I forget, and splash the water all over. And without splashing it I would have to remain controlled even in my bathroom.

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