S. K. Saksena writes about a trip he made together with Osho to Connaught Place in New Delhi. Published in ‘merinews’, India, on January 7, 2017.
In the midst of demonetisation, the word ‘cashless’ is much in currency. The government is sparing no efforts to turn the nation almost cashless. How does one feel when one is cashless? This reminds me of an incident from my younger days.
Rajneesh was by far the brightest student my father ever had. After studies when he started giving public lectures, he got to be named stage-wise as – Acharya Rajneesh, Bhagwan Rajneesh and finally, Osho.
Once, during summer vacations he visited our home in Civil Lines, Delhi. After discussing matters philosophical with my father, he turned to me. UNESCO was to hold a conference in New Delhi and they had advertised for volunteers. He asked, if I would accompany him to find out what this was all about. I readily agreed.
Connaught Place 1960s
We walked up to the bus stop at Exchange Stores. We took the bus to Connaught Place. Inside the bus, he told me that he had no money and asked me to buy the tickets. When we got off at Connaught Place, he asked me how much money I had left. I showed him the coins I had. “Let’s finish it off at India Coffee House.” Having bantered over coffee, we were on the road with empty pockets. “Now we are really free. Money is such a burden.” I was trembling at the thought of going all the way back home without money. But he was nonchalant. Asking our way around we landed up inside an imposing building, where interviews were going on. The peon would not let us go in, as we had no appointment letter. Rajneesh coolly asked him for paper and pencil. On the paper he wrote “Madam, some appointments are made in heaven. We two, are that appointment.” Both the peon and I were amazed that we were called in immediately, out of turn. The Greek lady interviewer was obviously curious to meet us.
She soon realised that we were just educated idlers and not interested in any job. She called for tea for us and expressed her curiousness about India and was awestruck by the country. Having had tea, with thanked her profusely and walked out.
The prospect of how to reach my distant home, without money in my pocket was secretly gnawing me from inside. “How do we go back home without money,” I asked him. “Don’t worry. Let’s find out where the DGCA office is.”
Enquiring here and there, we finally walked up to the office. There he asked for Capt. Karnik, who came out cordially to meet us. Two long lost friends had met, amongst much merriment.
Incidentally, Capt. Karnik was one of the three survivors of the famed Kashmir Princess crash over Bay of Bengal. They swam nine hours in the dark to the Burmese shore. Chou En-Lai was to be on that flight, but he was forewarned about the sabotage attempt. Karnik entertained us over tea and described in detail the ill-fated flight.
Rajneesh piped in, “Thanks for the tea. But we did not come here for tea. Have us dropped. We have no cash.” Karnik obliged and got us a car for the rest of the evening. Rajneesh was relaxed and kept joking. But I was mortified, for if my mother realised that both of us were roaming around in New Delhi irresponsibly, without money, she would have given us a terrible verbal spanking.
Such things often happened whenever Rajneesh was around. He was a non-conformer to the core!
Illustration by Osho News
S. K. Saksena lives with his family in Mumbai, India and writes occasional blogs about life and experiences. His father was Dr. Sri Krishna Saksena, Professor Emeritus Philosophy, University of Hawai, and was Osho’s teacher and mentor at University in Jabalpur, India.
Relates discourse excerpt
Osho Speaks on Professor Dr. S. K. Saxena