Atheist Centre 1940-1990 Golden Jubilee
International Conference Souvenir
Vijayawada, February 3, 4, and 5, 1990
[OCR, HTML, editing, by Cliff Walker]

A Date With The Future
Dr. Sarma Marla
West Germany

It was hot in the morning hours and it was a bit drizzling. I came out of the hut and met Goraji when he was sweeping. He gave me a broom and said let us sweep together. It was an experience for me, getting educated in Europe, and when I touched the broom, for the first time in my life, he had shown me how to work with the broom. He said "It is not the dirt we are sweeping, it is the accumulated history, we are cleaning out".

We got settled down in his hut, we discussed about non-violence, Mahatmaji, harijans and the suppressed and disinherited Indian women. I was hearing to him because his radiance and the charming spell had made me speechless and mute.

Change of the Scenario

In the misty and hectic street of Heidelberg in West Germany. We walked through. We went to the Institute of Sociology, University of Heidelberg where there was a big demonstration against the inhumane war against Vietnamese people by the imperialist Americans. With his dhoti and with the shoulder bag, radiating peculiar to his nature, the beauty of non-violence, he became a focal point for thousands of demonstrators there. People started storming towards him and wanted to discuss with a new Gandhi. His humble answer was "Killing a man is very easy, but you can't reforce the dead into rebirth".

The history has taken its own course. We wandered along the banks of Neckar river. People were staring at him because he looks like Mahatmaji. One old woman stepped towards us and said in German. "The Gandhi is not dead". With his typical humility, Goraji replied, "I am a normal man, Gandhi had died long back" and then we proceeded, looking at the ripples of the Neckar river, the old bridge and the old castle. We sat on a bench and then he said "Here I found my tranquility" and then he continued, "But my work is in India, though I may not find tranquility, my Bharat gives me Solace".

This is a tribute to Goraji