- I was not the only one with a camera or the idea of using it as a means to get closer to Swami. Several senior students and a few teachers too were regular photographers in the Sai Kulwant hall. I was possibly the most junior among all photographers. I felt that I would have to really work my way up the ladder to catch Swami’s eye.
- It was necessary to get a permission slip from the warden in order to carry a camera to the Mandir. The Seva Dal volunteers at the gate would ask for this slip before allowing one to carry the camera inside. The warden would regulate the number of people carrying a camera lest they become a trigger-happy nuisance in the sacred temple. So, I could possibly take the camera once or twice a week for darshan. The competition for permission slips became more intense on festival days when there were greater chances of Swami spending time outside.
- The school warden had an interesting (and, in my opinion, sadistic) strategy to combat what he considered as indiscipline and reward what he felt was discipline. He would find out what was closest to the heart to different students and deny them that as punishment. For instance, when I was protested what I thought was a wrong decision on the cricket field (where the warden was the umpire), the warden didn’t issue the camera permission slip to me for more than two months! He knew that taking the camera was so important for me and strategically punished me in that manner. This was just one example. Many lesser ‘crimes’ of mine were also punished in the same manner. Therefore, I lived in constant fear of the warden coming in the way of my plan to become a regular photographer in the Mandir.
|I wrote down my problems and sought to get them|
solved through 'letter-giving'!
|The Chief Guest for the 29th Convocation of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was the Prime Minister of India|
Dr. Manmohan Singh.
|Following His words, I visited the hostels and conveyed His message |
to all the children.
I nodded and then said,
|I was surprised and pleased when He gave me a dress code.|
|I took a picture as memory of the episode|
but I seemed to have missed the
message of the slow miracle.