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Chapter 43: Session 43

Even Jawaharlal looked at both of us in turns.

I said, “You have decided. I am thankful to you. Masto, for years, has been in a dilemma. He could not decide whether a good man should be in politics or not.”

We talked of many things. I did not think in that house - I mean the prime minister’s house - that any meeting would have lasted so long. By the time we ended it was nine thirty - three hours! Even Jawaharlal said, “This must be my life’s longest meeting, and the most fruitful.”

I said, “What fruitfulness has it brought you?”

He said, “Just the friendship of a man who does not belong to this world, and will never belong to this world. I will cherish it as a sacred memory.” And in his beautiful eyes I could see the first gathering of tears.

I rushed out, just not to embarrass him, but he followed me and said, “There was no need to rush so fast.”

I said, “Tears were coming faster.” He laughed and wept together.

It very rarely happens, and only either to madmen or to the really intelligent ones. He was not a madman, but superbly intelligent. We - I mean Masto and I - talked again and again about that meeting, particularly the tears and the laughter. Why? Naturally we, as always, did not agree. That had become a routine thing. If I had agreed, he would not have believed it. It would have been such a shock.

I said, “He wept for himself, and laughed for the freedom I had.”

Of course, Masto’s interpretation was, “He wept for you, not for himself, because he could see that you could become an important political force, and he laughed at his own idea.”

That was Masto’s interpretation. Now, there was no way to decide, but fortunately Jawaharlal decided it himself, accidentally. Masto told me, so there is no problem.

Before Masto left me forever, to disappear in the Himalayas, and before I died the way everybody has to die to be resurrected, he told me, “Do you know, Jawaharlal has been remembering you again and again, particularly in my last meeting with him. He said, ‘If you see that strange boy, and if you are in any way concerned about him, keep him out of politics, because I wasted my life with these stupid people. I don’t want that boy begging votes from utterly stupid, mediocre, unintelligent masses. No, if you have any say in his life, please protect him from politics.’“

Masto said, “That decided our argument in your favor, and I’m happy because although I argued with you, and against you, deep down I always agreed with you.”

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