Dinesh and Bawa

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dance of the Chappals

Another fantastic little piece from Ivan!



One of the endearing things I love about visiting the Ashram is the 'Dance of the Chappals' - especially at an event like Navaratri, when many thousands of partners get together several times a day in various locations around the Ashram.

Losing one's chappals goes with the territory. In fact, I never really feel I've arrived until I've lost my first pair. As with seeing a snake, losing one's chappals is supposed to bring good luck. Well its certainly brings good luck to the Divine Shop, that's for sure!

Anyway, the first day of Navaratri this year I was blessed with the disappearance of my new, high tech go-faster chappals from Sydney, Australia. I had left them up on the path leading down to the Puja area, and returned a few hours later to see that they had transformed into hollow and empty space. I knew then I had arrived.

I tiptoed off to the Divine Shop and bought less extravagant replacements. Low and behold a couple of days later, luck struck again. Returning to my favourite shop I noticed they were already running low, particularly in my size - a worry, as there were still 6 days to go.

Meanwhile, a new chappal minding service had been inaugurated near the Puja area, staffed by teams of chappal warriors who all but grabbed them from your feet in return for a numbered token with which, allowing for a small miracle, you could later retrieve the same pair. I became a big fan of this service until one day a long queue tempted me to once again let them range free in one of their old spots.

On my return, the present moment was inevitable. More hollow and empty. I shuffled off along that by now well-trodden path that leads to Javier’s Emporium, giving him a shifty glance as I entered. Could he be sending out teams of chappal snatchers whilst we were all busy with Satsang? I casually inquired if they sold second-hand, or second-foot chappals, which would confirm my suspicions, but No. I decided not to see intention in any of this and rummaged around for another pair. However all that was now left in my size were two right footed chappals. I handed over my rupees, negotiating a generous discount for the discomfort and embarrassment factor and hobbled off determined not to be a football of others opinions.

With no more chappals in stock I decided to take no chances. I got the chain and padlock used to secure my luggage whilst travelling, and that evening I chained them to a tree near the new meditation hall. I also wrote a note which I stuck in the grass saying, 'CAUTION - unauthorised removal of these chappals may result in premature reincarnation.'

Now this may seem a little extreme but by now I was a desperate man. Divine Shop out of chappals and still 4 days to go. I sauntered off to Satsang with the quiet reassurance of a man in control of his chappals.

Two hours later I my expectations killed the joy. The chappals were still there OK, but the chain and padlock had gone! Dinesh who was passing and had seen my earlier security measures pointed out, when he managed to stop laughing, that my note hadn't made any reference to the chain or padlock, so they were both fair game.


I decided to accept the situation as it was, at least I still had my two right chappals. In fact, they lasted the rest of my stay, I'm looking at them now remembering those far off blissful Ashram days. So if anyone out there has two size 10 left foot chappals, we can do business!

Read Ivan's earlier post

For business and/or showing some love, write to ivan: ivan@artofliving.org.au  

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32 comments:

gunjan said...

Awesome !!

Akhilesh said...

Hahha... really nice one!!!

Vishal said...

hahaha ...
truely well written ..

Abhay Karnataki said...

Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Sahi hai!

I recall my IIT days... there used to be such `exchange' aka `deposit old take new chappals' scheme in Computer center... And I was totally fed up of losing three in a row...
Then I did a barefoot strike and postering in hostels etc stuff, in all rainy and muddy days...

Finally I met DineshG and asked, "at his time in IIT, did they used to lose chappals in front of CC too!?" "yes," he said, and added, "we used to exchange them with a sense of belongingness!"
I remember this and take new chappals now a days, whenever mine are lost, "with a sense of belongingness!"

bodhayan said...

lmao !!!!!! hillarious... i think everybody has experienced and dis is one imp process to live da knowledge hehe. jgd.

Gayatri said...

hahaha.....simply great..!!!!!!!!i would lie to add more..its not only in case of slippers...also wallet and spectacles!!!!!!!!!!! imagine people robbing specks...how amusing...it has happened with me in ashram this june advance!!!!!!!!!!

Ajay said...

