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Corespondență: Sergiu Al-George – Maitraye Devi

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1972.11.12

Dear Mr. Sergiu Georgi

The letter I wrote to you last week stands partly cancelled I am no more worried about the facts or fantasy of the novel. Let our name move together where the truth and untruth of this world becomes meaningless in the great ocean of Reality.

I hear he has dedicated another book to me in French (?) where he has asked my forgiveness in Bengali. Do you know of this book? Could you tell me why he has to proclame his love to the world for the ears of the strangers but not send even a copy to the person concerned? Am I only a name to him? Have I no content? Your friend has treated me cruelly cruelly indeed. I was insensible to it till you came here and my brother came back from your country. The lid has been taken off the deep recess where for forty years was kept sealed a wound – it is bleeding now, bleeding afresh, bleeding profusely. I do not know the meaning of it or how shall I recover.

Why must he treat me as a phantom moving in 1930 and not a human being with body and soul? May be he wants to live in a make-believe-world and is afraid to face the fact that we have both afeard. But does not he with his great learning know that mind does not wear a skin and it never wrinkles. In our heart we are the same person same forever, same from the beginning to the end. Please let me know whether you have written to your friend that you have met me and what are his reactions?

You owe this to me Sergiu since you have been the instrumental to rock the bottom of peaceful rational attitude of my stable life and have put it up side down so that reason has gone below and bubbles of emotions are coming up. This must somehow be put right or I will be able to bear it no longer.

Thank you for the photographs. Kindly send a copy each of both the books.

With best wishes and waiting for an early reply.

13/1 Palm Avenue
Calcutta 19.

Yours sincerely
Maitraye Devi


1972.12.02

My dear Sergiu Georgi

I have received Amita’s letter. She has written to say that Mircea’s friend has written to him asking for a letter according to my wish. I am repenting it now, as it is no more necessary for me.

But this time you must be thinking that I have gone off my head. But I must give you a full detail of what happened after you came. Kindly show this letter to Mircea’s friend and tell him to do me a favour and write to Mircea again that I am no more afraid but I am happy that he has written all that was true for him because that is the only recognition he has given to a supreme truth of our life. Kindly ask him one question if he has forgotten me now? Dear friend, I am going to tell you a strange story. I am fifty eight years old I have written fourteen books I am running three institution of social welfare you must know why such a person is behaving like a school girl today.

Mircea has walked out of my my life forty two years ago. I waited four years for him. Then I was married off at eight days notice with a person whom I met only on my marriage night. I was even up to that night waiting to hear Mircea’s footsteps. I dreamt he would come and rescue me at the last moment. However my husband is a very kind man all through these thirty seven years he has been very kind to me and has given me absolute freedom to run my life as I wish. We have been able to build up an ideal home.

I tried to forget Mircea I tried hard and I thought I succeeded. Sometimes I felt why we could not build up a normal friendly relation. I thought it would have given me peace to exchange letters sometimes. I wrote to him twice he never replied. I do not know why he has been so unnecessarily cruel to me. His silence was like a rebuke for a fault that I have not commited. I mustered up all my strength to forget him until I was almost certain that his existance means nothing to me – when in 1920 I heard that he has mentioned me to some one – I thought I must write to him and see if he responds to my call. He did not reply. I felt hurt but I made another effort to forget him forever, I said to myself this is the last time I think to him.

Then you came Sergiu. You must have noticed that I was very casual about him. I told you about my successful life. When that book of which I have heard so many times but never knew the details you gave me, came as a shock – I was thinking of my reputation – how silly of me. For full one month I rocked in fear – I wrote to you and Amita seeking your help. But gradually truth downed like the morning sun its light fell on the inner recesses of my heart and dispelled pride prejudice and conventions. What does it matter if my reputation is hurt. Love is greater then reputation. Oh! I am grateful to him for all that he has written because that is the only recognition he has given to a supreme truth of our lives. Yes that is the only one. For last two months I have not slept, my eyes are never dry. He has come back to me not in memory but as if in living presence and is holding my heart with his powerful hands as he held forty two years ago. It seems I am living in eternity were past present and future single in one stream. We are still alive in this beautiful world why can we not communicate? I would now go to the end of the world to see him again. The sudden realisation of the tragedy of my life have upset me in such a way that my whole family now know about it. My husband, my daughter, my brother and sister all know, I have told them everything even the details I see that world even here has changed much. Nobody is blaming me. My husband and my daughter urges me to go to him to see him if that would give me peace.

