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July 15, 2020

Books I Am Loving

Unusual times such as these give opportunities for things I haven’t take time-out for in recent years: like reading a good book! One I just finished is authored by my good friend and occasional tennis-partner, Gyata, who lives with her beloved in Cazenovia, New York.

It is one of life’s great joys having a tennis partner with whom one can play totally, 100%, without holding back. Gyata is one of those people for me. We first met and played on the Pune ll Resort courts that Osho asked to be built. These courts were a source of great joy (and good exercise!) for many, many people.

I am trying to remember the time when I first learned tennis. It must have been during one of my summer breaks in high school. I do remember considering myself good enough to enter a county tournament in which I got shredded, humbled, and knocked out in the first round to my great embarrassment. This experience was a stepping stone to wanting to improve my game and learn more. So, I took tennis as a PE elective in my sophomore university year. Three of my best friends were also in the course. We had a lot of fun games together, especially in the evenings under the lights after classes. I have many fond memories from this time.

After university, I had a long gap from playing. It wasn’t until I went to Uruguay in 1986 to join Osho that I picked up the game again. The house where Osho was staying in Punte Del Este had a tennis court. I found some decent racquets in the clubhouse and sometimes in the late mornings during our free time, Rafia and I would have a hit. We even persuaded Nirvano and Shunyo to join a few times which was a lot of fun.

When Osho returned to India, I had a partner in Mumbai before Pune ll started. We were evenly matched and this kept me in shape especially as I did weights every other day. And of course, once the courts got built at The Resort, I began playing more regularly. Even on the tours, I would often find courts and partners to play with along the way. I have memories of some great clay court games at Osho RISK in Denmark; Parimal in Germany; and some summer hits in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. On the USA tours, Amlas and I always carried our racquets in the van. There were even times we managed to route ourselves through Cazenovia to have a hit with Gyata, Chuck, and their friends.

Tennis for me will always be a Love Game, as Krishna Prem is fond of calling it. So it was with great joy last week to receive a signed copy of Gyata’s new book, “On The Ball: Doubles Tennis Tactics for Recreational Players”. And I must say, I enjoyed it from start to finish — without leaving the couch! Yes, of course reading about the game it is not quite the same as being physically on the court with friends. But as I read through the pages, I felt an old passion kindled for the great game tennis is. I also felt gratitude for all the joy it has given me in this lifetime. I even got my old racquet down from the shelf. And yep, the strings are still tight. Ready to go. God knows I could use the exercise!

If you are interested in purchasing Gyata’s book, contact her at Highly-recommended.

“Osho, What is the most important word in our language: Tennis, meditation, chi-chi, mangoes, suntan, women, philosophy, exotic beaches, cricket, instant coffee, or jazz music and skinheads?

“Milarepa, I know you are crazy, but if I answer your question truthfully it will also drive the police commissioner of Pune crazy, because none of these words you are mentioning have any importance.” The Great Pilgrimage: From Here To Here #23