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13

WHAT BABA MEANS TO ME

By S. R. Meshram

 

Twenty-two years ago, I had a chance of reading about Him. In 1937 I read a newspaper, "Independent," in which a description of His visit to Nagpur was published and the address where Baba stayed was also given on the top. I could not get a chance of His contact as He had already left Nagpur. Anyway, afterwards I satisfied myself by visiting the house of Mr. Eruch Jessawala where Baba had stopped and I got all the necessary information from him and his mother. Upon their consultation I wrote a letter to Baba in the beginning of 1938. Within a week I received a reply from Baba that I should come to see Him at Panchgani (Satara District), where Baba was staying for summer. At that time I was a 14-year-old lad.

 

On 8th April, 1938, dear Eruch made my arrangement to leave Nagpur station and gave me a happy send-off to go to Baba. As I was a mere lad he feared whether I would safely reach Baba or not. Midway at Kalyan, due to lack of vigilance, I lost my luggage, except two orange packages who were my companions in the journey. I felt extremely sorrowful to see myself being involved in such embarrassment and that my journey to Baba was unsafe without any elder partner. In the evening I reached Poona. Now I was in a dilemma as to how I should arrange my conveyance to Panchgani without money or acquaintance as I had lost everything. There I related my difficult pitiable condition to a bus driver going to Panchgani, and by Baba's Grace he agreed to give me free conveyance to Panchgani and I felt myself slightly relieved.

 

The bus brought me to Panchgani at about 4 p.m. in the evening, in a disappointed mood. I got down from the bus and saw that an unknown man (Mr. Jal, Baba's younger brother) was anxiously awaiting to receive me. He directed me to the place of Baba, where a mast (God-intoxicated) named Mohamed was also standing by with a glass of water to drink, but in his joy of God-intoxication it appeared that he had forgotten to drink. Baba after finishing His tiffin was ready in pink coat to ask about me and my journey. I related to Him the entire account of my unsafe journey and on hearing from me Baba was satisfied that I was prepared to act according to His instructions, and asked me to take rest and go to a separate room.

 

The next morning, Baba personally came to our room. I was taking my bath in the bath room, wearing underwear. Instantaneously Gustadji came

 

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