It was on the 5th May 1974, that I was proceeding by car from Arusha, in Tanzania, East Africa, to Machame Hospital, to attend to a patient, whose condition was reported to be rather serious. My wife and two other ladies were seated at the back; I sat beside the driver. We had hardly travelled about five miles beyond Arusha, when a truck with a trailer attached was seen coming fast from the opposite direction. In about thirty seconds, we would have crossed each other safely. But, suddenly, the heavily loaded trailer got detached, and came towards us, like a demon determined to destroy us. There was no method of stopping it or slowing it or diverting it.
The truck sped on, without its driver knowing that the trailer had got loose. On our right was the truck and on our left was a huge boulder, rising twenty feet from the ground. And, right in front was the demon of a loaded trailer intent on smashing our car. My driver tried his best to avoid the collision and save us and the 'Cortina'. As soon as the truck was by-passed, the driver turned "in between the truck and the trailer," and he was able to save his side of the car as well as the back portion. But, unfortunately, the side on which I was sitting was hit and shattered badly. The front wheel of the car was pushed by the impact of the hit right up to the front seat; as a result, my right leg went under the seat and suffered multiple compound fractures below the knee, with five fragments. There was a dislocation of the left hip joint. The dashboard pressed the front of my chest and my head was crushed between the upper and lower edges of the window. There was no pulsation; breathing stopped. People gathered round and wailed in great grief, "Poor Doctor! What a death! who can counter the Will of God?"
I felt that I was alive and that I was in Prasanthi Nilayam. Baba whispered to me in a low voice, —I wondered why He whispered to me like that—"Get up; otherwise your leg will be no more!" I called out, "Baba! Baba!" and when the people around me heard the voice, they realised with a shock that I was still alive. They started pulling the car from underneath the giant trailer.
Just at that moment, they heard the shout, "Kiswahili", above the din. Two hefty looking Africans appeared and shouted Kiswahili meaning, 'make way' "Allow us to get this doctor out," they said. They kept all else at a distance and took entire charge of the salvage operation. We will get this doctor out, they seemed to say. They used their physical strength to cut open the window, push back the dash board, and remove the plate under which the right leg was stuck. They kept the jack underneath the seat and pulled it behind. Meanwhile I gained a little consciousness when they touched the body and handled it in various ways. I asked for water, and when it was offered, I could sip a few drops only with great difficulty. Then, I became unconscious again.
People told me later that the two Africans struggled for over an hour and a half, to get my body out of the damaged car and put it in the ambulance van. As soon as that was done, they disappeared and no body knew who they were. They have not been seen all these years. If they had been 'real', they would certainly have come to Arusha, in anticipation of some recognition of the timely and invaluable help rendered.
I was at Whitefield, near Bangalore, at Brindavan, on 19th and 20th April '78 where Baba was staying. I still had to use a stick while walking and climbing steps. Baba called me twice for interviews with Him. He said He was aware of the accident. "Your spinal cord was completely crushed, I had to come in the form of two Africans, to give you a new life. Your wife was surprised when she was dragged aside. I assured her that she need not worry about you."
In His unbounded Love, He removed the defect from the right leg, which necessitated the use of the stick, by Himself rubbing over the right knee joint with Vibhuti created by Him. I could thereafter walk and climb steps, as before the accident.