if it looks like a tiger...
it even seemed fitting that my greatest soul friend and teacher would be a belief-system-shattering, 26-year-old daredevil who drives super-fast and listens to poundingly loud Indian pop music in his car.... brakes screeching as he comes back...
(no, that's not the space-shuttle coming in for a landing, it's just Swami coming back to the ashram.)
one fine December day, I was sitting in the yard having one of many super-serious conversations with Kaleshwara.
(I was very lucky in the sense that I came for the circus when you could still get front-row seats -- at a time when he was still easily accessible and willing to talk directly, privately, and openly with his students. as the deep level spiritual processes have cranked up, it's not possible -- or advisable -- for him to talk, really, like that with us any more. better to develop our relationship with him on the subtle level, communicating through meditation.)
anyway, I'm sitting on the ground at his feet, and at one point his expression was so fierce I started laughing, and said, "You're REALLY a tiger, you know!"
he grinned back in mock-indignation, and challenged me: "A TIGER? really?"
"Yes, Swami, you're totally a tiger. BIG paws, BIG claws..." and I mimicked the swipe of a huge Bengal tiger, right across the air in front of my face.
his eyes got even more huge and mischievous (is it possible?), and he protested, a complete picture of wounded innocence, "Oh, no no no no, Alx, no. I'm not a tiger... I'm just a little house cat --"
I raised an eyebrow in polite disbelief, not at all ready for the punch-line.
"-- and you're the MOUSE!"
oh, god, it was horribly, hilariously true.
& I just roared with laughter -- you know, as much as a mouse can roar....