Once again the Indian media is in full swing, reporting breathlessly about two new books to be published this year, both about Sheela.
One is a biography entitled Nothing To Lose: The Authorized Biography of Ma Anand Sheela, written by Manbeena Sandhu whose intent is to introduce “the woman behind the strong persona.” Publishers Harper Collins, India said it will be out on October 5, 2020. [Update: Release was postponed to October 10.]
Chapman and MacLain Way, renown directors of Wild Wild Country, called it “A story of an operatic storm…”
In November, Penguin Random House will make a nation-wide splash with Sheela’s personal memoir, By My Own Rules: My Story in My Own Words. The publisher is quoted to have said, “For the first time, she will write about the adventures and experiences of exploring each crossroad she has faced in her life and what she learnt from it.”
The following excerpt from Manbeena Sandhu’s book describes the apparently dramatic events in Pune 1 after a meeting that had been called by Sheela on April 11, 1981 in which she informed all department heads that “Bhagwan has retired and will not be speaking in public again…” […]
“After a brief and sullen pause, she stepped back with a curt: ”Thank you!” Uncertainty loomed over the shocked, pasty faces of the majority of sannyasins who stood paralysed.
“Winds of change had rippled the ashram waters and the shaky sannyasins were feeling threatened by the shrouded phantom of transition that was silently tiptoeing towards them.
“With one blow, it had toppled their leader, with the other it had silenced their guru and now it seemed to be rushing headlong into their orange grove with the intention of uprooting their tree and hurling it into some uncharted skies.
“Uncertainty wafted in the air as sannyasins mewed with scepticism and gossiped in scattered clusters that dotted the tremulous grounds of the ashram.”
We can’t wait to hear more about our collective past…