In January 1993, I found myself in Marble Rocks near Jabalpur in the very centre of India. Following another close encounter with death in Delhi, where I ended up in coma, paralyzed and finally on an emergency plane to France accompanied by the French Embassy, I had just spent the last couple of years recovering in my own unique ways. I had been living naked in caves on the canary Island of Gomera and in black Africa, had been travelling 6 months around New Zealand with my gorgeous kiwi girlfriend, and was just back in India.
But I felt that this hippy life wasn’t working anymore. I felt fed up. I could not bear the noise. The dirt started to disgust me.
I had experienced India as a member of a Bengali family, had learned the language and had had a great and immensely rich life in Calcutta. My few hippy years during which I travelled the country on 3rd class trains and local buses in every direction imaginable and discovered the most incredible places had left me with a sense of gratitude and fulfilment. I had been to the bottom of what I could experience there and my immune system collapsing so completely that I had to be escorted out in such a dire state was a sign that it was time to move on.
I decided to call it a beautiful story and jump into something new. We bought tickets leaving Jabalpur to Bombay and out of India forever. We still had a couple of days to hang out there and we met Nirdosh. He was a sannyasin and told us how his master Osho was born here and loved to hang out by this very river. He took us on a boat that full moon night in marble rocks. He transpired an unusual fragrance. Something about him was calling. He showed us a beautiful book of pictures from Osho’s ashram in Pune and explained that in just a few days there would be a huge carnival celebrating the death of his master. He suggested we stopped there on our way to Bombay. I was reluctant to have any more experiences in this country, but somehow, we changed the plan slightly to spend 5 days in Pune on our way out, and it was to be out forever!
And so on January 19th 1993, in the wee hours of the morning we got out of the train in Pune and made our way to the Osho Ashram having no idea who this Osho is and what to expect.
When I entered the “gateless gate” as it was then called, all my ideas vanished instantly. I knew I had finally found what I had been looking for. I knew I would stay here more than 5 days and that my life would see twists and turns, depths and highs, colours and forms that I would not even begin to comprehend. I ended up spending 21 years in Pune.