Disclaimer : All names and characters used are purely fictional. any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental.
I had always thought that a baba ( Godman) was a kind of a recluse, white, orange or yellow robed figure, a mendicant of sorts, who traveled places with just a stick and a potli(a bundle of belongings) in tow, whom people ran to for solace in times of distress and generally when they had nothing better to do. Babas being the conduit to heaven, the next best things to God , they were (and continue to be ) hugely popular.
I may have been wrong. The babas , Godmen, Swamis and others seem to now be the ultimate celebrity incarnations one could ever hope to be.
When i saw Professor Baba Shiv speaking from Stanford business school today, dispensing one minute business insights , and that too on you-tube, I was speechless. Babas at B- schools ? Babas are going online, social and viral too. No longer the dhoti clad , living under a tree , or sometimes on it ( Ped- wale-baba meaning the- tree- baba), kutte- wale -baba meaning the Dog-loving- baba types. those might be soon going into extinction. We now see a new generation of babas. called the facebook babas, the media- savvy-babas, who can dispense nuggets of wisdom in the same breath as buying up entire islands in Scotland , striking contorted yoga poses, jetsetting, rolling in gold and precious stones, and also creating vibhuti ( sacred ash) from thin air.
These babas are certainly a force to be reckoned with, not to be taken lightly. I dare not belittle them for fear of being turned into ash. But i can aspire to be them. Nothing wrong with that, right? I can't aspire to be the swami variety, for i have no desire or even the Casanova profile needed to fit that image , a la Swami Kamasutrananda . And therefore, since being a type of a swami is somewhat tough , I will stick to the Babas or Barbys rather, and to make it look even better, shall rebrand and relaunch someday as the " Barbie Ramadevi *" amalgamating ,in an amblingindian way, two of the undoubtably most popular creatures on the planet. Here comes the amblingindian, propagating her nuggets on life, in a new avatar.
Watch out for the new Barbie Ramadevi*!!