First meeting with Sri Guruji
The first meeting with the great colossus occurred in the life of this writer when he was just a Shishu (child) Swayamsevak at Ernakulam, sometime after the first ban on RSS was lifted in 1949. Sri Guruji was on a whirlwind tour of the country and he came to Cochin State, now part of Kerala. There was big gathering to see this great man. This little Swayamsevak who was also sitting in a row at the Sanghasthan wanted to have a closer glimpse of the saintly personality. He stealthily jumped to the front of the row, but the Sangh Pracharak in charge noticed it and caught him by the ear and pulled him back to his place. Two penetrating eyes from the podium noticed what was happening. After the program was over, Sri Guruji summoned by his side this little boy with a clean shaven head, wide ears and a nose that had turned into red because of anger, patted on his back and after enquiring his name, jovially remarked that you looked like ‘Gajamukh’ (Lord Ganesha) when you were angry. He then gently advised that we came to the Sanghasthan to learn discipline and breaking the order was not good. “N w you can have a close look” he told the boy and hugged him. This first impression was the best.
Many years later, when this boy became a youthful and active Swayamsevak at Tiruchirapally in Tamilnadu where he had settled down, Sri Guruji came to the town and there was a baithak (gathering) of karyakarthas (workers). The local Pracharak introduced the young to him saying, “Rangaranjan, from Srirangam”. To the utter surprise and amazement of all including this writer, question came from Sri Guruji, “He is the Gajamukh of Ernakulam, Isn’t it?” That was the prodigious memory of Sri Guruji. He could remember the names, places of origin and breadth of the country. For him all Swayamsevaks were members of his large family and as head of the family, he had keen interest to know everything about them. Sri Guruji asked the Pracharak about the Shakas in the town. When the list was presented before him, he mentioned a particular place and asked whether there was a Shaka there. The pracharak remarked that Shaka was yet to be started there. Then Sri Guruji said that many years ago when he had attended that. Later it was checked up and found that there did exist a Shakha in that place and it was shifted to a neighbouring place after sometime.