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Chapter 34: Session 34

The train came, of course, six hours late, which is not much for an Indian passenger train - just usual. But we could not separate. We talked and talked, and got so involved in talking that the train was missed. We both laughed. We were happy that at least we could be together for a few hours more, before another train came.

Listening to our talk, and our laughter, and the reason for the laughter, the station master said, “Why are you wasting your time on this platform? You can go to the other platform opposite.”

I asked him, “Why?”

He said, “Only goods trains stop there, so you can talk, hug each other, and enjoy yourselves, and there will be no need to worry that you may catch the train. You cannot catch it on that platform.”

I told Masto that the idea sounded very spiritual. The station master was thinking that we might hit him over the head, but when we both thanked him, and went over to the other platform, he came running behind us saying, “Please, don’t take the idea seriously: I was just joking. Believe me, only goods trains stop here. You will never catch any train on this platform.”

I said to him, “I don’t want to catch any train. Nor does Masto want me to catch any train, but what to do?” The host where we were staying was very insistent that it was time for me to go back to the university hostel, saying that my time should not be wasted.

And Masto too wanted me to at least get a master’s degree, according to the wishes of my dead friend Pagal Baba. So I had to go. You will not believe me, but I only remained at university because I had promised Pagal Baba to get a master’s degree. The university gave me a scholarship for further studies, but I said, “No, because I had promised only up to this point.”

They said, “Are you mad? Even if you go directly into service you cannot get more money than you will get with this scholarship. And the scholarship can extend from two to as many years as your professors recommend. Don’t waste the opportunity.”

I said, “Baba should have asked me to get a Ph.D. What can I do? He never asked me, and he died without knowing about it.”

My professor tried hard to persuade me, but I said to him, “Simply forget it, because I only came here to fulfill a promise given to a madman.”

Perhaps if Pagal Baba had known about Ph.D. or D.Litt. then I would have been in a trap, but thank God he only knew about the master’s degree. He thought that was the last word. I don’t know whether he really wanted me to go for more scholarship. Now there is no way. One thing is certain, that if he had wanted it, I would have gone and wasted as many years as necessary. But it was not a fulfillment of my own being, nor was the master’s degree. Somehow Pagal Baba got the idea that unless you had a master’s degree, a postgraduate degree, you would not be able to get a good job.

I said, “Baba, do you think I will ever desire a job?”

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