Friday, January 26, 2007


A nice reader named Sauterel says that the so-called oldest man in the world has died.

Of course I thought s/he was talking about 117-year-old yogi Swami Bua.

But apparently the reference was to 115-year-old Puerto Rican sugar cane farmer Emiliano Mercado del Toro.

"He died like a little angel," said his grand niece.

Del Toro was never married and had no children.

There's no info on whether he practiced yoga.

Now they are saying that 114-year-old Connecticut woman, Emma Faust Tillman, is the oldest living person.

But we all know it's Swami Bua.

I met him last year and took a class with him in Hell's Kitchen.

The article about it is here.

The New Yorker ran their own piece some months later.

Swami Bua was very insistent that I close my hands (ie, fingers together) in each and every pose. Even the hand that was on the floor had to be closed.

He showed me all of the pictures on his walls, which featured him and Sai Baba and Famous Westerners.

At the end he asked me, "Are you happy?"

On New Year's Eve longtime SoHo denizens and musical theatre-folks The Goodmans left a delightful tag-team message on my answering machine about Swami Bua, which I have yet to erase.

Miriam said she was taking cooking classes with him when she and Paul met eons ago.

He'd also ask her, "Are you happy?"

He liked the ladies.

Miriam said we should go see him the next time I'm in NYC.

I can no longer blame yesterday's moroseness on the death of Swami Bua -- since it wasn't him.

So maybe the sobbing on the way home from the radio show taping -- which featurd a performance by Robbie and Donna Fulks -- was because it was a Valentine's Day special, my career is shit and the parking cost $26.

My original Swami Bua post is here.

Sauterel's comment follows:

I met Swami Bua in 1977 and spent most of that year with him doing yoga and cooking big meals for everybody. He was great, very funny, always laughing and joking, fond of pretty girls, energetic and youthful in behaviour and movement though he definitely looked his age, which was a mere 87 then. Little did I realize then that by the time I would be in my 50's I would find it so difficult to be anywhere near his level of vitality that he had at 87. He was very devoted to Sai Baba but also extremely independent and extroverted. I was quite astonished but then maybe not so astonished, last year (2006) to find that he is still alive. I managed to find out his telephone number and called him up. I recognized his voice right away and he sounded pretty good at 116. The news today announced that 'the oldest man' in the w"orld died at 115. Swami Bua tried to teach them a thing or two many years ago but they ignored him, and they keep on ignoring him, but he's still older (and yet younger) that the so-called oldest man. Even though I have not seen him for 30 years now, I will never forget him.


While researching this I came across this article about Hindu-Muslim riots in Bangalore this week. These riots were essentially caused by the US:

Hindu Muslim Riots in Bangalore Under Control

BANGALORE, INDIA, January 22, 2007: Federal police were deployed and schools were shut in India's technology hub of Bangalore on Monday after communal rioting between Hindus and Muslims left one 12-year-old boy dead and dozens of people hurt. Protests by thousands of Muslims against last month's execution of Saddam Hussein in Iraq sparked a chain of violence over the weekend between the minority Muslims and nationalist Hindus, police and witnesses said. Riot police patrolled empty streets of downtown Bangalore on Monday but operations in the city's numerous software firms and call centers, mostly outside the city centre, were unaffected.

Muslims protesting against the execution of Iraq's toppled president clashed with police on Friday, ransacking shops owned by Hindus and burning at least 15 cars. Protesters at a rally on Sunday of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps) then attacked shops owned by minority Muslims and stoned vehicles, forcing police to fire on rampaging crowds, killing the boy. Police said at least 150 people had been arrested on Sunday.


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    If they won't comp you for the $26 parking, why bother doing the taping?
    Don't be there monkey.

  2. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Oops, don't be their monkey!
    As for the sobbing, have some chocolate.

  3. darsan12:33 PM

    Re-read Sauterel's comment. He only mentions the death of the so-called world's oldest man, according to the wrong perception of the mass media:

    The news today announced that 'the oldest man' in the w"orld died at 115. Swami Bua tried to teach them a thing or two many years ago but they ignored him, and they keep on ignoring him, but he's still older (and yet younger) that the so-called oldest man.

    I bet he's still fogging up the inside of a conch shell!

  4. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Sad to say Swami Bua has left his body on July 22, 2010 in Bangalore India.