He was also a talented sitar player, but again, I have never seen him playing before a crowd. Often I was the only one present when he played, and he would tell me to lock the door, saying, “Please lock the door, and whatsoever happens, don’t open it until I am dead.” And he knew that if I wanted to open the door I would have to kill him first, and then open it. I would keep my promise. But his music was such…. He was not known to the world: the world missed.
He said, “These things are so intimate that it is prostitution to play before a crowd.” That was his exact word, prostitution. He was really a philosopher, a thinker, and very logical, not like me. With Pagal Baba I had only one thing in common, that was “the madness.” Masto had many things in common with him. Pagal Baba was interested in many things. I certainly could not be a representative of Pagal Baba, but Masto was. I cannot be anybody’s representative whosoever.
Masto did so much for me, in every way, that I could not believe how Baba had known that he would be the right person. And I was a child, and needed much direction; and not an easy child either. Unless I was convinced I would not move an inch. In fact, I would move back a little just to be safe.
I am reminded of a small anecdote. I used to use this anecdote as a joke. Many of my jokes are perhaps painted a little here and there, to make them look like jokes, but many of them come from real life. And real life is far more of a joke book than any joke book could ever be. How do I know this joke comes from real life? Because it cannot be otherwise, there is no other way. I remember I used to tell this joke and this is the way I remember it.
A child comes to school late, very late. It is raining. The teacher looks with those stony eyes that are given specially only to teachers – and to wives. And if you marry a woman who is both, then God help you! We can only pray for you. Then that woman will have four stony eyes which look in all directions. Beware of school teachers! Never, never marry a school teacher. Whatsoever happens, escape before you stumble and fall. Fall anywhere, but not into a school teacher, otherwise you will have a real hell of a life. And if she is English then things are tripled!
The small boy, already very afraid, completely drenched with water, somehow had still reached the school. But a school teacher is a school teacher. She asked, “Why are you late?”
He had thought it was enough proof. It was raining so hard…cats and dogs were raining; and he was completely wet, dripping. And yet she was still asking, “Why are you late?”
He invented, just like any child would, saying, “Miss, it is so slippery that as I took one step forward, I slipped two steps back.”
The woman looked even more stern and said, “How can that be? If you take one step forward and then slip back two steps – you cheat – then you could never have got to school.”
The small boy said, “Miss, please understand, I turned toward my house and started running away from school, that’s how I got here.”