We had gone to India to meet Shri Siddhi Ma. Before going on to Kainchi, we were staying in Delhi. We went to do a few errands around the city, buying Indian clothes, getting a few gifts and items for our travel and we had commissioned a Sikh driver to take us around for the day. After lunch, he took it upon himself to show us the sights. We weren’t all that interested in seeing what he had to show us, but we went along with his tour. He showed us a giant Hanuman, which we liked and then he took us to Hamayun’s tomb. We got out and did the obligatory walk around, were barraged by beggars and decided we had had enough and got back in the car. As we were driving around the roundabout, we looked on the sidewalk and saw Maharaji, sitting on the sidewalk dressed in a long sleeved shirt and a dhoti. “Oh my God, there’s Maharaji, stop, stop the car!” We were dumbfounded and we took a picture, then we had second thoughts and asked Maharaji if we could take his picture, we had never expected to see him right there on a sidewalk in Delhi and being good tourists, we had no idea what to do and we immediately thought, “photo op.” Maharaji gestured and said something which our cab driver translated as, “He says that if you take a photo of me, no one in America will believe it” and laughed.
We piled back into the car like two of the three stooges. In retrospect, we couldn’t believe how stupid we were not to throw ourselves at his feet. Once we were back in the car, we looked out the window and he was making the most Maharaji-like gestures with his arms and his head as we went speeding away. We looked at each other and said, “Oh my god, it’s him.” We asked the cab driver to turn around and by this time there was so much mid-day Delhi traffic that we couldn’t go back. Why we didn’t get out of the cab and run back, I’ll never know. We went onto Kainchi but my wife never got to meed Shri Siddhi Ma in that visit. We had an incredible time singing with KK and going on yatras he’d assigned to us. Then my wife went back to the states, developed the pictures and sent the photo back with another devotee to give Shri Siddhi Ma. She’d accepted the photo and said nothing for a few days. A few days later, she gathered the sat sang around her and pulled out a photo album of Maharaji pictures. She opened it to a page that had a picture of Maharaji wearing the same clothes, which was a highly unusual costume for him, and she put my wife’s photo alongside. “You had Maharaji’s darshan” she said to me. We are all very blessed. A few years later when my wife finally got to meet Siddhi Ma and stay in Kainchi, Ma loaned the album to her, and side-by-side were the two photos of Maharaji. “This is very auspicious,” she said.
Excerpt from Barefoot in the Heart: Remembering Keem Karoli Baba – Edited by Keshav Das
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