A Flower heads to the OSHO retreat, Pune.

Posted on September 21st, 2008 by Jim

After 5 days planning the next 2 years for the GO! Smell the flowers community with Flora 2000 here in Mumbai, India I headed out of the town and over the green hills to Pune to check out the OSHO meditation resort. Time to gather my thoughts, mind map, deep breathing and stuff like that at least for 1 day before I report back to you on the exciting direction this community will take.

People all over the world head to the OSHO retreat to ‘find themselves’ and I’ll share with you how it goes as I’m booked in for 24 hours. So, rather than pitching up all zenned-up it was quite the opposite and here’s why as I share with you what happened in my longest blog entry ever:

Four hours into the car journey from Mumbai (‘We’re getting very, very close Mr Jim – 2 minutes’, insisted the driver who kept stopping to ask for directions) I stopped off for a quick sandwich and a much needed toilet break. I’d crossed my legs long enough and had to go just in case we were way off course. No chance of finding myself if we couldn’t get to the right place, or was there? OHM.

‘I’ll be 2 minutes’ I pointed – Humph – I’ll show him 2 minutes with my British sense of time keeping.

In the packed sandwich shop there was no way I could wait form my food AND wait for the toilet. Something had to give, if you will. As I handed over my rupees for the food so were the keys for the customer toilet.

Off I went while my sandwich became a work-in-progress and was under process. One turn led to another but no toilet doors – anywhere. I was desperate and climbed the next dark and dank flight of stairs either to go wherever or find what I was looking for, as Bono once said.

Success! A toilet door was already open so the keys were redundant AND it was the ladies and no larger than a broom cupboard, one for very small brooms – no matter – no one around and I was good to go, nobody around so I could be a lady for 45 seconds. Relief came in no time and I chuckled to myself how small this ‘bathroom’ was that I’d squeezed into that clearly hadn’t been cleaned for some time as I was that desperate I’d forgotten about the mild claustrophobia I suffer from.

A quick flush, no water from the broken tap – I’ll survive.

My relief quickly turned to despair – I couldn’t open the toilet door to get out.

I shook the handle and almost ripped it off in my hand – no really an option. Then a shortness of breathe.

A window vent – tiny – not enough room to get a cat through. Nobody knew I was in here except the driver as my 2 minute deadline approached. No phone, no escape route and no way to open this door without ripping the handle off it. It was a ‘pull towards you door’ so again any force and the handle would end up in my hand, like the limb of a cheap barbie doll.

Deep breathes Jim, deep breathes as the walls closed in on me.

Sh&t, Sh^t and more sh*t (My language – not the toilet thing – don’t even go there)

My demise couldn’t be getting trapped in the wrong sexed toilet for hours – could it?

There was only one thing for it – noise, noise and more noise with my fist on the door.


More deep breathes, more shocking language – more banging on the door. Then back to the window slats – maybe I could remove the panel. Ouch. Cut finger, not a bright idea.


Only one thing for it – I started shouting for help and banging on the door and rattling the handle.

NOTHING. What a waste of a life. A waste of a blog. A community. :-(

Oh dear, what about my sandwich?10 minutes had passed now and that driver may even have left with all my luggage. My phone – why didn’t I at least bring my phone. I then paced around (on the spot) pulled a pathetic child-about-to-cry face and cried help again out of the vented window. More bangs, more helps and more shaking the door as blood from my pathetic window cut trickled down the door to add to the drama.

THEN – A VOICE – An Indian voice, speaking Hindu or something close, not something I’m well versed in.

‘Help me, please help me’ I cried out in desperation with a sudden pathetic tone to my voice and a small croak thrown in for good measure.

Footsteps tip-tap away and my saviour had gone – back to NOTHING again so I repeated the procedure.

Finally, 20 minutes of talking outside and the noise of keys being tried on the door it was clear help had come. The problem was I had no idea if I’d locked the door on the inside or not so everytime I heard a key going in I kept pressing this silver button on the door handle to lock / unlock.

SUCCESS (Clearly otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog post) as 4 waist high smiling security guards smiled and clapped as I leapt out from the closet / toilet, sweating like I was on death row giving them all big hugs and random high-5′s.

Back in the sandwich shop a big smile greeted me as my sandwich was handed over to me without any question in return for the keys as my shaking hands gave them back. Hunger wasn’t featuring anymore but thirst was and as I lugged away my friendly driver beeped with delight and started the car.

No more than 2 minutes later (driver was 100% correct) down a palm tree infested side street was the OSHO meditation retreat as the award for the ‘customer who looks like they really need to chillout here’ pitched up.

‘Welcome to OSHO, Sir, please put your bags there and we will arrange your AIDS test’.

I was in shock – what AIDS test? Food was out of the question now as I handed the driver my scrunched up sandwich that had served as a makeshift bandage for my bleeding finger.

Do share your thoughts on my story above and I’ll be back no tomorrow with my next installment.

Cheers for now folks, Small Toilet fearing Jim.

