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17

 

letters, "Happy birthday to dear Mehera the Beloved of the Beloved." All gathered around the tables and cheered while Mehera cut the cake. Now all joined in the chorus "Happy birthday to you . . . " Mehera brought a piece of cake to Baba but He refused to eat it! She said that if Baba did not eat it no one would have lunch. Baba took a small bit of the icing and put a bit of this in His mouth then gave the rest to Mehera as prasad. Some lucky ones managed to get a bit of this prasad from Mehera.

 

Everyone was hungry by now, as is the innate nature of women and although women have sophisticated palates, their "square meals" could never be more "square." The pathological appetite of some, and its gratification, were dramatic memories of the journey. Soft drinks and tea were also served. Many had a helping of both! While all were enjoying the numerous dishes, Baba sat in His chair looking lovingly as a Father at His children. Baba did not eat anything for He has always been a lamentably poor eater.

 

After lunch, Baba walked back to the meeting room and sat down. Mani announced that those women who had sat near Baba in the morning should take seats in the rear, while the back benchers of the morning should now sit near Him. A reshuffling took place and soon all were seated. Two women from Dehra Dun had brought a marble stone which was to be the foundation stone of their "Baba Abode" at Dehra Dun. They carried it to Baba Who blessed it by touching it with His hands, and even placed His foot on it. The two women were overwhelmed with joy and could carry the stone back home, where thousands would come to pay homage to it. Never before in the annals of history has the Avatar blessed a stone for His own abode!

 

Soon after this Baba announced that something terrible was going to happen shortly! All wondered what could happen to disturb the festive atmosphere around Baba. Just when everyone's curiosity had reached its zenith, a man walked into the crowd from behind. Since no men were permitted on that day because Mehera was present, there were several screams from the crowd. They tried to hold the man and push him out but he cried out that he wanted to meet Baba. There was a terrible uproar as each one tried to push away the intruder. The large man, wearing white pants with a big yellow patch, a black coat, half-rimmed spectacles, and a typical Parsee headgear, pushed his way to Baba. Mehera was flabbergasted, and so were the rest. The tempest was at its height when the man tried to advance towards Mehera who never touches a man. All through this uproar Baba sat placidly smiling at the happenings. It was only then that the man disclosed himself as Dr. Goher's sister Katie, who had been

 

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