ANJANI BAI MALPEKAR

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ANJANI BAI MALPEKAR

Narayan's chief female disciple, Anjani Bai Malpekar, was a former courtesan in Bombay, who knew many prominent social and political figures.

The woman had become wealthy in her profession and was renowned for her exquisite singing voice. Once a jealous enemy deceived her into eating some paan (betel leaf) dosed with poison, and although Anjani did not die, she lost the sweetness of her voice. For months she sought a cure, but to no avail. Finally, she began consulting yogis and gurus, but they, too, could not cure her.

One guru suggested she visit a sadhu who was seated alongside a road; he was Narayan, who was staying in Bombay at the time.

The woman approached him and pleaded, "I have been told you have the power to restore my voice."

"Why should I?" the sadhu asked.

"So that I might sing again," Anjani responded.

"So you can sing, ah! To whom will you sing? If I restore your voice will you sing for me?"

"Of course," Anjani answered sincerely. "I will do whatever you wish."

"Well, go ahead and sing!" Narayan replied.

With these words the woman began to sing, much to her own amazement. After this occurrence, Anjani Bai left her profession and devoted all her wealth to serving Narayan's needs. He was treated and acted like a rich maharaja instead of a poor fakir.