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Babu Narude

Today is a very special day for Babu Narude (Sir). He is my Yoga teacher at the institute where I go to learn and practice yoga. Babu Narude's elder daughter got married today. I am sure he must be a very relieved man; he was planning for it since time immemorial. I just came back from the wedding and the reception, the venue was in the Ram temple at Matunga, very near to the legendary Mysore Cafe where I just recently had the world's best dosas. And I am not even a southie food fan, but still if I really loved the dosas, that must be something.

Anyways, the wedding and the reception was quite good. And very well-attended. Practically every face that i can recognise at my Yoga institute was there. To be honest, I did not expect many of my colleagues to be there. After all, people have jobs on weekdays, you'd think they might want to spend the Sunday with their families. It took me just seconds after I entered to be proved absolutely wrong. I saw many familiar faces; Pravinbhai- our institutes resident stock broker who seems to eat, breathe, drink, live and sleep stock markets (or bajaar as he says) was there since the morning. And Patilsaheb was also there, on the stage manning the presents and gifts, Sir and his daughter got. They were looking like extended family.

I think somewhere today I saw the love and respect that we all have for Sir. I joined Yoga in February 2003 amidst a lot of skepticism. But I was quickly hooked onto it. I think- in a way- yoga grew in me. Thanks to Sir- who took me into his fold (I must have been extremely blessed to be assigned to his tutelage)- I soon took to Yoga as a habit. One without which I felt my day was incomplete if I couldn't go to my classes. The good part of the place where I go to is that there aren't any fixed classes or fixed times. Men are supposed to go anytime between 4 and 8.30 pm. Instructors lurk around, take rounds, keep tabs on students and supervise all of us. Sir is the most senior of all. I find him to be very dedicated. And he is the best part. I have always felt that no matter what the subject is, it can always be made the most interesting if the instructor is good.

At 56, his memory can put any of ours to shame. He must be having atleast 30 people- at any given point in time apart from the occassional dropouts here and there- but he would remember all of us by our first and last names. Since there are no fixed classes, each of us has our own cusotmised itenery. One that escalates with every passing month as we graduate to the next level. Sir would know each of our iteneries at the back of his palm. This, despite staring his day at 4.00 early morning when he wakes up, does his morning ablutions and catches the 6.15 am morning local to Churchgate. He stays at Virar, Mumbai's farthest suburban station the western railway. It's not easy to travel by second class from Churchgate to Virar, at this age. But he's got such will power and stamina thanks to his many years of disciplined living and yogic lifestyle, that at this age he sleeps for only about 5 hours every day and still is fresh at all times.

Today, on this happy occasion, his loved ones and students- such as I- were there to bless him. In a way, to thank him too for the all his wonderful teachings, to wish him luck and join in his happiness. People who bring happiness in other people's lives get happiness in return. Babu Narude is an exemplary instance of this thought.


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