I recollect my paternal grandmother first time narrating to me of an incident when I was about nine years of age. In typical, traditional South Indian family ways my grandmother would tell the tales of Ramayana and Mahabharath and Puranas. On one occasion I asked my grandmother if the stories of all these gods were true. She smiled and narrated about my father. As a child after his upanayanam, religiously he would perform the Gayatri Japa- Sandhya Vandanam with his grandfather, morning and evening. It so happened one morning my great grandfather had to leave early in the morning to the fields. Little Jeja was told by his mother and grandmother to perform his japa. The house was a traditional Kerala house. A central open court with a trellised roof with verandahs on all four sides with rooms. On one side was the kitchen, pantry and dining area. The large, lengthy verandah or savadi was also the main area of activity of the family, what the Americans say family room. Here on the wall were were two huge, life size pictures of Lord Siva and His consort Goddess Parvathi.. Little Jeja, as was the habit, sat down before these pictures and started his Gayatri japa. Within a few minutes little Jeja fled into the kitchen and hid behind his grandmother frightened . When questioned what happened the little boy said; ” The one in the picture was standing in front of me.” His grandmother laughed, pacified him and said nothing to worry and that he should go back to his japa. After a while he went back to continue his japa. Hardly ten minutes had passed when he ran into the kitchen again. This time he held his mother tight petrified. Again he repeated the God in the photo frame came out and stood close in front of him. He was frightening His matted hair ‘ et al .’ This time both mother and grandmother were speechless. They looked at the pictures and wide savidi but there was no one. They thought the child was frightened of the pictures or some evil spell was on him. They performed a tiny ritual to remove the effect of some evil eye. Yet he refused to go back to the japa.

As a child I believed the story. I would ask my grandmother to repeat the incident several times. She would religiously re-tell without any alterations.I was amazed and in awe as I believed . Today I know such spiritual experiences are true. The fortunate have such visions. Ever since I have been blessed by Bhagwan Sri.Balasai Baba’s grace my childish belief has been confirmed. Since seven years I have been with Bhagwan and my experiences are unique.

My paternal grandmother was, in the modern sense, a woman of substance. Her monumental patience, her ascetic forbearance, her unconditional love for any member of the joint family was amazing! She served all with simplicity and humility. She loved and cared for all. She bore three sons. All three were gems who loved and served their parents. She loved and cared for her three daughters -in-law as her own daughters. All her three sons practiced the art of family life and respected and promoted the wife’s individuality. My mother was on the contrary outspoken and has immense driving force. She studied till class 7. She is very fluent and proficient in Tamil language. She was trained in Carnatic, classical music to sing and play the violin. She promoted the same in the daughters emphatically.

My father had two brothers and no sisters. My older sister’s birth was a great joy for the family. My father was awarded D.Sc. after her birth. He was also appointed as Tutor in Madras Loyola College. Two auspicious occasions were celebrated with great joy. My brother was born in 1943 and he was appointed Lecturer in Andhra University. I was born in 1945 and my father was invited to Princeton Institute of Advanced Study in 1946. So unlike in Indian families a girl child’s birth and the girl children in the family are really loved and cared for. My father wanted that his first born girl should be educated. In fact he encouraged my mother to study privately. Later he even arranged for English learning through correspondence course. But my mother a true south Indian lady preferred to bask in the glory of the husband. She was busy collecting silk clothes and jewels for herself and the two daughters. Ambitiously she also acquired property for the family, a huge house. She managed the home front show.

My father believed in freedom and equal rights to women. He literally implemented in new India the respect and promotion for a free modern lady with equal in fact more rights and respectability. My mother of course never could grasp the significance of my father’s foresight and magnanimity. The need to promote her individuality in the correct direction was his sincere aim. My father was way ahead of his times. His outlook and attitude was a peculiar mixture of a ‘ yogi ‘ and ultra modern concepts of the art of living. As always we never realised this value till late in life when he was no more.