R. Rajan

R. Rajan, Pearl Queen, Santacruz, Mumbai

I was fortunate to have had Mataji on a short holiday to Japan and Singapore during October 1997. My first visit to these countries was way back in 1978 on business and on invitation from a Japanese trading company. Soon after my return, I had called on Mataji to offer pranams and convey that the visit was a success. I had then suggested that she should visit this country to personally experience all that I did-cleanliness of a high order, discipline that seemed so evident particularly in services, the patriotic fervour in the people, respect for elders, the great sense of security that ladies enjoyed and above all the hard-working nature- the very obvious material prosperity apart. Japan had risen, from the ashes of the World War to become an economic ‘miracle’.

Did I know, or could I have conjectured even very wildly, that my invitation to Mataji to visit Japan way back in 1978 and her response to it as recently as in October 1997 was to have some special meaning for me? No, in all honesty.

On the day we had programmed to see Disney World in Tokyo, we set out early with Ahila Venkatraman (with whom we were staying) after breakfast.
We walked long distances in and about the Imperial Palace area and then went upto Ahila’s office (Air India) as she had instructions to leave before
she could join in with us for rest of the day. After a short while here, and some coffee, we left the office with Ahila, headed for the nearest Subway
where we could board a train to Disney.

The day had started beautifully for me like any other but as we were walking to the Subway, I felt rather out of tune with myself. I was caught between the sharp horns of dilemma on what to do, i.e., proceed on to Disney or rather drop off. The latter option hurt me most but after churning out the two positions in my own mind, I commanded the courage to very hesitatingly mention to Mataji that I would wish to be excused from the trip to Disney. Mataji was extremely concerned and wanted to immediately call in a doctor to look me over. Though I was covered for such exigencies by travel insurance, the thought of a possible admission into a Japanese hospital was a position I was not mentally strong enough to take on. With all the persuasive energy I could command, I managed to convince Mataji that there was no need to call in a doctor right away but I knew in my heart of hearts that she was very disturbed and at once prayerful for me. With Her blessings, I took a taxi to Ahila’s residence, wishing all others a wonderful experience at Disney.

After some rest at Ahila’s residence, I recovered enough to be able to keep a pre-fixed appointment early evening with a Japanese businessman. The incident passed off with no continuity, recurrence or concern. We returned to Mumbai after about three days in Singapore en route. Mataji continued to insist that I needed to go through with a thorough medical checkup, although I felt perfectly normal (or so it seemed) and went about my routines as any other healthy person would. Pressure from Mataji continued to build, with very insistent messages through Jothi, that I must not neglect a checkup. It was in September 1998 that I subjected myself to a medical examination, inter alia, a treadmill test which indicated inadequate supply of blood to the left of my heart. When we mentioned this to Mataji, she was quick to insist that I needed to go through with an angiogram – and then, a bypass too! At this point of time, my cardiac physician had not suggested surgery – in fact, he wanted to keep me on close watch on medication and a re-ordered style of exercises and diet.

All the while, Mataji continued to insist that I needed to go through surgery and that I should not delay a decision. At the end of December 1998, I went through angiography which, to my utter disbelief, revealed as many as six arterial blocks, two critically situated, with a seventh in formation! One of our doctor friends was to say, looking at my angiogram, that this was an amber signal hoisted by almighty which I must heed to before it turned red in the form of an actual heart attack which in this case could come on un-announced any time and could be fatal too!

With Blessings as always from Mataji, the surgery went through at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai successfully. All through, Mataji had emboldened me by saying that the success of the surgery was never ever in question.

R. Rajan
Pearl Queen
Santacruz, Mumbai