Chapter 2: Session 2
It is good that my poor father is dead, otherwise I would have given him trouble. But he had so much love, and so much compassion for a vagabond son.
I am a vagabond. I have never done anything for the family. They are not obliged to me at all. They have done everything for me. I had chosen this couple not without good reason.for their love, their intimacy, their almost oneness. That is how, after seven hundred years, I entered into the body again.
My childhood was golden. Again, I am not using a cliche. Everybody says his childhood was golden, but it is not so. People only think their childhood was golden because their youth is rotten; then their old age is even more rotten. Naturally, childhood becomes “golden.” My childhood was not golden in that sense. My youth was diamond, and if I am going to be an old man then it is going to be platinum. But my childhood was certainly golden - not a symbol, absolutely golden; not poetically, but literally, factually.
For most of my very early years I lived with my mother’s parents. Those years are unforgettable. Even if I reach to Dante’s paradise I will still remember those years. A small village, poor people, but my grandfather - I mean my mother’s father - was a generous man. He was poor, but rich in his generosity. He gave to each and everyone whatsoever he had. I learned the art of giving from him; I have to accept it. I never saw him say no to any beggar or anybody.
I called my mother’s father Nana; that’s the way the mother’s father is called in India. My mother’s mother is called Nani. I used to ask my grandfather, “Nana, where did you get such a beautiful wife?”
My grandmother looked more Greek than Indian. When I see Mukta laughing, I remember her. Perhaps that’s why I have a soft spot in my heart for Mukta. I cannot say no to her. Even though what she demands is not right, I still say “Okay.” The moment I see her I immediately remember my Nani. Perhaps there was some Greek blood in her; no race can claim purity. The Indians particularly should not claim any purity of blood - the Hunas, the Moguls, the Greeks and many others have attacked, conquered and ruled India. They have mixed themselves in the Indian blood, and it was so apparent with my grandmother. Her features were not Indian, she looked Greek, and she was a strong woman, very strong. My Nana died when he was not more than fifty. My grandmother lived till eighty and she was fully healthy. Even then nobody thought she was going to die. I promised her one thing, that when she died I would come, and that would be my last visit to the family. She died in 1970. I had to fulfill my promise.