The Lake Sadhu

One particularly hot afternoon, Lena, Jennie, Jaspreet and I decided to skip asana class and go for a swim in the lake right next door to the Ashram. At the lake, we see a sadhu, an Indian holy man who spends his life walking all over India from ashram to ashram, swimming with 3 other ashram guest who looked extremely uncomfortable and had grouped closely together in the water.

The Sadhu had a crazy look, you know, when you look really really really happy? And had a more crazy laugh, a totally uninhibited laugh that carried with the wind. It was not how we were used to seeing a sadhu, who are normally quiet and usually like to be alone.

This Sadhu looked around 40, had burn scars all over his body, was high on the green, and was quite happy to interact with the people. Us people.

Jennie – ‘Right. since our man’s here I’m going to go straight in’ walks into the lake fully clothed from wrist to ankle

Madina, who had already been in the lake when we got there was waiting for the Sadhu to leave as she only had a shirt and swimming bottoms on. Unfortunately, it looked like the sadhu was waiting for her to get out.

Lena and I sat on the shore nervously as the sadhu tried to explain himself to us. Firstly, he was a Sadhu, showing us his sadhu ID card that was hanging around his neck in case we had any doubts. Secondly, he had traveled many places in India, displaying his little scrapbook where he had drawn dotted colourful Indian deities and listed cities, and thirdly, did we want a smoke?

Normally, I would think it quite rude refusing to have a smoke with a holy man. But this holy man did have an air of madness around him, with a slight hint of sleaze on the side.

We politely but firmly refused (4 times). The sadhu was disappointed – we were no fun.

Before he left, his message was loud and clear as he turned to the lake, arms up high and victorious as he shouts‘ ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!’