Nana

I visited India every six years or so after I was settled in the United States. By the time of my earlier visits Nana had purchased a bigger apartment in Santa Cruz, very close to the Sahara International airport. Because of the proximity to the airport this was where I frequently stayed upon arrival and on the day of departure. At a designated time we could see the Air India planes landing and departing from his balcony.

Nana bought a scooter to move about town. He liked the hooded sweat shirts I brought him from US. It kept him warm. Once he asked me to bring a copy of Playboy, prohibited in India.

“My friend Sheshu had written an article for the magazine,” he said proudly.

I didn’t question him.

As he grew older he started reading books on religion and philosophy. He had a good selection in his home library. He never gave up his habit of tobacco chewing. That was affecting his speech. It was becoming hard to understand him because his voice slurred as he spoke. Every time we met he would take me away from everyone else and would ask me to sit near him and discuss the latest philosophy he had read.

“Acchu, come, sit” he would say pointing to an empty chair near him.

“Haaave youuu read Raajaanish?” He would ask.

“No, I haven’t”

“Heee’s a brilliant maaaan.”

“But, he was driven out of America. He had an Ashram in Oregon, I believe.”

“Theeeee Aaamericaan’s doooon’t know. Listen.”

“Do you know what hinders your realization of happiness?” He would ask looking straight at me with mischievous eyes and with his left palm resting on his right elbow and right palm cupping his chin. After a pause he would ask again, “Do you?”

“No, I don’t,” I would reply. Knowing full well that no matter what I said, it wouldn’t be right.

“Osho says it’s your own fears and expectations of societal acceptance.”

Nana would emphasize that by asking “Understand?”

Then he would quote from the writings of Rajanish, his philosophy on life, on free love and meditation, etc.  I would listen, barely understanding all he was saying. I kept agreeing and nodding. He suggested I visit the Osho Ashram in Pune. He was sure I will be mesmerized by his oratory. So it would be, or a variation of it on my every visit. Sometimes I would hear the same story again and again, but Nana would have forgotten that he had already told the story and would tell it as if it was the first time. It had become such a ritual that I would feel I had missed something until I had met Nana on my visits to India.

9 thoughts on “Nana

  1. नानांबद्दल वाचून मजा आली ,छान लिहीलेत। गीता वहीनी

    Sent from my iPad

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      1. Hello Achunana
        Your write up on Late Nana mama is interesting. I too remember the incident mentioned by you in the article. When he was in translation dept. he used to occasionally drop me at keshav memorial school en route to his office . Your article is best tribute to Late Nana mama.
        Regards
        Dinu

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  2. My eyes welled with tears on reading this. As Oscar Wilde’s quote on parents, I did judge him and later understood where he was coming from. He used to think I am like his father and would spend all money and be penniless in the end I proved him wrong on this! He saw me succeed in life , following a different path. In the end, he used to ask me to be always thankful to god for all the personal success , not take credit personally, as I used to do. Anyway thanks for writing with such compassion and in detail regards Pankaj

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Pankaj: I understand. Sometimes we are quick to judge people around us. Especially in youth. Over time we have a different perspective. It is never too late for redemption.
      At first glance I was surprised to see a comment on something I wrote two years ago. I am glad it is you. Take care.

      Like

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