Dress And Then Address

The image built around a guru is many times more significant than a film star's or even a politician's. A successful guru should have chosen a successful title and a well designed clothes to go with it. He should appear directly opposite to what the common man usually is. If the commoner shaved, guru must grow beard. If the commoner married or divorced, the guru should not be doing both. Commoner feasted then the guru should fast. In short, disciple celebrates life, while guru can only celibate in life. Whoever said 'opposites attract' said so rightly.

A guru should know how to dress and then how to address too, as they go hand in glove. BG always respected the traditions and understood and followed them well. But he could not tolerate, when traditions were placed above the truth of existence. While dressed up to suit a guru's persona on stage addressing many, he wanted to be free from the guru's garb, everytime he peeled himself out of the limelight. While he is comfortable in both the formal and the informal clothes, he found it embarrassing to drag his 'holier' look, outside the halls of wisdom.

It happened during his maiden visits as a guru, to a far flunged destination, when BG was naive about the robes impact on a international flight and went to the airport with special robes (meant only for satsangs), as planned well by his immediate well wishers. He witnessed every visible rule was bent right from the word go, just to facilitate his movements, though he did not have to move even an inch of his index finger for that. His bags were brought, clothes were exclusively bought, stitched, pressed, packed and carried to the airport, weighed and booked into the conveyor belt, without BG's slightest participation. As if everybody appeared to bite off a good chunk of that divine potion, BG seemed to have in possession, as the whole entourage came to the airport and after many promises and assurances allowed BG to enter the airport.

As BG entered the airport with his robes flowing everywhere, his wood based sandals made a weird clut clut sound, there were people from every corner watching him, as if a tropical bear was trapped in a polar zoo. The 'spot light' was right on spot and stretching itself everywhere BG went. No stopping anywhere. It was astonishing to see the immigration officer smiling away and stamping on the BGs passport like a blind man. Instead of asking BG's name, the officer told his own name and about his problematic son, who was not so much fond of going to school, as he signed and stamped the pages. He vouched to visit BG in the 'ashram' soon with his son.

BG was like gagged and abducted, through out every step into the heavily guarded airport. Highly influential people who were highly influenced by BGs own people, were to his side, who could access every prohibited corner, walked him right into the aircraft, with a small hand bag handed over. BG sat in the club class while passengers watched him, as if the inflight entertainment has already begun. He sunk to his seat, gathered his robes and heaved a sigh of relief, hoping the ordeal was finally over. But then it was not.

He felt somewhat incapacitated, chained and nailed with the happenings till that point. But the worse was yet to come. His every move was being watched as air hostesses were fussing over their holy passenger. Their constant mothering and baby sitting of a strange man in special clothes, drew quite a bit of attention from the rest on board. Captain walked out of the cockpit and came straight to the 'jet set guru' and swiftly folded both his hands, as if greeting in a traditional manner. He said "we will be privileged if you step in to the control room once the flight is on auto pilot" and proceeded to meet the rest of the passengers in club class.

Aircraft took off, everybody settled and BG felt just grounded from that prolonged 'high' served up by the loved ones en masse. The hostesses were a chirpy young bunch and one of them smiled a lot and sweet, then as she served the glass of lemonade from her tray, whispered, "I have to talk to you". Soon after, promptly she stopped during one of her crisscrossing. "I want to know what future holds for me, do you read future or read my palm, or something like that" ? She was bashful and but could not give up the urge to know her future.

The sight of the young lady in dialog with the god man, brought rest of the chirpy hostesses a little more closer and everyone seemed keen to get audience, BG by this time had come to grips with the plight of that flight. BG said "I have no clue about my own future, so how can I say anything about yours?". The girls were unfazed and still kept smiling in responsible manner, as if they were dealing with a fussy passenger. BG said "I can probably point out how you can become free, independent and if I may add, liberated". None of those listed were appealing to the girls, as they looked blank but still smiling. BG felt a little anguished for few moments, about disappointing those fine young ladies. Truly speaking, even to BG the words like freedom and liberation suddenly sounded so foreign. He was probably the most bound man in the whole aircraft.

The pilot appeared suddenly in the scene and cockpit door was already opened, the control panels were seen blinking in the dull lighting from where BG was sitting. Captain took BG around and explained briefly about the various controls. BG enquired, "do you invite people always to see this?". The captain explained "every time there is a VIP we would try to invite as part of our airlines customs". BG was probing,"on what grounds usually you decide someone as a VIP"? Captain, well dressed man, smiled quickly, "We just look around for any unusual passenger, sometimes a big business magnate, sometimes famous politicians, diplomats, film stars, sports personalities and invariably any religious leader flying in the club class". BG was trying to get the hang of such VIP placement, looking outside the wind shield, at the rising sun on eastern horizon.

Back in the seat, he noticed the same smiling hostess smiling still. She came closer and whispered again, "someone wants to meet you, he is presently in the economy class". She appeared quite inspired about her inflight PR job to a high profile god man as she brought the person from the economy class. He was a cultured man and said in a apologetic tone, "guruji, not to take your time much, but just wanted to convey my thanks". BG now logically anticipated some miracle happened somewhere. He continued "Im traveling with my sick mother and she has a phobia for flying, I was wondering, how I will manage her for such a long flight. But when she saw you, she felt a lot comfortable and now she is sleeping peacefully". BG enquired, "have we met before?", he said,"this is first time I got this opportunity to meet and talk to you". He said further "When my mother saw you, she said even 'some' guruji is flying with us, so everything is going to be safe".

BG looked at his own robes spotless and shining, and a thought crossed his head, "none of these people knew me before, but they had decided about my 'sacred identity' already so well". He understood it was the special robes he was wrapped in, that brought all the attention, that worked all the magic. The sun was now visible far above the horizon and was looking very crisp and sharp. The aircraft was descending rapidly. That was last flight BG ever flew in his special robes and sandals.

Chronologically speaking, though this post comes later, the events of this post took place ahead of the events found in the previous post. Infact this post describes the circumstances well, under which BG was seen the way he was in the previous post.