Chapter 5: Sex to Ecstasy
As the train left, the first thing I did, I opened the suitcase: what was the matter? The suitcase was full of one-hundred rupee notes. I thought, “My God! What has he done?” And there was a slip in an envelope: “This is for a new Fiat car. Purchase it immediately. And you cannot say no to me because that will hurt me my whole life.”
I said, “This is strange.” I am continually traveling - in Jabalpur I remain only for five to seven days a month at the most, and that too, not at one stretch. But he will be certainly hurt.” And as I reached home, immediately my phone was ringing. He said, “You have to do first things first. I have already arranged it. I have contacted the Fiat company in Jabalpur - and the car is ready there. Just take the suitcase and take delivery of the car.”
I said, “You don’t leave anything for me!” The car was already standing there ready and the man said, “We have been waiting for you.”
I said, “What to do? The train was two hours late.” And my friend must have been phoning according to the timetable. In India it is said that that’s why the timetable is published - so you can find how late the train is; otherwise how will you find out by how much the train is late? The timetable is absolutely a necessity. Only once it happened that I got into a carriage at the exact time. Traveling for thirty years continually, that was the only time the train arrived exactly on time; it was a miracle. I went to the guard and thanked him; I said, “This is a miracle.”
He said, “It is not a miracle. You don’t know - this is yesterday’s train! We are twenty-four hours late, we are not on time.”
I said to the man at the garage, “What could I do? - the train was late, so two hours..”
He said, “Your friend was very particular about everything; a radio had to be in the car.” And he had made sure of everything, insurance.. And he asked the garage owner to arrange a license for me because otherwise the car might just stay parked at my place. He gave me the first tape-recorder, the first camera - everything that he could find, he would immediately bring to me.
This man was rare in many ways. He was a miser - such a miser that beggars simply bypassed his house. If any beggar ever stood there, other beggars thought, “This seems to be a new man - standing before Rekhchand Parekh’s house, begging!” He had never donated to any institution in his life, never given a single pai to any beggar.
His wife had taken me to introduce to her husband because she said, “He is so miserly, and he has so much money. And we have only three daughters, who are married and have rich houses, so there is no problem. And there is no son, there is nobody after us, but he goes on collecting - even I don’t know how much he has.”