JAMSHED BEHRAM MISTRY (Jim) and RODA MISTRY (Dadachanji)
Jim Misrty was married to Roda N. Dadachanji (paternal niece of Framroze H. Dadachanji and daughter of younger brother of Dadachanji). Framroze H. Dadachanji or Chanji was first Secretary of Meher Baba and was married early in life and divorced before joining Meher baba permanently as mandali member. Framroze was nicknamed “Chanji” by Meher Baba and became first secretary of Avatar Meher Baba. Jim Mistry was the youngest son of seven children of Behram and Meher Mistry. He met Meher Baba and became devoted to Him like rest of the family. He also travelled with Baba on many inland tours in India. A printer by profession, he published books and his messages.
Some of his reminiscences with Baba are briefed as under
In 1956, at in Bombay, Baba went to see a cricket match with the mandali. Jim Mistry accompanied them. Nilu and Jim got into an argument, and Baba intervened and scolded both men. Baba then asked Nilu something, but Nilu was so upset he refused to reply. Baba asked him why he was silent. Nilu said, “There is a new man present,” meaning Jim.
Baba replied, “How can you judge that someone is new and someone is old? There are many who have not seen Me but who are very close to Me.”
In 1957, Baba had called Jim Mistry from Bombay to stay at Meherazad for a month, and Jim was especially fortunate to have Baba’s close contact. By narrating amusing stories, Jim would keep Baba entertained, and Baba too would crack jokes with him. One evening, there was much talk among the men about snakes and spirits (ghosts). All went to bed, but because there was no kerosene in the lantern in Jim’s room, he was in total darkness and could not sleep. The next day Baba asked whether he had slept well. Jim said he had, but his reply was not very convincing. The truth came out, and Baba scolded Kaka for not making sure that Jim’s lantern had been filled.
“There was another reason I could not fall asleep, Baba,” Jim said. “We were talking of snakes and spirits right before I went to bed, so my mind was agitated and I couldn’t sleep.”
Baba advised, “Before going to bed, repeat My name 51 times.”
Once, Jim and Roda Mistry attended the darshan with their three young sons, Meherwan, Falu and Sarosh. Baba asked Jim, “Which son is the most devilish?”
Jim said, “Sarosh has that honor.”
So Baba motioned to Sarosh, “Sit beside Me and don’t do anything naughty!” Sarosh was only three years old, and sat near Baba on the floor with his legs crossed and his eyes shut as if meditating. During the darshan, Sarosh would slightly open his eyes to peek at Baba, and Baba would catch him every time, pointing to him and telling those at the darshan, “Look at this young yogi!
He is sitting in samadhi, but is very clever, looking at Me from the corner of his eye.”
Roda narrated to Baba this incident about Sarosh. One day she told him that he was big enough now to go to the toilet without her help. Sarosh entered the bathroom, and sat on the commode. After passing a stool, the boy picked up a mug of water and loudly shouted, “Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!” Then he washed himself, much to the amusement of his mother. On hearing this, Baba, too, had a hearty laugh and remarked to Roda, “I have given you three select gems.”
A week prior to the 1958 sahavas, Roda Mistry had suddenly developed acute stomach pains. She was taken to the hospital and the doctor said surgery should be done immediately. Her husband Jim requested that the doctor should wait, and he sent a telegram to Baba asking him what to do. The doctor warned that it was dangerous to postpone it, but as soon as the telegram was sent, Roda began experiencing some relief. By morning she was fine and was able to go home. The doctor was thoroughly astounded. She attended the sahavas and now came before Baba for his embrace.
Adi came to Poona on 28th June 1966 and saw Baba. That day, Jim Mistry had a heart attack at Guruprasad and was taken back to Bombay by Nariman for treatment.
One weekend when Jim Mistry came from Bombay, he went to take a bath. A small electric water heater was installed in Guruprasad for warm water and he switched it on. That moment, Baba called him. Forgetting to switch off the hot-water geyser, he ran out. The device overheated and exploded. The men went to see what had happened. Baba asked what the noise was and was told. Baba asked Jim, “Why didn’t you turn off the geyser?”
Jim gave a witty reply, “Because of my instant obedience! You called me, and I came running. Had I waited to switch it off, I would not have carried out your order immediately.” His clever answer made Baba laugh.
In 1959, every day, Baba would go to Ganeshkhind Gardens and there, holding Jim Mistry’s hand, He would take walks. One day, Baba told someone else to walk beside him, and Jim assumed Baba would take his assistance later. Thereafter, Baba took Francis by the hand and exercised back and forth with him.
Jim felt that Baba was in some way displeased with him, and his mind began working feverishly. He was left behind, without Baba paying the slightest attention to him. Baba walked a distance and then suddenly turned and inquired, “Where is Jim?” Jim came running, and holding Him by the hand, Baba walked with him for a long distance. This convinced Jim that Baba was always conscious of each one and had purposely been pretending to be aloof.
