Aum Ganeshaya Namaha
Aum Saraswathye Namaha
Aum Sri Guruhbyo Namaha
I never wanted to join Swami’s school but my aunt (my grandfather’s sister) insisted that I join Swami’s school in Ooty. I was the most spoilt brat among all the children and they did not want my behavior to have an influence on them. Somebody told them that Swami is starting schools and any type of person will be molded into an ideal student. After a long deliberation with my parents I decided to try my luck. I went to Ooty from Coimbatore for entrance test for Sathya Sai School in Ooty. The entrance exam was quite easy and I passed successfully, but failed miserably in medical test. The reason they gave was that I was having tonsillitis. My father being a doctor argued with them that it is not a serious case with medicine, it can be cured. The principal, an old lady, who conducted my interview, flatly refused saying that most of the time the weather is cold, it will be difficult for us to take care of him. So saying she put a few toffees in my hand and bid goodbye. I returned home very happy so that I could continue with my pranks. The next year i.e 1981 my father sent me along with my uncle i.e my mother’s brother to Puttaparthi for joining primary school, but fate played a defining role. My uncle slept blissfully, instead of getting down in Guntakal we landed in Dharwad the next morning. My uncle didn’t carry enough money so they kept me under custody of the station superintendent till such time my uncle could arrange for the money for paying penalty. By the time we reached Puttaparthi the exam was already over. The Warden aunty said better luck next time. I had to wait for another six years for Lady Luck to smile on me again.
Having undergone such an harrowing experience I had lost complete interest in studies and in life. Sometimes I used to stay behind in my friend’s house, he had a huge collection of movies and comics (Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle, Chandamama, Champak,etc). I used to spend time watching movies or reading comics. when he would return from school I used to take his books and copy his notes during play time. My parents had no clue about my activities. On a bad day my activities were brought to light and my mother gave me such a thrashing because I talked back to my father ( I told him you don’t love me as much as you love your other two sons. What i wanted to convey was that I needed spectacles. As i had vision of 16/20, all the time, I had to look into my neighbor’s notes. The girl complained to the teacher that I am eyeing at her. The teacher went and complained to the principal and she punished me by keeping in the dark room and she made announcement in the public speaker. All my father’s friends whose children were studying in the same school reported to their parents about the incident, they in turn wanted to clarify with my father whether it is true. Just imagine for such a small insignificant incident the mental torture i had to bear!. After thrashing me with a stick, she felt so bad that, she did not eat for 10 days. My father decided he should do something for me. He took the next available train to Puttaparthi and wanted to ask Swami to give a seat in his school like he did for my brothers. Unfortunately for him, Swami didn’t come towards his side for next few days, but my father never gave up. Someone suggested that he meet the then Secretary Mr Kutumba Rao, so that he can place before Swami his problem. Then after waiting for nearly ten days, Mr Kutumba Rao tells my father to go and operate upon a patient in vijayawada. My father visits Vijaywada and does whatever necessary for the patient and bring backs the news that the patient is doing fine. Next day, Swami calls my father and my brother for an interview. He inquires about their welfare and asks my brother to follow my father’s footsteps. He creates hot sweet boondi for them and fills their hands fully and asks them to partake. After that he gives them tissues to wipe their hand. He asks my father if he wants any boon. My father initially wanted to ask Swami for a room inside the ashram but instead asked that I be given a seat in his school. Swami asked my father whether he had brought me with him so that he would immediately give me a seat. Unfortunately, for Swami, I was with my aunt i.e ( my fathers sister). Her son was an IIT Madras topper in computer science and he accidentally died of brain hemorrhage, and I went to stay with my aunt. Then, on 25 May, my father calls up and says that the Principal of sri Sathya Sai Primary School wants me to come and join for seventh class. I travel all the way from badrak in orrisa and arrive in parthi with my parents. Swami was in brindavan at that time. They fix up a date and asks me to join the hostel on i.e 5th june, along with all necessary luggage. My parents lead the way and I was to follow them. Just before entering primary school I wait outside at the entrance and closed my eyes to thank God for finally accepting me into his fold. When I open my eyes I see a Red Benz car slowly gliding past by from stadium towards mandir, at the back to the car I see a Beautiful Figure, then I realize that it is Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and He is smiling at me, our eyes get locked for about three to four seconds.Only later I realize that this moment will be eternally lodged in my memory . My younger brother also had a similar incident in his life.
A few days after joining, a visitor in a wheelchair is heralded into the assembly hall, he was instructed by swami to talk to the children. In his speech, which I remember very vaguely, he narrates about his interaction with swami, how he used to go to swami and ask him to write articles for santhana sarathi, and the role play he and Swami used to have. He would ask Swami questions posed by devotees and swami would give reply ( later when I joined book trust I realised that what he mentioned was brought out as a book called Sandeha Nivarini. Incidentally, the german version of the book had on its cover page the picture of my mother reading shirdi sai sat charitra near vata vriksha). It is only later that i realised that it is none other than our dear Kasturi garu. On one fine evening our principal comes and says that Mr Kasturi Garu has passed away and swami was very gracious enough to be by his side when he passed away.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Interacting with Prof.Kasturi Garu
One fine morning, may be around 1990 or 1991 as I am returning from Mandir, and alighting the stairs I see behind me a figure full of happiness and joy. When I enquire as to what has caused him so much happiness and joy, he says that Swami has finally accepted a small gift that he had made for Him. That is a pen/pencil stand that is kept on Swami’s table, so that whenever swami sees this object he would be reminded of him. The boy was C.G Sai Prakash, who would, in later years go on to join the Digital Studio. This moment also has been etched in my memory. Then I realize how madly people are in love with the Lord.
