Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sai Baba

I have been so bad at blogging lately.

I went on a trip a couple weeks ago to Puttaparthie, to see this man:

{photo courtesy of google images}

He is believed to be God by many people here.

It took about 20 hours by train to get there. I can't even say how much I love train rides. I love them. Oh, and one of my most embarrassing moments in the whole world happened on the train to Puttaparthie.

Basically, I went to the bathroom, and apparently didn't lock the door {there were two locks, and I seriously thought I locked one}, and a young Indian man {oh, he was about my age} walked in on me. Now, I would have been embarrassed in the states, but I was even more embarrassed here because a.) Americans are already a spectacle as it is, and b.) Indians have much higher standards of modesty. Just saying. Anyway, so I was super embarrassed, and stayed in the nasty, smelly bathroom, laughing and too embarrassed to leave. Finally, I decided to leave the bathroom and maybe I said a little, tiny prayer that I would never see that boy again. {I mean, I needed some extra help, since I was on that train for 20 hours with the same people.} Left the bathroom, walked around the corner, and who was there waiting? Oh, yep, that boy. {Don't worry, I still believe in the prayer...but maybe not as much - kidding, kidding.} Maybe we kind of awkwardly apologized to each other - so awkward. I ran back to my friends, so flustered, and laughing so much I couldn't breathe. And THEN! Guess who's bed was in the same berth as mine? Yep, same boy. I awkwardly avoided eye contact with him the entire train ride.

Anyway, Puttaparthie was an interesting place. There were so many Westerners and foreigners from all over the world. I ate more Western food there than I have the whole time I've been in India, I think. It was a pretty touristy place.

We stayed at the ashram, which was a good experience. Every morning and evening, everyone gathers in this huge, beautiful and ornate hall, in preparation to see Sai Baba. Luckily, he showed up the first night we went there. So girls and boys are separated on opposite sides of the hall. You sit in nice orderly lines, sitting pretzel-style on the floor. Then everyone started getting really excited {because Sai Baba was coming in, although I don't know how everyone knew when he was going to come in} and everyone starts bum-scooting forward. Thus making all the lines messed up and causing people to practically sit in each other's laps. Then Sai Baba came in {he is 83 years old and in a wheelchair} and he gets wheeled across the front a few times, and then left. But, everyone wanted to be as close as possible to him. So, I'm sitting there and some lady whacks my head with her hand because she wanted me to move out of the way. I just glared at her. {Too bad I am a bad example of one of Sai Baba's main teachings: "Help ever, hurt never."} Then she shoved my arm over, and then she wanted me to tell the lady next to me to make her baby sit down. Geez, out of control. Anyway, it was cool to see him, especially since he means so much to a lot of Indian people.


  1. No Way, Naddly! I know who Sai Baba is! My gradma was a big follower of him when she lived in India. I don't know if she still is. She met him once and he picked up a bunch of soil and placed it in her hand, then covered it with his own hand and when he took it away, Poof! A fat gold coin. She said that up until the point that he touched her she had had severe back pain and it instantly disappeared when he touched her... for six months.
    Anyway, that's way cool, Naddly!

  2. Robret! I am cracking up right now! That's so awesome! And SO awesome that your grandma lived in India! I seriously miss you guys and I want to see you both stat when I get home. Maybe I'll even make a little Rexburg trip. X-Files? Yes!