On 3rd October morning my sister,brother in law,nephew who works in Bangalore as a software engineer started for Puttaparthy to have a Darshan of Sai Baba and as the road was a six track which leads to Hydrabad the travel in our car was a pleasure and the car's speed was touching 140 K.M when I casually looked at the meter and my nephew at the wheels and the Bhajan CD was playing in the car.
As we had only tea while leaving Bangalore on the way he stopped near a Kamath Motel after an hour of journey and many of the travelers were dining in their white dress, a symbol of Sai Devotees usually. The crowd was heavy and took us around 40 minutes to finish our morning breakfast and tea and resumed our journey.
At the ahram gate the Car was not allowed inside , thanks to the security alert which we come across everywhere in the temple towns , and we stopped our car and inquired for stay and understood no space to stay , all booked already and people were swarming like flies all over.
Some how we thought of staying outside in some lodgings and went inside to meet one of our friends employed in the service of the Ashram- but informed us since students were waiting in the hall being a holiday Swami was going to come again to give Darshan for morning, so we rushed and my sister , nephew and brother in law were able to go inside the hall and I standing outside atop on some step near a building and seen the Swami moving around the devotees and blessing all and the Bhajan reached a crescendo of euphoric heights
Over the past two decades concrete jungles have sprung up inside the Ashram occupying every available space owing to the space constraint and spoiling the ambiance of the serene atmosphere.Language and communication have become a hassle inside the ashram, lot of North Indians knowing only Hindi swarming everywhere inside the dining hall and reception,entrance....... whereas 20 years back we could see smiling faces with calmness seen everywhere helping people in multilingual culture.Why now this change, are they all employees of the ashram or in the name of service intruded inside for livelihood ....... I don't know.Inside the dining hall, only sound in high pitch compared to the past calmness and servicing smile.Where gone all these devotees?.
We went for lunch for tokens are given for Rs.6 each, but food is sub standard compared to ten years back, it is like just rich and colored watery thing called Sambar, Rasam, and butter milk--better they can collect more money and give better food since devotees come far off places.Children could not eat what being served. I think those who manage food could concentrate further in this regard.Although I ate all kinds of food in my life owing to my business and professional travel, this food was so sub standard for consumption, although I was hungry and very hot. When I entered into the car the A/ C was adjusted to full blast .
We came out after the darshan and decided to leave Puttparthy having seen the Swami although we went there to stay and reached back Bangalore by 4.30 evening.
Next day morning I rang up my friend who happened to tour around the world always for his work and fortunate on that day he was available in Bangalore on 4th , and he was eager to see me , so we proceeded to meet him in Jaya Nagar , opposite to Central Mall and spent pleasant time and went for lunch some Restaurant , although we never concentrated on lunch despite being rich lunch, our talks were only on the happenings in the past and what were we doing etc., etc.,
Evening we went to Sai Temple in 9th Block of Jaya Nagar and what is unique here in this temple is the priest who conducts pooja does like one attending an elderly in our own home; the tamboolam [offering of betel leaves,betel nuts and other ingredients ] is like offering near the mouth of Shirdi Sai is like one giving to one old, respected elderly in our home.
We received Prasad, and others were distributing Cakes,sweets etc., and proceeded to Saravana Bhavan for our night dinner.
So pleasantly two days passed with our Puttaparthy and Shirdi Sai Temple and we stayed around ten days and proceeded back to our town Coimbatore.
Now I feel like visiting this temple again as if to meet my own grand father .
Somehow I used to visit this city often.