In 1963, one day in Guruprasad, Roda Mistry was seated before Baba. Suddenly, Baba called her and peered into her eyes. “How do you feel?” he asked. Though she said she felt all right, Baba reproved Jim Mistry, “What sort of husband are you? You have no care for Roda! Have her blood count taken.” When they returned to Bombay, Jim took her to a doctor and a deficiency of red blood cells was discovered. Roda was a vegetarian and Baba instructed her to start eating meat and fish.
He asked Jim Mistry to sing with Deshmukh (neither of whom had singing voices). Jim had never sung in his life, and he began trembling nervously. But he made an attempt, and their “duet” sent the audience into peals of laughter. Baba derived much amusement from their song, but he stopped it abruptly, joking that it gave him “heart palpitations” when he heard it!
In 1964, Jim Mistry wrote to the Bombay group: “They are still in the Meherpuri Mela dazed, and there is no end to their amazement at the overwhelming love for Baba that they experienced there!”
This was Baba’s leela. During His seclusion, He would keep His lovers away; yet they were not deprived of His darshan! The stricter His seclusion, the more His presence was felt at different places such as Meher Dham in Nauranga, Meherpuri in Hamirpur, Meherastana in Mahewa, Mehersthan in Kovvur, and Meher Dham and Meher Mafi in Dehra Dun.
In 1965, once Baba had been sitting in the hall of Guruprasad conversing with the mandali since early that morning. Jokingly he asked Jim Mistry, “Is yours or Roda’s love for Me more?”
Jim replied, “Roda’s love for you is much more, Baba. She is like a mastani and I am proud to have such a wife!”
Jim Mistry’s eldest son, Meherwan, passed his Cambridge exam at this time, and a telegram was sent to Baba about it. Baba replied, “I am very happy that you stood first-class, and I will be more happy if you stand first in My love.”
In 1968, Nariman and Arnavaz, Katie, Jim Mistry and Khorshed had been invited to Meherazad from Bombay for the birthday celebration. One afternoon in the hall, while Bhau was massaging Baba’s legs with powder, Jim Mistry said, “Baba, I have brought a special bottle of oil which is very good for massaging.”
Baba told him to bring it, and Jim handed it to Bhau. Because Bhau knew that Baba did not like anything greasy, he took just a little of the oil and began rubbing it into Baba’s legs. Jim joked, “You miser! Why do you take so little? Use more!”
It was very warm that day, and Bhau was perspiring as he massaged Baba’s leg. Jim kept teasing him to use more oil. Eventually, Baba motioned for Jim to come over and instructed, “Now, you massage one leg and Bhau will massage the other.” Jim was caught in his own trickery! He was not used to such exertion, and after more than an hour, he was completely worn out. Bhau was accustomed to it, but Jim had never massaged Baba before. Afterwards, he had a good laugh at himself for the lesson Baba taught him.
One day, Jim Mistry came to Meherazad. Baba enjoyed jesting with Jim and jokingly commented, “Your Rhodi (Roda) has become a mastani! What will you do now?”
Jim said, “I am proud that she has so much love for You!”
“Couldn’t she have found someone better to marry?”
“It is her great good luck that she found Me! I never come in the way of her work for you!”
When asked, Jim narrated an example of his wife’s “mastani-like” behavior. He said once all the taxi drivers in Bombay were on strike. It was well publicized and everyone knew of it. Roda had to go to the Baba Center that day and went to the taxi stand as usual. She waited for four hours in the hot sun and no taxi came, though normally one stopped every five minutes. In her absorption of going to the Center she forgot about the strike. Someone saw her and reminded her of it, and she walked back home.
Baba joked, “She will forget Me, too, one day!”
In response, Jim joked, “If she forgets me in your remembrance, I will be happy.”
Baba replied, “Then write her a letter today saying that I am happy with her mastani-like state,” and Jim did.
On 25th January 1969, Jim Mistry’s wife, Roda, after hearing of Baba’s serious condition, traveled with Adi, and the next morning they went to Meherazad. Roda hoped, she would be allowed to stay and render some service to Baba and the women during this critical period, but Baba sent her back after assuring her that all would be well. While she was having lunch at Khushru Quarters, Baba sent Roda an “important message.” It stated that she should be sure to attend the coming darshan at Guruprasad in April 1969.
References/Images from: Various Lord Meher volumes, discontinued website's ambprasarkendra & love-remembrances, images and dates, stories etc from respective copyright owners websites or publications used with permission - i.e. In His Service, Glow International, MeherBabaTravels, MSI and MNP Collections, from AvatarMeherBabaTrust, BelovedArchives websites and from various other website sources, Books, journal etc. More information where ever available with us like letter scans, stories etc are added. Kindly feel free to Contact us with any updates, photos or corrections etc.
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