Chapter 32: Time Remains Where It Is
Even his wife told me one day, “This is so strange - everything that you say is against him. Listening to you both, I get so confused. He goes on listening to you and he goes on doing his thing.”
His superstitions were such that if he were going somewhere by train or by plane, first he would call his astronomer to ask, “What is the right time to move toward the north or toward the south - the exact minute, seconds?” And the astronomer would figure out the situation of the stars.
I told him, “This is going too far.” The stars are not concerned where Govindas is going. I don’t see any reason why the stars should be worried that Govindas is going north, when he should go to the south, that he is going one hour too early.
I said, “This is just the ego of the man - as if the whole existence moves around his ego!”
He would listen to me and he would say, “You may be right, but I don’t want to take any risk.”
I said, “This is strange; you never argue the point.”
He said, “It is not a question of argument, it is a question of risk. You may be right, but who knows? - for centuries people have consulted astronomers all over the world, birth charts have been made.”
It was so difficult to stay with him, and it was very difficult not to stay with him, because if I was in Delhi and did not stay with him, and he came to know of it the next day by reading it in the newspapers, he would come rushing to me, angry, saying, “I have told you that whenever you are in Delhi you have to stay with me.”
He wouldn’t listen at all, he would simply drag me to his house - and I was very comfortable in his house. He had a very beautiful house, the best house, like emperors have: all the comforts, servants, cars, everything; and only he and his wife, both old, were there.
He used to call people there - parliamentarians, ministers, cabinet ministers - to meet me. I said, “Everything is okay, except your astronomer. If you would stop calling that astronomer. Because of him I feel so tortured. The train is going to leave at twelve in the night and the astronomer says I should leave just when the sun is setting. It is not in my hands: The train will leave in the middle of the night; it cannot leave at six o’clock in the evening.” So the astronomers have found a via media. They say, “Leave the house at six o’clock and wait at the station.” So I was waiting at the station for hours.
I said, “This is the only trouble with you; otherwise, everything is okay.”
I would reach Delhi, and if I was going to stay with him he would come to pick me up. But he would not move from the station until the time the astronomer had said he should reach the house. Even if we reached the house earlier - just by chance, if there was not much traffic - then we would go round and round.
I said, “This is strange. You harass me and you harass yourself.”