7. Meeting Paul McCartney
Subarata had a dauntlessness in her, evident not only in her running but in being unfazed by lofty challenges. When Guru completed seven million Dream-Freedom-Peace-Birds – those lovely, swiftly executed flourishes of his various pens that captured the freedom-delight of the human soul – we wondered how to honour this extraordinary milestone. Subarata contacted a New York circus and, against all odds, somehow managed to arrange for a very large elephant to be transported to our Aspiration-Ground. In the driveway, Beulah the elephant was draped regally in a purple sari and much ado was made of the occasion – singing, stilt-walking, a delighted Guru posing with the great beast, and much else that has faded from memory.
When on another occasion she learnt that that the legendary Paul McCartney was in Auckland – the Beatles singer and composer himself! – she spent several days single-handedly battling the layers of secrecy, security and conspiratorial silence surrounding the great man’s visit, a bloodhound relentless in quest of its quarry, finally tracking him down to an exclusive coastal suburb. It was a private residence behind high walls, most unwelcoming to any impertinent stray caller – and so, armed with a Peace Run brochure, a letter of introduction and a personal appeal for our superstar to meet with us, she marched in. At the gates, security staff confronted her and she persuaded one of them to personally give her package to the great Beatle.
Two days went by. Then one afternoon the phone rings and a voice says, “Hello, Paul McCartney here. Can I speak to Subarata Cunningham, please?” And so it all came together. Sir Paul and wife Linda, hugely friendly and very relaxed, met us at Western Springs Stadium prior to their sound check for a packed Auckland concert. We discussed the Peace Run – lots of photos were taken with the torch – vegetarianism, politics, music and Guru’s work for world peace, and wandered about backstage for ages with our accommodating new friends. Then handshakes, an exchange of gifts and hopes for the future, hugs, and that was the end of it. Paul and Linda were very charming and affable – with Subarata again manifesting her soul’s quality as the messenger of inspiration and showing us the dauntlessness that comes from Guru-faith and God-love.