Breaking the world record for the longest game of hopscotch

This is one of the stories in our Story-Gems project, a collection of our experiences with our Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Project homepage »

Pipasa: My friend Jamini got the idea of doing the hopscotch record. A lot of people were breaking records at that time.

Jamini: People were breaking records for Guru's 50th birthday when we were in New York in August 1981. That was our first celebrations. Many people were doing records so when we came home, we sat down one night with the Guinness Book of Records. We were looking through it trying to figure out what we could do and came across this hopscotch record.

Pipasa: 90 hours was the previous record.

Jamini: Then we had the brilliant idea of doing a hundred hours.


Pipasa: Guru came in the middle of the game and walked on the board. He took his sandals off and stepped on the first square and asked, "How do you play this game?" We showed him. He said, "Ba," (Bengali for 'good'). Then he walked away. But we knew that he took a lot of pain out of our experience by just being there and supporting us inwardly. Prasannata said that she thought that Guru's legs were bothering him the next day.

Jamini: You could get five minutes break per hour, so we saved it up and then we could take maybe an hour sleep at night. I tell you, it was really, really hard to get up. With hopscotch, you have to throw a little bean bag to your square, and my aim was just so terrible. I would play for one round and then I would be done, and Pipasa would have to go again.

Pipasa: Guru gave us both awards. Guru gave Jamini an elephant and a beautiful plaque that said: 100 hours of hopscotch. He gave me a bear and also a plaque. Guru held it up and meditated on it and looked very seriously at it like he was putting some force into it. Then he handed it to me with a big smile.

Jamini: At one point there was a function. And then Guru called us in for prasad. That was after about 70 hours when we were pretty out of it. But I'll never forget walking in there for that moment. When I was looking at Guru as we were walking up, he looked so beautiful and radiant.

Pipasa: I had a similar experience.

(Comment: You became quite famous, there were many newspaper articles.)

Jamini: We had to bend down to take prasad, and Guru said, “Oh, oh, you have to bend.” He felt sorry for us.

An interview with Sri Chinmoy: 'Our philosophy is self-transcendence. Our goal is not static; it is something flowing, like a river.'


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