The television trick

One television station was supposed to interview both Zatopek and me. Then they changed their mind and said that they would interview only Zatopek. But Abarita said, "No. Zatopek came to Zurich at our request. If our Master cannot be there, then we will not allow Zatopek to be there." So Abarita cancelled it.

Then these rogues said, "We have changed our mind. Both of them should come." Around ten o'clock we went there and were taken to the main studio. In fifteen minutes' time we were supposed to be on television. A young girl came and put powder on Dana's face and on Zatopek's face. Then she went away. Immediately I got the point. I said, "They are playing a trick." So I stood up and asked Abarita, "Now, go and ask them if I will be in the interview. " Abarita asked them and they said, "No, we have changed our mind again. Only Zatopek and his wife will be there."

It was so hot there with all the studio lights. I started going into another room — but not actually outside the building — so I could watch the interview more comfortably on a television set. But then Abarita came up to me and said, "It will look very odd if you go away. No, please stay here."

I said, "I know, but it is so hot."

Then the interviewer came up to me and said, "We have a special place for you. Please come."

The special place was a seat with the jokers in the studio who only clap. There were about sixty or seventy who had come to watch the show. They put me in the front row. As soon as I joined them, they began cutting jokes and screaming and doing all kinds of things. Fortunately, I didn't understand their language. They were behaving as if they had come directly from a zoo; they were mocking and all that — the way you see them behave on television. While Zatopek and his wife were being interviewed, they showed pictures of his Helsinki performance. At one point, Zatopek broke in and started talking about me. The interviewer immediately changed the subject. But when Zatopek mentioned my name, for two seconds the camera turned towards me and I was on television. So people saw me for two seconds. The rest of the time it was all about Zatopek. They did not allow him even to talk about me.

When it was all over, immediately Zatopek grabbed me. He felt very sad. With a very sorrowful face he said, "You are a very, very great, creative personality." I said, "What can you do? It is not your fault. Everything is for the best."

Sri Chinmoy, Salutations, numbers 1-4.First published by Agni Press in 1981.

This is the 449th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Salutations, numbers 1-4, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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