The story of Mahatma Gandhi’s death, and Jawaharlal’s bursting into tears on the radio, stunned the whole world. It was not a prepared speech. He was just speaking out of his own heart, and if tears came, what could he do? And if there was a pause, it was not his fault but his greatness. No stupid politician could have done it even if he had wanted to, because their secretaries would even have to write in the prepared speech: “Now please start weeping, cry and leave a pause so that everybody believes that it is for real.”
Jawaharlal was not reading; in fact, his secretaries were very worried. One of his secretaries, later on, after many years, became a sannyasin. He confessed that, “We had prepared a speech but in fact he threw it exactly in our faces and said, ‘You fools! Do you think I am going to read your speech?’”
This man, Jawaharlal, I immediately recognized as one of those very few people in the world at any moment who are so sensitive and yet in a position to be useful, not just to exploit and oppress but to serve.
I told Masto, “I’m not a politician and will never be one, but I respect Jawaharlal, not because he is the prime minister but because he can still recognize me although I am just a potentiality. Perhaps it may happen, or it may not happen at all, who knows? But his emphasis to you, to protect me from the politicians, shows that he knows more than is apparent.”
This incident of Masto’s disappearance, with this as his last statement, has opened many doors. I will enter at random, that is my way.
The first was Mahatma Gandhi. He was just mentioned by Jawaharlal, who wanted to compare me – and naturally – to the man he respected most. But he hesitated, because he knew a little bit of me too, just a little bit, but enough to make me a presence while he was making the statement. Hence he hesitated. He felt as if something was not as it should be, but could not immediately find any other name. So he finally blurted out, “One day he can be another Mahatma Gandhi.”
Masto protested on my behalf. He knew me far better than Jawaharlal. Hundreds of times we had discussed Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy, and I was always against. Even Masto was a little bit puzzled why I was so insistent against a man I had only seen twice, when I was just a child. I will tell you the story of that second meeting. It was suddenly interrupted, and then one never knows what comes. I never knew that this was going to come in.