“Stop This Talk,” Said My Mother-in-Law, But I Was 29 and I Was in Love

By Rashma Bhushan, 74, Delhi

It was 1973 and I had just boarded a six-hour flight from Nairobi to Bombay by myself, having left behind four small children, a busy husband and my mother-in-law whose skeptical voice accompanied me: “Stop this talk. You have a family. This path isn’t for someone who has responsibilities.”

But I was in love, a kind of love I had never experienced before. I was 29, and its pull was irresistible.

He was called Bhagwan (later Osho) and I had read his books for the first time a few months earlier. I’d stayed up all night reading them, and my mother-in-law had asked me why. “This man is dangerous,” I had said, my eyes wide. “Either I have been living my entire life upside down, or he is upside down. But whatever it is, from now on, I can neither live with him nor without him.”

And so the junoon (madness) began, destined to pull my entire family into the vortex of a seeker’s journey.

For all six hours of the flight, I was ‘talking’ to him. What would I write to my mother-in-law after meeting such a man? What should I ask him? What does divinity look like in human form? The thoughts bubbled in my head. As the airplane landed and city lights came into view, my eyes sought out the light of his home.

Half a day later, I arrived at his doorstep.

I was led to his room, where he sat alone in a corner. As I approached him with tears in my eyes, he said lovingly, “So you have come, Rashma. Have you come today? Have you come alone?”

I fell crying at his feet.

“What was all that you were talking to me in the flight?”

It has been 45 years. The devotion is still alive. And it has encased my family too in its fold.

First published in the July 2018 issue of eShe magazine.