Our blog has come a long way… we have had over 10,000 comments to the posts we have been writing… Aparna wrote the 10,000th!
Thank You very much for reading, visiting, commenting, all your great wishes and your love…
For the few people who have been regularly donating (using the donate button near the schedule) a few dollars here and there, they add up and most of the running costs of our blog are almost covered, thank you very much for that too… we really appreciate it!
For the record, this is what Aparna wrote:
Nobody can write like you Bau!! Some how you come up with different but great things!!
Happy Diwali to both of you -Bau and Dinesh Bhaiyah!
bawa (n dinesh)
ps have started to update the OIS (Other Interesting Stuff) page too … we will do an animation or something on it to show its been updated … its basically going to be like an extended twitter … v quick posts about what we have been up to …
pps Virat and Vasuudha’s Blog has joined our blog roll … nice stuff there to read, and fairly regularly updated.
Antoine is a super YES!+ teacher from Montreal… He was the guy who made me fall in love with Settlers of Cataan, one of the bestest board games i have ever played and knows more about the effects of diet choices and lifestyle choices on the environment that anyone else i know, but this post is not about all that…Maybe Antoine could do a series for our blog on that some other time…
He is right now teaching a course at a place called Iqualuit near the North Pole! He sent me a beautiful mail and i just had to share it with everyone…
Hi Swamiji (Swamiji is our very own Swami Sukhchaitanya ex Delhi, now settled and looking after Art of Living in Canada)
Thank you for your amazing guidance on the phone yesterday. Everything you told me about creating a family, doing Puja, being their spiritual guide…it felt nice but I had no idea how to make it happen! It turns out I didn’t have to do anything, it just all happened effortlessly and spontaneously on its own.
Yesterday night when I returned home after Day 1 of the course, I sat with my 2 hosts Emma age 24 and Jessica age 22. Jessica is addicted to pot and Emma is an alcoholic. I told them I wanted them to become completely drug and alcohol free. Not just for the 6 days of the course but for life. I spoke to them about how drugs and alcohol was destroying their community and said: “It’s better to put liquor in the garbage than to put garbage in your body. Are you ready to throw it away?”
The analogy was too good; Jessica got up, opened the fridge, and gave me her last beer can. She said: “Here you go, I don’t want this anymore.” I asked her to bring me whatever pot she was smoking as well. She went to her room, brought a plate that had a pipe, rolling paper, and little lump of weed on it.
I turned over to Emma, the 24 year old with the 8 year old daughter. I said: “Your cousin did a brave thing. Is there a bad habit you want to surrender as well?”
She went to the kitchen under the sink and brought me 4 bottles of hard liquor. She was hugging the bottles with such attachment. She couldn’t let go of them. Then she finally gave me 3 of the 4 bottles. The last one, a bottle of Kahlua, was her favourite. She said she wanted to keep that one for her birthday party. I looked at her and said: “In that case, keep them all, it’s no use.” Before I could hand her back her 3 bottles, she had kissed her Kahlua goodbye and surrendered it to me.
I turned back to Emma and felt she was still hiding something. “You must have a bigger stash of weed somewhere?”
“No this is it.” she replied.
I lovingly told her “You can’t hide secrets from me. I’m here to take care of you!”
She went back to her room and brought back a large Ziploc bag filled with weed. She looked a little embarrassed as she was revealing her addiction.
She held on to it saying: “This is worth 250$. I can’t throw it away, I already paid for it. I’ll finish smoking this stash and then I promise I won’t buy any more after that”.
I told her “I don’t care about a measly 250$, I’ll give you 250$ if that’s want you’re concerned with. What I care about is your health and your future.”
Jessica and Emma started consulting each other in Inuktitut, their native language. They had come to a consensus: “We promise we won’t smoke it but we can’t give it to you. We rather get our money back by selling it on the streets.”
“What good is that? If you improve your health by destroying the health of others?” They had to agree, and she handed her bag of weed over to me. I put everything on the kitchen table and said I wouldn’t flush it because it had to come from them. They were both staring at their addictions with such attachment as though they were about to surrender their new born babies. Their breathing was heavy, they were trembling at the thought of having to give it up for good. Emma was holding back some tears. “It’s ok to cry, we are family here” I told her.
