Hajji Baba of Pakistan, who is now* nearly one hundred and ten years old, was present at my father's marriage and he had come with the marriage party to my mother's place. It created a great stir in the whole Jaina community, because it is a tradition that when the bridegroom comes to the house of the bride they have to be received on the boundary of the town, and the chief of the family has to be garlanded. A turban, a very valuable turban, has to be put on his head, beautiful shoes made of velvet have to be put on his feet and he is given a robe, specially made for him.
My (paternal) grandfather said, "Hajji Baba is the chief of our family." Now, a Mohammedan, chief of the family of a Jaina…my mother's father was at a loss-what to do? Hajji Baba was saying, "Don't do this." But my grandfather was never able to listen to anybody. He said, "It doesn't matter. Even if we have to go back, we will go back, but you are my family's chief I have always been like your younger brother, and how can I be received when you are here?"
There was no other way; my mother's father had to receive Hajji Baba as the chief of the family.
In the past there were children married before they were ten. Sometimes children were even married when they were still in their mother's womb. Just two friends will decide that, "As our wives are pregnant, if one gives birth to a boy and the other gives birth to a girl, then the marriage is settled, promised." The question of asking the boy and the girl does not arise at all. They are not even born yet. They are not even certain yet whether both may be girls, both may be boys. But if one is a boy and another is a girl, the marriage is settled. And people kept their word, their promises.
My own mother was married when she was seven years old. And her parents had to tie her to a pillar inside the house when the marriage party was coming* and there were many fireworks. And at the reception there was music and dance. And everybody was out of the house, and my mother reminds me still that, "I could not understand why only I was left inside the house and tied! They wouldn't let me go out." She had no understanding what marriage was. She wanted to see, like any child, everything beautiful that was happening outside-the whole village had gathered, and she was crying.
My father was not more than ten years old, and he had no understanding of what was happening. I used to ask him, "What was the most significant thing that you enjoyed in your wedding?"
He said, "Riding on the horse." Naturally, for the first time he was dressed like a king, with a knife hanging by his side, and he was sitting on the horse, and everybody was walking around. He enjoyed it tremendously. That was the most important thing that he enjoyed in his wedding.
A honeymoon was out of the question. Where will you send a ten-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl for a honeymoon? So in India the honeymoon never used to exist, and in the past, nowhere else in the world either.
And when my father was ten years old and my mother was seven years old, my father's mother died. After the marriage, perhaps one or two years afterwards, the whole responsibility fell on my mother, who was only nine years old. Two small daughters my father's mother had left, and two small boys. So four children, and the responsibility on a nine-year-old girl and a twelve-year-old son.
My (paternal) grandfather never liked to live in the city where he had his shop. He loved the countryside. He had his own beautiful horse. And when his wife died he was absolutely free. You will not believe it, but in his time-and it is not long ago-the government used to give land to people for free. Because there was so much land, and there were not so many people to cultivate it.
So my grandfather got fifty acres of land free from the government. And he loved living sixteen miles away from the city where he had left the whole shop in the hands of his children-my father and mother-who were only twelve and nine years old. And he enjoyed creating a garden, creating a farm, and he loved to live there in the open air. He hated the city.
Now how can you think that there could be a generation gap? My father never had any experience of the freedom of young people of today. He never became young in that way. Before he could have become young, he was already old, taking care of his younger brothers and sisters and the shop. And by the time he was twenty he had to arrange marriages for his sisters, marriages and education for his brothers.
I have never called my mother, "Mother," because before I was born she was taking care of four children who used to call her Bhabhi. Bhabhi means `brother's wife'. And because four children were already calling my mother bhabhi, I also started calling her bhabhi. Even today I call her bhabhi, but she is my mother, not my brother's wife. And they have tried hard to make me change, but it comes so natural to me to call her bhabhi. All my brothers and sisters call her mother. Only I am crazy enough to call her bhabhi. But I learned it from the very beginning, when four other children…
And then I had a rapport with my uncles and with my father's sisters, a friendliness. They were a little older than me, but there was not much distance. I never thought of respect. They never thought of respect to be received. They loved me, I loved them.
It was a totally different world just seventy years ago. Generations were overlapping, and there used to be no youth. Now youth has come into existence and it will be growing bigger, because as machines are going to take more and more jobs in the factories, in the offices, what are you going to do with people? They cannot be left doing nothing, otherwise they will do something absurd, something irrational, something insane. They will go mad. So you have to extend the period of their education.
*Note: Osho's mother was restrained because it was the custom that the bridal couple not see each other before the wedding ceremony
My diabetes is my inheritance. My great-grandfather had it, my grandfather had it, my father had it, I have it, all my uncles have it, all my brothers have it. It seems to be something intrinsic, so it cannot be cured; it can only be kept in control.