- Falguni Pathak
On the occasion of the Rankala Mahotsav, sponsored by the Maharashtra State Government and the M.T.D.C., I was slated to perform a stage show on the 15th of February 2007 at Kolhapur. On 14th February, at 10.00 a.m., I left for Kolhapur in my Innova car along with my friend and the driver. We halted at Pune around 12.30 p.m. for tea and snacks. Thereafter during the onward journey both my friend and I dozed off on the rear seat of the car. Normally, I always sit next to the driver but because the rear seat of the Innova can be reclined too, we both decided to sit in the rear seat. When I was aroused from my snooze, I realized that our car was traveling on the Pune – Satara Expressway at a speed of about 120 Km/hr. and I suddenly realized that O God! Even the driver had dozed off. At that very moment I saw a S.T. bus coming from the opposite direction with great speed. I alerted the driver, immediately. He jammed down the brakes and the car veered sharply to the left and instead of a head-on collision with the S.T.bus, the car collided on the side aspect of the bus. The impact was so severe that the car as well as its engine was totally smashed and the front wheels were broken to pieces. Even the rear window glass was totally shattered and hot vapours & smoke was being emitted from the engine. Even the S.T. bus had suffered equal damage on the left side. But the most startling aspect was that neither anyone in the car, nor the S.T. had suffered even a slight scratch!
All this happened so suddenly and quickly, that we were all left stunned and remained seated in the car for some time. The villagers who had gathered there advised us to get out of the car, as there was a possibility of the car catching fire. All three of us were trembling with fright. The villagers were very surprised to find us all hale, hearty and safe. “How did you survive?” We could see this question writ large on their faces. The police arrived and started investigating. We were told to come to the police station. But we were worried as to how we would be able to transfer our entire luggage and equipment for the stage show. At that instant a gentleman wearing a white shirt and gray pant came forward. He started enquiring of us from where we had come and where we were going. But we were hesitating to give any information to him. Realizing this, he said “Do not fear, I too am a Bapu Bhakta. Seeing Bapu’s photo on your car I came forward to help you.” Hearing this we got a little courage in our minds.
That unknown person immediately made arrangements to hire a Maruti Van. He himself transferred with great care the entire luggage from our car to the van. Then we sent my friend along with the luggage, to Kolhapur, while the driver and I went to the police station very nervous. From there for the first time we informed Pujya Sameerdada about the accident, in Mumbai. Shri Sameerdada himself called back immediately and he gave us great support by his reassurance. He informed us that he would immediately send our colleagues from the Satara and Wai Kendra for help. We felt greatly relieved.
As told by P.Sameerdada within 20 minutes the volunteers from Satara and Wai Kendra arrived at site. They all lent us a lot of support. The case papers of the accident were made out in such a way that we would get the reimbursement of the major proportion of the expenses. They also arranged to transport my damaged vehicle by truck back to Mumbai. I left my driver to rest at the house of a Wai volunteer and I started back for my stage show in Kolhapur.
The volunteers from P. Sameerdada’s office in Mumbai were constantly in touch with us during the entire ordeal. The stage show on the 15th of February was a great success. After the culmination of the show, whilst speaking to the organizers I was told that during the entire duration of the show 3 white pigeons were seen to be sitting on the stage. The pigeons did not move even an inch for the entire duration of the show, in spite of the loud sound and glaring lights… The unknown gentleman wearing the white shirt and gray trousers 4 and the three pigeons… I realized the indication even though I unaware of his presence then. I offer my salutations to my Sadguru P.P. Aniruddha Bapu who without doubt is always alongside me..