The Baba Experiences

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      It was the summer of 1961 and during the dinner time mom told dad that she got a dream that she was in shirdi within the shirdi sai baba temple. She was standing in a long queue of ladies and was wondering how long it will be before she could see the samadhi of Baba. Out of the blue a lady comes from the side dressed in traditional maharastrian style  . She comes near to mom and catches her by the hand and drags her out of the queue and speaks to her in telugu " Yevitandi ikkada niluchunnaru. Randi mundhuku veldam baba nee chuddham"( : Why are you standing here. Come lets go to the front and see baba"). She took mom and showed the Huge life size life like marble Idol of baba  and his samadhi and showed the place on the samadhi where meher baba would put his ears to listen to what baba would reply for the questions meher baba used to ask. After showing mom all this the lady went off just like how she made her appearance. Mom got up from sleep after this dream sequence. This is what she told dad while we were having dinner. She added that we must visit shirdi soon. Dad said why not hav a month long break this summer and goto shirdi to which mom said good and also we will goto hyderabad.

      Dad was at that time the  Zonal Secretary of Life Insurance corporation,Mall Road,Kanpur. He was deputed for training in ASCI(Administrative Staff College of India,Hyderabad). This was an interesting node and so the plan to goto Hyderabad via shirdi by car was finalised. Dad would drop at ASCI and mom will return with us to Kanpur, the car driven by car driver Ramadas.

    Left for Shirdi reached next day after a break at Pune. That evening walked around shirdi with dinner at the langar.Next day morning Dad and the three of us in the Males Queue and Mom in the females Queue. It was an hour latter at the shop where we had taken prasadam, mommy comes almost running and outof breath. In one breath non stop she narated this-" I was in the line and within ten minutes a Marathi lady walks towards her and says in marathi to come along wth her. She then catches her arm and leads her to the fornt where the idol of SaiBaba was and tells all that was told in moms dream in hindi/marathi and says stay here as long as you want and suddenly leaves just like her out of the blue appearance.

     As my school,satyams schools and seshs college(St Aloysius, christ church inter college & school, Gurunanak College) were to open after summer holidays. Mom ,me and satyam in the back seat LHS to RHS and seshu in the front with ramadas driving the car. We took a overnight break at pune in the same LICI guest house. The next morning we started of and just as we passed a police interstate check post(border Maharastra & Madhya Pradesh) and were ascending the foot hills of satpura range ramadas did something stupid in handling gears and suddenly the car made a loud rumbling sound from under the driver seat. Mom asked him about this then he said, while applying the hand brake, that the clutch plate has burnt out and the car cannot go further. We rolled the car back to the check post and asked the police about any place we could stay, they said there is a DB (Dak Bungalow) about 1/2 a mile down a side lane. We pushed the car upto the DB  and parked it. Mom and us slept in the DB while ramadas slept in the car. In the wee hours of the morning mom gets up suddenly and wakes seshu up to go and check whether the car is there or not. Seshu goes out and checks out and tells mom its there and asks her why she wgot such a doubt. She tells she got a dream that some theives were taking away the car by pulling it with ropes.

    While having breakfast mom asked seshu and ramadas to go over to the check post and find out from the police men there if any vehicle could pull our car with ropes accros to Indore which was 50 miles away. They left and returned after an hour saying that there is a truck driver who said he would do so for just Rs 40. The trucker came to the DB and both he and ramadas tied the rope to the car front bumpers and the rear hook of the truck. Mom saw that the trucker was having a photo of Saibaba in his trucks cabin. She asked him whether he followed saibaba, he said he is devoted to him and something sounding like saibaba told him to accept this towing while so many truckers had refused as the first 40miles of this 50 mile tow was over the satpura mountain range and there was a lot of uphill climd and hair pin bends which can be dissasterous. This truckr was a Sikh man,a Sardar.


     The year was 1962 and Dad & Mom where in Kanpur. Three children and I was the youngest,10years old. I overheard them talking about a new baba   coming to Lucknow, the capital city of UP, and would be the Guest of the Governor of UP His Excellency Burgula Ramakrishna Rao. The Personal Secretary of the Governor was Mr Emani N Murthy who was dads good friend. Dad told Mom that wewill go on this saturday and VVS Murthy is also coming. Our family will stay in ENMurthy's house and VVS Murthy& family will stay elsewhere.