She got up, took the liquor and flushed it down the kitchen sink. Her attachment to the poison was so strong, she was sniffing above the sink to imbibe herself with the smell of Baileyes, Rhum and Kahlua one last time as it was going down the drain.
Jessica felt inspired by her cousin’s heroic move. She took her weed, we walked over to the toilet, and she emptied her stash and flushed it. The moment was so intense for them, they were trembling as I hugged them both.
I was proud of them. I told Emma it was the best thing she could have done for her and her daughter. She felt some truth in that, walked over to her room and brought a whole other crate of liquor she had ordered in by ship this summer. “This is all I have left” she said as she surrendered it. “There’s 500$ worth of alcohol in here.” she said. I was really proud of her.
“But what will I do on my birthday if I’m the only sober one?” she asked. I said “This year on your birthday you will not waste yourself. Your birthday should be an occasion to grow in wisdom. You will invite Art of Living people for your birthday and you will have a nice time.” I asked her cousin if she would support her and organize an Art of Living get together for her on her birthday. She agreed as Emma started pouring her alcohol down the drain more confidently this time, three bottles at a time. She felt so relieved.
Jessica noticed her cousin’s relief and walked back to her room to bring another bag, this time filled with magic mushrooms. This was her last stash. She flushed the mushrooms down the toilet saying: “Anyway this stuff is stupid, the only reason it makes you hallucinate is because it makes your brain bleed”. She was sure of herself this time.
Jessica said: “I feel so much lighter now. This house will be drug, cigarette and alcohol free from now on.“
I told them: “I am proud of both of you. Had you sold this stuff on the streets, what kind of role model would you have been? Today you took a stand and became a leader in your community. You are now role models and can inspire others to do the same.” Emma was so touched. It felt as though she had been called a loser by many people in the past. Today someone was calling her a leader.
I warned them that the days ahead would be really hard because the temptation would come back to haunt them and they had to be strong and inspire each other to stay clean. I reassured them I would be there for them.
They really wanted to come out of it for good, but it was apparent that they were not confident they would have the strength to do it. You could tell they were going through a lot of emotions and were both quietly praying for help and strength not knowing where to find it.
So I took out a picture of Guruji, lit a candle, put an asan on the couch, sat on it, and invited them to come closer and sit with me. I told them: “Now, we will sing the most ancient prayer in the world. It brings strength, blessings, and protection to those who hear it.” Just by seeing Guruji’s picture and hearing those few words they immediately felt confident that everything would be fine. I sang the Guru Puja as they sat at my feet holding hands with their eyes closed. They had tears of gratitude. The moment was so serene; the whole atmosphere in the house had changed. Peace had dawned. They sat in silence for a long time afterwards as we meditated together.
I gave them each a blessing and sent them off to bed telling them to sleep with a blanket of grace.
When I arrived 2 days ago, the vibrations in the house were so intense; I was awake for most of the first night. But last night, everything had shifted; there was finally an atmosphere of calm and peace in the house. Guruji had done his magic once again, changing people’s lives forever!
Today there are 2 more people who walk on the planet with Guruji in their hearts.
Jai Guru Dev.
ps You can directly write to Antoine, his email id is firstname.lastname@example.org
Suparna’s Birthday gift for me
She sent it very much on time … i wanted to format it and add pics so it got delayed …
Thanks a lot Suparna…
The hermit traveled across US of A
To Yellowstone, Zion and Bryce
He finally arrived in New York, New York
(So good, they named it twice)
But he was disturbed by what he saw
Everywhere he looked
People were consuming round the clock
A plethora of unhealthy food
Bacon, sausage, T-bones
Meat, grilled and smoked
Double cheeseburgers and ‘freedom’ fries
Were washed down with ‘Diet’ Coke
Helpings came in three main sizes
Mega, King or Jumbo
If you wanted to ‘mega’ save
You could order a ‘combo’
Breakfast was usually sausage dogs
With Krispy Kreme donuts
Pre-lunch snack was taco and cheese
With a ‘healthy’ dose of peanuts
BLTs, subs, PBnJ
Baloney and pastrami
All you needed to say at McDonald’s
Was ‘Supersize me!’
No one, it seemed, had time to cook
Or sit down at the table
‘Slow-cooked home meals’ were packaged as
Stop! The hermit wanted to scream
Something was seriously lacking
A million zillion hamburgers
And McDo was still counting!
