Thursday, January 27, 2011


I found this article and I thought it was interesting to think of fans hanging around the Ashram in India while the Beatles were there. Obviously the person who wrote this article has the year wrong and the photo I am posting does not directly go with the story, but I recently obtained this photo and though it was a good opportunity to post it!

Going way back.

As my father was a Canadian diplomat, I had the good fortune to spend much of my youth abroad.

I was about 16, it was the summer of love, 1967. The Beatles had just released Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band. India and the Mahareeshi Mahesh Yogi were all the rage.

I was heading back to my school in India, my father having been cross-posted from the Canadian embassy in New Delhi, India to the same job in Nairobi, Kenya.

On the plane from Bombay to New Delhi was a young American. He was Mia Farrow’s son, Mia having gone off to meditate with the Mahareeshi not too far from where my school was.

Sure enough, there was Mia at the airport, not recognized, waiting for him.

I was waiting for an embassy car to pick me up, Mia’s son came by.

“You’ll never guess who just arrived,” he said breathlessly. “The Beatles!!!”

Completely top-secret, the Beatles too had decided to come to India to sit at the feet of the Mahareeshi. On this flight were John Lennon and George Harrison.

John Lennon walked out, looking exactly like his photos from the Sargeant Pepper album, wearing a big pink button with nothing printed on it.

I was about five metres away. “Hello John!” He utterly ignored me.

A few minutes later along came George, close enough to touch.

“Hello George,” I said. He gave a cheerful wave, said ” ‘Allo mate,” then off he went.

My best friend and I took a train to the Mahareeshi’s ashram, given it was not far from our school.

As we walked around the corner to the encampment, we were hit by a flood of camera flashes.

The world media was camped outside the ashram. But they had no access and were desperate for stories. Two pimply-faced white teens with long-hair and Indian style clothing were a story.

We too weren’t allowed in, but were allowed to hang around with the media.

We didn’t see the Beatles again. But the Mahareeshi held a press conference.

A picture of the Maraheeshi sitting cross-legged was shot from behind us.

With the back of our heads framing the guru, the photo went world-wide with the caption “American hippies listen to the Mahareeshi.”


  1. Oh dear. I think this story may be pure fiction. In 1968, when Mia Farrow was in India with the Beatles, she was 23 years old. I don't think she had a child at ALL at that time, let alone an adult son.

  2. Of course pictue is from the Bangor train,Aug 67.


  3. I'm finding the story strange too. John looked nothing like the photos from the Sgt. Pepper album at that time: longer hair, sideburns, no mustache. And it was no secret that they were going to India. Wasn't Mia Farrow married to Frank Sinatra at that time? As far as I know, she had her first child with Woody Allen. Keep a diary, people! Then it will be easier to remember when you're older.