The man I was talking about, his full name was Pandit Shambhuratan Dube. We all used to call him Shambhu Babu. He was a poet, and rare in that he was not eager to be published. That is very rare in a poet. I have come across hundreds of the tribe, and they are all so eager to be published that poetry becomes secondary. I call any ambitious person a politician, and Shambhu Dube was not ambitious.
He was not an elected vice president either, because to be elected you have to at least stand for election. He was nominated by the president, who was just holy cow dung, as I have said before, and he wanted some men with intelligence to do his work. The president was an absolute cow dung, and he had been in office for years. Again and again he had been chosen by other cow dungs.
In India, to be a holy cow dung is a great thing – you become a Mahatma; and this president was almost a Mahatma, and as bogus as they all are, otherwise they would not be Mahatmas in the first place. Why should a man of creativity and intelligence choose to be a cow dung? Why should he be at all interested in being worshipped? I will not even mention the name of the holy cow dung; it is filthy. He had nominated Shambhu Babu as his vice president, and I think that was the only good thing that he did in his whole life. Perhaps he did not know what he was doing – cow dungs are not conscious people.
The moment Shambhu Babu and I saw each other, something happened; what Carl Gustav Jung calls “synchronicity.” I was just a child; not only that, wild too. I was fresh from the woods, uneducated and undisciplined. We had nothing in common. He was a man of power and very respected by the people, not because he was a cow dung but because he was such a strong man, and if you were not respectful to him, some day you might suffer for it. And his memory was very, very good. Everybody was really afraid of him and so they were all respectful, and I was just a child.
Apparently there was nothing in common with us. He was the vice president of the whole village, the president of the lawyers’ association, the president of the rotary club, and so on and so forth. He was either the president or the vice president of many committees. He was everywhere, and he was a well educated man. He had the highest degrees in law, but he did not practice law in that village.