One must call you a Muslim because you read the Quran
One is also certain that you are a Hindu, as you worship agni (fire)
But the differences are only of practice, of technicalities
An earnest and curious devotee does not find them important.
—from Sainath Stavan Manjiri in Marathi
The Gupta family from Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh has been in Shirdi for almost three weeks. After the family of 12 had finished darshan, one member, Preeti Gupta, had met with an accident and was hospitalised at the Shirdi Sansthan Hospital. But this has not shaken their faith in the Sai Baba. Her husband Vishnu visits the temple daily to pray for her recovery. “We came here because we have heard so much about Sai Baba and wanted to get his blessings. Unfortunately, my wife had an accident, but I think she was saved because of him and she will recover soon,” says Vishnu, who sells sweets on the streets in Sitapur. The hospital is full of patients who have come from faraway places, hoping for cheap treatment, and more importantly, to get better with Sai Baba’s blessings. These are just a handful among the lakhs of devotees who daily come to Shirdi, each with a wish or a hope—a job, a marriage, a child, a cure.