Experiences of the Tarkhad Family with Shirdi Sai Baba 2 of 22
Author: Virendra Jyotindra Tarkhad
1st Meeting with Lord Sai This incidence had taken place on a summer day. Jyotindra had just had his lunch at an Irani Restaurant near Metro Cinema and was crossing the road to go back to St. Xavier's School where he was studying. This was his daily routine to have lunch in the Irani Restaurant during the recess time. That day while crossing the road one Fakir dressed in a white Robe accosted him and begged for alms. Jyotindra took out a coin of one paisa (a copper coin with a hole in the center) from his pocket and offered the same to that Fakir and was proceeding to the school. But the Fakir stopped him and he told Jyotindra that it is one Paisa (denomination) coin of 1894. In those days people used to offer one pai as charity thus one paisa was rather a much higher amount to be given as charity from a student. Jyotindra told the Fakir that he daily gets four annas for lunch purpose and therefore he can give away one paisa as alms. Besides, this one paisa is a running denomination so that the Fakir should not worry about it. The Fakir then laughed and said, "Allah Bhalla Karega," Jyotindra then proceeded to school and forgot about this incident.
Jyotindra had two elder brothers named Satyendra and Ravindra who were studying in medical college. Satyendra further acquired the degree as GGMC (Graduate of Grand Medical College later changed to MBBS). He is the uncle of the writer staying in Konkan Nagar at Matunga. (He is no more and his son & daughter are staying there). Jyotindra's brother was a doctor, his uncle was a doctor, and his grandfather was not only a well-known medical practitioner but also the family doctor of Viceroy of Bombay, then. In short it was a doctor's family for Jyotindra.
But in spite of so many doctors in the family Jyotindra's mother means writer's grandmother was suffering from migraine and used to get severe headache. All sorts of medicines were tried but her migraine appeared to be incurable.
They had a house maid who worked with them and suggested to her she should go to one Pir called Maulana Baba near Bandra Masjid, who she further told gave some Ayurvedic medicines which were seem to cure even acute diseases.
Now in those days for a Hindu lady to go to a Masjid to meet a Pir was an extremely difficult proposition. My grandmother suggested to her son Jyotindra who by nature a dare devil character organized for a Burkha and took his mother by car to Pir Maulana Baba. But natural when a human being is suffering from any acute ailment such religious boundaries are no longer difficult to transcend. But after meeting Maulana Baba their difficulties increased instead of easing out. Maulana Baba told my grandma that for this ailment that she was suffering from he did not have any medicine to offer but he told her that, "I have a brother named who stays at Shirdi and you can go to him. He will cure you and relieve you from all your sufferings"
Now both of them were in great difficulty. Firstly my grandfather was a strong headed Prarthana Samajist and they knew that he would not give them the permission to "meet such Babas. Secondly where is this Shirdi situated and how to go there was a big question? However Jyotindra did not give up (Dear readers, here I believe that it was written in their destiny to meet Shri Sai Baba and therefore no one could stop them in doing so.)
He collected all the information from the owner of the Irani Hotel near Metro theatre. He came to know that Shirdi village is in Ahmednagar District and one has to go by train up to Kopargaon via Manmad. Then from Kopargaon one has to travel in a horse cart to reach Shirdi, which is 9 Kms away. This means one has to be away from home for at least 3 days. Anyway Jyotindra organized for his father's permission and made all the arrangements for the journey. On one Friday evening both the mother and son left for Shirdi. On Saturday morning they were in Shirdi. They had made the entire enquiry and after they had freshened themselves they reached Dwarkamai to meet Shri . They saw was sitting in front of the sacred Dhuni (Fireplace lit by Baba). My grandma bowed in front of Baba and touched his feet.
They looked at each other and what transpired between the two is as follows:
Baba said to my grandma, "Dear mother you have come. My brother from Bandra has guided you to me. Please sit down. Oh mother you have a very severe headache is it not?" Then dipped his five fingers in the pan of Udi, (sacred ash) and hit the forehead of my grandma with that Udi laden hand. He held the forehead firmly in all the five fingers and said "Oh Mother from now onwards till your death you will never get any pain in your head. This headache of yours has disappeared forever." Dear readers my grandma was stunned with this act of Sai. She had not uttered a single word of complaint and how could Sai Baba know the purpose of their visit and her sufferings. I think two acts of Sai Baba made a complete transformation of my grandma. One, the exchange of looks between them (i.e.) Eye contact and the hitting of the forehead with Udi laden hand. In fact it was an order to that disease to go away from that head. My grandma had never ever had such a powerful dose of medicine. What transformation she was experiencing she only knew it better. The sad look on her face from the headache had disappeared. She was feeling fighting fresh. She told my father Jyotindra to bow to Baba. My father was astonished to see all this. His mother had never ordered him like that earlier. Then my father bowed to Baba & touched his feet. Instantly Baba said to him" Dear Bhau (Brother), have you not recognized me?" My father replied in the negative. Then Baba told him "Please look at me and stress your memory and try to recollect." My father could not come to any pass. Then Baba put his hand in the pocket of his Kafani (robe) and took out the copper coin of one paisa. He showed the same to my father and said "Hey Bhau! Do you remember this copper coin dating back to the year 1894, which you had given as charity to one Fakir while on your way to school? Now my father was beginning to recollect the incident narrated at the beginning of this chapter, His eyes were in tears and he instantly held Baba's legs in his hand. Baba lifted him and said "Hey Bhau, that afternoon the Fakir you had met was none other than me and your one paisa coin I am returning to you. Please take it back and preserve it very carefully. It will breed in multifold of paisas for you."
Now dear reader devotees you will surely agree with me that such a pleasant Sai Darshan which my grandma and father had must have been memorable for both of them and then onwards they automatically got attracted to him forever.