The Golden Bridge - Arshad meets Veeresh

In 2004 Arshad was asked to write a chapter for a book about Veeresh, wich would have collect among his friends different authors  writing of their own most significant meeting with Veeresh. The chapter that Arshad wrote is published here below.
Copy by: author, Humaniversity

 
THE GOLDEN BRIDGE

Arshad meets Veeresh

 

At that moment everything, from the birds’ songs to my breathing, seemed to have stopped abrupltly, as if suspended, waiting for a rational explanation that might give me some sense.
I was totally aware of that unacceptable stillness, of every heart beat, of the landscape that would appear at the window behind, in that winter day that was in a no man’s land at the border with spring. But I had not plunged into the center of my being after sitting in peace, with closed eyes, under a tree. No, not like that. Instead I had reached that place suddenly, completely unaware, rather like somebody that, while driving light-heartedly, after a curve sees a truck coming in the wrong direction, hooting with all its might.  A plunge in the belly, fast thoughts that look for an escape, or at least a reason, cold feet in a paralyzed body.
In front of me, more or less in the same condition of extreme surprise, was Veeresh. With the body outstretched, he was still sitting in the very same armchair where he had jumped, shouting, the mouth still open, the eyes fixed on the hi-fi equipment, as if from there might come an explanation of what was going on. Then we both closed our eyes and surrendered to Osho’s voice.

Thanks to the love and friendship of Pujarin and Siddhakam, it was already a few years that I had been invited  to record the tapes that Veeresh would prepare for every group when he was in the Commune. It was a very particular experience and I considered myself very lucky every time it would occur; at least four days spent in the center of the typhoon, whose eye, Veeresh, would lead the group (a marathon of course), coordinate the staff, receive non-stops visits from friends, and derange the whole Commune. Meanwhile, in that meantime that results from stretching the time so that night is part of the day, we would produce tapes, mixing up bits of good music with rap; sound tracks on which Veeresh would record his deep voice, with texts related to the issues of the group that were written on the spot.

It was an almost impossible work, with very narrow times: you had to choose the music, start the recording, accomplish 60-90 minutes and then copy the master. Of course without having to make any mistakes, and when that would happen - and it would happen - you had to go backwards with the recording to the first staccato, the first silence with no mixing, and start everything again.

Well, for some time, when Veeresh was in Italy, I had the privilege to be assigned this task as I had the technical competence, having worked on radio and discos for many years. Therefore I enjoyed the enviable position of continously being in the whirling flow of energy that is created in groups and of understanding many precious things about working with people, coordinating and letting the staff grow and growing myself as well every time. Being in the position of an observer I was more protected from direct involvment than others, and that suited me well. I had more time with him than anybody else in those days: I was always in that room, “the office” of Gautama, a comfortable sitting-room with the properties of a rubber band, contrary to the laws of physics: I have seen it containing more people than the most unscrupolous japanese town planner would dare to imagine, and then being empty again. Yes with Veeresh that would happen and still happens. And when it would become empty only a few would remain, most of the time only Veeresh, Siddhakam and me. The three of us are not great chatters and we would spend long moments in which we would only share silence as a topic, a silence made up of silence and synchronicity, while the music would continue its work. At that time Veeresh had not started painting yet and silence was not accompanied by any doing except by sitting still. Little by little I became familiar with the situation, after many nights spent in that sitting room, sometimes going back to sleep, sometimes not even able to stand a 5 minutes drive back home. I would then let my body plunge on the leather sofa until I would be woken up by the vacuum cleaner of the morning set-up. And little by little the very core group of Gautama started trusting me and more and more frequently I was left alone with Veeresh, for those long moments of silence that, I had noticed, not everybody was always feeling at ease with.

That day I was going from home to the Gutama, where I was expected to start the recording, and I was already in the car, when a friend of mine, Marga, came towards me. A grinning little witch, hidden in a small featured body and big blue eyes, she would reach me with a resolute countenance and, while handing me through the window a transparent audio-tape with as faded printed letters as only in India would be possible, she said: “By chance, I listened to it last night and there is a piece where Osho speaks of Veeresh. I decided  to bring it to you. You could have him listen to it. I think he may enjoy it.” I thanked and, before throwing the tape in my bag, I asked her, in a matter-of-fact way, if she knew on which side the piece was and if it had already being positioned correctly. But, knowing her, while formulating the question, I was already expecting the answer, that was a smiling:
”I beg your pardon?”

 

So I found myself again in the Gautama office, with a tape where, at an undetermined point, Osho would speak of Veeresh, and I had to find the time to look for that point on one of those long indian tapes, so long you might have wrapped a mummy with. It was not an easy task but I threw myself into it. I decided to let the tape run in a loop on one of the readers connected to the mixer, at zero volume, so as to be always able to lend an ear to it any time I wanted with the pre-listening, hoping that, sooner or later, I would catch the exact point.

Once got it, I would proudly announce to Veeresh that I wanted him to listen to a passage where the Master was speaking of him. But many hours had passed and by then I was hanging the earphone askew on my head, one ear on the pre-listening, one on the recording, without too much hope.