I do not know whether such things can be believed even in a story that such a thing could happen after so many years when I am a grand mother. How can a person whom I have not seen for forty two years mean anything to me and how I who was only otherday so much concerned about my reputation could admit freely to every one all that I have been wanting to hide. The story of my indestructible love covers all shame.

I have now written a letter to him giving the full details of my side of the story.

Amita says it will never reach him because his wife will censor? Is it possible? Such a learned man like him should not be any body’s prisoner.

If I can not send this letter to him I shall send it to you, translate it into Romanian as Maitraye’s reply to the book after forty two years. Let the story of an unrequisited love go down in history then posterity will give its right verdict on my father on Mircea and on me. If published in Romanian it will certainly reach him. Can you advice me how I shall send the letter so that I may be certain it reaches him. I must talk to him otherwise this agony will not end.

Please let me know if he is coming to Romania. Can I not come to your country will his wife not allow him to see me? What harm there could be if two old persons meet?

Please ask Mircea’s friend to write to him again and tell him the first letter is totally cancelled I have no fear and I thank him indeed for all he has written because that is his only gift to me. He has asked in the dedication my forgiveness will he be good enough to tell that I forgive him with all my heart as a father forgives his son, friend his friend and lover his beloved. Kindly write to me at least once a month and give some news of him.

With thanks and sincerest wishes
Yours affectionately Maitraye Devi


1973.02.12

My dear Sergiu Georgi

I have not heard either from you or from Amita for a long time. I hope both of you are well. I have also not written for some time. I am suffering from acute eye sore and also feeling an extreme dejection – as if everything has slipped away from my hands, as if I am waiting on a sea shore ready for emberkation but no boats are arriving. How long can one wait Sergiu? I have waited forty three years I must see him now – but I know it will never be – I shall die with this unsatiated yearing. I want to see him more because I have read his book – the book is full of misunderstanding. He has loved me but have not understand me. That is why he had to write so many unthruts. The incidents beginning from presentation of the ring etc. the visits at night are all unfounded. He had to write all these because he was not sure of me. I have never told him that I loved him. As I realised the depth of it only at the moment when he was saying good bye.

The title of this book means rays of the sun (aditya = sun; marichi = rays) this name was given to him by my father – there is some similarity in the sound. I usually write my name as Maitraye but I saw he wrote it as I used to write before I have done so in this book.

You have never answered my one question – are you in correspondence with him? Have you written to him that you met me? Does he know that I am alive? If you have, has he answered what point?

Please write to me when you feel like it I am always happy to hear from you. Your last letter was extremely nice it brought me some peace.

With best wishes
Yours affectionately
Maitraye Devi


1973.02.27

My dear Sergiu

I have not written to you for some time as I was suffering from eye trouble. I am little better now. I hope you have received my book of poems. I am writing a strange incident today I hope you will be able to throw some light on it. A friend of mine has recently gone to Michigan Albion – which is quite near to Chicago. I recently discovered that he had previously met your friend in that same city when he talked about Calcutta and my father. He told me that your friend remembered every street of Calcutta. I told him to make an appointment with him and give him my letter. As I am now prepared to go to America. He writes to say that he wrote to your friend asking for an interview when he would present him some books. Previously M. also presented him some of his books. But M. did not reply to his letter. He waited for ten days then rang up twice in two different dates nobody picked up the phone third time his Mrs. answered. She was charming over the phone and said he has gone out and would phone back as soon as he returns. She also said that M. has received his letter and was going to write to him but is always remiss and forgetful about writing letters. She appreciated the catalogues that my friend has sent with his letter. But four days passed there was no telephone from M.