Alongside the food obsession
Were diets of every liking
Low fat, low carb, zone diet
South Beach and Atkin
You could be thin, you should be thin
A pill is all it takes
Screamed the TV commercials
Between ads of ‘juicy steaks’
The hermit was deeply saddened
This was a nation in trouble
Where did one go for veggies and fruits
In the Big Apple?
With a heavy heart he lit his cauldron
Added spices, whole and crushed
The ground below him shook and trembled
Pray tell! What was that?
Was that an earthquake, he wondered
As he cautiously opened the door
He wasn’t prepared for the sight he saw
And stayed rooted to the floor
Three ladies, about 300 lbs each
Out of breath and sweating
Let us in, they gasped between breaths
We smell somethin’ cookin’
The hermit watched as they gobbled and swallowed
And stuffed their plates with helpings
An idea cropped up in his mind
That was definitely worth exploring
‘Ain’ ya got no more food?’ they asked
Once the cauldron was empty
Well, said the hermit, I have plenty more
Simply follow me
With those words he put on his sneakers
Strapped the cauldron to his back
He casually jogged out of the house
The ladies on his track
More and more joined on the streets
They huffed and puffed away
Some cabbed, and got disqualified
And were not allowed to stay
They walked, hobbled and piggy-backed
Across Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn
Now what did that remind me of?
Ah yes! Pied Piper of Hamelin
Once on top of the Empire State
(The followers were now half dead)
The hermit turned to face the crowd
Sweating, panting and red
He started a fire beneath his cauldron
The spices began to blend
While that’s cooking, let us try out, he said
A few forward bends
Don’t you have something easier
For the moderately fit like us?
Yes, I do, said the hermit
Let’s do Surya Namaskars
They did the cobra, and the mountain
The plank and downward dog
The Empire State was later renamed
The Leaning Tower of York
Why should we do this? They cribbed and whined
This is so unfair!
The protests turned to a soft murmur
As the aroma filled the air
I see a point, said one of them
It’s absolutely clear
Say you’re carrying two jumbo tubs
But need to scratch your ear
Wouldn’t it be useful
To get your toes up to your face?
The others were forced to admit
She made a compelling case
So it continued, day in and day out
Starting at the crack of dawn
A group of some 500 people
Saluting the Sun
They laughed, they cried, they danced, they sang
There was an inexplicable feeling
Their noses had, for once, led them
To a life more fulfilling
Armed with the knowledge of Gunas and Doshas
And Ayurvedic body types
They learned to make conscious choices
And not fall for the next diet hype
They thanked the hermit, hugged and blessed him
‘Awesome, dude!’ said some
The hermit saw the transformed lives
And knew his work was done
Thus the hermit continued
His adventures year after year
Where do you think he went next
To spread more warmth and cheer?
Here are the other Hermit posts…
Where should the hermit go now? Suparna is reading the comments … comment and tell her where he should visit next
Most people believe that business and spirituality are at loggerheads with each other. A person doing business cannot afford to be spiritual and a person who is spiritual shouldn’t care about business. This is what the so called experts say…
The Ancients knew better!!
The Goddess of Wealth Laxmi signifies the epitome of Business. She sits on a lotus which is in water. Meaning that wealth and prosperity can be very fleeting. Any moment they could sink! Also the lotus signifies a fully blossomed consciousness and that only such a person is really capable of handling wealth effectively. The finances of a country (or a family for that matter) need to be managed by extremely capable hands, other wise, the wealth (and the country) could go under very fast… (America… You listening to this?! :))
To drive home that Wealth is best in the hands of someone extremely skillful and with a fully blossomed consciousness, Laxmi is married to Lord Narayana… The epitome of Spirituality, the very First Guru. Narayana means one with a highly sensitive and fully developed nervous system. He is the Preserver aspect of the Holy Trinity. Also from His navel springs forth a Lotus in which sits Lord Brahma, the creator of all. So He also has the creative impulse at His command. Only such a person can handle and maintain wealth effectively!
Narayana is usually depicted lying on the Shesh Naga, the King of serpents who is floating on an ocean of milk. This is such beautiful symbolism! The King of serpents is His seat, meaning that He is supremely aware… yet He is lying down, relaxing, which signifies that though He is super aware and alert at all times, He does it effortlessly… The ocean of milk signifies extreme abundance… An infinite ocean of wealth is His!
