Even if we live our whole life together it makes no difference, we remain strangers; we just settle for consolations, and we start taking the other for granted. It is a make-believe that you know the other – your wife, your mother, your father, your brother, your friend – it is just a make-believe that you know them. You know nothing about the other because that is impossible – for the simple reason that you don’t know anything about yourself yet. Without knowing oneself it is impossible to know anybody else.
The trouble is you can be introduced to somebody else, but how can you be introduced to yourself? Who is going to do that?
You can be introduced to somebody else because that introduction is just arbitrary. The name, the caste, the country, the religion, the profession – these are all arbitrary and accidental.
It happened…really a great coincidence, almost inconceivable, but it happened so whether it is conceivable or not makes no difference. When I was standing at the window after my matriculation, to obtain entry into a college, there were many people who were filling in forms and I was waiting to get my form. When I was filling in my form a boy just of my age came to me, and he said, “What subjects are you taking?”
So I showed him my form and said, “These are my subjects.”
He said, “Oh, okay, I will fill in these subjects also.”
I said, “But this is strange. You have come to the college – don’t you have any idea what you want to study?”
He said, “It is all the same to me. My father wants me to study so I have come to the college. I don’t have any interest in anything, I have just come to enjoy. My father is rich. He wants me to be in college so okay, I will be in college and have fun and enjoy. Any subjects will do.”
But I said, “These subjects perhaps may be difficult for you: philosophy, logic….”
He said, “I don’t care even what they mean. I don’t know, I have never heard this word logic before.”
“Then,” I said, “It is perfectly okay.”
And he asked me, “Will you please give me your fountain pen?”
I said, “This is too much – you don’t have your own fountain pen?”
He said, “I am not a man who is interested in these things.”
He showed me a packet of cigarettes. He said, “I am interested in cigarettes, not in fountain pens; and I am not going to attend any class or anything. My father is going to send me the money and I am going to enjoy, and I am going to ask him for more and more. He has enough, and I am the only son so I am not wasting anybody else’s money. It is my own, I am going to inherit it anyway.”
I gave him my fountain pen and he filled in the form. He even had to look at my form for the spelling of the words that he was filling in. But this way we became friends. I liked the boy, he was sincere, and not a hypocrite in any way. We became friends. He needed me and I needed him, because I needed so much money for books and he had so much money that I said, “This is good.” And he was not interested in books at all.