Simply hilarious!!
Going crazy over it.
I am not able to stop my self from laughing and everyone around me in my office is wondering if I am alright.

Between, Bau today morning I heard about the sense of humour of your dad. You know you take me to extremes with your spontaneity and wit but my friends were telling that I got to change my definition for extreme once I meet you father. Looking forward for the same.

Jai Gurudev
'J'

anshika said...

Nice 1 .... He He .... :-) :-)

Kaushik said...

cant stop laughing here at office in the middle of serious work. wonder what my colleagues r thinking :)

JGD,
Kaushik

Trinaa said...

"CAUTION - unauthorised removal of these chappals may result in premature reincarnation."..... BRILLIANT..!!

parth said...

Jai Gurudev,
as i am in bangalore,I will definately try to meet this man,during this navratri.....he must be a man to meet..lol.

Really nice post and well descriptive(and beauty of this artical, it is full of PART 1 course knowledge points.....)

Thanks
Parth

hamsa_tachyon said...

verry very funny!!

btw, thought you might enjoy this : today is celebrated
as the (a) Pi Approximation Day !! by baking pies in math depts all over the world! (tho' the two are not really related :) .. we haven't yet had a pi-recipe from you, tho' :)
There's also a Pi-day, but that's March the fourteenth ... :)

Suparna said...

Too good!!!

Vishesh Jain said...

"dance of the chappals" - ha ha ha !!!

really cool and spoofy title !!!

Viji said...

Very Nice... Have you been busy Bawa? This week it was mostly cut n paste kind of articles on ur blog - a lil like reading forwards, if u get what i mean ( no Bawa/Dinesh flavour).

Raghavan said...

L O "my tummy's aching so bad " L ;)
This guy ought to be given a Booker proze or something !

Jai Guru Dev,

Anupam Gupta said...

HAHA...mind blowing...seriously good one!!!!

Anupam Gupta said...

and i seriously feel its amazing...i mean this chappal fiasco HAS to happen to everyone...this last YES!++ i took 2 pairs...was so delighted to have lost...and (O MI GOSH!!!) found my chappals back..all in the middle of silence...just did not have to use the second pair..until about 2 hours before i was due to leave....its strange but it feels like a big test....

Jai Gurudev

Sweta said...

i had received this as mail an year or two ago and i was so much in love with this piece that i actually got its print out!

during the ttc...my sister and i brought similar chappals (cant help it...our choices are very much similar!) so in the ashram, both i and my sis broke our right foot chappals! so i was reminded of this mail! and i started wearing 2 left foot chappals!

i could have done business with Ivan but alas! my chappal size is only 6!

Anonymous said...

Jgd..
great!!!!:))))

O said...

*chuckles*

Tushank said...

hehe:)....dats a really funny post !... its quite interesting to know how losing chappals gives you an opportunity to implement all the knowledge points in one go :)

nis said...

Amazing, i had so much fun reading it. something similar happened to me as well when i was at ashram for navratri 5 yrs ago.
it sure refreshed my memory and those wonderful days, and my rounds to divine shop.

luv you all,
Joy gurudev.

Monica said...

hahaha!! what a beauty!!
'premature reincarnation" was The Best threat !!
too good.

Anonymous said...

Bawa, could you add a smaller sized photo of Ivan? It's kind of scary.... seriously!!!

Monica said...

and the pic of the brand new red chappal works like an explosion!! haahhaha... :D
this blog gets better and better :D

Monica said...

and the pic of the brand new red chappal works like an explosion!! haahhaha... :D
this blog gets better and better :D

Harsha Vardhan M.V said...

nice post ! waiting for more of ivan's post

"Faith is Giving Devine a Chance to ACT" said...

Waaohh!!! this is the way of writing ..all picturised in front of me and also reminded my missing chappals in Ashram (I was told i will loose my BAD Karamas if i loose my chappals in Ashram)...It was really nice to read :)

Jai Gurudeva!!

Priya said...

hhhhahah.. this one was cute!! :)

Bidisha Guha said...

hahah tht was BRILLIANT!!! can so totally visualize tht happening :)

Ashish Anand said...

Wow. As hilarious as one ever gets to read and yet so insightful.

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