Interest in the locomotive (railway engine)
his childhood, Hazrat Babuji evinced special interest in the locomotive
(railway engine). During that period, locomotive drivers used to be mostly
Englishmen, who were greatly impressed by Babuji's innocent interest in
this machine. They used often to take him along with them for some
distance and even taught him how to drive the machine. Babuji's interest
in the locomotive gradually developed so much that he some times spent
whole nights at the Golra railway station to watch the trains come and
leave at different hours of the night. Even at home, he indulged his
interest during his leisure. He had a railway signal installed on the roof
of his parlour, which was lowered whenever a train arrived at the Golra
railway station (about two miles away) and raised again when the train
departed. Seeing this keen interest, many devotees had pictures of
locomotive prepared and presented the same to Hazrat Babuji. One of them
(Shah Abdul Wali of Gwalior) even had a miniature locomotive prepared with
sweets instead of coal stat in its furnace and the sherbet (sweetened cold
drink) instead of plain water in its water compartment.
was because of this interest in the locomotive that Hazrat nicknamed his
beloved son as "Babuji"-an appellation which soon assumed wide
popular currency, and which became a permanent part of his name for the
rest of his life.
Babuji once gave the following reasons for his keen interest in the
the foregoing attributes of the locomotive can be interpreted as
representing the qualities which an eminent spiritual guide (Murshid)
should possess in order to be a true mentor for his disciples.
was primarily because of his deep and abiding interest in the railway
locomotive that Babuji traveled to distant places almost invariably by
train. Besides gratifying his interest in the railways, this also enabled
him to see the root to have a glimpse of him. As a further token of his
interest, the letter heads that he used for correspondence with people
carried the words "Railway Office, Golra" at the top as the
originating address, accompanied by a photograph of the locomotive.