It is unlikely that in my life-time I will ever again ride through the streets of Mumbai barely seeing another car, and under police escort!
It is the day after Swami Kriyananda’s Mumbai event. A key figure in Maharashtran politics has died and trouble is expected in the city. Security is “Code Red”. All public transport is suspended … taxis, auto rickshaws, and private cars to be left at home. Businesses were closed, internet and phone communications, other than for emergencies, are blocked at key times. The funeral route to be completely closed off and roads closed into and out of the city. Whatever measures that might possibly thwart communication and transportation of terrorists was taken (although I had a chuckle to myself imagining terrorists in a machine gun chase via auto-rickshaw!)
We were scheduled to leave our hotel by car after breakfast for our journey back to Pune. Even the hotel staff were running on skeleton crew as the many of the day shift could not get to work. I had heard trouble was brewing the day before. During Swami’s talk I heard some mobile phones, which I have never heard in any of Swami’s talks before, despite being asked to turn them off at the commencement of the event. It transpires that people were nervously texting to find out the status of traveling to their homes thorough the city. My driver had telephoned me that night, suggesting we not make the trip back to Pune. “We have to” I said. ”We’ll be fine, don’t worry!” and I knew deep down we would be. On waking, my husband put on the TV … ”Oh, Michael, so early in the morning…?” I said, until I realized that he was watching the city close down as it was happening — live. How will we get Swami home? I thought. I made a phone call to alert key people.
And, just as one would expect in Swami’s world, Divine Mother was on the case long before we even suspected anything untoward. One guest at his talk the previous day just “happened to be” the Director of Police in Mumbai! He had requested an audience the next morning with Swamiji. He arrived at 8:30 am at our hotel. I was the one who first intercepted him. He was a very amiable man. He had already agreed to personally escort us out of the city!
“Don’t leave without us, Swamiji” I had demanded. “We’ll be on your tail!” He laughed. “OK!” he said. So, here we are, driving at full speed out of Mumbai, with red light flashing on top of the Police Director’s car, followed closely by Swamiji’s car, and then our own.
I have never seen so many taxis and rickshaws lined up neatly at the road sides. Mumbai is not usually a place I would describe as neat! At every junction there seemed to be police who saluted the Director as he passed. So not only a police escort did Divine Mother send us, but of the highest caliber at that!
“When I pull away from you” the Police Director said, “keep on going as fast as you can.” My poor driver, cautious by nature, had never driven so fast in all his life. We did the journey in record time. Swamiji made it home; a little road worn (and if you know anything about Indian roads you will understand what I mean), but still good humored and in one piece.
Thank you Divine Mother, for delivering Swamiji safely for us all, and for giving us so much fun too.
Stay tuned for the next exiting sequel, “Swami goes to Bangalore!” Ha! Just kidding… but, then, in Swami’s world, one never knows…
Joy to you