     Saturday morning Dad drove us in his Hindusthan Motors Hindusthan 14(which was a remake of Morris Oxford) USQ 1191. We three brothers were sitting in the back seat with My eldest Seshu on the RHS window seat and My immediately elder Satyam on the LHS seat and me the kid brother in between. Lucknow is 50 miles from Kanpur and midway is Unnao. Dad , while driving, told Mom that the new babas was called as Satya Sai Baba and he was the incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. This Baba was based at a place called Puttaparthi, Ananthapur District.

     It was 1100 AM and Mom and aunty ENMurthy where in the kitchen. Mom was making "Garellu" and aunty ENM was doing someother chores.The BAba was coming in the evening after 0400PM and as there were lots of visitors expected the snacks were being prepared. Mom took the dough on a betel leaf , patted it to form something like a doughnut and carefully placing in the pan full of boiling oil bath. This step was required for each garre(singular for Garellu) and while doing so for one of them she dipped her fingers accidently along with the garre. Realising what she had done she exclaimed" Oh My God my fingers are burnt". She quickly lifted her hand out and beckoned to aunty ENM. Aunty ENM was hard of hearing and so she could not hear her shout but resoned to the beckoning. Mom repeated very loud so she could hear.      Suddenly mom felt that her fingers were cool as if they were not just inserted in boiling oil. This was a remarkable and unbelievable thing. When aunty got the Burnol mom said that it was not necessary as there were no blisters nor pain, which surprised aunty. They both were stunned for a while and continued thier chores.

     The Baba"Satya Sai " was escorted  by Uncle ENM to a throne. An aarathi was done and then the "bhiksha" ritual started. It was over after an hour and the baba was giving pada darshanam,  during this the devotees kneel in front of him nd touch his feet reverentially while the baba would bless them by touching thier forehead.The circuit gets completed through the bodies of Baba and devotee. Tyhere were about  50 people adults not ounting children. One after other the visitors were proceeding for the darshan.Uncle VVSMurthy had also come with his son vijay and daughter mamatha. Vijay was taking photos of the Baba all the time especially when the baba was materialising fruits , flowers,vibhuthi and objects like watches and idols of gods like siva lingam and so on.

    It was now moms turn to go and as she was being blessed Baba asked" Nee Vayllu ella vunnai ipudu garellu baga vunnai" ( how are your fingers now........  those garellu were good". Mom burst out in tears and again fell at his feet. Immediately in line was aunty ENMurthy and when she bowed to take blessings Baba asked her how she was, to which she said that she was fine but for being hard of hearing. Baba replied in chaste telugu" Amma nee chevudu inka na chadastham ee janma ki povvu"( " Your deafness and my fastidiousness will not disappear in this life").  This baba was interesting as he was materialising from nothing wonderful objects,this impressed a 10 year old boy very much. When this boys turn came he expected that the baba wil give him something materialised from nowhere while being blessed. His turn cam and eagerly he bowed to take the blessings secretly wishing that the baba will give him something. He stood there waiting till some one from behind pushed saying move on. The boy was terribly disappointed. You can guess who that boy was, he he he he!!!

After some while it was  uncle VVS Murthys turn and when vijay bent down to take blessing the baba spoke to him while blessing. He said" Nuvvu thesena photo lu baga vunnaya?"("the photos you took are they good?"). After saying this he took vijays camera and waved his hand over it as if blessing. He asked him to give his watch which had a stainless steel strap and while rubbing his thumb on the clamping plain side said that i am giving a photo toyou. He gave bak the watch to vijay and lo and behold there was a color image of the baba where the baba had rubbed his thumb. After the baba had left for the governors residence called Raj Bhavan the visitors all left. We left  next morning.

        On the way back mom one of children asked dad why he had not given any token of blessing to which dad said that those who are disbelivers would be given such tokens to taken them into fold for believing in Baba. A week later Uncle VVSMurthy came viting to our house and told dad" We got the photo film developed and believe me there was no picture but as if the camera took the photo of a bright light". Then he showed dad the photos and said this baba is fraud magician. Dad said if that was so how come he gave his color photo on vijays watch strap. Thats the first darshan of Satya Sai Baba.


        In 1962 Dad got transfered to Bombay(now Mumbai) as Secretary, Foreign Dept.,LICI. This was a month after Satya Sai Baba darshan. Mom & I joined him in Bombay while Saty and Seshu were in Kanpur staying with Shri Mrutyunjay Prasad Babu (son of Rajendra Prasad Babu our first President of India).  They had to stay back as thier exams were not done. Dad was staying in the LIC guest house at flora fountain and shifted to staff quarters Jeevan Vikas Block C 10 & C15 located at Santacruz. Dads car came by rail and dad collected it from Dadar. I was given seat at St Lawrence High School.