RABDA: My Sai...My Sigh
By Samarpita – December 26, 2014

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On the jacket:

Sai Baba in every breath … Rabda has attempted suicide and chances are that he is going to die. Sai Baba of Shirdi enters the hospital room and awakens the spirit body of Rabda. The two, Master and musician, begin to converse about life, death and everything in between. Set in the present, Rabda takes the reader to the past, to when the Sai lived in His physical body. The life and philosophy of Sai Baba of Shirdi are revealed, often in His own words, and questions pertaining to Him and spirituality answered. A powerful spiritual read, Rabda is journey you really do not want to miss.


I cannot begin to write about this book, without writing about Sai. When I got a mail about this book, I didn't really understand it. A book about Sai? Fiction? Inspired? What? I took a breathe and re-read the blurb. I knew I had to read this book. And that reviewing this book will be very difficult for me. I am not a religious fanatic, I mostly pray to my father and to Sai. I pray because they give me strength. Sai is my friend, my guide. And every time I have stood in front of him, well ok, his idol, and looked at his eyes, I have cried copiously. The only times when I cry uncontrollably yet feel light after I am done. Such is Sai, he makes me a stronger person.

Rabda is a musician well past his prime in age, who is a Sai bhakt. The story begins with him hovering somewhere between reality and the sub conscious. Rabda's real name is Ciaz, but baba calls him Rabda. He was in this state of unconscious because of the forty odd pills he had consumed, apart from the copious amount of alcohol he had gulped him. Hovering somewhere between life and death, he realises baba is in front of him, talking to him, trying to knock some sense into him.

Bharucha is a spiritual writer. But this book is no where close to being preachy or overwhelmingly about the saint/god it's been written about. It is most interesting to read, facts peppered with fiction and language not pretentious but from day to day life of the current age. The moment baba's conversation with Rabda begins, I could sense a tingling in my system. Ok, probably because I am a believer. But still!

From talking about Rabda's life to his own, the book takes the reader through the journey of Sai's life, how he came to Shirdi, his interactions with people - believers and non-believers. By the time the book was over, I had this aching in me, wishing I was born decades ago, and in Shirdi. Other than the fact that the book is about Shirdi and Sai, another brilliant fact is that the author has taken a religious discourse and made an interesting book out of it.

Copyright 2014 Ruzbeh N. Bharucha.