‘Babagiri : I always knew I wanted to master it more than the more popular act- ‘Dadagiri’. After all any road side rowdy could also be a ‘dada’. But for a classy act of squeezing the last penny out of the gullible auntie and uncle who would still sing, ‘I’m loving it!’, one had to be a Baba.
I adored Babas as much as India adores them or Sunny Leone, not necessarily in that order.
When I was a baby, I knew that I was a born Baba. That enlightenment dawned when I saw my parents expressing their love to me.
When they were happy and in play mood, they will look at my then cute face, my roly-poly frame which I desperately try and maintain still, my hairless scalp which till date signifies a large part of my sex appeal and then roll their eyes, make funny faces at me and call me Baba instead of the name they would use in normal times. ‘How are you Baba?’ ‘Oh, my cutchie-cutchie Baba!’ Or just ‘Ole, Ole, Baba’. And I would laugh out loud, raise my hand and bless them in the way a professional Baba does. That was fun!
When I went to Kinder garden, I realized that Baba was a badass cool dude whom we would sing lullaby’s for. I pronounced Baa Baa as Baba and was happy to note that Baba-cool was a black sheep and had the goodies that everyone wanted, right from the master to the dames and even the boys who lived down the lane.
As I grew older and older, I saw Babas occupying holy places and ruling our minds by instilling fear in them. This Baba was a great salesman and his commodity was God. His USP was the fear of God. And how people fell for his charm! After all we are God fearing fools. Baba’s sale pitch was an instant buy for distressed souls and also for souls who feared being in distress.
A Hindu Baba would walk into the house on a ‘Shanivar’ or a Saturday pronounced more like a ‘Shani-vaar’ or the assault of the God who represents bad omen.
A Muslim Baba would walk around with a broom in hand and utter some gibberish while moving the broom as a weapon all over the place, sometimes resting it on the scalp of the bowing head and create magic! Then he would sometimes take a ‘Tabeez’ out and offer it to be worn on kept at a secret place to ensure that you are protected from evil eyes.
A Christian Baba would stand in a corner with a cross hanging, a Bible in pocket and some water in a glass. He would utter some Pslams in ancient English, sprinkle the holy water all around and definitely on the foreheads of bowing heads and announce that the judgement day was just around the corner and it was time for us to seek mercy for our sinful lives.
And Lo! Mothers and grandmothers and aunties and fathers and grandfathers and uncles would shiver with fear, come out with their offerings to the God’s agent, Baba lest they face difficult times ahead.
I LOVED the Babas and their acts. They were kickass smart and they knew it. They were buddies with God and protected us from God’s wrath. Or was that of the Devil? Never mind, it all seemed same to me as somebody, somewhere was angry but yet we were Ok as we had our Superman, Spiderman, Batman all rolled into one- our friendly neighborhood Baba!
Babagiri evolved over ages. Especially in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
Besides their home turf of religion, spirituality, yoga, tantric-kriyas and black magic, slowly the Baba turned naughty!
Not that he was not naughty enough earlier. In ancient times, we had our very own Vatsayana who mastered the art of loving (sounds familiar right!) and taught us sixty-four different asans or postures to enhance pleasures out of sexual endeavors. We also had Babas literally painting or rather sculpting the walls of Khajuraho temples red with visual display of their sexual prowess in various stages of love making.
Back to the future in the current ages, we had our own Rajneesh who not only guided our spirits to freedom but who described that an act of sex was another way of being one with the God himself. As if God was standing at the end of the vaginal cul-de-sac. From sex to super-consciousness, the libido route to enlightenment! And quite naturally, his ashrams became famous for orgies world over. With his Sadhus and Sadhvis transforming their lives, displaying their devotional energy during foreplay, the meditative act of love making and the relaxed after play, Osho took Babagiri right inside the bedrooms of the ultra-rich. And boy he made big. From unaccounted wealth, hundreds of Rolls Royce, diamond studded caps, he had it all.
Babagiri was now super cool. And addictive!
As the world turned digital, the Baba knew that his time had come. It was important that he moved out of his temples, churches and mosques and occupied the virtual world so that he was omnipresent, easy to reach and ruled the minds. Completely. After all, that is where the moolah was! Doth appeared the Tech-sauvy Baba. He was on TV Channels, on websites, portals, apps, facebook, twitter,…… Everywhere. His aspirations were big. He wanted to occupy every square inch of space that caught our attention. And he did that in style.
Babagiri was now a business! A multi-billion-dollar business.
And Baba did it all himself. No more was a middle man or an agent required. The Baba was the main lead himself.
He owned his own TV channels and marketed his own programming of spiritual discourses and moral science lectures.
He ran his own fitness centers and Ashrams and again show cased his prowess on multi-media himself.
He built his own corporate empires and sold everything there from creams and herbal medicines to jeans and noodles.
He acted in movies, beat the villains blue, rode fancy vehicles, sung melodies.
He even edged the politician away and took over the role of your favorite politician and very easily showed that he was as much adept at Raja Yoga as Bhakti Yoga.
What next? Guess Baba is there everywhere! Nothing seems to have been left behind.
Oh yes, before I forget there is another hidden talent that the modern Baba possesses. That of being a Bhai or a Dada. You come in the way of his Babagiri and he can conveniently show his Bhaigiri. Even Dadagiri!
Alas now that I have wasted almost a half century trying to live a life of an ordinary law abiding citizen, it’s time I rise from my slumber and get back to being a Baba that I was in my childhood. The only change would be that it won’t be childlike, but all spirited, mean, and kickass. As the new-age Baba.
There is no other way, I could make millions in this lifetime and still have all the fun.
Hey Baba, take me in your shelter. Teach me the skills to become a successful Baba!
Asaram, you are my only ‘aas’! Teach me Babagiri and let me know how to turn a human into an ass!
Posted in Times of India on 20th April 2017. Link below-