Pannalal Ghosh was really a babu, I mean, stinking of fish, so I had to hold my nose.
He asked, “Baba, why is this boy of yours, whose feet I have to touch again and again, holding his breath?”
Baba said, “He is trying to do some yoga exercise. It has nothing to do with you or your fishy smell.” He was such a beautiful man, this Pagal Baba.
The second musician, whose name I have been avoiding to even mention – although I did mention it once and I have to mention it again just to finish this chapter – was Sachdeva. His flute playing is totally different from Pannalal Ghosh, although they use the same type of flute. You could give them the same flute and you would be amazed at the difference in the music. What comes out of the flute is what matters, not the flute itself. Sachdeva had a magical touch, whereas Pannalal Ghosh was technically perfect, but not a magician. Sachdeva was also technically perfect and had the art of music and magic together. Just listening to his flute is to be transported into another world. But I never liked the man. Not in the same sense as Pannalal Ghosh, which was indifference; this man I hated. It was pure and simple dislike, so total that I could not see any possibility whatsoever that we could even be acquaintances. And Baba knew it, Sachdeva knew it, but still he had to touch my feet.
I told Baba, “I cannot allow him to touch my feet again. The first time I was not aware of the ugliness of his vibe, now I know it.”
And his vibe was not only ugly, it was nauseous, and so was his face. One felt sick. I was avoiding talking about it simply not to remember it. Why? Because I will have to see it again to describe it to you. But I have decided to unburden myself totally, so let it be so. He was really more ugly than his passport photograph.
I used to think that a passport photo was the most ugly thing possible; nobody could be that ugly. Sachdeva was. And what a beautiful name, “Sachdeva,” “God of Truth,” and yet he was so ugly. My God! Jesus!
But when he started playing on his bamboo flute, all his ugliness simply disappeared. He took you to some other world. His music is very penetrating, sharp as the edge of a sword. He cuts through and through, and so skillfully that you don’t even know that the surgery has happened.
But the man was simply ugly. I don’t bother about physical ugliness. What do I have to do with his physique? But psychologically he was ugly too. When he touched my feet for the first time, very reluctantly, it felt as if a reptile had crawled over them, the kind of feeling as if a snake has crawled over your feet. And I could not even jump and kill the snake then and there – he was not a snake; he was a man.
I looked at Baba, and said, “What am I supposed to do about the snake?”