To such a one comes Goddess Laxmi as wife.
Not only do business and spirituality complement each other… They are married to each other!
A hard core business person (with no spirituality) has the habit of monetizing everything. See a beautiful painting, think ahhh … Rs 5 Lakhs! See a lovely bungalow, think hmmm… Rs 25 Crores and so on… Even after acquiring all, he cannot appreciate what he has, coz all he can see around him are small and big piles of money. He has no ability to appreciate and enjoy the finer things in Life… Many Gujju friends come to mind
When such a person learns and practices meditation, his heart opens up… He realizes that there is life beyond money. He learns to enjoy his money and use it for the good of himself and others, instead of just jealously hoarding it. Spirituality brings the Heart back to the business man.
Now, I have this brilliant (if i may say so myself ) message for everyone. But to get it to you, i need a computer, i need internet (preferably broadband) access, i need to be able to host my blog, etc, all of which needs money… So for spirituality to spread, it needs the support of commerce. It needs wealth. Thus business becomes the Legs of Spirituality.
Business and Spirituality are intricately linked. They are married to each other. Don’t make the mistake of divorcing them!
Many people make the mistake of running after Laxmi (money)… Would anyone like it if someone else wooed their wife? You think Lord Narayana is going to be pleased if you go after His beloved wife?! They may even get the money, but that money only brings them pain of different flavours. What else do you expect if you piss off Her husband?!
The intelligent ones, they go after Lord Narayana Himself. They learn and practice Meditation… Go deeper into Spirituality, coz they know, if you have Him, then His wife has to follow! Where He is, she is! So Wealth and abundance come to these lucky, wise people and with Lord Narayana and Goddess Laxmi on their side, they become supremely happy and extremely comfortable as well
Deepawali is the Celebration of Abundance. Of Wealth. Of the Goddess Laxmi in all Her glory. But for this celebration to be complete, there has to be a deep, spiritual, meditative consciousness underlying it, otherwise its just pretty lights and loud noises.
This year, in between the sweets and the fireworks, meditate and do Pooja. Do some Seva and have a bit of Satsang.
Make this Deepawali a meaningful glorious Celebration for yourself and others around you.
We wish everyone a very, very Happy Deepawali and a fantastic, prosperous and meditative New Year!!!
bawa (n dinesh)
Annelies is one of our terrific YES!+ teachers in the US … She sent me a mail today morning, that i just had to share with all of you!
Just wanted to write about my experiences on campuses since school has started this year!
It’s amazing how our sankalpa to have YES!+ be a credit course on campuses is quickly coming to fruition, in the most incredible ways.
In late August we did our once-a-semester credit YES!+ course at Cornell University (through the Phys Ed Dept), and I have never seen a credit course have such energy! All of the students were saying that they were sooo grateful that they had “run into” this course somehow on “accident”, and that they couldn’t stop thinking of the course all day long during their other classes, just waiting to get to their YES!+ Session! One girl who was a super dynamo, registered for the course because she met our Natalia in Minnesota at a tabling event and all the way from there she signed up for her Cornell YES!+ Course! She signed up for Part 2 today. Thanks, Natalia. Many of them are about to do the Part 2 Course already, which is so inspiring.
But the most wonderful thing that happened there was, we talked to the director of the Phys. Ed. Department about how successful the YES!+ Courses have been so far in her department, and how much the students love them, and after that, she agreed to have TWO sessions of YES!+ Courses per semester at Cornell, which means now we will get to offer YES!+ for Credit FOUR TIMES a YEAR on campus! We were so happy that she agreed. Gaining a good reputation in the first few credit courses at a school, I learned, is very important, because then they will give you more and more opportunities to run the YES!+ Program there in the long run.
Next I was at Texas A & M in College Station – with our fabulous Meera! – which is one of the largest universities in the country. 40,000 students on that campus alone. We had a very beautiful course, the group was sooo inspiring and inspired. We had quite a few student leaders on the course. I was chatting with one of them, Siddharth, on the lunch break, and telling him how YES!+ is for credit at Cornell U. He said, “Oh, I am going to transfer to Cornell, just so I can take YES+ every semester.” And he wasn’t joking. I told him, “Wait, why don’t you just get it for credit here, at Texas A & M?” Suddenly he lit up like a lightbulb. He said, “OOOOH, I know how to do that!!! I CAN do that! I used to be in the student government, and I know that if I present it to them and recommend it, that YES+ can get passed as a class by them, then it will be all set up! Then, it even surpasses administration. Student gov’t has the power to vote if something can be a class or not.”
