Sep 16, 2003


Subhash: Jay, can I speak to you for a while? In confidence?

Jay: Sure, why not. Go on.

Subhash: This is something that has been troubling me for a while, and I absolutely need to talk to someone about it, in fact you're the only one who'll probably understand best. It's about Mohan, actually, Mohan and you and me.

Jay: About Mohan? Mohanji? Ok.

Subhash: Well, have you noticed how he always seems to criticise me in the public meetings? I've always taken it as a blessing from my elder, that he actually pays me the compliment of complaint: for others, he wouldn't even bother. You know how we, especially you and me, have grown under his spiritual leadership. But of late, I can't understand this constant finger-pointing: he doesn't tell me anything in private, but I find it strenous to keep a devoted face when he is telling the audience what is wrong with my policies all the time.

Jay: Well Sub, you know how Mohan is. And you know how we've given him a special place in our minds, inspite of some others laughing at our supposed puppy-like devotion.

Subhash: I go about in each meeting, invoking his name, not to make capital out of it, but out of genuine affection. But I feel I deserve some respect in return too, I think I've earned it. I can't always sit through what sometimes seems to me as unjustified tirade, you know. Sometimes, in the heat of it all, I can only see his own foibles. I feel a strain is building between us, something I don't want to encourage, but is developing nevertheless. And... and there's you.

Jay: Me? You can tell me, I won't have any hard feelings. You know that.

Subhash: Well, you see, he never seems to run you down. I know he is much closer to you, and that your ideas and policies coincide much more than Mohanji's and mine do, so you're probably his heir in that sense. If not heir, then atleast his favourite son in the Party, the son who he turns to to first. Whereas I, who crave for his attention too and never get it and so try double harder to impress, look at you with envy. I'm being candid here, you know.

Jay: I've noticed his questioning remarks, but I really, really don't think Mohan has anything against you. But let's assume he has somehow developed a feeling against you. Now why would that happen? Would he think that you were some sort of rival to his legacy?

Subhash (smiling): Now, everyone knows that's not possible. You know it too, even if you're trying to play devil's advocate. No one can ever measure upto Mohan: we both can never believe that we're going to meet someone who influences us quite in the same way.

Jay: I know, so I feel you shouldn't think about this too much. You know how he is, he says what he thinks, also he can speak such things about people whom he knows can take it.

Subhash: But, and I'm not trying to be personal, he never does that to you! We all say things about Ali, because fundamentally Ali is a different creature in his thoughts, he respects Mohan, but nowhere in the same way as us. But between you and me, he obviously prefers you. I'm just Ekalavya at best, you are Arjuna. I don't want to seem bigheaded, but I think I have done more things, more novel and innovative things for the Party, and deserve to be acknowledged leader of it after Mohanji. What he did for us cannot be forgotten, but everyone, he included, know it is time for the next generation. I think I've been doing most things related to the job. You have obviously had other distractions, no one blames you for it, distractions that have taken you to Geneva and hence away from the centre of things here. I've willingly, inspite of my health, taken on the chores that no one else wants to do except talk about. But I think I don't get the recognition from many, but the one that hurts most is not being patted on the back by Mohan. I really find myself being alienated.

Jay: I really don't think he is doing this consciously: it is his style, and you know it. I personally think you've done a tremendous job and that your bold steps have sustained this Party through some difficult times especially when Mohan was unable to be in the thick of things. I honestly don't know how to assuage your feelings. Doesn't Mohan himself say that don't be dependent on others, but be your own master? Perhaps you shouldn't be so affected by what he says and does, if you believe in what you're doing. He may be a Great Soul, but he is still human.

Subhash: You don't know what I feel, simply because you get his affection without asking. I can only be envious about it, but I must take some solace from what you say. I don't want to be great, sometimes I feel that obtaining his grace is worth more to me than many other achievements that may come. But I will always carry the regret with me. I can only hope that this discontent will never blow up fully and cause me to oppose our mentor, but I cannot promise it. What I can promise, however, is to never forget how he, and you too in some measure, made a great difference to my life, and may I never do anything to whittle its importance.

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