On my first trip to Mysore in December of 1998 the Shala was still in Lakshmi Purim. I was told there was a good restaurant out on what was then the edge of town. I rode my bicycle out there and took a table and waited for a waiter. A man sat down at the table with me which is not unusual in India as strangers often share tables due to the space restriction.
He asked me what I was doing in Mysore and I told him I was here to study yoga. He asked me who with and I said, "Pattabhi Joise." He told me to get out of there. I asked him why and he told me that he was a friend of Ramesh Joise the son of Pattabhi Joise and he had committed suicide. I assured him I would be fine. I did not know how wrong I was.
As the saying goes "It takes one to know one." He was evidently a gay friend of Ramesh's and he saw that I was a gay westerner and wondered why I was there. I had wanted to go to Mysore in 1989 when I had first read of Ashtanga Yoga, Guruji & Mysore but I was afraid that if I did I would be persecuted by the Hetero-Supremacist Ashtanga community.
I had a dream years earlier that I would die when I was 54. In the dream I was lying in the backseat of a car and a physician was attending to me. Someone asked how long I had to live and the doctor replied "until he is 54." I think what inspired the dream was a line from The Mother's of Invention tune "The Idiot Bastard Son -- Abandoned to parish in back of a car. -- Kenny will stash him away in a jar." http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/frankzappa/theidiotbastardson.html
In the winter of 1998 I read in the Yoga Journal that Guruji's wife Amma had died. I had heard about Swami Muktananda in 1981 but before I was able to meet him he died. I did not want this to happen with Guruji so in the winter of 1998/99 I went to Mysore. That was when I ran into Ramesh's friend and he gave me the ominous warning which I did not heed.
I was already 47 and I thought that I only had a few years left to live anyway so I might as well mark going to Mysore off my bucket list.