Well I had never heard of this before, but apparently it is like this all over Texas, that the student government has the power to pass something as a class in the university!
So, as our usual Art of Living miracles go, Siddharth did become a senator in the Texas A&M student government, one week after the YES!+ ended! So, now he and Meera are busy preparing a YES+ Course presentation for the student government. They will present this to the gov’t body this month in order for them to pass YES+ as a Curriculum Course!
Next I went to UPenn, where the fabulous Anup Sharma, a really dynamic Med student there, organized the first YES!+ held on the UPenn Campus. They just started an Art of Living Club there this fall, one club in the medical school, and also an AoL Club for grads and undergrads.
For Anup, every time he gave an intro talk, the students would say, “This should be a credit course. It’s fabulous. Why isn’t it?”
He heard this over and over from all different UPenn students, in each intro talk. Smart students.
During the YES!+ Course there, some of the super-intellectual med school students were telling him, on the 2nd and 3rd day, “This should be in the curriculum! It should be required for all med school students! We have electives in the med school that are not nearly as good as this class.”
So again, somehow, the students there have rallied around getting YES!+ as a class at UPenn, and they are meeting with a woman today in administration who can help them propose it for the med school!
At Stanford, YES!+ is now being offered through the Wellness Room on campus, and at U. of Wisconsin-Madison through the University Health Services. All of this was set up, of course, by students of the university!
Matt is currently working on YES!+ as part of the religion dept. offerings at USC.
It’s so awesome to see how we can become part of these institutions formally….. that way we can ensure that YES!+ will be offered for generations to come, in universities across the country !
Remember – as Guruji said this summer, to teach some students of the university first, and gather testimonials of quite a few students at the end of your YES!+ courses, before having the student leaders meet with the administration.
But, if you want it to happen quickly, just go to your YES!+ course with the simple intention in your mind…..”Let YES+ become part of the school curriculum here.” And then, watch the students come up to you and suggest the idea, and watch the magic unfold!!
I think Guruji is putting some super Shakti with YES!+ this year, let’s ride the wave!
And… Let’s bring all of our student leaders to India YES!+ Winter Break this year.
I simply cannot beat what Dinesh wrote for me on my Birthday … so i won’t even try
But here is a photo of a long past Birthday …
and here are photos of his birthday this year …
Found the Cake Picture!!!
A very, very Happy Birthday to you my darling Dinesh
ps we did put cake on his face this year too … just cant find the photos
Guruji talked about Pooja. Here is what He said almost verbatim…
Good and bad things happen in the world. But our consciousness can gain from all these situations. Like, when there is rain or too much of heat (sun), you take an umbrella and protect yourself. Same way, Awareness, Knowledge, Devotion is the umbrella to protect you from all unpleasant situations. Peace and love are the foundation on which we progress individually and collectively and for the nation and for the world.
The word Pooja, – “Poo” means fullness and ”Ja” means that which has come out of fullness. When your heart is full, and you want to say your gratitude to God, how do you say it? With flowers, you tell God, ”My heart is blossomed like this flower”.
The world is made up of five elements – ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. Ancient people used all these five elements. Chanting or sound is space element, burning some incense is air element, camphor and lamp is fire element, and then water and for earth element, different types of flowers, fruits, milk, curd, honey all these things are used. With the chanting you create the inner vibration all around us. Ancient chanting is there since thousands of years.
What is the chanting? Namo Namo Namo… Mana is mind, the mind which goes outwards, when mind turns inwards it becomes ”Nama”
Namo means a mind turned inwards.
Oh Divine, you are in the child, you are in the aged, you are in the tree, bird, water, stones. You are in sun, moon, you are everywhere, there’s not a bit of creation that is devoid of You, and I adore you, dissolve in You and merge in You.