41 Responses to “A Flower heads to the OSHO retreat, Pune.”

  1. You definitely need the meditation retreat!!! What an ordeal. I have no idea what I would have done. However, I always carry a small fold up type screw driver in my purse (except for airports, courts, county buildings…), so I might have used that. Oh, my. Oh, my. How traumatic…retreat…good thing.

  2. Sweet Violet says:

    The public bathrooms here in South Africa can sometimes be in…um…disrepair. But when desperate, one makes do. I haven’t been locked in a toilet yet, but have been in a few that made me fear such a thing. I always make sure my husband has his cell phone on “ring” (he likes to keep it on “vibrate”) when I go off into the wilds of the local public toilets…just in case I need rescuing!

    Sweet Violets last blog post..Internet dating: 12 tips to keep you safe

    • Jim says:

      See thats the thing with you ladies…hairclips, pins…..

      Screw drivers (LOL)

      and vibrating things.


      I need a boyscout refresher, clearly.

  3. Gareth in Thailand says:

    If I was you mate I’d knock it on the head, check into the Blue Diamond hotel (about the best one in Pune) and then go and have a few beers in the nightclub there, Apollos I think its called. Its a reasonable place for a few ales, if you want a more Indian place then head over to 10 Downing Street – a place where the local Pune clubbers go – least it was 10 years ago when I was working there.
    Would do a lot more for stress reduction than meditating I reckon.

  4. aussiecynic says:

    I dont know Jim….
    Am still trying to decide whether to laugh or consolle you.. maaatttttteee…
    So much time so little to do….. lol….
    AIDS Test hmmmmm….. lol… bet you werent expecting that one….lol…
    is that because of your cut finger?
    but in all seriousness.. you must have been terrified… truly
    you did the right thing make noise.. lots of noise.. you’ll be right

    • Shinji says:

      With all love and respect Heeren on what plneat are you living? True nothing to be worried about, but that does not mean all is well. Too much violence is still in the world, great preteners still clamor for attention and domination of others. In the sannyas world too. Inaction lets the negativity rise, the evil grow. good people, people with some common sense, intelligence, and sensitivity have be too lax, too accepting of business as usual regarding human actions. 6 billion people and counting, how much more violence and hatred can we accept before we kill each other off. We have the ability to stop this madness, it’s just sitting there, inside . those who are lovers – the compassionate ones do have that ability especially. Either through fear, or just plain laziness we allow those with hatred in their hearts, to dictate to others how to live, what to eat, what to believe .. What good is meditation when it can’t be lived and shared. What good is meditation when there is no compassion, no common sense, no straight forwardness? Time to spread that energy, not sit on it, in a lotus position. All the while the tornado gets bigger and bigger. Nothing to worry about and certainly not something to take serious.

  5. The Universe never stops testing us does it? No matter what our calming intentions are. Good luck and much joy!
    Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, CPC

    Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, CPCs last blog post..Self-confidence-part 3

  6. Great story!!
    I have seen some scary bathrooms on my travels, but this one trumps them all…. I look forward to the continuing saga!!

  7. Sarah says:

    And I can’t figure out what’s with all the AIDS test anyway like is this part of the meditation retreat? Got locked in the toilet is scary enough though..

    Sarahs last blog post..Why I Have Been Away?

  8. Kathleen says:

    Toilets are famous for their ability to induce meditative states. I don’t understand…..lol.

    Kathleens last blog post..Scientists Find Jasmine Flower Extract Fights Cancer

  9. Urban Pagan says:

    I think the AIDS test is so tht when they all do a big bag of heroin into their arms at the retreat they can save money by sharing ‘works’.

    that or they are really a porn film set.

  10. Lib says:

    I didn’t think there was an AIDS test.

    I thought it was for HIV.

    • Jim says:

      Nope its an AIDS test here – results back in 15 minutes after pin pricking your finger.

      • Lib says:

        I don’t understand.

        Why are they testing for AIDS and not HIV?

        • Jim says:

          I’ve checked and I’ve been told its an AIDS / HIV test so my bad wording I guess…

          Whats the difference test wise anyway?

        • Lib says:

          Well, I’ve not really heard of an AIDS test.

          HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, so just because you have HIV, it doesnt neccessarily mean that you have or are going to get AIDS.

          Therefore, there is no point in testing for AIDS, well, for the purpose of where you are anyway.

        • Jim says:

          Ok thanks for sharing – the facts that is and excuse my ignorance :-)

          Some call it HIV / AIDS test, others HIV, others AIDS….perhaps its a regional thing and in any case the testing procedure here is to increase awareness.

        • They are very different as Lib says. Hope I’m not stepping on your toes. But, HIV is the virus and AIDS is a illness/disease/cluster of symptoms caused by the virus. Magic Johnson is HIV positive, but as far as we know he does not have AIDS.

  11. Blue Collar Goddess says:


    In fact, I lived at the Rebel Yesss Ashram in Venice Beach with a bunch of Osho-ites.
    I dreamed Osho before I knew he was Rashneesh, and looked for signs of whom ever it was that I’d dreamed for years until I saw his photograph on the table of a man who still has the worlds largest Free Speech display.

