A baba in my backyard

naval, my neighbour’s neighbour, woke up one fine day to become a devout krishna bhakt. no, the transformation was not so revolutionary, but i got to witness this revolutionary change only on this sunday. normally i open doors only when i get ready to go to office. so until it’s a sunday, people seldom get to meet me.

so when i went out to buy milk, i was taken aback by naval’s ‘hare krishna’ rather than a usual ram ram (as is typical delhite’s way to address known people) or a simple namaste. another shock was waiting for me when i raised my eyes to his face. he had this big vaishnaviite tika on his forehead. the sandal wood tika had also flown on his nose, making his black complexion look odder. chilling delhi weather has failed to make his complex any fairer. and FYI, his daughter, by-product of a dark man and a relatively less dark woman has grown up to become the darkest.

so along with that prominent tika and the hare krishna address, he also likes to give pravachanas to people who he encounters. just yesterday i watched him discoursing about gods, kalas, karmas etc to another neighbour’s son, who would on other occasions mince no words to show he is disinterested, leave aside listening patiently to a lecture. good that naval doesn’t talk much to me or else i too would have to go through those boring talks.

yes, i feel such things as boring. no i not that hippie kind who don’t have faith on god. only that i don’t like anyone telling me how am i to pray to god so that i will get moksha. sorry i dont want moksha; i only want a good life here and here only, and that is what i pray to god. for this i dont want any gurus. in fact i hate gurus and anyone who preaches (except for ramdev baba, who doesnt preaches anything, just tells us how to keep our body and mind fit).

and how do i believe that this naval has good intentions. bagal me ram muh me churi. just on sunday night i heard that he was fighting with his brother. he doesnt have good relations with his elder brother although all of them live in the same house (they can make only as much money to get a bare enough living in delhi).

but that does not make naval any less baba material than the many babas who throng the TV. i am told that most babas had a black past. many of them are not as well known outside their state as they are inside the states to which they belong to. so it will really not be a shock for me if i open the tv one day to find naval discoursing to a large crowd.


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