Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Memories of the German Bakery

Our dear friend and astrologer Deepak sent us this lovely piece. We invite you to share your memories of the German Bakery here with us.

Memories of German Bakery
by Deepak

The German Bakery was my first and second and last home in Pune. It was the first place I stopped when I got there in 1991, and it was the last place I saw when I left Pune for the last time in 2006. It was the first place I went to in the morning to have a cappuccino and a smoke, and it was the last place at night I stayed until those early closing hours to have a cappuccino and a smoke. I usually sat around on the side where the sound of traffic was less than it was in the front.

The place was full of sannyasins in maroon robes in those early days, and that is where I got my introduction into sannyasin ways. I remember one crowded day when I asked a swami to pass me that stool next to him. He looked over at it, looked at me, looked at the stool again, and said, “Sorry man, but I don’t feel like it”.

“Wow, you can do things like that?” I thought.

Another time I walked in and saw a Westerner in street clothes talking on his cell phone. It was the first cell phone I had ever seen. The idea of talking on a cell phone in the midst of India in the middle of meditators was so incongruous to me that I just burst out laughing. He saw me laughing and smiled.

Another time my Italian girlfriend and I were standing out in the middle of the street in front and having argument number one thousand and fifty five. The street was still unpaved in those days, and North Main Road had no traffic after dark. She yells, and I yell, and we yell together in two languages, and she stomps her little feet and storms off to Yogi Park. I turn around and go into German Bakery to have a cappuccino and a smoke.

I sit down, and the guy next to me says, “You are Deepak?”

I know what’s coming and say with resignation, “Yeah.”

“You write that beautiful horoscope in the Osho Times, and you behave like that?”
I throw my hands up and say, “Yeah, paradox.”

I remember the little store next door where I had another expansion in consciousness. In America, customers stand in line, and then when the clerk is finished with one customer, the next customer steps up over the line. One at a time, one at a time. At this little store, all the customers would be talking to the clerk at the same time. With one hand he was giving change, with another hand he was reaching for an item on the shelves, and with the third hand he was taking money from another person. “Wow, polyphasic parallel processing,” I thought as I saw him multitasking simultaneously.

I spent thousands of hours chatting, talking, smoking, drinking cappuccinos, and eating Berliners at German Bakery. I met wise men that were older than me and could teach me things in some ways, Narendra in the morning and Purnananda in the afternoon. I met friends and lovers and strangers and newcomers and old sannyasins and ashram exiles. People were from all over the world, and ten different languages would be going on. It was a mind-expanding and heart-opening space to be. I lived in Popular Heights for a long time, and it was on the way and easy to stop. I stopped there many, many times.

The German Bakery was a home to me, and now it has been blown up and is gone. My own home where I grew up as a little boy is now an empty lot. My grandmother’s house where I would stop after school and have a piece of chocolate cake is now an empty lot. So many people I have loved and have been my guides and teachers are gone. All of this life has been maya, transitory, and shifting dreams. The wise men were right. The only place to go is to go In.

Deepak's website is http://www.astronlp.com

Sourced from Viha Connection magazine

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