believed. At every stop came an unending stream of the girijans carrying the maximum possible load of the above items and literally hurling themselves and their burdens helter - skelter through the doors and windows into the compartments nearest to them. No railway control (even if tried) could stem that onslaught, as it were, at any cost. The result was the compartments were literally jam-packed and choking. It was a frightful situation in which one did not have any space to move at all. Even the lavatories were full so that we were obliged with unshed tears to possess our souls in patience till we reached Raipur, a matter of twelve hours of torture since to detrain too was physically impossible.
However, that is not only anticipating things too soon in vain, but also overlooking the terrible ordeal of near annihilation of the compartment in a burst of flames before that. For, this is what happened all of a sudden without any one knowing it.
One of our party consisting of my eldest son, the newly married couple and my wife besides myself, (I think it was the first,) said that smoke was emanating from the fan above, from a few wisps at first, later it suddenly swelled to clouds, slowly filling the entire compartment. It took a little time to realise the potential danger it portended. It was obvious, that there was spontaneous ignition in the wiring possibly due to a short circuit, which if not checked at once would prove dangerous. My son Satyanarayana immediately tugged & the chain to stop to the train. Unfortunately it gave way. We became frantic.
It is imperative to mention here that even in such a situation pregnant with danger, the girijans filling the compartment just continued sitting with their sphinx-like faces, and far away looks, unmoved, unflappable, as if lost in contemplation like 'tapasvins' entrenched in their firm faith that "God is in His Heaven and all is right with the world!" It was an object-lesson for us to understand what it is to trust God in toto, this was what Baba meant when He beseeched His devotees to cast their burdens on Him and keep QUIET letting Him to take care and provide every protection we need. Indeed, it shamed me into knowing how much too far below their standard-in truth how hypocritical-my fickle faith was. Their's was RESIGNATION flowing from complete SURRENDER.