C.G Sai Prakash towards the far right and his Brother C.G Satish With His Beloved Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
During the dusherra celebrations in prasanthi nilayam 1993 , Swami was shifting from his prasanthi mandir to the poornachandra auditorium. He blessed all vedam boys with dhoti and angavastram. As i was sick, I did not get one. Then one fine day, Swami started calling boys into interview room and wanted to show them how he used to live upstairs. Only vedam boys were given the chance. I cursed myself for falling sick at the time when Swami was so gracious to show people the lifestyle that he lived. All parthi and brindavan boys got the chance to witness this rare grace of the lord. Some boys, even though they were not in vedam group, borrowed from others and had the the rare fortune of seeing Swami from such close quarters. Then, on the last day I decided that I too will make it, But didnt know how. Without my asking, my dearest friend Late P Sathyanaranaya comes and asks me to borrow his dothi and angavastram, and asks me to sit in bhajan hall. I manage to get inside bhajan hall. I was fortunate to be in the last batch that Swami calls inside. Then Swami takes us inside interview room and from there we all climb the steps and reach his room. He tells us to have a look into his bathroom and all of us assemble in his bedroom. We all stand and Swami stands near the window that is facing the women’s side. Deleted some text here He asks the strongest person to pull the closed window. One of the strongest students, Rajesh Grover, uses all his might but is unsuccessful. Some others also try their their luck. Then, I want to show my face to Swami. So I ask Him can I pull the window. Swami’s facial expression changes from golden hue to sunny red, he asks me to stay back. I realize that i made a big mistake and scurry behind. Then, he takes out a comb from his almirah and he shows how he combs his hair. Then he takes a box of pencils and distributes among the boys gathered there. Then he proceeds to the study room and asks everybody to leave. I was standing at the back, and after everybody leaves I move towards the study room where Swami is sitting and he is reading a letter, only myself and Swami were present upstairs, when he finishes the letter he looks at me and signals why I am still there. Then, I slowly move towards him and fall at his lotus feet asking for forgiveness for the mistake committed unknowingly by me. After kissing his feet, I get up, and all the time Swami’s gaze was on me. He takes a sharpened pencil from the pencil stand, the one that was given by C.G Sai Prakash, and tells me to write and inspire others. Then he blesses me, asks me to go downstairs to the interview room and after sometime, he comes down and opens the interview room and asks all of us to leave. I didn’t actually grasp what he said at that time. When I came down from upstairs, I was so full of happiness and joy. It was he same thing that I saw on C G Sai Prakash’s face in 1991, when he gave hand-made pencil stand to Swami. It is only then did I realize that everything in this universe is interlinked or interconnected.
Rameshwar Prusty came back from security duty , it was then that i was fully engaged with book trust. Sri Srinivasulu, lovingly allowed me to be part of the Sri Sathya Sai Books Exhibition in 2009. Everyone was allocated some task. Only I had no task as I was an outsider, I was standing behind feeling sad that I could not be part of his Mission. When Swami entered the video section, I was standing far away. After he entered and everyone has taken a seat, he looks at me and signals to me to come and sit at his lotus feet. I sit for about twenty minutes massaging his feet, an opportunity that comes may be once in millions of lifetimes. and it is the best moment of my life recorded for posterity by Aravind Balasubramania and Ranjith.
Only in 2006, did I realize what he had actually meant . I started blogging and to my own amazement things would just flow through me. If anybody had seen my report card, they would realize that a person like me who did not know the difference between “how” and “who” and who still can’t distinguish between and verb and adverb, how he could start writing. I still wonder how I could write such masterpieces. R Srinivasan was kind enough to save a few blog posts from those days, for me and kind enough to send me. Deleted some text here . When I approached him to write an introduction for my project titled ” financial analysis of paper industries”, he would have possibly laughed at my English, as to how I got into a management program. Unfortunately, I had to delete my blog of those days, because I had thought it may not have been taken well by a few. Swami kept me with him for 27 years. He sent vibuthi packets for me through my father and ask me to leave Parthi just before his passing away.
Anyways it is not for me to judge God’s plan at this juncture. I am reminded of a quote which says “Oh God, if today I lose hope then remind me that your plan for me was better than my dream.”
Another good quote i am reminded of :
” When God decided the plan for your life it wasn’t dependent on your being perfect. Your mistakes are a not a surprise for Him”
“Faith in God includes faith in His timing.”
“Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact in your life, You can barely remember what life was like without them.”
Late P Sathya Narayana, C.G Sai Prakash, R Srinivasan, Annam Shankar, B Hanumantha Rao, Nitin Acharya, Satyajit Salian, N B Sikki Vahan and Sanvi my three year old niece to name a few….
“The reason why some people have turned against you and walked away from you without reason…Has nothing to do with you.It is because I have removed them from your life because they cannot go where I am taking you next.They would hinder you at the next level because they have already served their purpose in this life. Let them go away and keep moving. Greater is coming your way.” says the Lord.