Like camphor my life burns and dissolves in You. Like incense, my life spreads fragrance all around. Like flowers, I blossom and bring joy to everybody. Like fruit, all my actions become fruitful, let my intentions become fruitful. Like water, let me always be humble. If water is poured, it goes to the lowest point. Isn’t it? Like that, humility – let me take the lowest point to serve the society. Let me be like fire that always goes up, let my enthusiasm always go up.
You do ”Aarathi”, having a lamp and say let the light of my life always be around God, around divinity, let it never go down, let the enthusiasm always go up and bring joy to everybody’s life. This is what is called Pooja.
With these feelings, with these simple little actions we do Pooja. And when ”Deepa aarathi” (The little lamp which is taken around after a Pooja) is brought, everyone takes meaning ”let me receive the knowledge in my life” (while saying this Sri Sri is demonstrating how we receive the Aaarathi). Let the light that is the symbol of knowledge come into my life. Let me not be in darkness, let there be light in my life, so, I accept this beautiful light of wisdom in my life. And then you take the Mangala aarathi. A little water is given, you sip that saying let my heart be cool, let there be pleasantness inside. And this is the universal message of gratefulness that is what is called Pooja, dawning out of fullness.
It is more of inner feeling that is important, more important than the external act. Just doing a ritual is not sufficient, it has to be meditative. It has to come from our feeling level.
Pooja is to bring health, happiness and peace to every individual especially in this continent to all those who have suffered to give them more strength and to eliminate all those negative vibrations and of pain and suffering and to bring peace and happiness to every single person and to clear the entire atmosphere in the country to bring more peaceful, loving and joyful atmosphere.
Dinesh and i are starting out Guru Pooja Phase II program today. We should be in Vishalakshi along with our darling Bhanu didi by the time you will be reading this…
Naughty joke ahead … you have been warned
A daughter takes her 85 year old father shopping at a big mall. After buying whatever they had come for (and some other things) both father and daughter decide to go and have a cup of coffee. While they are sipping their coffee, a teenage kid settles down on an adjoining table. He has spikes of all colours in his hair (?) … red, blue, green, orange, purple, pink …
The old man is totally fascinated by the kid and keeps staring at him. The kid at first just ignores this, but every time he would look in the direction of the old man, he would find an unblinking scrutinizing stare … After a few minutes, the kid couldn’t bear it any longer, and snaps at the old man… “Whats the matter old man?! You never did anything wild in your life?!”
Without missing a beat, prompt came the reply “When i was younger i screwed a peacock… i was wondering if you were my son!”
ps just a quickie … when i have time i will write more
Navaratri was magnificient
Rashmin is now married and on his honeymoon
and Dinesh celebrated his 34th Birthday…
Guruji has been giving us super little pieces of Gyan… and yesternight, He even did Yoga with everyone during Satsang
I have been very busy, and seems like thats going to continue at least till the 11th of October (Starting with the Guru Pooja Phase I and II courses with Bhanu Didi from tomorrow)
I have lots of stuff to write and share and some cool photos too … but you guys will have to wait a bit please … lemme get some real time to write everything out
Meanwhile please keep checking out the older posts, i had been reading some of them and thoroughly enjoying them
If Guruji wants any work done, He likes it done yesterday… Bau likes it done the day before. That’s how he came to the planet 40 years ago, a month before he was due
His sense of urgency coupled with a style of having-all-the-time-in-the-world and topped (rather cherry whipped creamed) with a magnificent sense of vision, you end with one of the liveliest combinations on the planet.
When asked about the secret of his sense of Humor, he said, “My mom Aban has of habit of singing and cracking bad jokes when she is in pain. And that’s what she did when she was in labour and I was about to come into the world, so all those impressions must have stayed”. They have actually multiplied abundantly.
As a kid, Aban aunty says he was ‘reasonably well behaved’ and would never do mischief that would hurt anyone. Aban Aunty recollects how when he was being taught in school what a doctor or a nurse or a shopkeeper is, he was asked what is a Carpenter. Pat came the reply, one who paints cars… There started the trend of the Q n A sessions which are today world famous all over the universe.
He is one of the finest story tellers I know of and of course the most prolific story makers I know of. Stories simply happen around bau. A story goes how this little dog was chased by some other dogs and Bau whistled and he just came running to him and jumped into his lap. Bau got him home and along with his sister Perviz gave him a shampoo, a bath and through combined connivance got the rest to accept him as part of the family. He became Bobby, one of the cutest dogs I had the pleasure of meeting. Along with everyone else in Batliwala household, Bobby also turned utterly vegetarian (by choice!) and a fervent Satsang addict (with Shiva songs as his favorites).
