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  • Writer's pictureMadhusudan

Ram Hari

(Scene 1)

15th Nov 1982, Paunar Ashram, Wardha

Firecrackers lit the dark sky of Amavas. It is Diwali night, festival of lights. Whereas just few lamps are burning inside the Ashram.

In the corridor few women wearing white khadi sarees are chanting ‘Vishnu Shahastranaam’ softly, slowly, poetically.

Pravina Tai, a woman in her early thirties, holding a small bowl with hot oil in it, walks in a hurried manner towards the room, trying not to run.

“Ram-Hari, Ram-Hari” is softly heard with moving of two feet of a person lying on the bed. As if every breath was rhythmic to the chanting of these two words. It was difficult to say who was breathing who, was Vinoba chanting Ram or was it Ram chanting Vinoba.

Cut to

Gagode, A tribal hamlet with 80-85 huts situated in the midst of hillocks, near India’s western coast

8 year old Vinya is feeding a cow with his grandfather Shambhurao. Shambhurao (as he feeds the cow) : “Madhvirgavo bhavantu nah” (Sanskrit – May the cows yield us sweet milk) Vinya (patting the little calf) : Baba isn’t god in all , than why cows are regarded as the holiest ? Shambhurao : Because cow is like our mother, it nourishes our body and soul. “vinya, vinya”, A young girl calls from far. Uncle (Vinya’s father) is calling you Vinya takes leave from his Baba and starts to run.

Shot of two small feet running. Running through the village, greeting people on his way, just wearing one piece of cloth, running like a fearless deer, smiling, jumping and being naughty at the same time. (this scene is symbolic to his walk in later part of his life, where again he is walking in just one cloth, fearless with childlike innocence asking for land in bhoodan)

Vinya comes to a halt and finds his mother praying before the god, engrossed in deep devotion, tears streaming down her eyes, so heartfelt is the moment, vinya is transfixed and stares at her with admiration and awe. This is his first encounter with god.

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