One of The Mother’s many volcanic ideas that shook us in the school days and hooked us to her lasso is that the flowers decorating her photo need not be thrown away daily. Each flower, we were told, has the right to serve the divine as long as it remains fresh through shuffling and sprinkling of water. That was a radical challenge to the traditional canons of pollution consigning the basiphula to the drains round which lyricists have waxed eloquent down the years.
Das Gupta’s old age, in this context, is eminently defensible especially when juxtaposed with the example of the Prime Minister. But physical agility alone is no assurance for sound brain functioning. Erasure of large chunks of momory is liable to trigger warped decision making. Instead of holding others to ransom, therefore, better he quit with grace and serve the divine by cultivating Saksi Bhava. [TNM]