When Shiva Smiles


Launch of ‘When Shiva Smiles’ by Raj Bharti (aka Col. R.K.Kapoor) in New Delhi, India

“During the seventies, an army officer wearing a smart uniform and a revolver came prancing to Osho commune in Pune; he was full of authority and threw his weight around,” recalled Vinod Bharti aka Bollywood actor and politician Vinod Khanna, speaking at a book launch in New Delhi recently.

Book Launch

“The army officer went round the commune asking, who is in charge? What’s going on here? He met Osho’s secretary Laxmi and demanded to see the master immediately…

“He calmed down and a few days later saw Osho. Later, he became an Osho disciple and so the army officer, Lt. Col. Raj Kapoor, was reborn as Swami Raj Bharti and transformed into a soft, committed seeker.”

When Shiva SmilesRaj Bharti narrates his encounter with Osho with candour. During his meeting with Osho, he was asked if he wanted to become his disciple but he was not sure. He wanted more time to think about it. So Osho went on to initiate others in this meeting. As Col Kapoor watched, he agonised and winced at losing his chance. When Osho was finished with them, Col Kapoor silently pleaded with him for another chance. As Osho prepared to leave and folded his hands in Namaste, he stopped and asked if Col Kapoor was ready. “Yes, yes, yes,” he said eagerly and got a mala and a new name, Swami Raj Bharti.

Later, he resigned from the army and worked in Bollywood and produced TV serials. That’s when he shared a lot of experiences with Vinod who complimented Raj on his innings in Bollywood as a character actor (remember Qurbani?), a consultant for film sets and a TV producer. Raj is well-known for producing the super-hit Fauji that launched Shah Rukh Khan as a star. Later both followed their master to Oregon in USA on their spiritual journey and returned to India when the master left.

The 84-year old ex-army officer, TV producer and Bollywood actor became an author with the launch of his first novel, When Shiva Smiles, published by Wisdom Tree Books. Raj has more books in various stages of completion. Glowing tributes were paid to his genius, his sense of humour; and most of all, his love of life. An interesting part of this launch was the screening of the song Om Namah Shivaya with English lyrics and fascinating images focused on the book cover.

Set in modern times, the novel’s hero, Om meets Anjali and the narrative unfolds into a melodramatic love triangle, where Girish, the over possessive lover is determined to keep them apart in every way. Does Om find his true love in Anjali? Or, does the glamorous city life lure Om away from her, and even Shiva? Or, does all this bring him closer to his inner self? Shiva and Parvati make a few one-page appearances in the book, watching with interest the wanderings of their devotee. And smiling!

Kul Bhushan for Osho News

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Related discourse: That Which is Left is the Real You

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