(March 1963) Later the same day, Army Major-General Bhandari and his wife, Kamla, arrived at Guruprasad to have Baba’s darshan. Goher and Katie’s brother, Aspi, was also a major in the army and during the recent Indo-Chinese War had been entrapped in a battle. Remembering him, Baba mentioned this and asked Eruch to relate what had happened to him during the conflict. Eruch narrated:

Aspi was being sent to the border and before going, Katie, loving him and desiring his safety, asked him to wear Baba’s locket at all times underneath his uniform and to take his name. Though Aspi did not believe in Baba, he respected him and said: “Well Katie, just to please you I will wear it.”

The Indian Army troops were defeated at one post after another. Aspi too was ordered to retreat with his regiment. He was surrounded by the Chinese and so he retreated into the forest. As they were retreating, at one point they came across a huge Gibraltar-like rock. There was no other way but to attempt the 90Ý climb. The men were exhausted, without water or food and it was biting cold. Somehow Aspi dared to forge ahead, and miraculously it seemed that at each step during the night the path was cleared and opened to them. Once when they were resting, suddenly he felt that no matter how exhausted his men were,they should not rest at that spot. He made the men push on and found out later that within an hour the Chinese were there. God knows what would have happened to them if they had been captured.

During the trek they reached a river, a fast, flowing, roaring one, impossible to cross. While climbing, Aspi had lost many of his men. The more desperate ones jumped into the river and drowned, but Aspi with the few men who followed found a bridge. (He later said he was still not convinced it was really there, for who would build a bridge in such a remote, thick forest.) They crossed it and, at last, after fourteen days and heavy losses, they reached the Indian border. Their boots had stuck so tightly to their skins that the legs of seventy-five of his men had to be amputated. Aspi was the only one to emerge from the ordeal unscathed. When he saw Baba, Aspi fell at his feet and cried his heart out for his men. Baba consoled him, told him not to worry and informed him that he would have to go back to the front, but that he would return safely once again, and to tell his wife so.

Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Original Publication, Vol. 18, pp. 6100 6101.