It seems his wife really opens all his letters answers his telephone and may be he is not told about these. There can be no reason to behave in this odd manner with another professor who is also known to him. Why does Mrs. E. not give him his letters specially such innocent letters? It is obvious now he had never received any of my letters. Is he held a prisoner? In the western world where individual freedom is much respected how can things come to such a pass? Even in our Country where social freedom is much less no modern woman will put up with such a control not to speak of man.

Kindly explain me reason of it as soon as you can. Because it seems even if I take the trouble of going so far I may not have the opportunity of Contacting him. I have written to you several times asking you whether you are in Communication with him you have never replied. I am very eager to know who can contact him. Is it a self inflicted bondage or is he not aware of it? It seems so strange to us.

Has he gone ready? Not quite himself? Why should he be rude with distinguished foreigners? It does not sound normal. If his wife is protecting him – from whom is she protecting? How long are they married? Have they got children?

I have now everything ready with me, passport visa ticket and an invitation. I can go any time – and see him once for all ask all the unasked questions and then have peace for the rest of my life. Whom can it harm Sergiu? Can it harm his wife? My husband does not think so. With complete trust and faith in me he asks me to go – if that would give me peace. But were to go, whom to meet? I do not want to meet any one whose soul has become a slave. How do you talk to a slave?

I can not tell you how my suffering has doubled after this incident. I am at a loss at this unaccountable behavior. Kindly let me know what your guess is or tell Amita to write in Bengali. If you can not guess ask your wife. She may know by her woman’s instincts. Have you any friend in U.S.A. who can be my ally?

I expect a reply from you by the middle of march. I hope your letter will help me to take a decision.

With best wishes and affectionate greetings to you and your wife

Yours aftly
Maitreye Devi

13/1 Palm Avenue
Calcutta 19

If you are to be his biographer Sergiu, you must know – please tell me the truth – please do not hide anything.


1973.03.20

București

Dear Maitraye Devī,

Many thanks for the book you have been so kind as to send to me. I have been both surprised and moved by receiving your poems, the artistical sublimation of your distress. I never read such poems. Only an Indian lady is able of such an absolute memory which has nothing in common with the life. Thus your book is of an philosophical concern too, and as such representative for the genius of your nation. And yet, the terrible distress laying at the root of these poems makes every theoretical appreciation not only superficial, but, in a way, even senseless.

All I learned from your letter about the obstinate silence of Mircea(?) might be interpreted in different ways. Nobody could afford the real explanation of such a behaviour. I am not in communication with him, but I have been told by his friends that he replies to their letters after long delays. However in your case there must be a misunderstanding from their part.

My friendly advice is to postpone your journey till you will know the real explanation of their behaviour.

Such a meeting needs, accordingly to my oppinion, to be well prepared previously. His consent is absolutely necessary therefore. Otherwise you take the risk of a real failure.

After a long consideration of your case, I think that you might contact him by taking the bull by the horns: a letter from your husband addressed either to his wife or to both of them, could dispell any misapprehension. Even for Mircea(?) this would be the most suitable way to treat his wife with consideration, by sparing her susceptibilities. Under these circumstances the real meaning of your visit will become obvious and nobody could be so hardened as to refuse a reply.

Please do write me which is your oppinion about this suggestion. I should be the happiest man if my advice will work.

With kindest regards,
Sergiu Al-George


1976.07.12

Dear Maitraye Devı̄,

Had some one told me in my teenage, at the time when India was disclosed to me by Mircea’s Maitreyi, that true time I shall read your book in which myself will be involved, the event would have been..d incredible.

As such, the reading of your book was for me a highly complicated experience; it was more than the feeling …can be proved by reading a mere book, however great might be its intrinsec value. I learned some fragments from Amita’s translation, but when I proceeded to its reading I realised that I have to move downward in the depth of my being, to rediscover the teenager of y…and the freshman of his receptivity.

