This is an iconic statue, outside a home in our neighborhood, of Shirdi Sai Baba. He is a beloved swami/guru/holy figure who died in 1918 but who is well remembered and revered to this day by people all over India. He is not to be confused with the Sathya Sai Baba, who is still among the living, and who has been discussed in these pages before.
For the benefit of our Western readers, it is worth noting that as we move through India, we see Shirdi Sai Baba’s images everywhere: bumper stickers, car windows, commercial enterprises, houses, ashrams, anywhere. He is woven through the fabric of this society, even through the various religions (he was famous for working to bring the Muslims and the Hindus closer together), and is a far more tangible presence than is, say, Jesus Christ.