Never had I seen such eyes before—I did not have any idea that such eyes could exist—and yet, here I was looking straight into them through a mist of tears. I scarcely noted that they were brown, very large, keenly intelligent, flashing, expressive, for they had another quality that intrigued and tantalized me as I sat before him. I kept trying to analyze it in the back of my mind while still striving to focus on a person who was going to mean, I hoped, the end of a long quest.
He sat cross-legged, garbed in a white sadra on a gadi or bed, in a small, bare hut in a field at Pimpalgaon, southern India. A mass of curling dark hair flowed over his shoulders and framed a pale but healthy face. Delicate but strong hands with very long fingers were holding a small wooden board about six by ten inches on which the English alphabet was printed, plus numbers up to ten. He held the board with his left hand while the fingers of the right pointed our in rapid succession the letters.
He had been silent for twenty-two years up to then, I had been told, and now, as I recapture that moment which was to change my whole life, he has completed over forty years of complete silence, even maintained when he was thrown out of a car, breaking an arm and a lag, and suffering great injuries to his face. But today there is a difference—he has even thrown away his alphabet board and uses only his own brand of unique gestures while his mobile face tells the rest. But what was it about the eyes?
He was talking with me via the board, which a Dr. Ghani from Poona was interpreting for me. I had roamed through many lands because of my husband's business, and had had conversations with kings and potentates, as well as ordinary people, through the help of interpreters. It was always a bit trying to my patience. But this was different because the good doctor read the words as fast as the fingers sped over the letters and so there was no waiting. The Master was asking me what I was confused about. I had the feeling that I was a pane of glass and that he could see through and through me... all the "me's" that had ever been! So why ask such a question?
Then I realized I had to put it all into words. This was why I had come from the other side of the world...to see One whose blessing even the famous Ghandi joyed to have. I had journeyed full of hope, despite my eighteen-year-old daughter, who was just as full of college skepticism, coming along to "protect" me from quacks. Then, as we approached the last lap of our long, hard trip from Bombay to Poona and on, my heart had sunk and a wild fear had overcome me that this, too, was just another wild goose chase, and I should never find out the answers to my ever-nagging questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of it all?