…died in the night 6th/7th August 2015.
Vimal remained a sannyasin to the end. Her life ended up pretty much off the rails, but it started off as a miracle, a birth claimed as the result of a parental pilgrimage to Lourdes. Some weird stuff happened in her childhood, including – so the story goes – discovering her father in bed with her mother’s best friend, but being disbelieved by her mum, and sent by her father for psychological treatment rather than admit the truth. She also carried deep scars from a serious motor-bike accident she had as a teenager.
She took sannyas in 1977 and travelled (with two kids and me as boyfriend) to Pune for the first time in one of the two buses that famously went overland from North London with about 40 crew. Her third child was conceived in Pune. She did meditations, groups and some counsellor training during that and a couple of further stays, but somehow slipped through the net and succumbed to alcoholism. I always felt that had things gone differently, she could have been a great therapist. As it was, several of her friends in the early days were definitely drawn into sannyas at least partly by her charisma, joyful positivity, and open-heartedness.
She made an art out of mischief and misbehaviour as anyone who spent time with her could verify. She was always a friend to the down and out. In later years she gave up drinking and became reclusive. She suffered from long-term depression and anxiety, and struggled to manifest the opulent reality she felt she deserved. She regained a lot of dignity in later years.
Vimal delayed seeing a doctor and after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She didn’t want to die and kicked up an impressive final fuss, but was also able to express a lot of love for her family who spent these final days with her. The closest she came to acceptance was that she packed some bags from her hospital bed as if planning for a trip and kept a close eye on her keys.
She was not an obedient or ‘holy’ sannyasin but never wavered in her love of Osho. Without her body or mind, I can’t imagine Osho being anything but delighted to meet her again. Typically, the last I heard from her, she sent me a great photo from her hospital bed – with a big grin and a cardboard sick bowl on her head carrying the simple message “Happy Birthday Param”. A few weeks later, she was gone.
Text from Param (with the help from Vimal’s daughter Arvind)
I loved Vimal. She and Param were a shining light to me. They took me in when I first became a sannyasin; she paid for my ticket to Poona, bought me a flute, and showered everyone with love and especially acceptance. She was a wild woman in those days, and very beautiful. I think of her often and always smile.
Anand Chitta (ex Sangito)
The last time I was with Vimal we walked miles, literally, with Param’s mum and Keda through the beautiful English countryside. A good memory. I had a turbulent relationship with her over a number of years. Vimal was unique – generous, loving and very crazy! Way too early to leave.