And I have received dozens of letters – all from Germans. They can be divided into three parts. First, most of them are very jealous: “You are making Niskriya a hero.” I am not making Niskriya a hero, he is a born hero. Heroes are not made.
The second part reacted like Premdipa – greatly – “This is not right. This hurts our German pride.” I have never thought that in my people there are also hiding a few German fascists. It is perfectly good that you have become aware that you are carrying still that stupid idea that you are a German.
I don’t mean that only Germans are stupid. Anybody who is carrying the idea that “I am Indian, I am Iranian, I am Japanese”…these are all stupid people. An intelligent person knows only that “I am a human being.” And the third part was angry because Niskriya did it, and did it with intensity and perfectionism, but did it all wrong! They were angry that “This is a caricature of the German heritage.”
You cannot drop your prejudices, you cannot drop your conditionings – even here. Just do it rightly! Otherwise I will again receive letters that people laugh, but they don’t laugh perfectly. And find out where Premdipa is frozen. Unfreeze her! And I will see about Niskriya later on.
And she is making such great statements: “Some old feminist is freaking out in the back of my mind.” So? It is perfectly good that you have become aware that some old feminist is living in the back of your mind – let it freak out!
My purpose is to give you the opportunity. If you don’t use it, you miss something which you may not find again.
She is saying – “seriously”! – “noting down the ‘maleness’ and ‘coarseness’ of your jokes. Am I just a repressed English prude or are you up to something here?” You are certainly a repressed English prude, and I am also up to something here. Otherwise, why should I be here?
Premdipa, don’t miss the opportunity this time. I have tried hard, because every joke seems to me so beautiful and has such a psychological significance, a profound philosophy behind it, that I was unable to find something dirty – seriously – for you. But I have made the effort. Whether I have succeeded or not…your laughter will prove it.
On the first day of school, the new teacher says to her class, “All right, children. I want you to know that I have a very difficult name, and so I am going to spell it out for you. Tomorrow, if any of you can remember how to spell it right, I will give you a bag of candy. My name is Miss Prussy. Spelled: P-r-u-s-s-y.”
Little Guiseppe, who has just arrived in America from Italy, really wants to do well in his new school. That night, he goes home repeating over and over: “Prussy – Miss Prussy.”