"What is your role in the Convocation Drama?"

October 25, 1998



After interview…

Swami    : (To a student) Why you are sitting here? Why are you not practicing for the Drama (Convocation drama)?

Student    : After Bhajans, Swami.

Swami    : First practice… Bhajans later. How long did you practise yesterday?

Student    : Till 12 O’clock.

Swami     : But you wasted much of the time in talking. Till where did you practice?

Student    : We were practising the songs

Swami    : Yes, I know….I know… (To a student) What is your character?

Student    : Swami, Kabir’s Guru.

Swami    : What is his name?

Student    : Ramanand.

Swami    : Not Ramanand, Ra-ma-anand. Total how many boys?

Student    : Twenty-six, Swami.

Swami    : I told to take 30 boys. Who are the new boys? (To one of them) Is there any circus in the drama? Then how did they take you! What is your role?

Student    : Swami, I tease Tulsidas.

Swami    : Teach Tulsidas!

Student    : Kabir’s disciple.

Swami    : Kabir is short and you are so tall? What kind of selection is this! (To another student) What is your role?

Student    : Sarkar.

Swami    : Sarkar?

Student    : Businessman’s friend.

Swami    : (To another student) What is your role?

Student    : Business officer.

Swami    : (Smilingly) You are corrupt! Selection is not good. There is no uniformity and the characters are not fitting. (To a teacher) What is this selection! See Kabir is short and his disciple is tall!

Teacher    : Swami, he is not a disciple. He comes along with other citizens to Kabir.

Swami    : Citizen, then okay. (Showing another student) He tells that he criticizes Tulsidas in the drama.

Teacher    : Not criticising Swami. He comes along with a group and makes fun of Tulsidas.

Swami    : Criticising does not mean going on a stage and shouting. This is also criticising only. How long did you practise yesterday?

Teacher    : Swami, till 12 o’clock.

Swami    : But you wasted time talking.

Teacher    : Swami, we were practising the songs. Students know 
them by heart. I gave them the cassettes. They listened to it repeatedly to get proper lip movement.

Swami    : (Showing an actor in the drama) Can this boy sing the songs?

Teacher    : Swami, his voice is not so good.

Swami     : (Smilingly) Why? He talks quite well. Why no Brindavan boys? How many of them are there?

Teacher     : Swami, two of them are there. Since Prime Minister is coming (Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Chief Guest for the Convocation of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in the year 1998), the senior students of the Institute have been selected. In Brindavan there are no PG (Post Graduate) students.

Swami     : You should have explained them like that. See they are feeling bad. Anyhow it is your selection. Why only 26 boys? I told you to select 30.

Teacher    : Swami, some singers are also there. They exchange questions in the Qawwaali song.

Swami     : But singers are in the background.

Teacher     : Yes, Swami. But some are on the stage also.

Swami     : Institute singers?

Teacher     : Yes, Swami. Yesterday, Vice-Chancellor also came and saw the practice.

Swami     : He is also a good singer. Carnatic singer.

Teacher     : Swami, please come and see the drama.

Swami     : Now, nothing is ready. Let everything get ready, and then I will come.

Source: Students with Sai: Conversations (1991-2000)

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