Baba had a very ironical impression of the British Raj in India. As a staunch patriot, Baba took active part in the freedom struggle.
“ I gave shelter to some of the most wanted freedom fighters of that time. They used to stay incognito in our house. your grandmother used to cook food for them as she did for the rest of the family. Usually these people were introduced as distant relatives to the neighbours and other friends of the family. the most interesting part was my mother’s brother, who was the police chief and was a very dreaded officer of his time. He was a regular visitor to our house, but somehow never suspected anything fishy.”
“The punishment for abetting the fight for freedom was most horrible. The ladies of the house were put to shame in public and the prime accused was invariably hanged!”
‘Were you not scared?’ I asked Baba.
“Not for myself. But I did worry about your grandfather and the children. In fact it was this apprehension which prompted me to put all our jewellery and valuables in a box and bury it in my best friend’s ( Badri Babu) house, who also happened to be a successful businessman and my blind supporter.”
“You will be surprised to know that we were the first to declare ourselves free from British Rule in India. A self-styled Indian flag was hoisted atop one of the most prominent buildings in Balia Town, in strict defiance of the British.”
“The government took stern action and burnt down my friend, Badri babu’s house. Luckily my box of valuables remained unscathed and was retrieved later. It was my turn next.”
“They came on horse back, a group of khaki clad police constables headed by a British Officer. Your father was playing with his younger brothers outside the family mansion, shouting slogans against the British. that is when someone shouted, ‘run for your lives! They are coming to arrest you!’ Your grandmother and one of my cousin sisters who used to live with us rushed outside picked up the children and run into the lush paddy fields in the backyard. In front of our eyes we saw our beautiful ancestral house being burnt to ashes! After the British left we shifted to a relative’s place, near Delhi and I went ‘underground’ with my friend Badri Babu. I came to know through my sources that our property was confiscated and a warrant was issued in my name. I and my friend were strictly advised to remain in hiding for some time.”
“We made good use of the situation and set out to follow the footprints of Sir Paul Brunton and his travelogue - ‘A Search in Secret India’. Soon we travelled far south and and met one of the most revered saints of his time Mahrshi Raman.”
“When i reached his ashram, I found an assorted group of disciples, some of whom were Europeans there was pin drop silence in the hall. I too found a place and squatted quietly on the floor. We continued to sit for over an hour but nothing seemed to stir.”
“Eventually I could not resist and asked my neighbour - ‘Can I ask him a question?’ I said, pointing towards the Mahrshi.”
‘Be silent, focus on him and think of your query. You will get the answer!’
“I was bemused initially, but later did as advised, and it happened exactly as I was told. This is amazing! I thought.”
Later I realized, the Marshi delved in telepathy