    Arhata and I were lovers for a short period, and we remain good friends still — but the Osho community is not pleased with him, despite the fact he gives away Osho’s books to this day. I have quite a collection . . .

    The name given to me by the Ashram was Deva Nandana, and I have it tatooed on my left shoulder. All this is merely academic as I ooze jealousy because you’re at the Center. It’s good jealousy, though.

    Do give us the full Monty, so to speak. We want to hear more!

    • Jim says:

      Hi BCG!

      The Rebel Yesss Ashram – that gotta be worth a few posts from you in the future – Arhata :-)

      More tales to follow as I take this place in, all for now Deva Nandana!

    • Urban Pagan says:

      how long were you in this cult for ?

      and di you approve of the drug smuggling/ fraud/ bio attacks/ immigration illegalities

      do you also think his free love idea was errant nonsense considering how many diseases occur?

      do you think it was just used by a self appointed nut-job who was hardly a looker to get laid and wealthy?

  12. Jim says:

    Hi Svasti, Welcome to GO! Smell the flowers……nice avatar!

    (Wolf whistle)

  13. Jim says:

    Yup, ALWAYS treat them with respect….

  14. Urban Pagan says:




    just done a little research on ‘osho’

    he’s a self appointed indian guru who hated socialism and gandhi

    he collects rolls-royces

    and his commune got nicked in oregon for a series of serious crimes and a bioterror attack

    he left the states after being nicked on immigration offences and left under a plea bargain- 21 countries banned him from entering their space due to his notooriety and he died in 1990.

    sound like a lovely group of people

    get ready for the brainwashing people!!!

  15. aussiecynic says:

    It would certainly be easier to find yourself in Hackney….
    Why do the brits all ways need to find themselves in India…
    I mean really what happens you loose yourself in Wales and you travel all the way to India, walking through a baazar you go Oh there I am…….
    It would far easier to find yourself in Hackney, you could meditate, have a cleansing, say your OHMS and still be home for dinner…..
    ……Scratches head….

  16. Urban Pagan says:

    QUITE simply ac its a western held perception that our advanced, medically, financially, materially, intellectually, superior society is ‘missing something’ and that a mystical foreign culture MUST hold the answer. Ironic that most of the people living in poverty in this mystical society would give their arms to be over here.

    • aussiecynic says:

      I think you have it.. Pagan.. I truly do….
      I dont now something fundamentally wrong with that…. lol
      But Hey I am supposed to be the Cynic….. lol
      I wonder how many poverty Stricken locals these retreats actually help…..
      I hear Hackney calling Run Jim!

  17. Urban Pagan says:

    erm in terms of percentage they help about .00000000000000001 %

    however the people running them seem to amass great personal wealth- but as its all ‘credit tokens’ they never reveal that.

    a question for jim- who introduced you to this cult and the cult holiday centre? seriously?

    was it

    a) the raw food nutjobs who looked like death warmed up
    b) clive the substandard untrained yoga teacher in thaialand?
    c) the energy chakra nutters whose theory doesn’t stand up to the merest scientific scrutiny
    d) all of the above

  18. Jim says:

    WOW! Well at least he’s got flowers in the title then!

  19. Urban Pagan says:

    I’ve read about charles manson ut I am hardly like to vsit him in prison!

  20. Sounds horrendous! You needed aiding not an AIDS test. Poor Jim…….what did Em say about all this. I hope the trip turned out to be worth it and you are now rested. Hugs to both of you. lol

  21. Ange says:

    OMG Jim… what an adventure… I have to admit, I was laughing while reading of your ordeal… not because of your claustrophobia, I’m so sorry for that, but the fact that it took so long to find it and then when you got the relief… you couldn’t get out!! Scary as it was, the images that flashed up were funny! I’m so glad you’re here to tell the tale.

    I too have been in toilets similar to that while traveling and they are very humbling… especially in the villages on the Kokoda track although most of them don’t even have doors… anyone can look in!

    I will continue reading the rest of your entries tomorrow as it’s late here now… glad I got to read this one though… I look forward to the rest of your tales… stay safe and don’t lock anymore toilet/broom closet doors!

  22. Lynda Lippin says:

    They make you have an AIDS test as sex was always a focus for Rajneesh (now known as Osho). He taught that sex was a perfect means of connection and energy transfer, which of course allowed him to have lots of it with whomever he wanted whenever he wanted.

    • Now, everything is beginning to make more sense. Run Jim Run!!! Unless you want that type of things then stay.

    • Oh, how rude of me. I enjoyed your input into this whole OSHO thing, Lynda. Glad you joined in on the conversation (s). Or is it just one huge thread broken loosely into chapters. I visited your site and was wondering what Reiki was and how it relates to Pilates. I couldn’t get your site to load because I’m sure you have an explanation. (computer doesn’t like me today!)

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