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Silence With The Storm (Chapter 1)


Rattan Mann

To Ravindra, who is still too young and innocent to understand fully the hypocrisy of those wise teachers and great lovers of peace, non-violence, and yoga who murder the soul to preserve a worthless body, and to mamma and Bimla who understand them too well, more than is necessary.



Like every man I was born of woman, and like every child I cried the moment I came into the world. Indian philosophers say that this is man's first outcry of sorrow and protest against the world's cruelties and injustices, but whatever the philosophical explanation of the birth-trauma, my cries must have been a great relief to my mother.

"It is a boy," my grand-mother is supposed to have said, and my mother was  overjoyed because those were times and places where boys were more important than girls, men more important than women, positions more important than men, and connections more important than positions, or at least more useful - those were times of slavery, those were places of poverty.

Thousands of years before I existed, the course of my life was already  predetermined, not by the predictable motions of the heavenly bodies, the stars and the planets, but by the unpredictable caprices of the human mind. The Alphas of the Universe, the Brahmins of India, have taken upon their shoulders the irresponsible responsibility of determining, from birth to death, the fate of every individual upon this earth. From zero to twenty-five years, I was to remain chaste, avoid women, wine, and meat, and devote my life - or waste my time, depending on the point of view taken - to learning by rote, without understanding, it goes without saying, the mantras and the slokas of the Vedas and the Upanishads, until even the universal truths contained in those holy scriptures was crushed beneath the heavy schedule of the ever busy lips. At twenty-five a woman was suddenly to be produced before me by the magic of my parents, and till fifty I was to dedicate my energies, both physical and psychological, though in reality mostly sexual, to dragging into this sorrowful world a few more of my kith and kin, the Betas of the Universe, the Kshatriyas, the warriors, the professional killers of their fellow-men. From fifty to seventy-five years I was to remain a figure-head of my family, at the end of which term I must renounce, voluntarily of course, the earthly pleasures and vices and call myself a hermit and saint, because to call myself a homeless beggar, thrown out by thoughtless sons and greedy and quarrelsome daughters-in-laws, no longer willing to burden themselves with the care of an old and worthless man, would be too crude and unaesthetic a description of reality.

In the jungle, I the hermit was allowed but one occupation, for the lack of any other choice of course, though would-be saints, fixed to the coming world, are not duty-bound to agree, and that was prayer and penance to pave my path to Nirvana, which would finally be achieved at the ripe old age of one hundred, and last forever and ever, unless some megalomaniac God, scared of human will, chose to throw me back, with heavenly justification of course, to repeat the sorrowful cycle of human existence once more.

Something else was also predetermined for me: I must hate, on purely logical a priori grounds, without ever asking why, the Deltas of Mankind, the Sudras of India. Loathe them, detest them, despise them, shun them, scorn them, trample them, turn my back when I saw them, and close my ears when I heard them coming. I was also forbidden to ask one question: How a man feels when he lives in the gutter and dies in the gutter, sleeps in the gutter and wakes up in the gutter, weeps in the gutter and laughs in the gutter. This was not a human problem, but only a problem of the Deltas, who with God's help, could take care of it themselves, and a privileged Beta like me was highly discouraged to ponder over such useless issues.

So was I taught, so did I believe. Under oath, and upon my honour I declare  that no electric shocks were given to me, nor was I tortured into this belief. I believed it on my own free will, and quite proudly and happily upon that, because everybody around me believed it and so many wise and honourable people could not be wrong.

I said my caste is Beta. I am actually Beta-minus-minus, a subcaste of the Kshatriyas  called the Jats. "As stupid as a Jat," and "For a Jat two times two is always eight," are just two of the many sayings in northern India, the others being hard to translate because the joke - or the truth, according to those seekers of truth who can relish it only at others' expense - lies in the rhyme. Beta-minus-minus are warriors and farmers: Both my grandfathers, my uncle, my father - who rose from the ranks to become a major, promotions often coinciding with the birth of one of us, the children - and my brother, all had been or are in the army. And those of my relatives who are not yet in the army dream of being in it some day. It is the irony of human existence that the profession of killing another has a higher social status than the profession of nourishing another, even among believers of peace and non-violence, and throughout Indian history the tillers of Mother Earth have always dreamed of becoming the killers of men some day.

With so much of my fate and future already sealed, I came into this  world in the summer of 1945 as the second child, after Bimla, to pilfer from Destiny what still remained of a mutilated and distorted freedom and life.

From the dusty layers of a misty memory creeps out a fatty throwing pebbles into puddles to watch tiny dots of water growing into full circles and rushing towards  their annihilation at the edges. The next moment the fatty is gaping with horror at Munshi Ram, the village school-teacher, beating a Delta with a rod and then stuffing warm ash into his gaping wounds to stop the bleeding. Fatty knew such a thing would never happen to him because he was the son of an army captain, but still he hated to go to school after that day. Every morning as he trudged towards school he felt, in his own way and without knowing the feelings of horses or any other creatures, like a horse taken to a slaughterhouse. And the irony of it was that he never complained or cried or told mamma that he disliked school. Perhaps in his own child-like ways he knew there was no way out and therefore no point in complaining.

Then there was that chilly winter evening when he stood helpless, embarrassed, almost ashamed, a distant spectator, and mamma lay on the ground in a pool of  blood, as uncle Pratap Singh tried to split her skull into two with a wooden plank. This was the inevitable climax of a joint-family feud which had been raging he did not know since when. Mamma wanted to break free from the shackles of the joint-family system, leave the village, move with papa to the city where he was posted, and give the children - even girls - a proper education. For Grandma and Uncle Pratap money spent on education, especially of girls, was money wasted, and so they won't allow it under any circumstances, even if it meant killing mamma before she went too far with her crazy ideas. Who had ever heard of girls being educated? Girls are the garbage of another house; the sooner they are disposed of in marriage, the better it is. So every evening there were horrible quarrels, one against two, mamma against grandma and Pratap.

Grandma: You think yourself to be too modern. Your feet have grown wings. But I will clip them to the roots. From now on you will not go out even for a walk with your sister Satto.

Mamma: I will go out whenever and wherever I want.

Grandma: If Satto steps inside this house I will chop off her legs.

Mamma: You dare touch even a hair of hers...

Grandma: You will not talk to Satto's husband. Is he your husband that you have to talk to him?

Mamma: I will talk to anyone I please. You can't stop me.

Grandma: You are a whore.

Mamma: I am not a whore, you lame bitch.

Grandma: Prostitute, you are a witch. You bewitched Raja and then ate him. (Raja was Pratap's nine year old son who had died sometime back from a liver sickness.)

Mamma: You killed him yourself. To save money you did not even take him to the hospital. If you had listened to me he would have been alive today.

Grandma: Man-eating witch, eat Rattan.

And on and on it would go 'til late in the nights. One late night when everybody was asleep and there was no one to hear a cry for help, thrice did Pratap rush towards mamma to choke her to death and thrice did she grab an iron rod and warned him in no unclear terms, "Come, you one-eyed bastard, touch me and I will tear you to pieces."

Of course, she was shivering inside because she knew she was not strong enough to fight a man, but the bluff worked and it was all she had ever hoped for. How she wished papa was at home or the children were a little bigger and stronger to be able to come to mamma's rescue at such times.

She cannot be finished like this, reasoned Uncle Pratap, and so he wrote to grandfather asking for his gun. Both my father and grandfather had guns. But my father never brought his gun home just to prevent such tragedies. My grandfather had a farmhouse in a sparsely populated area three hundred kilometers from Delhi so for him a gun was a necessity but he too never brought it home when he visited us in Delhi.

"Don't be a fool. Don't do it," Grandfather replied in a short, cryptic letter. "If she wants to separate from the rest of the family, let her go her own way. And if Katar (papa) is the lice on  her sari, as you say, well, it is not a crime to listen to one's own wife." And grandfather did not send his gun.

Gun or no gun, Uncle Pratap decided to go ahead with his plans.

So came that evening when mamma sat in the yard, sifting wheat for the evening porridge, and fatty played near her with his wooden rabbit. Nobody was expecting any trouble because the day had gone by peacefully. Mamma felt safer than usual because papa was at home on annual leave from his unit. Suddenly, without warning, Pratap came from behind with a wooden plank and dealt two blows on mamma's head and one on the back before she knew what was happening. Pratap had assumed that he would be able to finish the job before papa had time to interfere, and later ask for forgiveness and get away with everything. But papa was warned in time by a neighbour and could come to mamma's rescue before it was too late. And instead of bashing a helpless woman to death Pratap found himself confronting a well-trained soldier and that was a totally different story than he had expected. Papa wanted to go to the police and have Pratap jailed. But mamma was more forgiving. She and the neighbours talked papa out of it - a brother should not destroy a brother for "such things."

Fatty stopped his game and stared at the strange sequence of events rushing before his eyes. It all looked so distant and unreal. It produced no anger or fear or tears - only embarrassment. He was not part of anything and nobody took the least notice of him. He just stood there totally empty and irrelevant until uncle Summer Singh took him gently by the hand and whispered, "Come son, let us go out. This is not for children."

That kid of six was not me. It would be a mistake to think so. Whatever he felt he felt, without knowing they were feelings. It was all mist and haze with no definite shape. He did not know that actions should produce reactions. He should have gone to grandma and told her, "My mother is not a prostitute and whore with fifty husbands in each village as you say, you lame bitch," because I would have gone and told her exactly that. But he did not. He was a blank canvas with no reference points to tell him what he should do. I am a canvas painted all over with references to my past and pointers to my future actions. He could compare himself with nothing. I can compare myself with my past, my future, and my surroundings. He thought without knowing it was thinking. I think. I know that I think. And I know that I think and therefore I am. And therefore he is he and I am I and never the twain shall meet.

From every drop of human blood shed upon this barren earth sprout not mushrooms and vegetables to fatten laboratory rabbits and guinea-pigs with, from those drops sprout human endeavours, human dreams and aspirations, however shattered and unfulfilled in the end but noble human efforts nevertheless. Out of the blood of my mother that spilled upon the ground that evening and sank into the mute and downtrodden dust sprang our education, Bimla's crazy ideas about emancipation, my so-called ideals and love for mathematics, philosophy, and theoretical physics, and everything else that was noble in the family, because at last mamma won and had her own way. Papa agreed to take us all with him to the town where his unit was posted and give the children proper education in the best of schools. Sacrifices there were in plenty. When there were not enough beds, Bimla slept on chairs with a horse-blanket as her bed-sheet. For seven years there was no visit to any cinema-hall. And fatty ate his first chocolate when he was twenty-one and no longer so fat. But for education in expensive private American schools there was, and there had to be, enough money all the time.

The day they left for town, grandma wept for hours, but suddenly and strangely papa had acquired a heart of stone and he did not say good bye to her. As they left, grandma limped to the roof crying bitterly and hoping that somebody would look back. Nobody did. But there was no joy in anybody's heart. Fatty didn't feel like he was going to a new exciting place. He never spoke to grandma again.

His real education began when papa took him to St. Xavier High School Jaipur and said, "Son, tell your name to father Wilzbacher." In his confusion he forgot how to say his name in English.

In kindergarten he wouldn't show others what he brought for lunch. He mumbled his daily prayers without understanding a word of what he said. 'Hallowed be thy name' was 'Hello pe kei name.' 'May I be excused' was 'May I go excuse' because he thought excuse was pee. He tried to figure out for himself what a lot of English words meant but was too afraid to ask the lady-teacher. One day she caught him mumbling, 'May I go excuse' and asked him to repeat the words clearly and slowly. It was so embarrassing. Excuse is not pee - was his first  acquaintance with higher English.

One day he told a boy that he was only four when he was in fact nine, and ran away in shame when the latter shouted, "Come boys! Look, Fatty is saying he is only four years old."

In the first standard, to which he was double-promoted, he wrote "Simon" behind the door, and sat innocently as miss Francis took Simon to task and humiliated him before the whole class. The poor boy protested all the while but Miss Francis did not believe him and forced him to wipe the door clean. Fatty meant no ill to Simon but he was too clever to write his own name and too cowardly to admit later what he had done.

In the third standard to which he was again double-promoted, boys would gather around him to watch him eating chalks and Father Extross nick-named him "the chalk-eater."

For the first time in his life he rebelled against injustice and later regretted it. In the boarding school, two boys and only two boys got milk during lunch. "Why not me?" he asked himself. It was unfair. Every evening before going to bed he would make a firm resolve to himself, "Tomorrow I will ask for milk." And every afternoon the next day he would chicken out in panic. But after fifteen days of inner struggle he finally made it. "I want milk," he told the bearer and expected the latter to pour some into his glass instantly. The bearer did nothing of the sort. Instead he went to Father Willmes and Father Willmes came to him and whispered something in English which he did not understand. Then Father Willmes whispered something to the bearer, and after ten minutes a glass of milk finally appeared. But those ten minutes seemed like an eternity of embarrassment because every boy on the table was staring at him all the time. Without knowing it then, he felt like Oliver Twist asking for more. He never asked for milk again. Gradually he learned that the two boys got milk for medical reasons.

Despite Freud, India believes in the innocence of childhood. But the childhood he knew wasn't that innocent after all. The third standard was buzzing with sinister rumours. Boys of ten whispered in subdued voices that something was going on between a Jesuit Father and a married lady-teacher. They were often single-by-double was the exact term used. What it meant was that the Father often had sex with the lady-teacher. Once a class-mate hissed to him between pressed teeth and muffled giggles that somebody had just told him that somebody from fourth standard, he did not know who, had actually seen these two teachers coming out together from an empty room. In plain words, somebody had actually seen them immediately after a sexual intercourse. He never invented such wild stories himself, but enjoyed hearing them. For months he kept a watchful eye on the infamous couple, hoping to catch them red-handed someday, but he never saw them going into or coming out of empty rooms.

He was again double-promoted to the fifth standard, but papa wanted him to  proceed more slowly by going through the fourth. And there she was, the new  class-teacher, the pretty woman with an ugly reputation in the underworld of childhood fantasy.

So for long hours in class his eyes wandered from the blackboard to her sensual pretty face and drank the distant, unreachable charm of her inviting lips and heaving breasts. Then the eyeballs rolled down her breasts in great hurry to her legs and crawled up slowly into her skirt to catch a glimpse of her underwear. On the other side of the white linen was the abode of eternal happiness and romance that wouldn't leave him in peace even at home. Lost inside the darkness beneath her skirt he metamorphosed into a grown-up man rivaling her age if not her beauty. Then the two lovers, he now a handsome Jesuit priest and she as always the fountain of life, were alone under a lonely tree or the shade of a burning rock, deep in the deserts of Rajasthan, unseen, undisturbed, and unmolested except by eternity, looking into each other's presence, and hoping against hope that eternity would stop metamorphosing itself into time. The next moment they were united together, lips against lips, breasts against breasts, and thighs against thighs and not even time, their eternal foe, could tear them apart. Then with her moist lips she would spray into the shifting sands of time the H of their first Happiness and beside her bold, dreamy H fluttered a clumsy, timid L of his first Love. Once and for all Eternity was imprinted with his Existence and his Dreams.

The toddling lover did not yet know that love and sex are the enemies par excellence of the deepest philosophical assumptions of Indian society, nor did the following thought experiment occur to him: Consider a society based on the cast-system in which suddenly men and women are permitted to intermingle, understand and love each other. Love and understanding know no caste-barriers, and within a few generations there would be no caste left. But in India caste has survived generations after generations, from which it follows that understanding, love, and sex have been destroyed generations after generations. QED. This is the origin of the arranged-marriages tradition of India.

Besides love and sex, he experimented with alcohol, though this time the experiment was a real one rather than a dream-experiment. As an army officer, papa always kept a few bottles of rum and whiskey at home. When nobody was around he would rush and grab a bottle and pour some whiskey on his folded palm and gulp it down in a hurry before he was caught. He tried it a couple of times till time overtook him and changed him into a more philosophical and saintly person. Thank God, two things never happened - he was never caught and he never broke a bottle.

If something fascinated him, though the child did not yet know that it could be called a fascination, it was the two dogs, one Alsatian and the other a Dachshund, and a dozen white pigeons he was allowed to keep. And he hoped that some day those dozen pigeons would become two dozen, three dozen because they were his best friends and he was never tired of watching them as they flew overhead for hours. But somehow their number never rose beyond thirteen.

"Do your homework and don't sit there watching pigeons the whole day. I will give them away and you will never see them again unless you do your homework first, you lazy brat." Mamma's angry screams always hung like a sword over the head and spoiled some of the beauty of that otherwise perfect paradise of innocent happiness where there was no boredom. Boredom was not yet his terror as it was to become later when he had to plunge into a new universe of books to escape this deadly enemy.

Then came the latency period, not only in the narrow sense of psycho-analysis, but also in a wider sense when the soul literally enters the dark caves for a long winter-sleep, and nothing leaves an everlasting impression on the slumbering mind. Unless the still lingering memory of a bored boy, lying alone in bed in the hot summer afternoons, searching the dictionary for sexy words, or arranging secret marriages between himself and Bollywood actresses or lady-teachers, could be called everlasting impressions.

And then suddenly it exploded - almost overnight, it seemed. The mind woke up from the long slumber of puberty and adolescence, from the nothingness, meaninglessness, and hollowness of past existence, and burst into a frenzied spring-time activity which struck ruthlessly at the very foundations of his Being and ushered the first philosophical crisis of his life. A headlong fall from papa's cavalry horse at the age of sixteen which left him unconscious for a night, the first separation from parents and home to join the boarding-school when papa was transferred to South India just a few months after the fall, or the first unjust failure in exam two years later, may each have contributed to the change. But he felt only the change - sudden, clear, manifest - not the obscure, underlying causes of the change. If goaded into defining his existence, he might have cried out, "I feel, therefore I am!" had he heard of Descartes. But he had not. The universe, both internal and external, was suddenly surcharged with a new meaning, a fresh summer-like intensity, holding a surprise round every corner, and he plunged into this new terra incognita headlong like an explorer bent on conquering new territories.

The external world did not prove to be very stimulating, however, and his curiosity for it cooled down very quickly. For example, when he tried to visit a new radio station about two kilometers from home, and a textile factory in the city, he was insulted and denied entrance. In those days of Indo-Pakistan tension, people thought he was a Pakistani spy. After asking some very technical questions about machines, the textile factory manager told him angrily how he could ever think of visiting a factory without knowing the ABC of it. Stunned by these unexpected insults and humiliations, he suspended his explorations of this side of terra incognita.

Then he wanted to gaze at the heavens, but could find nothing better than an old binocular to serve as his telescope. Even the moon did not look big enough to excite him further. For months he tried to find out if there was a telescope somewhere in Jaipur, but nobody could tell. So his interests shifted from astronomy to chemistry and he got very excited about opening his own private laboratory at home. So he searched for a chemistry-box all over town. But none of the shop-keepers he asked had even heard of the name.

The first attempt to explore the mysteries of the mountains was equally futile. Explorers don't visit hill-stations. They are for tourists. So on his first trip to the Himalayas he landed in Chakrata Hills near Dehradun. And was arrested immediately. Chakrata Hills is a military area. And he looked like a perfect spy - alone, bearded, wearing a grey army overcoat, roaming in places where tourists don't venture. The police first searched his body and luggage, and then took him to the army HQ for interrogation. It took a lot of effort to convince the army captain that he was just a harmless lover of mountains, not a spy. The captain let him go provided he took the next bus back to Dehradun. There he could roam as much as he wanted and nobody would bother him. But the well-meaning idiot never seemed to learn. Later, once again he ventured into another forbidden territory in Kashmir. Again he was told to turn back immediately unless he wanted to be beaten into confessing the alleged espionage. It looked as if both times he was lucky enough to meet interrogators who were decent enough and intelligent enough to distinguish an innocent man from a spy. With more impatient interrogators things could have been much different.

But there was something which nobody could deny him, he thought, though later he was to learn the hard way, both in India and Germany, that it too can be denied: Man's birthright to read books from the library.

Guided only by the tiny black marks upon paper, he took the first long journey into the unknown, and went to the far-away, snow-clad Antarctica where a tiny, innocent piece of his credulous soul froze to death and was forever buried under the snow with Scott, while the rest escaped to the stars and distant galaxies to witness, through the same strange books that lay before him, the birth and death of the universe itself. For the first time in life he came across names like Einstein, Leonardo daVinci, Michelangelo and they became his best living friends.

What sort of life should he choose for himself? Writer? NeverGreat writers always wrote in their mother-tongue, while his tongue was tied to a foreign language and so would never be utterly free. He did not want to write in English and he could not write in Hindi because English was his de facto mother-tongue, a step-mother whom he could never love like a mother.

A philosopher? Yes! This is what he thought he really was. Once, when he was hardly seventeen or eighteen, he said to himself, "I would write a book on human nature, because nobody has ever written such a great book." And he was embarrassed and disappointed when he came across Hume's "A Treatise On  Human Nature" just a few weeks later. Thank God he hadn't told anybody about his plans and so there was no loss of face.

And when he read Hume he believed in Hume, and when he read Bishop Bradley he believed in Bishop Bradley, and when he read Kant he believed in neither. And long after he left the study-room, he wondered if the chair upon which he sat was a chair only as long as he sat upon it, and is a chair no more now that he was out and playing hide and seek with Usha and Ravindra. At least Bishop Bradley thought so.

Then he received a healthy dose of realism from Russel, and having convinced himself that Truth is to be found in mathematics and physics, he left the chair in peace, believing that it exists all right and will not disappear in thin air when nobody was looking at it.

Scientist then? Is philosophy and science the same? Or had he to choose between the two? The final push over the barrier of doubt and hesitation was given by Father Pinto, his class-teacher in the final two years at high school. Father Pinto taught mathematics, was a philosopher, and had a beard. He took all three verbatim. The future course of his mentality, if not his life, was determined once and for all.

What Father Pinto would have said to this he never knew. In India, elders and teachers are gods before whom one must silently bow one's head in reverence, and not friends before whom one may also bare one's heart. Russel was a better friend of his than anybody around him. So mathematics became his new meta-physics, and only after ten years, when he had examined every nook and corner of mathematics in search of a hidden metaphysics, did he learn that mathematics is not metaphysics after all. Russel had already said long back that metaphysics is nonsense. But it takes very long to reach one's own conclusions.

Out of these self-studies in philosophy, mathematics, and physics grew a new bond of friendship and understanding between him and Bimla. He was in high school and she was in college. His school library was for kids and her college library was for thinkers. And now he looked upon himself as a "thinker." So the burden of keeping the younger brother well-supplied with advanced books fell upon the elder sister. But there was a problem. Bimla studied history and so could not borrow books on philosophy and mathematics. After a lot of looking around she found a philosophy student who was willing to help. But often she came empty-handed because something or other always went wrong.

Once he waited for days for Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. And then he saw Bimla coming with a smile on her face and a thick book under her arm. But as he took the book from her his own joy vanished instantly. It was volume two. He knew what trouble she was going through for him. So he said nothing. It was not her fault. She had not heard of Kant. Nobody could understand why a history student was interested in philosophy books. And so she was glad to get anything without knowing what it was. Ironically, the budding "thinker" never got into the mood to try to read The Critique again. Whether he would have understood it or not is totally another matter.

Then somewhere in the white, polar deserts, or the golden glow of exploding galaxies, or the thick, dusty systems of tottering philosophies, God laid down his head and died. If he could have, he would have gone to the most distant and desolate corner of earth or heaven to lay a tablet of memory there: Somewhere here I lost my best, last, and only friend, God. For months he walked in stunned delirium, mourning the death of a beloved one and asking again and again: What now? What next?

As to so many of his age on the other side of the globe, God was not to him a commodity to be gladly bartered for a Ford car, a Suzuki motor-cycle, a pretty girlfriend, or even to be tucked away in memory as the relic of a bygone superstition. Like so many of his kind on this side of the globe who must cling to something in order to live, God was his belief, his hope, his life and existence. And when God died, the solid rock of youthful paradise was washed away by the stormy waters of doubt and loneliness. He could speak to no one about the loss. So he spoke to no one at all. Who could have understood him? Mom? She was an illiterate woman with a serene face. She could have asked, "What is this science which has taken God away from my dear son?" But she could not answer anything he wanted to ask so badly. Dad? He was a soldier, not a philosopher or scientist. His only answer could have been more questions, "Who are Russel and Einstein? Why are you interested in them? And what do they have to do with God anyway?" What answer did he have to these counter questions? During the quiet evening walks the sad and puzzled faces of Mom and Dad looking at him curiously would haunt him. And he decided to leave them out of all this.

A man is born alone, he dies alone, and in life he suffers alone, so say the wise men of India. And gradually he was learning how right they were. He plunged more deeply into science and philosophy because they had taken away his Friend and they and they alone could offer something in return.

At times he took the path of asceticism and self-mortification with fasting, getting up hungry from meals, and even torturing the body with needles. He wanted to see light, a vision which would take away the pain and expel all doubts, but even the angels kept away. He saw nothing except his own mind in turmoil.

In this state the years at school slowly drew to a close and he moved from Jaipur to Delhi to study mathematics at the university.

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