Size Does Not Matter…

Memoirs of a tiny tot from the days  of Primary School recounting priceless moments with Bhagawan are ought to be ‘Divine’. When Bhagawan becomes an open book for close observation, assimilation and practice, every incident in His physical presence turns out to be a priceless gem,  serving deep insight. Read on a tiny tot’s chirping from his  primary days, as narrated by Sri  Amitabh Dasgupta, who had the rare good fortune of spending his entire academic life in His physical presence, from class 1 to MBA, in Prasanthi Nilayam. (Incidentally Amitabh Dasgupta narrated this incident in the New Year morning, yesterday…1 Jan 2014)

It was one of those days for which I had waited long. It was my birthday. It was an evening in the summer of 1986, when beach sands adorned the darshan grounds, when Swami lived upstairs in the Mandir in His tiny room, when the sound of interview room door opening  with Sri Khayaldas  coming out , piloting, announcing Swami’s arrival. The final click of the interview room door announcing the Lord’s arrival could be heard near the East Prasanthi gate.  Even the birds stopped chirping on the two big trees, awaiting in gasp for a sight of the majestic orange.  Silence was the music on which He walked and made our hearts dance to His tunes.

I was in Primary School. Those days Swami used to autograph heaps of His photographs for boys every day. The birthday boys used to get first preference. Many boys had huge photos, A3 size, cabinet size, post card size, etc.  Post card size was very popular those days that it was the betting currency in the primary hostel, what we called “clicked photo“. For any bet in primary school, the denomination was the “clicked photo” (not the autographed ones, of course). I had asked my mother to get me one post card size photograph of Swami from an outside shop. Instead of a postcard size photograph, my mother got me a tiny passport size photograph of Swami in a white robe. A postcard size photo was a luxury we couldn’t afford and one could buy two meals in the South Indian canteen those days, with that money.  I was pain-stricken.  I had never known Swami to have signed a passport size photo and the devil of the ego began to play havoc in my head. “What will people think, my class mates will laugh, Swami will be angry etc.”

I was annoyed; I told my mother I can’t do that.  My mother replied, “Swami cares for everyone; He is your Real Mother; He will understand; Swami will sign; size doesn’t matter for Him.”

I was in the first row holding the birthday tray. I had put the photo is my pocket. I thought for a moment that I would not take it out. I felt the lyrics of the famous Norah Jones song “It’s a half an inch of water and you think you‘re gonna drown”.

Swami came to the birthday boys, created Vibhuti, showered akshata, the yellow rice grains on us and threw chocolates. My mind began racing, the ogre in little head was now becoming louder, “Swami please don’t sign any photographs today, so that I can save my so called pride of a 10 year old and save my embarrassments”.

Swami had different plans. He asked for the first photograph and started signing, postcards size, cabinet size and then, on that particular evening, adding to my predicament, someone got a life size photo of Swami to be autographed, and the size of my photo kept shrinking. When the photographs of other boys were getting autographed, I thought of my mother’s advice and took out the small passport photograph from my pocket, sheepishly showing it to Swami. He saw it, kept staring at it for a while and then took the photograph and gave a chuckle; holding the thick marker He said ““Kaisa sign kar sakta hey ithna small photo, so big pen“ (how can I sign such a small photo with the big pen) ???

I swallowed a sob and then He asked around for an appropriate pen. Someone nearby grabbed the ‘golden’ opportunity, offering a pilot pen for Swami. Swami took the pen and signed my passport photograph. Swami looked at the photograph again and gave a dazzling, charming smile, which only He could give, that wiped away all my embarrassments. Swami said: “very nice photo, very nice photo”.

My heart leapt to the heavens. One word from Swami sent it fluttering! My mother was right.

Size doesn’t matter, isn’t it?

II Samasta Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavantu II