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Chapter 14: Society Crowds You Out; Religion Outs Your Crowd

He was sleeping, and it was not my fault. He had such a long choti - that bunch of hair it is called a choti. I had never seen it because it was always hidden inside his turban. While he was sleeping, it was hanging down and touching the street. From his cot it was so long that I was tempted, I could not resist; I rushed home, brought the scissors, cut it off completely, and took it and kept it in my room.

In the morning he must have found that it was gone. He could not believe it because his whole purity was in it, his whole religion was in it - his whole spirituality was destroyed. But everybody in the neighborhood knew that if anything goes wrong, first they will rush to me. And he came immediately. I was sitting outside knowing well that he would come in the morning. He looked at me. I also looked at him. He asked me, “What are you looking at?”

I said, “What are you looking at? Same thing.”

He said, “Same thing?”

I said, “Yes, the same thing. You name it.”

He asked, “Where is your father? I don’t want to talk to you at all.”

He went in. He brought my father out and my father said, “Have you done anything to this man?”

I said, “I have not done anything to this man, but I have cut a choti which certainly cannot belong to this man, because when I was cutting it, what was he doing? He could have prevented it.”

The man said, “I was asleep.”

I said, “If I had cut off your finger while you were asleep, would you have remained asleep?”

He said, “How can I remain asleep if somebody is cutting off my finger?”

I said, “That certainly shows that hairs are dead. You can cut them but the person is not hurt, no blood comes out. So what is the fuss about? A dead thing was hanging there, and I thought that you are unnecessarily carrying this dead thing inside your turban for your whole life - why not relieve you of it? It is in my room. And with my father I have the contract to be true.”

So I brought out his choti and said, “If you are so interested in it, you can take it back. If it is your spirituality, your brahminism, you can keep it tied and put it inside your turban. It is dead anyway, it was dead when it was attached to you; it was dead when I detached it. You can keep it inside your turban.”

And I asked my father, “My reward?” - in front of that man.

That man said, “What reward is he asking for?”

My father said, “This is the trouble. Yesterday he proposed a contract that if he speaks the truth, and sincerely. He is not only speaking the truth, he is even giving the proof. He has told the whole story, and even has logic behind it that it was a dead thing so why be bothered with a dead thing? And he is not hiding anything.”

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