I was sitting near the back at the launch of G.N. Saibaba’s book of poems and letters from prison when he slipped into the seat on my left– I might not have noticed, but his white hair was glowing like a Christmas star, or a tube light hung on the wall behind the priest at at Midnight Mass. His tremors were mostly gone; I only saw him shake once– when A.S. Vasantha Kumari described the solitary confinement cells in the Nagpur Central Jail. He disappeared before the Q and A, but later as I stood outside with friends giving thanks for the cool May rain we heard him whisper as he passed: Breathe deep, comrades, breathe deep– tonight you can smell the forest.
Father Stan Swamy Came to Delhi Last Week