I read it with great excitement and I did not realise when I had tears in my eyes which brought them about; either the high literary qualities of the text1 or my vivid sympathy for the living heroes, especially for the most undergone of them who dared to disclose what any Indian women had not been able to do in your condition.

The book needs to perform – by your extraordinary capacity of defeating time and oblivion – an extraordinary illustration of the2 me[ta]physical experience, and it is advocated by Indian3 philosophy. But the originality of your4 performance consists in5 what I could qualify a limited or ordinary transcendee of the Time. You have not transcended concomitantly with time the human condition too. Paradoxically, this partial or …ted6 transcendee instead of simply banishing the suffering – which is the core human condition – on the contrary,…. it7 is experienced to its confines and thereby dominated by an act of knowledge. Thus, your work obtains the stamp of oneness, a contribution to Indian spirituality.

I appreciated too8 that when9 the events nexus, dominated mainly by Indian social and religious outlooks, you explained them so that the…reader could understand them. Then is the difference between yours and Mircea’s book: you explained humanly – from the inside of Indian world what he presented as a fascinating exotism. By this way, your recording got a touch of charming wildness10 which stands in contrast with the sharpness of metaphysical experience. Mircea’s book11 gets its tension by thrillingness and12 pathetic; in13 yours it results from the above mentioned contrast as well as from the….14 recording.

Who knows, may be in the future, these two books will stand together in one volume, restoring the union that life refused.

I should like to know whether you are satisfied15 how was16 recreated your own text; personally, I have to confess my doubts about it. The short fragments Amita translated for me word by word, were permeated by a poetical charm, by a rasa which seems not to be entirely refound in the English version.17

As concerns my own person I realise with a feeling of amazement how deeply is it involved in the destiny of the two heroes – our meeting was not a mere coincidence or ordinary event. It is true that I had a18 previous intent to meet you – when visiting Calcutta – but it was practically dispelled by my time shorted agenda. In the first Indian house I visited, I had to meet – amongst hundred millions of Indians – one of your cousins who pronounced Mircea’s name. In fact our meeting happened without my deliberate intent. Moreover, you call me in your novel Sebastian, a name inspired certainly by the roumanian[sic!] playwright Mihai Sebastian known in India too. This is too more than a mere coincidence since he was in love with Mircea’s first wife, before he married her.19 I was only twice abroad in order to attend two conferences (Delhi and Paris). I wished both of them and by the very fact of wishing them had the chance of meeting you and Mircea. All these coincidences which call destiny are impelling me once again to scrutinize this mysterious thing. They become the object of a deep meditation; that is why your book will be for me one of the most important ones, a tool by which I20 try incenssantly to disclose the hidden reason of my own existence.

I put an end to this long letter by asking you about Mircea’s reaction to your work.

With love and high esteem,
Sergiu Al-George


  1. Var.: …text you elaborated or…↩︎
  2. Var.: …of the supreme me[ta]physical…↩︎
  3. Var.: …Indian spirit.↩︎
  4. …your book is that consists in…
    …your methaphor is that consists in…
    …your experience is that consists in …↩︎
  5. …in the fact of what …↩︎
  6. ? devoured …↩︎
  7. …it paroxistically. So your book has a stamp of oneness by expressing the suffering is dominated by experiencing its limits – by knowing it entirely. So your book becomes a contribution to Indian spirituality and obtains thereby the stamp of oneness.↩︎
  8. …too the fact that when…↩︎
  9. …when relating the…
    …when describing the…↩︎
  10. …wildness and which…↩︎
  11. …book is drawn up by …↩︎
  12. …and by being patheticaly and…↩︎
  13. …; in your book it…↩︎
  14. pratilomam[?]↩︎
  15. …sastisfied by the way in↩︎
  16. …was been↩︎
  17. Do you feel that I started my letter by saying↩︎
  18. …a vague intent …↩︎
  19. …I have been …↩︎
  20. …I shall try↩︎


 

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