Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

The Upside Down Chair In A Sathya Sai Baba College

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

This article continues from:  Bhagavad Gita and Facing Villains. Will Sathya Sai Alumni Speak Up? And Fight!? Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2011

and:  Ex- Sathya Sai Baba Students Could Aid Sex Abuse Change In India. But Will They? Posted by Barry Pittard on August 5, 2011

A few times, in moments of fun, when I taught at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I turned a chair upside down, leaving it uncomfortably propped against the window wall of ‘The Small Library’, which we magically created, that looked on the fields where the strong farmers faced every weather. A traffic of boys on the lookout to do a good deed would turn the chair right side up. When they had departed I inverted it again. And again. Now and then I asked: 

“Why is it that chair reminds me of the state of the world”?

But only one boy …. I said only one ….. probed deeper. He was not from the residential college, ostensibly full of the future leaders of India. Nothing so choice. He was a ‘day boy’ who lived down at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited colony. Only that one boy ever asked: why IS the chair upside down? I told him that it is to remind me that the world is upside down, and that what is useful and good has been turned upside down, legs kicking in search of Heaven but the head stuck in the ground.

Fifteen years later, in 1998, to pay homage to a very poor family (the Hari Singh family, who ran the idly shop, which was really a ‘temple’ of love) – beautifully honest, loving and true – I traveled from Puttaparthi to Kadugodi village, near to the college. A man passing by excitedly came up, saying, “Surely, you are Mr Pittard”. It was that one boy. Now a man. He relayed to me the story of the upside down chair!  He took me to his home, where his wife nursed their little baby, full of the innocence that always holds a ridiculous promise for fair weather in life.

Well, boys, or men – if that is what you are! – I trust that all your children are safe and well, and stricken by no predator. Would that I could visit, but security advice informs me that India – a country I love so well, and where I am welcome in places forbidden to foreigners – is too dangerous a place for me to travel. I would still come, but have children in my charge, who would miss me if I went missing. Perhaps I shall visit you in disguise.

It may be that you may wish to keep kicking at Heaven, your head stuck in the ground. Or perhaps I shall be able to sit here, right side up, one old man, and joyfully see that there is more than one boy ….. I said more than one ….. who will remember what, alone, is worth remembering about chairs and their strange ways.

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