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Chapter 22: Session 22

I told him, “Shambhu Babu, you know perfectly well I hate all these presidencies, vice presidencies, whether they are municipal or national. I cannot say to you, ‘Take back your resignation,’ because I could not commit that crime. If you want to take it back you are free to do so.”

He said, “The seal is closed. There is no point in going back, and I am happy that you did not try to persuade me.”

He remained a lonely man. He had enough money to live like a rich man, so when he resigned his presidency he also resigned from the bar. He said, “I have enough money, why bother? And why law? - with all the legalities and continuous lying in the name of truth.”

He stopped his profession. These were the qualities I loved in him. Without thinking for a single moment, he resigned, and the next day he dropped out of the bar association. For him, I had to visit the village once in a while, or call him to my place, just to be with me for a few days. Once in a while he used to come.

He was a real man, not afraid of any consequences. He once asked me, “What are you going to do? - because I don’t think that you can remain in the university as a professor for long.”

I said, “Shambhu Babu, I never plan. If I drop out of this work I hope some other work will be there waiting for me. If God.” and remember the “if,” because he was not a theist, that was another quality I loved in him; he used to say, “Unless I know, how can I believe?”

I said to him, “If God can find work for all kinds of people, animals, trees, I think he will be able to find some kind of work for me too. And if he cannot find any it is his problem, not mine.”

He laughed and said, “Yes, that is perfectly right. Yes, it is his problem if he is there, but the point is: if he is not there, then what?”

I said, “I don’t see any problem for me then either. If there is no work I can take a deep breath and say goodbye to existence. It is enough proof that I am not needed. And if I am not needed then I am not going to impose myself on this poor existence.”

Our talks, could they all be recapitulated; our arguments, could they all be again reproduced, would make even better dialogues than Plato. He was a very logical man, just as logical as I am illogical. And that is the most baffling thing: that we were the only friends for each other in the town.

Everybody asked, “He is a logician, you are utterly illogical. What is the bridge between you both?”

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