Coming to Ferozpur
Well after my Part II Exams, I went to Ferozpur where my Father had been posted. I met my old school mate – Shailja Tandon. We went around and had a gala time together !! I learnt how to drive ! I met yet another gang mate of mine – Bujji (Munni’s brother – Lt. Rao’s children who were with us in Hasimara – he was probably 4 years old then !)
Bujji could drive very well – he offered to teach me how to Drive ! It really made me think twice – should I learn from the same kid who I used to bully during his childhood !? I went with him to the Officer’s Institute – it had a huge area – so we thought we could learn there without much problems. Bujji gave me the Steering wheel and I started to drive. I took a turn and kept the Steering wheel turned – forgot to straighten it actually – and landed up in the ground away from the main lane ! Thank God we were in the closed premises – or else we surely would have had an accident.
Later a matured Driver Bhaiya from my Father’s Unit took over the responsibility of teaching me to drive. We used to drive in the Army Cantonment only – later – he started guiding me to the main road as well. Since I was driving in 2 nd gear most of the time, the engine got very hot – so he opened the bonnet and showed me how to cool the engine down . He took out a cloth, made it wet and tied it by the engine. I saw it all and found it so terrible boring ! I mean – I could not imagine myself standing in the middle of the road – cooling some car engine…I had often seen in hindi movies – that maximum troubles come when some Lady’s car breaks down on the road – either a couple of ‘villain’ mongrels come and start teasing her or the ‘greatest mistake’ of her life comes – Hero ie. and thus start a trail of mishaps !!
I picked up driving pretty well. Later I took Shailja around the cantt area only – but then we both were trying to show off basically ! I used to go to the Library to pick up books and video cassettes – I used to go in the car – pick up stuff and then drive back home. You know folks , this is something I had always wanted to do since my childhood when I had seen Ladies drive or when I saw in movies – how smartly Ladies drive, do their own shopping themselves etc.
Well ! God fulfilled this dream of mine as well ! Me and Shailja went to take rounds and we had found out where the Bachelor quarters are – so obviously we used to drive from near their den ….. but remember my Jinx with good looking eligible bachelors folks?! It still hadn’t left me! – not a single bachelor used to be out at that point of time ! We just took 3-4 rounds and finding their doors tightly shut – we used to go to the club – had soft drinks etc. and come back …sadly ! Actually we went around five-ish – at that point of time , Bachelors are probably still in their office or resting in their rooms …….to later go to the club and booze …drink rum/whisky for free till late night – probably the reason we failed to see them during evening hours !
Nakabandi and an amusing incident!
Ferozpur is near Pakisthan – and there is always a fear of Terrorist attacks – so one comes across many ‘Nakabandies’ – barricades made of bamboo in the middle of the road to slow down driving – in case some terrorist is trying to run after terrorizing people – then he’ll have to slow down to cross the ‘nakabandi’…and thus will be caught !!- this is the reason behind the Nakabandi !!
So one day while returning from the club Library, I came across a nakabandi and before I could cross it – I saw few very fat buffaloes crossing the road with their slow lazy gait. I didn’t want to hurry them by blowing the horn – for I had all the time in this world – so I just stood there letting them pass one by one !
Suddenly I felt a lot of noise coming from behind – I just turned around and saw a huge convoy of open jeeps, one tons and 3 tons standing in a line behind me – and very patiently were waiting for me to cross the nakabandi – I could see sun burnt smiling faces in the Open jeep – they preferred not to disturb me – for I had this ‘L’ (‘learning’) stuck at the back of my car…and they had probably guessed that its some Army Officer’s daughter.. sister.. whatever – and we are famous for getting them ‘court martial-ed’ at the bat of an eyelid …. I mean it’s a joke among the Bachelors! Gosh ! I was so embarrassed that I started my car and so smoothly did I cross in spite of all the ‘shiny black fat’ buffaloes – that I was myself amazed at my driving expertise ! … conclusion : one becomes ‘smooth’ when it comes to ones reputation !!
Anyways, I used to ring up Kakoli often to know about the Part II result . I came to know of my Second Division and the fact that I’ll not get through in MSc. I didn’t mind it one bit but was actually a bit sad when I came to know that around 80% of the girls in my batch had got through …and I was left behind !!
