5. Shop Duty & Meeting Parvatamma - March 1989

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Shop Duty & Meeting Parvatamma

March 3, 1989

Prasanthi Nilayam

Sai Ram All,

About February 11th, no office gent would continue my case (or ask Sai about it), so I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, our very own Venkamma saved my life literally once again, by forcing me to stay in the village instead of climbing the Prasanthi hills (to rot away).

One family stays in South Prasanthi 2 (right behind Venkamma's room), a family of 6 (three generations of grandfather, grandmother, son, wife, daughter (16 years old) and son (18 years old). Devotees many years, father works in Sai stores. But Sai only gave one tiny room (5 by 5 feet) for them all, so they bought some of Venkamma’s land and built a house a short distance from the ashram, down Chitravati road. They are all Telugu people and I know the daughter. They spend all day in the small ashram room, and keep the house empty just to sleep in it during the winter months. So, they took me in. Only because of Venkamma’s advice and order, did I venture outside.

I go to the outside house about 11:30 AM to cook, clean, rest, etc. Then I return to the ashram about 2:30 PM. At night mother, father, daughter and son and I go about 8 PM to sleep in the outside house. I get up early and come to the ashram by 4:15 AM. So mostly I'm inside the ashram. I stay in Venkamma’s room if I don’t have work and they’re late in going to the house at night.

So, Swami took my note to give work on February 4th. I was removed from ashram on February 11th, then on 21st February morning Darshan Sai gave me namaskar. In a different part of the compound, one foreigner American whom I know (Judy from New York), decided she wanted to inform Sai of how I deserve to be inside, have work, etc. She wrote a long letter to Him about me, and He took it that morning Darshan also.

That evening, I was informed by the head lady of the lady’s side shops, (inside ashram) that I had been given permission to work there. She had asked me before but the head of the gent’s side was afraid to get special permission needed for foreigners (no white face had ever been seen in the shops before!).

Suddenly he somehow got permission from the head of all the shops himself, Sri Kalidas, who follows behind Swami and who comes out before Sai for Darshan (to warn us that Sai is coming). So that very evening, February 21st, I started work at the inside ashram fruit/vegetable shop!

I wrote to Sai on the 24 February, informing Him that I was there working, thank you and may I get to be inside the ashram please? I wrote it so if He wanted to remove me, He could do so easily, He just has to show the note to the office. He gave a truly amazing Darshan – walking from the verandah straight up to me on the corner (I happened to get 1st row the very first day I took the note to Darshan), held out His hand for the letter, and nodded at me while He took it. Shocking!

Meanwhile, Margaret the only other foreigner allowed to work (cleaning Ganesh since four years – the one who made me write the letter to Sai on 4 February, to give me work), was removed from the job! The new administration in charge of Immortal’s place, named Hanuman (by us), didn’t like her doing it. He told her suddenly one day, that he asked Sai and Sai said she shouldn’t do the work. Now she’s hoping this work was removed so Sai will give her a teaching job here.

Since the office wasn’t involved at all in me getting the work, I dare not go there requesting a room. They’ve been known to say they asked Sai about something when they really didn’t (always giving negative reply – like in Margaret’s case).

Moving along in the drama, Parvatamma took a turn for the worse, stopping coming and cooking altogether, and finally was mostly only in bed. Her family members started coming – relatives started to visit. Parvatamma even called her sister Venkamma to come to talk.

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