That brings Masto back again. This Masto is such a fellow he would enter anywhere – asked, unasked, invited, uninvited. He was so interesting that whether he was invited or not, everybody would stand to receive him. Masto comes in again and again. It is just an old habit which is very difficult to cure.
Now poor Devageet simply writes his notes, and he does it perfectly. Once in a while I check by asking, “What was I saying?” and he reminds me exactly what it was that I was saying. He does his work, and because he is so full of love for me he cannot resist sighing, and breathing as if something he could never believe would happen has at last happened – and he cannot believe it still. And my difficulty is that I think that he is giggling! He is not giggling, just the sound of his excited breathing makes me feel that he is giggling.
He has written to me about it. I know it, but whenever he does it – I am also a diehard – immediately the word that comes to me is giggling. So, again he is giggling. This too is an old habit from when I was a professor. And you can understand: a professor is, after all, a professor, and he cannot allow giggling in his class. I don’t mind it now, I enjoy it.
In my class there were more girls than boys, so there was much giggling. And you know me, whether they are boys or girls it does not matter: I still share the jokes. But if the giggling is out of place, then the person is bound to be in trouble. Just after the joke there is a moment when I would allow it, but not out of place. If the giggling came out of place then I would catch the person redhanded. Such giggling was not because of any joke, it was just because of boys and girls together; the old story of Adam and Eve. “Just get out, both of you!” That’s what God said. “Get out of the garden of Eden!”
He must have been the old kind of teacher. And this serpent must have been just an old servant who had served many Adams and Eves, helping in every possible way, perhaps sending their letters to each other et cetera. It is better not to mention the other things. Of course there are no ladies here, and no gentlemen either; but just in case somebody is a gentleman pretending not to be, or a lady pretending not to be, then there would be unnecessary pain. I don’t want to cause pain to anybody.
I remember my first lecture…. See how things happen in this series? It was in high school. All the high schools in the district had sent a speaker there. I was chosen to be the representative of my school, not because I was the best, I cannot say that, but only because I was the most troublesome. If I had not been chosen there would have been trouble, that much was certain. So, they decided to choose me, but they were not aware that wherever I am trouble starts anyway.
I started the speech without the normal address to “Mister President, Ladies and Gentlemen….” I looked the president up and down, and said to myself, “No, he does not look like a president.” Then I looked around and said to myself, “No, nobody here seems to be either a lady or a gentleman, so unfortunately I have to begin my speech without addressing anybody in particular. I can only say, ‘To whom it may concern.’”