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Letters from India - Part 2

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Kutumba Rao & Chiranjivi Rao

January 13, 1989

Prasanthi Nilayam

Sai Ram!

I just wrote you a letter on the 4th, so not much news, only gossip.

See, there are two people under Swami, running the ashram. They’re very, very close to Sai and talk with Him in His room several times a day, eat with Him, etc. One is Kutumba Rao; the other is Chiranjivi Rao (allies Mr. Immortal - we call him that as code because it's the actual translation of his name!).

Now, Kutumba Rao was ill so Sai sent him to Madras to have an operation. Unfortunately, when they opened him up they found that there wasn’t a single organ in his body clear from CANCER. They were afraid if they touched him, he’d die. So they closed him up. Meanwhile, a telegram arrived from Swami saying, “Cancer cancelled.” And it said he’d be well soon. Word is that he’s able to eat and drink again, and he’s coming back here soon. We await his arrival.

Meanwhile, my friend Mr. Immortal has been fired by Swami! Well, “relieved of his duties because of ill health,” as Mrs. Immortal tells me. They’ll go and, following Sai’s orders, only come and go as ordinary devotees. This is a big surprise for all, as they’ve been here 15 years serving Sai. Mrs. Immortal is really, really troubled and in despair (she is, in fact, the “nice lady” who gave us both food once in her room). Poor thing is showing it by calling me night and day - talking, talking about everything under the sun, trying to teach me Sanskrit slokas and Telugu. She even gave me hot breakfast the other day, and said she was my mother in Prasanthi Nilayam (a title I’d like Venkamma to keep!!). She’s talking to all and sundry - poor, poor thing! I remember when I had to go, I’d spend hours in Venkamma’s room. So I can understand Mrs. Immortal’s despair. Paapam.

Meanwhile, all is fine with me, still in shed.

Sport’s Meet was January 11th, all of us and Sai went to the Hill View Stadium. Sai stayed 5 hours, 7:30 AM till 12:30 PM! We all baked in the sun, got terrible headaches and sunburns;, but never mind, it was nice Darshan!

Venkamma’s taking good care of me; I got a new gash on the very sole of my foot. I forgot to treat it so sand settled in the hole and it became infected. Venkamma forced me to put ointment and wrap it up nicely. So sand doesn’t get in – now it’s healing nicely. Good ole’ Venkamma.

Taking Kutumba Rao’s place (the top position of the ashram) is my very own dear friend who helped me so much, Mr. Naidu. Will he help me if I come to him in his new position, I wonder? He can't just sign my card secretly, as he did when he was in Public Relations office, can he - ?!

Taking Mr. Immortal’s place are five gents, but I don’t know who they are yet.

Now, I am learning Rama Telugu songs. Venkamma knows all of them, must do something while waiting for moksha! I feel Sai has progressed quite far with me, in learning the lessons for this birth. Only He knows – only God knows the correct Time, Place, Moment.

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu.

Love,

Divya

____________________

Foot Wound

January 20, 1989

Prasanthi Nilayam

Dear Amma, etc.,

Thank you so much for sending the two Subrahmanyam statues! Times are already better, honestly.

So, the day before I received them, it was a really bad, bad day. I even argued with my India mother, Venkamma, and we didn’t talk to each other the whole day. I  didn’t even eat and I decided to go on an all-liquid diet for the rest of my life, as a tapas for moksha.

Then Subrahmanyam came the next morning – within minutes Venkamma was calling me, I got to show it all to her (she opened all the letters and parcels one by one, even the money!). Then I presented the wooden Subrahmanyam. She happily took it and placed it on her puja! She spoke so sweetly to me, then gave food, so I decided to eat again.

The sheds became quiet for a whole day, when a bunch of Italians moved out. Then a huge group of Italians and Argentines moved in. Oh! How loud they talk! Even when the lights go off at 9 PM, they continue to talk loudly and shout loud abuses in Italian, at anyone daring to say, “Shhhhh!”

All residents, I believe, have taken a great collective sigh of relief and the ashram is quiet and peaceful, free completely of fear! Why? Top office men Kutumba Rao and Mr. Immortal are gone; not only that, but the top lady's side volunteer (feared by all) Mataji has left on vacation to Punjab! Replacing them is “our own people”: sweet, innocent Mrs. Hejmadi to control the ladies side, who’s a friend of all; and saintly Mr. Naidu, whom all praise as the only friend of all the office gents, in the top place in the office. Perhaps Sai has done this as Grace due to all of us, as the tidal wave of inner churning is breaking into many here.

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