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The Mother


Volume 1

October (?) 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)


Mother, after seeing you, I received a letter from my Bangalore friends. They have just bought an old Mogul residence and gardens in Hyderabad that used to belong to the Nizam... They suggest that their new property would be an enchanting setting for writing the book I have felt like writing for years but never wrote because I was always on the move. Anyway, they have made it clear that should I have qualms about staying with them too long, it would be easy for them to find me some lucrative work that would not be too time consuming – which would allow me to write or do whatever I wish – with their friend the Maharajah of Jaipur, or even in Hyderabad.

All this tends to kindle something in me and ignites many temptations that correspond to very diverse, and not very satisfied, elements within me.

To complete the picture – for I don't know what inspiration compels me to expose all this to you in such detail – I must tell you that these friends are opium users and that opium has played an important role in my life and continues to exert a strong attraction over me, the attraction of oblivion.

So that's the situation. All this is in conflict within me and all the more so since it is happening now, in my present state of mind that you know so well.

It seems unlikely that I would know how to resist... and yet nothing in me is sure, since I am impelled to write you in the hope of who knows what miracle that might show me my way and convince my whole being.

Mother, I would like at the same time to be your child and to leave!! All this is tearing me apart. Where is the solution to such an impossibility?

I am scarcely worthy of being your child.

But that's how it is.

Signed: Bernard

in French

in German