He said, “This is strange, going to university just to condemn it. I have to borrow money for you, mortgage my house for you, risk my business for you – and you are just going to condemn those professors? Why can’t you condemn them without going to university?”
I left home, just writing a note to my father saying, “I can understand your feelings, and I can understand your economy. We belong to different worlds, and there is no bridge, at least right now. I don’t see that you can understand me, or that I can understand you, and there is no need either. Thank you for the gesture of wanting to support me, but it was an investment, and I don’t want to become your business partner. I am leaving without seeing you. Perhaps I will meet you only when I have arranged my own finances.” That’s why I went to work as a journalist.
It was the worst thing that one can be forced to do, and yes, I was forced to do it because no other job was available. And journalism in India is the third degree of the third-rate. It is not just third-rate, it is the worst in the world. I did it but could not do it very well. I cannot do anything very well, so that is not at all a complaint against myself, just an acceptance that I cannot do anything, what to say of doing it very well.
And the job ended very soon because I was fast asleep, with my legs on the table, just the way I am right now, when the owner, the chief editor entered. He saw me, shook me and I opened my eyes and looked at him and said, “This is not gentlemanly. I was fast asleep and you disturbed my dream. I would give a fortune for that dream to continue again. I am ready to pay, now tell me how to continue it.”
He said, “What do I care about your dream? I am not concerned with it. But this is my time and you are being paid for it. I have every right to wake you up.”
I said, “Okay, then I have every right to walk out.” And I walked out. Not that he was wrong, but it was not my place. I had entered into a wrong place. Journalists are the worst people, and I know them: I lived with them for three years. It was hell.
What was I saying? I just try to keep a check on you.
“You were talking about how you had to take up journalism because your father had no money to support you.”
“When you are truly an authentic artist you become possessed.”
“Not the journalistic type.”
Continue taking really exact notes. You have become a good writer.
My father was always amazed whenever Pagal Baba would come and touch my feet. He himself would touch Pagal Baba’s feet. It was really hilarious. And just to make the circle whole I would touch my father’s feet. Pagal Baba would start laughing so loudly that everybody became silent as if something really great was happening – and my father would look embarrassed.