Posted to Ambala
My Father got his last posting as the Commandant , Command Hospital, Ambala Cantt. Ours was a huge premises – the house was also big – with 4 bedrooms,3 bathrooms,a huge Living room – but we were just the 3 of us plus Sheba.
I had developed piles for bad eating habits and constant constipation in the hostel – so I had this “Fissure in Ano’ (Piles Operation ) on the 18 th of Sept,1991 – still remember the date. Lind Goodman had mentioned somewhere in her Star signs that after some major operation – there is also seen, a major change in the psyche of the person – for the fluids of the body change their course of travel etc. bringing in some change – for the fluid is connected to the Moon – which in turns rules the liquids kinda stuff.
So after the Operation , I was fine. My sister joined us for around 3 months – she had given birth to a baby boy – my naughty nephew – and was coming to us to relax for some time – along with the baby of course – so my time passed playing with my nephew,teaching him to walk and chatting with them. She left and I again became pretty lonely – for I was among the hustle bustle of friends in the hostel – and here I was lonely in the huge premises !Often relatives used to drop in for a couple of weeks and then life looked up again.
My stunt with Golf !
Dadu and Dida (my local guardians from Bright Street ) also came and since Dadu was very fond of Golf, he asked me to drive him to the Golf Course – it was not very far from our residence – so I used to take him there . I also picked up a bit of golf. In fact one day the Instructor commented that I was very fast at picking up Golf – for after 2 – 3 shots – I had become an expert in ‘putting’ (‘u’ read as the ‘u’ of But) – and asked me to participate in the Ladies Golf Tournament ! I was amazed at it really ! What kind of Ladies were they I wondered – that someone as new as me would be eligible to play with them !! I never did participate and even discontinued Golf for I found it so terrible boring…walking all the time with that heavy iron golf stick !!
I met another friend from Mathura
I met another of my friends here – Neelam – she was with me in Mathura – a different section but known to me. She was a very studious girl and very religious too – she loathed the very idea of getting married and had even decided to become a nun .When she was very young she had witnessed this ‘sex’ scene accidentally in some distant relative’s place and had become very afraid of it and used to puke at its thought – thus she had developed this major mental block regarding marriage and gory animal like physical relationship.
I had in fact counseled her never to take that step and even told her stories of Spinster Organizations and cited examples from movies – what a farce it could be ! I told her of the possibility of meeting her soul mate – the one God made for her – you know folks – I suffer from grave Pollyanna Optimism…of meeting my soul-mate and living happily ever after ! In fact my optimism increased in leaps and bounds when I read in Linda Goodman Star Signs – the inevitability of meeting ones Soul mate once you decide to tread on the path of spirituality and immortality – for then your Higher Self will surely send you your Soul mate in order to ‘complete you’ and bestow upon you the blissful fulfilment…but for that certain things had to be given up – like indulging in porn stuff – boozing a lot etc – I never was into any such vice – so obviously I thought that I my soul mate would be just round the corner !!
She also understood it – we liked each other’s Company – we used to take long walks – silently – both deep in our own thoughts and the silence never pinched us. They say that if silence makes you perturbed then there is something wrong in your relationship !
She sometimes came to my house and after talking to each other for a while – we both used to get lost in our own reverie – quietly sipping coffee/soft drink and looking at the carpet blankly ! My mother had noticed it and had commented that –whether all my friends were as mad as me !!
Joined a local Computer Institute
My father suggested that I sit for MBA – just like my brother had. His MBA preparation books were lying at home so I just browsed through them. The first page was mathematics !! I got afraid…..the second paper was shown as General Knowledge – who is what, when, where, how, why not,….i got afraid-er … and then objective type questions on my own subject– Biology – I was an Honors by then remember – I could not even answer them – I got afraid-est !!…basically I was doing “commit to the memory, vomit to the paper’ all my life ! I gave up the idea of becoming an MBA in about a fraction of a millisecond after going through the books !
Later I joined a Local Computer Institute situated in the city in some Sanskrit college – two rooms were given to this Computer Institute and there were two Lady Teachers – girls basically – very good – both of them were very good – nice and sober. I learnt Basic, Cobol, Word star and D-Base ….thus started my IT life. Actually NIIT was the first preference – but it was very far from my residence – 1992 – not many centers of NIIT were there at that point of time.
