My coach SaumitraLast but not least, I visited my former coach, Saumitra, a German runner who coached me in India. Now he is head of a school which has three or four thousand students. He is the father of three sons and he does not run anymore. He has lost a lot of his hair, but nobody can defeat me in losing hair. He looked at me and I looked at him. In silence we talked about our hair.
I spent an hour and a half with him. What a moving experience! We talked and talked and talked about many, many things. He gave me the greatest surprise. In 1958 I had given him a small album with some pictures. Also, I had composed two songs about him. One was sung in front of the head of the ashram by two hundred athletes. He has kept that song plus the other song I had composed, one of my pictures and the album. Projjwal had sent him a photograph of me running a marathon. He has kept everything like a treasure. I had totally forgotten about the album and the pictures, but he has preserved them under lock and key in a cupboard with his most valuable things. He brought them to me with such concern and care.
We discussed many, many things and gave each other tremendous joy. His wife is extremely spiritual. When he was in India, he was not yet married.
Our old friendship we revived. At one point I said, "You were an excellent coach but I was a hopeless case."
He said, "I never told you that you were a hopeless case. It is all your mental creation!"
I said, "I could not learn your way."
He said, "But that does not mean you were hopeless. In your own way you did so well."
That was Saumitra.