 

 

 

Now we were recording one of his raps; the earphone was positioned on both ears, to listen to his voice on the microphone and to the music. Therefore the pre-listening of Osho’s discourse had been excluded. Everything was going smoothly. Veeresh had just pronounced the last sentence of his text and, with a gesture of relief typical of a recording room, I showed him the thumb and at the same time  lowered the volume of his microphone, raising slightly that of the soundtrack in the background, the earphone on my neck by now, as a witness that the tension was over and also this piece had been produced. 
It was at that moment that it happened: suddenly my left hand, as if striken by a brief and auto-conclusive Parkinson attack, raised the volume of Osho’s tape brusequely. Still I couldn’t figure out what had occured. For me it was a spasm, certainly not a voluntary movement. And what is more, I had been following a method for years: with the left hand I turn down and with the right up, it’s an automatic reflex. I would never have raised a volume with the left hand, and I would never have done it now, in the middle of a recording session!
Before I could think of all this, or even realize I had to turn the volume down, it was already too late:
in a fraction of a second, Osho’s voice entered, as a sword in the butter, neat and clear, on the tail of the piece that was fading away, crying out cheerfully:
“ Here is my Veeresh”  
And there he was, jumping forward from his armchair, thundering with a voice I had never heard before, not even in his most intense encounter groups that had become a legend.
“ Where did you get this stuff, man?!!!”

I remained frozen, for a very, very long moment, while my mind was running everywhere: where did I get this stuff? what did I do? what’s happening to Veeresh? oh my God, now he’s getting really mad; I can’t lower the volume any more; the recording has to be remade; when Osho makes a pause I stop everything; now I am going to ask Veeresh; no, it’s better not... and hundred other different versions on the same theme.

Then Osho continued his speech, his voice resounding in the dead silence, and, to my relief, there was nothing left to do but close the eyes.

“ When he comes here - Osho went on, as far as I can remember - he doesn’t bother to be seen, to inform me of his arrival. He sits always at the back, hidden behind a pillar, and he looks at me from far away, trying not to be spotted. But I know already he has arrived - laughters from the Auditorium - and I notice him. He thinks he goes unobserved, but it’s not true; and he remains concelead and looks at me with tears in his eyes. He thinks I have plenty to do, there are so many people, and doesn’t want to disturb me. He needs only to see me from far away, and then he goes back to Europe, to his people - laughters again - to take care of my sannyasin. That’s why I love him so much and he is one of my best therapist."

 

Inspired by what seemed to me the best conclusion and taking advantage of one of Osho’s pauses, I got the situation under control again, turned the tapes’ volume down to zero and stopped the recording, in a shy, almost reverential way. At the same time Veeresh burst into a desperate, unrestrainable crying, as only children seem to be capable of. As intense as the previous thundering that had frozen me, now I was melted.
Among his sobs and tears, I heard him saying, addressing the Master that had left the body a few years before:
“I miss him so much, I miss him so much..”, but he was barely able to speak.
For a while I thought to get closer to him, to embrace him or do something else, but the tangible presence of Osho, that had already imposed itself in the room through his words, got even deeper in my melted being, and made me understand I couldn’t avoid the splendid gift of simply being present in that precious moment, of simply listening to the echo of that incredible love inside my heart.
Burning tears were also flowing on my face and a throbbing pain was coming to the surface to be healed: “Master I became sannyasin and for years I have not visited you in India. Now you have left the body and I have never met you physically”. Up to that moment I had cheated myself: it had been very painful for me, to hear about Osho’s death while I was in Italy, when I had never gone to see him even being sannyasin since three years, at that time. But I had tried not to feel guilty, telling myself that, if that was the way things had come out, it had to be fine anyway and maybe I had never been supposed to meet him.
So far I had avoided to feel that pain, so big, so human, because I had also avoided to feel the immensity of his love and now I cried and cried, asking inside myself for his and mine forgiveness.
It was such a relief of a burden I had carried for a long time that when, after sometimes, we collected ourselves again, I felt lighter and the whole room seemed more shining. I had also the feeling of being somehow more sannyasin, more free and worthy, and also incredibly lucky.
Then somebody entered, bringing news of the group, and in a second Veeresh was ready, already totally elsewhere.

 Many years have passed since that first time when Osho’s voice got mixed “by accident” with some music, and like at that time, I feel immensely privileged when I see Veeresh, everytime I invite him to the Commune I have created with some friends. 

The first time that he came to the Osho Circle School, Humaniversity sent this text for the page of the program related to the group that he was going to have with us. The text was in my computer before being printed and I read it: Osho speaks of Veeresh:

“ It was exactly the day before yesterday that I spoke of one of my most sincere, honest and authentic therapists, Veeresh. Now, as I entered, I saw him again. He was crying like a child, in a state of pure joy. These tears are my creation. They will transform many people that will come close to him. With his tears he has created a bridge between his heart and mine, his being and my being. He is one of those silent workers that continue to work without showing off.”

 

Osho, from “ Satyam, Shivam, Sunderam”, cap. 30, 21 nov. 1987   

 

 

It was a speech he may have given a few days after the one we had previously recorded and it sounded to me as if it referred to that one.
Those tears, Master, those tears!
Now I understand what they were: a bridge between your heart and mine.
“They will transform many people that will come close to him. “ God knows how many!  And now it was clear to me how and why that had been bound to happen: his heart is a bridge for the Master, a golden bridge.
I read that sentence many times, remembering that uncertain spring day, when for the first time I had a flavour of that meaning. Then I looked around at the School that was just starting to be born, dreams coming true, and cried out of joy and gratitude. Gratitude for the Master and that wonderful man with whom in the past I thought I had an extraordinary relationship, while now I knew to have a wonderful relationship: the one with an extraordinary man.

 
_photo 1: Poone, by Muni
_photo 3: Osho Circle School, 2005

 
_ITALIAN VERSION