Chapter 7: Live One Day As a Buddha
The sari has that great quality also. You can pull down your ghunghat.inside you may not be crying but you can pretend to be in immense sadness and misery.
I said, “This is a great strategy. But beware of me.”
She said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I can ring the bell at the wrong person.”
She said, “No, you should not do that. I have been harassed, tortured, for months taking care of that woman, who was only a faraway relative.” But in India, faraway relatives are still relatives. Sometimes one does not know in what way a person is a relative, but you have to take care of them if they proclaim they are. Some cousin of your cousins.
I said, “Don’t be worried.”
She used to remain inside the house. Whenever somebody came, I simply gave her the bell, and she would immediately pull down her ghunghat. There is no word for ghunghat in English - it is part of the sari. But you all understand what it is. It means pulling your tent down a little so that your face is hidden, so nobody can see what actually is happening on your face. And you can pretend anything.
So for a few days I managed it. One day her husband came and I rang the bell. That was so hilarious that even today I cannot forget it. She pulled her tent down and started weeping as if somebody had died. The husband said, “Has somebody died again?”
She looked through the ghunghat, and seeing that it was her husband, she said, “No, it is.I knew that sometime he was going to deceive me, but I never thought that he would shock you. Where is he?”
They both came out and she said, “This is not good. My husband is not coming in the house to sympathize or to mourn.”
I said, “He looked so sad that I thought that somebody must have died. And it is better to make you aware that your husband is looking very sad. This is not the moment to desire a loving word; this is a moment to weep and cry with him.”
The husband said, “What do you mean, I was looking sad?”
I said, “Now, don’t provoke me. By nature, your face is such that it seems somebody has died. I don’t usually say it, because what is the point? You are not responsible. This is the face you have got.”
He said, “Really, I look so sad?”
I said, “You can ask anybody. I can bring a few witnesses from the neighborhood. Everybody knows that you are very sad and very serious and worried.”
He said, “No need to bring the neighbors” - because he knew I would convince a few people. “I will try to make my face better. I will try once in a while to laugh, smile.”
I said to him, “It is not a question of trying. In the first place, you shave your mustache. You have a strange mustache that makes you look like a clown.”