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Book Launch: Shadows on the Maidan


Vivek Naicker is an accomplished journalist, and as some would say, a great spinner of yarns! Media Liaison for the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, Vivek Naicker over-sighted the media during the momentous election that brought Nelson Mandela to the Presidency of South Africa. Join Vivek on a journey through mystery, Brahmins, strange callings to go to India to meet his “guru” who was calling him. This was to open an entirely new chapter in the life of this South African diplomat turned scribe on India, its history and great narratives surrounding Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. Vivek presents his book, Shadows on the Maidan (Part I)


Shadows on the Maidan

In January, 2003, Vivek Naicker terminated the lease on his townhouse in Centurion, Pretoria, stored his book collection, furniture and other and household goods, sold the car and trailer, obtained a five-year visa from the Indian High Commission in Johannesburg and bought a return ticket valid for one year to travel to India. All this was the culmination of a long-cherished dream, to go when the opportunity arose to India, to travel, observe, meditate, reflect and write. As it turned out, the opportunity arose in the most unusual way and the dream miraculously materialised in the most unexpected ways.

A Brahmin Priest was to tell him, “You’re a fortunate man”, he said. “Take the advice and go, for it seems that the gods themselves are guiding your welfare.”

Vivek shares that through the years of apartheid and institutionalised racial discrimination in South Africa and in contrast to my Western education there, the backdrop of my Indian ancestry stretched endlessly, fading away into a past lost in the mists of time. Throughout my life, I have delved with great relish into that past, in Africa, Europe and the UK, South East Asia, Australia and finally India, acquiring in the process insights that would otherwise have been impossible.

I decided at the outset to keep a comprehensive journal. I recorded everything of significance, from new people that I met almost every day to my own feelings and attitudes in my new environment. Months after I arrived in India, it occurred to me while organising my computer files that my letters to friends and relatives were in fact integral to my journal. There were already a fair number of these, so I was hardly likely to run short of raw material when I sat down at some future date to put everything into a book or two.

In the months after my arrival, in my little flat among the market gardens in then-rural Whitefield, I wrote constantly, content in the belief that two potential books were in the pipeline. All went well until India got in the way of my simple, uncomplicated objectives.

Vivek Naicker is proud to present his book – the first of many examining the great mystery of this being by name Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi – along with other narratives connecting his own lives and reincarnations in India and many other places, to put before mankind the great mystery of human life on this planet we call home, the Earth our Mother.


Download the first copy of Shadows on the Maidan


Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, to whom Vivek Naicker humbly dedicates this book.


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