The Vice-Chancellor of Egerton College in Kenya had arranged for my lecture on ‘Faith in God’ for his students on Sunday afternoon, as I had no other time available for them. As the students (who had never heard me before) were very eager to listen to me and to greet me in person, they agreed to my awkward time.
That was my very first lecture in that college and I was unacquainted with the professors and collegians as such. No one, except the Vice-Chancellor, knew me in person in the particular college. The others may, perhaps, have heard my name as a fluent Hindu Lecturer talking freely on Christianity.
My lecture was organized in the assembly hall and it was mentioned on the notice-board, a week before. Most of the students and staff were interested in my talk and longing to meet me in person. I was writing several articles in the Sunday editions of the Kenyan newspapers, and some of the popular magazines had been publishing my articles now and then.
The time for my lecture was 3.30 pm and I was very much aware that the college timing was always punctual. I myself believed in punctuiality.
I arrived in the college compound at 3.15, parked my pick-up and went into the office, where nobody seemed to know me. I did not bother to introduce myself and asked for the whereabouts of the lecture hall.
When I entered the hall there were some empty seats in the front, otherwise the hall was tightly packed with students and professors. I took my seat there for the time being instead of going up to the high table. Around the table on the stage were a few dignitaries, all of whom were waiting for the lecturer’s arrival. No one seemed to know me and vice versa.
I had been escorted to an empty seat in the front by a student who took me for an invited outsider. Apart from some students, I was the only Asian in the hall, which had a seating capacity of nearly 800.
At 3.25, Professor Musangi, the Vice-Chancellor who had arranged my lecture and who was the only person I knew and who knew me in person, arrived and looked at the hall and the arrangements… and he was surprised to see me sitting with the staff in the front row below.
He came down from the stage and escorted me to the high table, requesting me to take the main chair as today’s lecturer. All eyes were fixed upon me. Nobody could make out what was happening; they were all surprised to see me being escorted by the Vice-Chancellor with great respect, and taking the seat of the lecturer.
Before the students and staff could make out the fact, Professor Musangi introduced me to them with a brief Biodata of mine. Students and staff started whispering and murmuring. I presumed that nobody was very impressed with the look of mine as the lecturer… perhaps they thought that I did not look like one. I was dressed in a simple Kaunda and I was alone without any guests accompanying me and above all I had come some minutes earlier. According to their general experience, a lecturer came well dressed with a number of guests and always not on time.
The hall was buzzing with noise. The professor stood up and asked the students to maintain silence and allow the lecturer to go ahead.
And so I started my speech, very politely, with full confidence and in a very impressive tone.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters…” and I saw students sitting up properly in their seats to listen to me. I finished five minutes of my lecture on ‘Faith in God’ and paused… I looked around the hall to the last row at the back and I could see… pin drop silence. Everyone was impressed with the first part of my lecture which introduced the topic – mainly the almighty God as taken by different faiths of the world.
I asked the audience if I should continue or leave my lecture at that point. I was not there, I told them, to preach any belief. Nor was I there to promote myself as a lecturer. Certainly I was not there for money. I had especially come to talk to the students and to be of some assistance to them in establishing proper faith in God, which would help them enormously in their studies.
True faith in God would surely inspire them with confidence and help them to work in the way required to achieve success in their studies. I was there to guide them, to help them sort out their spiritual problems and to build their careers in the right way.
The entire hall was filled with the humble request, “Please Sir, continue… please… please continue… continue … continue…”
And so I delivered my lecture to the last word, to a silent and smiling audience. At the end of the lecture there were several very sensible questions asked which I duly answered to the satisfaction of everyone.
My lecture, which was scheduled for an hour and a half, continued for about two and half hours without a single student leaving the hall. I was really happy to see that. All eyes were set upon me and all ears very keenly listening to my religious lecture. I was very freely talking of Jesus Christ and Christianity when the full audience were very much aware that I WAS A TRUE Hindu.
When I left the lecture hall, hundreds of students along with some professors escorted me to my vehicle in a jovial mood. There were several students asking me for my AUTOGRAPH and visiting card.
Professor Musangi had already booked me for another lecture the following month on the same subject, at the request of the students… and there was no reason why I should not accept it.