This is an autobiography. You have read my stories in bits and pieces. Some of you might have seen my video on YouTube. For some, I am an inspiration. For others, I’m a survivor. While for many, I’m no one. I am writing this autobiography for the people to probably understand, what does a person like me go through and hopefully pave a path for the coming generation to find peace easier than I did.
I had never thought that I will write an autobiography until today, when my friend, my punching bag, Krushal gave me the title for my autobiography. It was his belief that motivated me to begin this journal/autobiography. If you survive till the end of this and you actually enjoyed it, you should thank him to make me do this. And if you don’t like it, you know whom to hold accountable for this.
Chapter one: Father’s family history
My paternal family hails from Ranchi. It used to be a small township back in 70s. It became the capital city of Jharkhand in the year 2000 but before that, it was a part of Bihar. Naxals, dangals, etc were common under the rule of infamous politician, Lalu Prasad Yadav. Which is enough to say, back in those days, masculinity and femininity were very strongly defined.
My father once told me, long before he was even born, his father and grand father were purely non vegetarian. The two of them would finish a whole goat for the lunch. But something changed.
My grandfather also had a younger brother. When they were young men, my grandfather and his brother met our spiritual guru and learnt tantra meditation, after which they adopted satvik food. Just to give a little brief, according to ancient sanatan dharma, the food were classified into three categories and no, those weren’t veg, non veg and eggeatarian.
The food were classified as tamasik, rajasik and satvik. Tamasik was the food habit that included meat, onion, garlic, etc. The word tamasik comes from the Sanskrit word Tamas which means dark. Basically, tamasik food is something that can make a person lethargic and slow. Rajasik is the food habit that can generate too much of energy or heat which can be for good or bad. However, satvik food is supposed to be balanced and keep the internal organs and mind healthier for longer time.
Although, in tantra practice, there’s no restriction on one’s food but it is suggested to have satvik food in order to keep the body healthier. Also, our guru promoted the idea of adoption the food habit according to the climatic condition or vegetation growth. For example, you can’t ask a person to live on plants where the land is covered in snow throughout the year.
Ever since then, our family had been following vegetarianism. Till today, I cannot think of having non vegetarian food. But to me, it’s more of a personal choice than the spiritual one.
My grandfather got married to a Jain girl. She used to mention that she was lucky that my grandfather was vegetarian because she didn’t have to worry about changing her food habits except for a few things, like the use of potatoes, which is prohibited in Jain culture. Although, it was an arranged marriage but my grandfather and great grandfather were open to the idea of inter caste, religion or culture marriages.
My grand parents had seven children but one of them passed away in a very young age due to some flu. Out of the six, the eldest was a girl. Then came my father, the eldest amongst the sons, the ideal son of the house who was supposed to carry the family legacy further. After him, there were three more boys and then the youngest was also a girl.
As you know by now, my grandfather was ahead of his time. In the days, when people used to marry the girls in a very young age, my grandfather allowed all of his children to pursue their studies.
My grandfather was a banker and grandmother was a housewife. The elder aunt took teaching as her profession. My father, well, we’ll talk about him after everyone else. The first uncle became lawyer and started working at notary. Second one, well he didn’t do much. He kept trying to make money by doing some kind of business which I don’t even know if it ever worked. The third uncle got the job as a banker when my grandfather passed away and finally, my youngest aunt became a samnyasii (priestess). Quite a diverse family, isn’t it?
Coming back to my father, he completed his masters in mathematics and did diploma in computer when computers were a rare thing in India. He worked in railways as an engineer. Then he worked as a tutor. Later, he had taken franchisee of some pharmaceutical company. Then he also had repair shop for electrical items. When the franchisee didn’t continue, he converted the shop into a phone booth (yeah, mobiles weren’t there back then). Later, he became principal of a school but we will discuss all that in details later.
I still don’t know what was it that my grandfather’s younger brother used to do. What I do remember about him is, he was ordered by our guru not to get married as he was trained in the ways of Kapalik meditation. No, he was not asked to carry a skull and trident to go and beg but just the mediation method.
However, he fell in love with a beautiful woman and decided to marry her, disobeying the guru’s order. When our guru heard about his marriage, he refused to bless the newly wedded couple. He told my grandfather’s brother, they will never have any child. I don’t know if that was an order which my grandfather’s brother obeyed or if it was a curse that our guru gave for disobeying him or if our guru somehow knew that they cannot bear a child due to some medical reason, but the truth is undeniable, they never had any child.
We had two buildings in one lane in Ranchi where my grandfather and his children lived after all the children grew up and there was a farm house where my grandfather’s brother moved after he got married. In that farm house, he and his wife raised two fierce rottweiler, a few turtles in a small pool, fishes, rabbits, parrots, cows, hens and pigeons. They had one caretaker in that farm house and his family and those people and pets became their family.
Out of all the pets, I remember, my favorite one was a parrot. His name was mitthoo and the reason why I used to like him the most is because he used to talk, which was so extraordinary to have in real life. I had always seen such parrots in movies or read about them in some story.
Initially, vegetarianism was a family tradition for me but as we grew, I grew fond of those pets. It was like they were a family. Even if anyone used to die, I used to feel terrible. It used to feel like a friend or a family member passed away. It became difficult to even think of having them served on the dinner table.