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A Baba Story    by Mehera I. Irani


This is a Baba anecdote to do with a little girl, Kashmira by name, who was four years old at the time. The incident is all the more touching because it occurred in the month of January, 1969. To us it seems evident that she must have been a Baba-lover in her past life, for there is no other explanation we can think of to account for the behaviour and determination in one so young who had not met Baba and probably not heard of Him before; though her family had known of Baba, they were not Baba lovers.


Kashmira's grandmother, Shireen, who lives in Bombay, paid one of her infrequent visits to Pimpalgaon, where her family have property some distance from Meherazad. Shireen had met Baba years ago when we first came to Meherazad; after her marriage she had settled in Bombay. She had respect for Baba but it was her aged father Ratanshah (now deceased) who had loved Baba. He lived at his farm and would frequently come over for a chat with the mandali on a chance of seeing Baba. He would be of help in any way he could, especially when we were away and Kaka remained here alone as caretaker of Meherazad.


So we were surprised one evening to see Shireen pay us an unexpected visit with her daughter and two grandchildren, one of them Kashmira. After introductions and small talk were over, the conversation naturally turned to Baba. We found them very interested and receptive, even little Kashmira who stood by quietly listening.


Later they went over to talk with the mandali. Kashmira must have thought she would be seeing Baba there for while the grown ups were conversing she kept looking round expectantly, thinking she would see Baba any moment. Once in a while she would ask, "Where is Meher Baba, I want to see Him! "


"Yes, yes, you will, " the grown ups would say and continue the conversation.


When the time for departure came and she had not yet seen Baba, the little girl was very distressed and refused to leave. As much as her mother tried to reason with her, it was to no avail.


"I want to see Meher Baba, " she kept repeating. "Yes, yes, you will when He comes to Poona."


"No," was her answer, "I want to see Him now."


"Alright, in a few days you will. Now be good and come along home. "


Again "No" was the determined answer: "I won 't leave until I see Meher Baba."


And seeing her distraught and sobbing her relatives were at a loss what to do. Standing in the mandali hall, they looked helplessly at one another. Baba had retired for the day and was in His room, yet here was this little stranger, filled with an over-whelming desire, determined to see Him.


So Eruch took a hand and talked to her. He told Kashmira if she did as she was told, she would see Baba. She must go home now and come the next morning exactly at 10 o 'clock. None of her family should accompany her but the maid servant could come with her to show the way. Receiving a definite promise that she would see Baba, Kashmira quieted down and went home.


On January 7 it was almost 10 a.m. and Beloved Baba was seated outside the mandali hall facing the garden. Baba, weak in health, would have returned to His room much earlier but delayed His coming for the sake of a little child. The mandali were around Him. Baba gestured to ask, "Where is the little one—see if she is coming. "


One of the mandali went to the gate and sure enough, a little figure was seen hurrying towards Him with the servant maid some distance behind. Arriving alone, Kashmira unhesitatingly went round the mandali's side and exactly on the stroke of ten her footstep was heard entering the hall. Though she was among strangers, Kashmira confidently came up to Baba.


Eruch lifted her up so she was face to face on a level with Baba. Lovingly Baba cupped her face in His hands and looked at her. Then kissed her and placed His hand in blessing on her head.   

Continued on p.78


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