One of the subplots running through The Beatles’ time in Rishikesh concerns John Lennon’s marital status. His wife Cynthia had accompanied him, but they spent very little time together; John had moved into a separate bedroom and spent a lot of time meditating. Cynthia worried that the Maharishi was pulling John away from her.

But actually the pull was in a different direction. John was becoming increasingly obsessed with Yoko Ono; at one point he’d even planned to bring her along to India, then decided that having her and Cynthia together wouldn’t be a good idea.

Every morning in Rishikesh, John — a notorious late riser, the author of “I’m Only Sleeping” — would get up at the crack of dawn to intercept the mail before it could be distributed. And most days he would find a new postcard from Yoko. According to Bob Spitz’s The Beatles,

The postcards were like catnip; he couldn’t resist getting the next one to see what kind of cosmic mischief Yoko had cooked up. “I’m a cloud,” she scrawled on one, “watch for me in the sky.” Others echoed her loopy instructional poems from [the book] Grapefruit. “I got so excited about her letters,” John recalled, “…and from India, I’d started thinking of her as a woman, not just an intellectual woman.”

The truth was, Cynthia had already lost John to Yoko. She just didn’t know it yet.

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