Anita Pitale, Mira Road,
Should one lose something, there are only two options. Either (s)he gets it back or else they never do. Should one be at the lotus feet of his or her Sadguru, should they wish it, they’re bound to get it back. However, instead of sitting in one place and giving up hopes, one has to make an effort to find the lost item. Should (s)he repose complete faith in their Sadguru, can there be anything that is impossible to achieve?
My experience dates back to the year 1999. I work at the Mantralaya. It was a Thursday, hence my husband asked me if I was going to attend Bapu’s discourse. I answered affirmatively. My daughter Kashmira was about 9-10 years old at the time. She asked me to not go for the discourse. She requested me to come home straight from the office. In order to pacify her, I told her that I would come back home straight from office. My husband said that both the children would sit watching TV and there was no point listening to her or to come home early. He asked me to proceed for discourse from office. My daughter kept insisting- She told me that if I went for discourse, I should return home by 8:30 pm. Once again, to pacify her, I answered in affirmation knowing well that if I had attended the discourse, it would easily be 10:30 in the night before I reached home.
Mrs. Gavankar, who works with me, is also a volunteer. The same day, she walked up to me and handed over few copies of a booklet and Bapu’s pictures. She further added that she was asked to distribute it to others free of cost. She requested me to do the same. In my response to her, I said that I was not going to distribute these to anyone unless someone asks me for it. Saying this, I kept them in my office drawer.
At that point in time, Bapu’s discourse used to take place at Antonio Da Silva High School. Five or six of my friends would get together and we would then go for his discourse. That day, I began to wrap my things up around 5:15 in the evening and once again, saw those books and photos in my drawer. It almost felt like Bapu was asking me to keep all those in my bag. I jokingly spoke to Bapu’s picture by saying that I was not going to distribute those to anyone. I would give it to only those who would ask for it. I implored him to decide who I should be giving those books to. I then kept those photos and books in my bag. After office hours, five of us got together at Churchgate. We got into the 5:57 pm Borivali local train. We also met a few other ladies from my office. They were surprised to see me in a slow train so they asked me if I got into the train by mistake since I stayed at Mira Road at the time. This train was bound for Borivali and Mira Road station is after that. I told them that since it was a Thursday, I was headed for Bapu’s Discourse at Dadar. I then chatted with them for some time.
My friends asked me to tell them stories about Bapu. I then told them that I was not in a mood to tell them stories. I felt like listening to some devotional songs. I took out my walk-man from my bag and kept it on the overhead rack. Just then, I felt as if Bapu was telling me not to keep that bag there because it soon was going to be lost. How could I have forgotten my bag like that? It was not possible. I therefore, ignored that warning. All my friends were engrossed in either reading something or they were listening to songs. All of us were so engrossed that even when the train reached Dadar station, we were totally oblivious to that fact. My friends from office who were headed to Borivali reminded us and we jumped out of our seats and got down at Dadar. The train had halted at the platform for a fairly long time. Noticing that, I jokingly exclaimed to my friends that someone else’s luggage was probably left behind in the train and thus, Bapu had ensured that he delayed the train at the platform. I asked Aniruddha Bapu to not cause inconvenience for the other people and to let the train go.
While all these thoughts were storming my mind, I must have been totally engrossed in them because I just did not remember that my bag was left behind in the overhead rack of the train.
Later, as I put my hand around my shoulder to take out some money, I realized that my bag was left behind in the train. I was taken aback. I asked my friends to proceed for the discourse. I told them that Bapu and I would search for this bag. I talked to Bapu and told him that in spite of his reminder and an advance notice, I did not listen to him. I told him to help me understand what to do next. Please help me to make the right next move. There was a man standing next to me. He told me that there was a fast local waiting at the platform and I should quickly catch that to make a move. I did not even look at him but later I realized that it was none other than my Bapu.
Usually, the platform is quite crowded and one finds it difficult to get in the train. However, that day there was no apparent rush at all. The train began to move. On moving forward, I realized that the slow train that I had taken earlier was running parallel to this fast train. In my mind, I asked Bapu what to do next. I got a hint that I should get down at Andheri and then must catch that slow train. I got down at Andheri station. The slow train by then had not reached Andheri. I asked another lady the way to get to the other platform quickly. She informed me that in order to get there, I needed to get out of the station and then re-enter it and then move on to the slow platform. I was then reminded of Bapu’s sentence of assurance and then asked him to help me the best way he could. Saying this in my mind, I began to run. I crossed the bridge and now I was on the slow platform ahead of the slow train arrival.
That is when I realized that earlier my friends and I had got into the front ladies coach. So I ran on the platform again and went near the designated place. In the nick of time, the train pulled into the station. Is it the same train, I wondered! I was shivering. I told Bapu that I would get into the train through the first door and if he desired, it would be the same train and the bag would also be there. I was worried more about losing those booklets and Bapu’s pictures than my other belongings. I closed my eyes and asked Bapu to show me my bag when I opened my eyes.
As I opened my eyes, I was astonished to find my bag at the same place where I had left it. I made my way through thick crowd in the train. By the time I reached near my bag, I felt the train had pulled into Malad station. My friends from Borivali were still in the train. They asked me how I had managed to get back in the train because they had seen me get down at Dadar. I told them the whole story and also affirmed to them that it was only due to Bapu’s blessings and guidance that I had managed to get into the same train and also had managed to get hold of my bag. Those ladies were witness to this incident and they naturally exclaimed that Bapu was indeed great. They asked me if I had some book or his photo with me. I did. They all wanted a copy of it.
This was indeed a surprise because I had resolved that I would give it to only those who would ask for it. I managed to distribute all the booklets and the photos. On reaching Borivali, all of them asked me if I would be going back to Dadar for his discourse but by then it was quite late and I decided to go home.
On reaching home, as I rang the doorbell, my daughter opened the door. She looked at the wall clock. It had struck 8:30 pm sharp. Since I kept my word, she was happy. She gave me a tight hug and ran away to play with her friends. On hearing my story, my husband was equally surprised. I then realized that Aniruddha Bapu had took care of my little daughter’s feelings as well through this incident.