Devageet…really good, and after being hit, you have seen stars. I too can see the stars along with you. Okay.
The village where I was born was not part of the British Empire. It was a small state ruled by a Mohammedan queen. I can see her now. Strange, she was also as beautiful as the queen of England, exactly as beautiful. But there was one good thing: she was Mohammedan, whereas the queen of England is not. Such women should always be Mohammedan, because they have to remain hidden behind a veil, called a burqa. She used to visit our village once in a while; and of course, in that village, my house was the only one where she could stay, and moreover, she loved my grandmother.
My Nani and she were both talking when I first saw the queen without her veil. I could not believe it: a queen, and so homely! Then I understood the purpose of the burqa, the veil – what the Hindus call parda. It is good for ugly women. In a better world it would be good for ugly men too. At least then you can’t attack anybody with your ugliness. It is an aggression. If beauty is an attraction, then what is ugliness? It is an aggression, an attack, and nobody is protected against it. No law protects anyone.
I laughed in the very face of the queen.
She said, “Why are you laughing?”
I said, “I am laughing because I always wondered what was the purpose of a parda, and burqa. Today I know.”
I don’t think she understood, because she smiled. Although she was an ugly woman I must concede her smile was beautiful.
The world is full of strange things. I came across many people who were beautiful, but when they smiled their faces would look distorted, ugly. I have seen Mahatma Gandhi, again only when I was a child. He was ugly to the core. In fact I would say he was uniquely ugly, but his beauty was in his smile. He knew how to smile; about that I cannot be against him. About everything else I am against him, because except for his smile everything was just rubbish, rot! He was really a great Bodhigarbage. Our own Bodhigarbage is nothing compared to him.
I have heard that people call Swami Bodhigarbha, Bodhigarbage. I like it! They have added something to the name. In fact they have put him exactly where he is. I gave him the name Bodhigarbha, which can only be his future. But people can only see what is under their feet; they call him Bodhigarbage. Perhaps this name would have been good for Mahatma Gandhi.