Bau himself never used to like non-veg (meat). And he used to loathe, abhor and detest eggs which are a fairly staple diet in a parsi house. Maybe some remnant Buddhist genes made him fight for fish (pomfrets and prawns only) with perviz on many a family weddings. That too, he would like the gravy much more than the fish…
Aban aunty tells me how, he at 6, by fluke he got onto a live radio show by playing in a guitar band. Two broken guitars later he turned his attention to piano. Though they could not afford one that time, his yes-consciousness was so strong, they bought a second hand piano which he wanted with the exact money Yezdi uncle could keep aside for it.
He also collected money by giving tuitions and delivering tiffin boxes to office goers in town side Mumbai. His went to one of the best Piano teachers in his colony and she loved his spontaneity with the music he played for her, and very soon he became one of her most favourite students. Even though she passed away, Bau speaks of Mehru aunty with such respect and affection while teaching me piano…
Out of his innate sincerity, he would ask uncomfortable questions to his teachers and when they would complain to the parents about him being cheeky and uncontrollable, his equally cheeky parents retorted, “Why do you think we have sent him to you?!”.
When Yezdi uncle would wrestle with him, pin in down and ask him who he belongs to expecting and encouraging him to say, ‘I belong to daddy’, Khurshed would always say, “I belong to everyone”. He simply could never say that he belonged only to his dad.
The only person in the world his nephews are scared of is Khurshed mamu. One raised eyebrow or a finger and they will stop in mid howl and tears will instantaneously vaporize. His reputation precedes him. Stories of his Rudra rupa are far too many. Not all of them are false But nowadays people are missing that on his courses and Bau blames it on aging. The only sign of aging on Bau is his silver white Gandalfish hair.
He dropped out of a prestigious coaching class (Agrawal Classes. which was very difficult to get into) just because they were teaching him to learn stuff by heart. When asked for a illegal donation for his admission in college Khurshed simply walked off. When he went to apply for his driving license, he was refused since he did not look 18 (same story now, he doesn’t look 40). So he gave a little money and got a wrong birth certificate made and tried to expose that person by going to a reporter friend of Aban aunty’s.
Bau’s stories during IIT are legendary. You got to be on a dozen courses of his to have a fair sampling of them. And though people may have heard a story 100 times, yet his spontaneity and style of telling makes it seem just as thrilling or funny as if hearing it for the first.
This is how I saw him (and Him) first… What a perfect introduction he was for the Guru – wise and witty, dynamic and cool (Bau once got a compliment from American teenagers he took a session for, “This dude is awesome, infact he is beyond cool”)…
Guruji says learn team work from the Japanese, Precision from the Germans, Presentation and Marketing from the Americans, Frankness and Warmth from the Africans, Etiquette and Manners from the British and Human and Spiritual Values from the Indians. Doesn’t that make Bau Japanese, German, American, African, British and an Indian all rolled in one?!
One may add French and Italian too, given his penchant for cheese, olive oil and his cool looks. He holds the YES!+ or the Art of Living team together with such love and personal attention and quality time (not to mention food), that we are left with no choice but to blossom and carry forward the tradition.
Given Bau’s talents, someone expressed he is one of the most under marketed personalities in the world, and that he should be on every radio or television channel possible… And I am sure, with a little prodding or praying from our side, it will happen…
Bau has an eye for beauty and detail, a taste for the ultimate and the exotic, an ear for the subtlest and the melodic… Most things around him have a graceful understated elegance.
Guruji is the One who has made me cry the maximum (such helpless and abundant tears of gratitude), and through Bau, he has made me laugh the most. Four glorious decades of this being on the planet, about half of them serving everyone artfully, stomachfully and gracefully – What a wonderful treat it is to have Bau in our lives!!!
Thank you G.
ps This post goes live at 6:15 am, at the precise time he is supposed to be 40… Lets celebrate Bau’s birthday week by sharing stories and anecdotes about him…
pps Btw, This is the 401st post on our blog and i had the honour of writing it in time for Bau’s 40th Birthday!
ppss Bau wanted to make it a 3 part series, but i firmly said it should be one long post!