It was a pleasant surprise to me when I saw Gajendran near an Ashram where he had come with some of his colleagues to attend a religious function. He was himself a philosopher and it seemed he was waiting for an opportune moment to sneak out of the Ashram.
On seeing him, after a gap of ten years, I was overwhelmed and dashed towards him but he was a bit bewildered. “Hi Gajan, what a pleasant surprise!”. I said. “Wait, wait… Oh, I am sorry… I could not recognize you at first”, he said and hugged me. True to his name, he was a gigantic figure. He kept on talking about the good old days when we used to go for a walk in the evening on Sundays. “Though it is my favourite topic, the scholars are talking in a language meant for laymen”, he began, but before I could reply, he interrupted and said, “Forget it, let us go for a walk… I want some exercise too”. As we moved on, he was in his elements, “Ordinary People in out country have no knowledge about our ancient culture…” After a pause, he continued, “Look at those buildings. What a shame! There were trees, trees all the way… Can’t help.”
He was walking very slowly and I felt like telling him that if he was serious about reducing his weight, he should walk fast but, to my surprise, he refused to move further and I knew why. “Our culture”, he continued his monologue, “is different from that of others… basically, it is about tolerance and humility. If you analyse the meaning of Adwaida or Tathwamasi, or rather ‘Thou art that’, you will see Him in all beings… even in an insect!” He was waxing eloquent when an auto rickshaw stopped near us. The driver asked him, “Sir, we are from the catering department of Hotel Ashoka… We have to deliver some food items to that Ashram… is it some where here?” Gajendran lost his temper and shouted at him, “Get lost…you…” The auto driver drove past us, not knowing what to do. Gajendran continued, “Where were we? Yeah, tolerance and humility…” As he was talking thus, I just wanted to change the topic and asked him, “Shall we have some tea?” “Sure… got sufficient cash with you?”, he asked. I was sure that we would have snacks too.