Sai Mahabhakta Shri.Nagesh Atmaram Sawant belonged to Maratha Community and worked as Sub Inspector with the Bombay City Police.
He learnt about Sai Baba in December 1922 when he had Sai Leela Masik Magazine at Sawantwadi. Baba's leelas depicted in the Magazine drew his attention. One day in December 1923, a lizard fell on his head and that was a very inauspicious significance. His wife was pregnant at that time and was residing at Pendur, Malwan Taluk of Maharashtra.
In January 1924, he went to Nasik for a training at the Police School. He did not like the training there. He was often thinking of Baba, prayed to him and hoped that Baba would save him. Later, he got a picture of Baba from his friend Shri.P.Dev and started worshipping the photograph.
Nagesh failed in the Departmental Examination held at Nasik. If anybody failed in the examination, they were not given a chance to become Sub Inspector. Hence, he continued as acting Sub Inspector for about fiver years. He was unwilling to go to Nasik again as it was financially ruinous and he was fully confident that Baba would make him a permanent Sub Inspector without passing the examination. From 1924 onwards, he began to regularly visit Shirdi during Maha Samadhi Day of Sai Baba.
In 1926, during Moharam festival, normally the department never used to sanction leave. But Nagesh was bent upon going to Shirdi for attending Maha Samadhi day of Sai Baba. That night, Baba appeared in his dream and Nagesh saw Baba sign some papers in the dream. Nagesh thought that Baba wanted him to sign the leave application and apply for leave. Accordingly, Nagesh applied for leave and got leave without any problem.
In February 1929, there were Hindu Muslim Riots in Mumbai. Nagesh was on duty at Parel. Suddenly he developed headache and fever. An European Police Officer from another division came there to see the situation and he asked him "YOu do not look well". Then he went straight to Nagesh's superior the Superintendent of Police who was on the road and got oral approval for Nagesh's leave and took additional charge of his duty. It was around 3:30 PM in the afternoon. Nagesh left the place and reached his home. After about an hour's time, Nagesh learnt that there was a riot in that very place which was patrolled by Nagesh and the European Officer who had taken my charge and patrolling that area was killed during that riot. Nagesh continued to suffer from illness. Thus, Nagesh went to the Police Hospital where the doctors declared that he was suffering from typhoid. After about 17 days, Nagesh had a dream one night in which he saw a big strong man with a black dress on his body and a black cloth on his head caught hold of him (Nagesh) and dragged him. Nagesh started screaming "Baba Baba". At that very moment, a white complexioned individual wearing a white dress appeared and fought with the Black man and thus Nagesh escaped from the clutches of Black Man. Nagesh again shouted "Baba and Datta Maharaj". Then suddenly Baba appeared before Nagesh from the photo frame of a picture that he worshipped and disappeared after a few moment. The Black Man and the other man had already disappeared. Nagesh felt the fragrance of Sabja, Agarbatti at that time. Immediately after that, the fever that was troubling Nagesh disappeared.
In July 1929, the Police Department showed special consideration and exempted Nagesh from taking the examination and awarded Permanent appointment as Sub Inspector.
When Nagesh was lying ill in Hospital, his mother who was in their ancestral village had a dream. She saw someone had appeared and told her "Do not fear. I will bring your boy safe home, getting him leave". Exactly after a week's time, Nagesh got approval for 3 months of leave and went home for recuperating from the illness.
One Abba Savant, friend of Nagesh aged about 44 years worked as a Constable at Mumbai and was living near his Quarters. He told Nagesh that he had got a Saree and had given to his wife which she had placed one night on the table. She did not faith in Sai Baba and told Abba Savant (her husband) "You say this is Baba's gift. But you earned the money by your toil". Later on, most probably during the night or early morning she got up and again looked at the new Saree. She saw that the Saree was burnt in the middle as though a hot coal had been placed in the middle of it on the top fold. All the folds had been burnt through in the middle and the cloth was of no use. She then told her husband Abba "Let us see if a new cloth would be given by Baba tomorrow". Accordingly Abba suddenly got some money next day and brought her a new Saree.
(Source: Devotees' Experiences of Shri Sai Baba, Parts I, II and III by Poojya Shri.B.V.Narasimha Swamiji)