A Mad Wheelchair Ride
While teaching meditation classes together Subarata and I often told jokes about each other and we each had a repertoire of amusing stories.
Once we ran 50 miles on a Saturday to celebrate Guru's weightlifting – and on the Sunday gave a one-day workshop in meditation. Both of us were extremely tired and during the mantra section, after a few initial 'Aums', we both fell fast asleep.
About 20 minutes later I heard a loud snore from the other side of the room – and awoke to see Subarata lolling back in her chair, mouth open, deeply asleep. I began chanting again and the amazed audience joined me, finally waking Subarata up.
She would often tell this story in classes but claim that it was I who fell asleep and snored, but to this day I know it was her. In subsequent classes it was always a race to tell this story first at the other's expense.
Once a really eccentric man in a wheelchair attended our classes – I spotted him at the bottom of our stairwell and suggested we keep quiet, but Subarata sprang to help him. So we hauled him up the stairs where he scratched and muttered through our class, disturbing everyone incessantly. Finally it was time to help him back down. All went well until about halfway down when I suddenly lost control – and so began a mad wheelchair ride all the way to the bottom. We bounced frantically downwards, gaining speed and momentum and bounding over the steps with the wheelchair occupant shouting and cursing. We flew over the last steps and out into the roadway where we came to rest at last, shaken and pale.
Predictably, our unwelcome visitor never returned...