I cannot remember a single thing that I was required to do except just to be myself – and that meant the source of all mischief, because when you don’t require a child to do anything at all he has so much energy, he has to invest it somewhere. Right or wrong does not matter, what matters is the investment; and mischief is the nicest investment possible. So I did all kinds of mischief to everybody around.
I used to carry a small suitcase, just like the doctors’. Once I had seen a doctor passing through the village, and I had said to my Nani, “Unless I get that suitcase I will not eat!” Where did I get the idea not to eat? I had seen my grandfather not eating for days, particularly in the rainy season when the Jainas have their festival. The very orthodox do not eat at all for ten days, that is why I had said, “I will not eat unless I get that suitcase.”
You know what she did? That’s why I still love her – told Bhoora, “Take your gun and run after that doctor and snatch his bag. Even if you have to shoot the man, get his bag. Don’t worry, we will take care of you in court.”
Bhoora ran with his gun; I ran behind to see what would actually happen. Seeing Bhoora with the gun – a European with a gun in India in those days was the last thing one wanted to see – the doctor started trembling like a leaf in a strong wind. Bhoora said to him, “There is no need to tremble; just hand over your case and go to hell, or wherever else you want to go.” The doctor, still trembling, handed over his case. I don’t know how you call this doctor’s case, Devaraj. Is it a suitcase or something? A doctor’s case? Devageet, what do you call it?
“A visiting bag perhaps?”
A visiting bag? It does not look like a bag. Devaraj, can you suggest a name? A visiting bag? Okay…can you find a better word?
“The original bag was called a Gladstone bag. That was the original black bag.”
What is it? A Gladstone’s bag? Yes, that was what I was thinking of and could not remember…of course, a Gladstone’s bag. Good, but I still don’t like that name for the bag. I will continue to call it the doctor’s suitcase, although I know it is not a suitcase. It does not matter; by now everybody has understood what I mean.
Seeing the doctor tremble, I saw, for the first time, that all education was useless. If it cannot make you fearless then what is it for? Just to earn bread and butter? You will tremble. You will be a bag full of bread and butter, trembling. This is wonderful. It suddenly reminds me of Doctor Eichling.
I have heard – just a gossip, and I love gossips more than gospels…. Anyway those gospels are nothing but gossips, just not said rightly, not told juicily. I have heard – that’s the way Buddha gospels begin, I mean Buddha gossips begin. I have heard – what a beautiful phrase! – that Doctor Eichling’s beloved, who by the way I would rather call “Inkling,” but I heard that his name is not Inkling but Eichling….