Remembering “Guru Bhai”
One might be astonished as to why I referred to the late Vinod Khanna as "Guru Bhai". Our acquaintance was through Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, my Guruji. I use the term "Guruji" because we went to him for spiritual guidance, and that in turn enhanced our human values such as love and empathy. Vinod Khanna was also a disciple of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. All his disciples, irrespective of age and profession refer to each other as "Guru Bhai", hence I called him that. Vinod Khanna's life was definitely very colorful and memorable, because he was one of the most recognizable faces in the Indian film industry. Bollywood pretty much owes its current international status due to the hard work and contribution of such pivotal stars. He was the perfect combination of manly looks, charm and acting skills, and I had grown up watching his films during our early days.
I had only recently found out that Vinod Khanna was very sick. He did not seem so when I last saw him at our ashram, which was the Art of Living centre. It is to be noted that when anyone is at the centre, they leave behind their "star" identity outside and they are like any other disciple who are there. I have a very bad habit, and that is the fact that I cannot bring myself to visit people when they are extremely sick. That is because I want the memories of my beloved ones to be happy ones; in which they are in their prime and peak of happiness. You could say that it is a very selfish attribute of mine. In the future, if I am sick and suffering I will not expect anyone to visit and talk to me about my sickness. If no one comes, I will accept that.
I will share one of my experiences with Vinod Khanna. It was a few years ago, it was his birthday on that day. Vinod Khanna himself was a huge surprise for our Guruji, it was a classic bollywood musical night. The occasion was momentous, as the Art of Living centre was decorated beautifully. There was a majestic chandelier and it was filled to the brim with amazing lights. Many famous and amazing singers from the ashram were also present, most notably Gayatri from South India who is quite famous for her talent and playback singing there. I cannot describe in words how sublime the experience was. Vinod Khanna himself was humming along merrily and to my surprise, he had a really good singing voice! Who would have known seeing him at that moment that he would pass away with such an illness? I pray that wherever he is now, he is at peace.
By Rafi Hossain