She sat down by my side and started helping me to make the palace I was creating out of playing cards. But when she had said to Bhoora, “If anyone touches my child you are not just to fire into the air, because we believe in Jainism…. That belief is good, but only in the temple. In the marketplace we have to behave in the way of the world, and the world is not Jaina. How can we behave according to our philosophy?”
I can see her crystal clear logic. If you are talking to a man who does not understand English, you cannot speak to him in English. If you speak to him in his own language then there is more possibility of communication. Philosophies are languages; let that be clearly noted. Philosophies don’t mean anything at all – they are languages. And the moment I heard my grandmother say to Bhoora, “When a dacoit tries to steal my child, speak the language he understands, forget all about Jainism” in that moment I understood, although it was not so clear to me as it became later on. But it must have been clear to Bhoora. My grandfather certainly understood the situation because he closed his eyes and started repeating his mantra: …Namo arihantanam namo…namo siddhanam namo….”
I laughed, my grandmother giggled; Bhoora, of course, only smiled, but everybody understood the situation – and she was right, as always.
I will tell you another resemblance between Gudia and my grandmother; she is almost always right, even with me. If she says something, I may not agree, but I know that finally she is going to be right. I will not agree, that too is true; I am a stubborn man. I have told you again and again, I stick to whatsoever I am, right or wrong. My wrong is my wrong, and I love it because it is mine; but as far as the question of it being right or wrong is concerned…. whenever there is a conflict I know Gudia is going to be right finally…. For the moment I am going to decide…and I am a stubborn man.
My grandmother had the same quality of being always right. She said to Bhoora, “Do you think these dacoits believe in Jainism? And that old fool…” she indicated my grandfather who was repeating his mantra. She then said, “That old fool has only told you to fire into the air because we should not kill. Let him repeat his mantra. Who is telling him to kill? You are not a Jaina, are you?”
I knew instinctively at that moment that if Bhoora was a Jaina he would lose his job. I had never bothered before whether Bhoora was a Jaina or not. For the first time I became concerned about the poor man, and started praying. I did not know to whom, because Jainas don’t believe in any God. I was never indoctrinated into any belief, but still I started saying within myself, “God, if you are there, save this poor man’s job.” Do you see the point? Even then I said, “If you are there….” I cannot lie even in such a situation…but mercifully Bhoora was not a Jaina.
He said, “I am not a Jaina so I don’t care.”
My Nani said, “Then remember what I have told you, not what that old fool has said.”