Back in 2001 I lived in Bombay for two years and was friends with Leonard Cohen. He lived across the road from my yoga studio and apartment in Kemps Corner South Bombay. We attended the same spiritual meetings with the his teacher at the time, Ramaesh Balsikar, and hung out in the same Breach Candy Club, an oasis in that crazy beautiful city which overlooked the Arabian Sea.
I have been reading and singing Leonard songs for over 30 years. I loved his music and lyrics before I met him and I loved the man after I knew him. Leonard is a deeply spiritual being and at the same time was a very worldly man. But most of all he was authentic and the most loving and kind person I have ever met a true gentleman.
I remember one time I rang him up on my birthday. This is how the conversation went:
Me: “Leonard, it’s my birthday today and I’m having a few friends around would love you to come over for a drink.”
Leonard: “It’s 7 o’clock I have just had my dinner and I am going to bed.”
Me: “But you’re Leonard Cohen.”
Leonard: “Brian, that’s why I am Leonard Cohen.”
I feel the same love and connection with him even today. He touched so many people with his love and his words and I know if there is life after death his next life will be his best one. Thank you Mr Cohen.
By Brian Ingle, from Leonard Cohen: He’s our man (Irish Times: Nov 11, 2016). Photo by Ratnesh Mathur.