Public Administration from Simla Univ.
But along with the local Computer Institute stuff , my father wanted me to do something more worthwhile to add to my bunch of certificates – so MSc. in Psychology was suggested – from Kurukshetra University. First preference Zoology then the second – Psychology – for I liked so play with Human psychology…not play actually – work on I mean….
I did not get through in Kurukshetra Univ. – less percentage in BSc. – Thank God !!
Then later I got into a correspondence course – MA in Public Administration – from Simla University.
Kharga Library near our Bunglow
There was this Library near our house . We could bring 4 books – magazines, novels etc. at a time by giving our Library card. I started bringing books and that was certainly a great way to spend time – I always got one Tintin – I had read them all 100 times over – but I think Tintin is ever new !
Along with Tintin , I used to get other novels etc. Later I started getting drawn towards Astrology – there were many books on Indian & Western Astrology – I tried my luck in that – guess what folks – Mathematics made its way again along with Geography !!– for in order to find out the position of stars – one has to calculate the Latitude and longitude etc. – well not my cup of tea – left it !
Then came Lobsung Rampa – I read all the books available ….Richard Bach, then Autobiography of a Yogi……Story of Shirdi Sai Nath …..yes folks – see my gradual transition – towards higher things – then Ramakrishna Kathaamrit – and then to most over powering of all – Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. I had read in Linda Goodman that once a person decides to find out higher truths of the spiritual World – he / she is automatically guided to such books or will start meeting spiritually evolved people ! Well I could see it clearly happening in my life !
Previous discussions on Swami Vivekananda
Folks you know that I was never in Kolkata – just an occasional visitor for a couple of weeks and that’s all ! In the suburbs of Bengal, most residents have a few common things decorating their Drawing room walls – the picture of Swami Vivekananda,or Subhash Chandra Bose or Rabindra Nath Tagore….almost all the houses had either or all of them and then they spoke of them all the time !
They: You know Swami Ji went to Chicago.
Me: So? What did he do there?
They: Spoke on Vedas and Upanishads…he addressed the Audience as ‘Brothers and Sisters of America’ and there was deafening applause for many minutes – it was for the first time someone addressed them like that !
Me: Oh! hmmm…. (probably the concept of Brother and sister was also new for them!! ).
They: He went in a ship…walked bare foot – revived the Hindu religion which was speedily dying out – people were either converting themselves into Muslims or Christians out of fear…or out of love….to get hold of the Green Card!…..God knows which one !
Me: Oh! that was really nice ! and?
They: What and? Is that not enough? At that point of time we were slaves – we were treated as ‘bathroom slippers’ by our rulers then – at that point of time he went and revived Hinduism !!He went to Chicago..Chicago – AMERICA !!…..Many Ladies were very impressed with him…one Sister Nibedita came to India and worked for him and his Ashram !
And folks – exactly this was the only piece of information that I ever got – always – in various permutation and combination – he went to Chicago- addressed them as ‘Brothers and sisters of America’ – Sister Nibedita came back with him – he knew the Vedas and Upanishads by heart…..his Guru was Lord Ramakrishna.
They all more or less said the same thing maybe because this was in their school syllabus – in their Text Books…something they had to mug up – by heart and appear for their exams…the reason probably why no one could understand what the great Lion’s soul wanted to say 100 years ago !….for apart from Lectures on Vedas and Upanishads – he even gave Lectures on :‘Attitude Correction’, ‘Correct code of Conduct for the Youths’, “On Women and how they should be treated’, ‘On building a healthy Society’…on the fact that ‘Religion is not for Empty Stomach‘ and above all about the ‘Kundalini Shakti’….all this I came to know only when I read the Complete Works myself for the first time !
Such scientific approach – so Practical – so simple to apply and follow !! alas – not a single Administrator till date …nor even His own Saffron clad followers could do or could implement even a fraction of what he suggested for World Redemption !! Amazing !! – All that people have done is – read his Lectures and discussed it in Coffee House. Period. Something that he had predicted as well – about what will eventually happen to all his Lectures !!
Anyways folks! So I had this extremely meager knowledge about Swami Vivekananda and his works and to be very frank, the way things were told to me regarding him, I was not really impressed. So I thought – What is the big deal eh?