The children played. Anindita watched. The train stopped at Madhupur, midway her journey. A man got into the compartment, handed the lady a two packets of Kurkure and a frooti. They had a little chat about some phone calls. Anindita looked about. A lot of people got down at Madhupur and a few people boarded. Some of them were men. A young boy was also there. He had saffron clothes on. He looked dirty, had a bag on his shoulders. He would not be more than 15 years of age. He was kind of a "teenage babaji". He sat adjacent to where Anindita was sitting. The people sitting beside her at the window had descended. The seat stared at her empty. She thought of moving to the window, but the sun shone hard. She stayed back where she was. The children were busy with Kurkure and frooti. The men sat around the "teenage babaji" and they were busy talking about something. Anindita did not pay much attention to them in the begenning. Sitting quietly for long, brought their words to her. The whole conversation was in Hindi.
One of the men said, "You smoke Gaanja at such a young age. It will harm you."
Teenage Baba replied, "Arey Beta, Gaanja smoking is not a big deal for people who have achieved things in life. I take very Satwik food and my body and mind is pure. Gaanja never harms a pure body and pure soul"
One man : "Babaji what is your age?"
Teenage Baba, "I am old enough. I look young due to my yoga. When you do yoga everyday, you never get old. My guru is 500 years old and he looks younger than me."
The men burst laughing. Anindita couldnt control her smile. One of the men controlled laughter and asked, "Who is you Guru? He is 500 years old then he should be very famous."
Teenage Baba: "Nobody knows him. He lives in the mountains near Nepal. I am coming from there."
One man: "And he smokes Gaanja too?"
Teenage Baba: "Yes he smokes 10 kilo Gaanja everyday."
Anindita couldnt help this time. She laughed out. The men were laughing like anything. Teenage Baba seemed to get angry. He said, "What do you know? You will laugh. All ignorant men laugh."
One Man: "Okay babaji we are sorry. Actually imagining a person who takes up 10 kilo gaanja in a day is kind of funny? A person would die in a single day."
Teenage Baba: "No, when you are pure and clean and strong, 10 kilo gaanja is nothing."
One Man: "One kilo Gaanja a day would also cost him a fortune. They have so much money in the himalayas?"
Teenage Baba: "My guruji doesnt have money. He has sponsors. There is a very rich man. He sends my Guru 10 kilo ganja everyday !"
One Man: "The rich man has to be very rich. Boy, do you know what you are talking? You are making fun of yourself."
Teenage Baba: "You are meager souls. You will never understand, that what I am telling you is true. The man is really very rich. You see, so many trains. These trains are all that rich man's. He buys all these trains and rents them out to the poorer people. All these trains are his. Do you understand how rich he is?"
The compartment thundered with laughter. Anindita couldnt help herself either. She giggled out loud. The woman in front of her, was listening too. In fact everybody who sat near laughed and the people farther away stared in awe at such a laughing commotion.
Teenage Baba seemed a bit embarrassed. He said, "Every meager soul laughs. But one day you will remember that you traveled with Baba Sarvananda."
One of the men asked, "Who is Baba Sarvananda?"
The train was nearing Jasidih. Teenage Baba looked at the man with eyes that were ready to curse. He got up, put his bag on his shoulders. He turned his back to us and as he walked towards the door, he uttered with an air of indifference, "That is me".
And without waiting for an answer, he went to stand at the gate.
Laughter filled the compartment once again.
One of the men said, "He is coming from the Himalayas, my foot! I see him every morning at Jasidih station. He begs on trains. He lives there on platform number 4."
A light discussion arose.
As the train slowed down, Anindita smiled to herself and got up. Jai Baba Sarvananda!