On this Mahaperiyava Jayanthi day, 8th June 2017, I try to Recall His immeasurable Compassion to Save me from a Certain Death, that too in Nigeria!
I was working in Phonodisk Nigeria, Ijebuode, as its CEO, a Nigerian – American collaboration, for manufacturing Gramophone Records, Cassettes. It was started by Allahji Haruna Ishola, who was like our Yesudas, whose records were sold all over Africa within no time! I was replacing a set of Americans who were Looting the co. As it happens in many cos there were many locals who did not like my disciplined way to make Phonodisk profitable, catching many of the culprits Red handed!
My factory was 35 KM from my Bungalow in Ijebuode and I had a Peugeot 505 and 504 and drivers had to come all the way from Ijebuode to drive me to the Factory. So I asked them not to come all the way and I started driving myself everyday to the Factory in the Mornings!
Those days in 80s,Nigeria was so rich with Oil Money that almost every one drove a Peugeot or a Benz! Traffic regulations had to be brought in Lagos by Stipulating Odd Cars on Odd Days and Even Cars on Even Days! That is why almost every CEO used to have 2 Cars!
My Faith in Mahaperiyava was so Strong, I used to always keep His Picture on the Dashboard!
Nigerians, for that matter, most Africans, believed in Witchcraft! Some of my Security Guards, and Cooks, living in our Premises used to be afraid of us, as we used to light the Deepam everyday in the evening and used to pray, thinking, we also practise Witchcraft!
Haruna Ishola’s own brother, called Baba was the most affected financially after my arrival, as he was living next to the Factory, Looting all the time!
So his aim was to Finish me somehow!
One day when I was driving my 505 to the Factory, I was experiencing a wild wobbling in the front tyres. I was driving at 100 KM but somehow managed to reach the Factory!
When the Factory Security Guard opened the Gates and when I parked the car, I saw Baba with his close Assistants looking at me with Amazement! He had told most of them ‘I wd never ever enter the Factory again!’
When I closed the car door, to my utter Amazement, I saw the Front Right Side Wheel, falling down and rolling! Someone had loosened the Bolts, when the car was parked in the Garage !
Some of my Ghanian Staff, my well Wishers like Bernard, came running and literally lifted me!
I was saved on that day purely because of my Faith in Him. On hearing this Allahji Haruna Ishola came from Lagos and hugged me! He, not educated in English, conveyed through his Daughter, a Director of Phonodisk “Your Witchcraft is more Powerful than Baba’s. He will now run for his Life!”
A really wonderful innings I had in Nigeria thereafter, all because of His Grace!I printed and Released Fela’s First Album which crossed a Million Records in just 3 Days! Ofcourse, every time I used to print a Record of Allahji Haruna Ishola’s, we used to sell a Million Records, in a Music Crazy Country! Can’t believe I was also a part of those Celeberations !
Incase you want to hear a similar incident, earlier to this one, please listen to this video taken by Shivaraman for Sage of Kanchi :