Kharmen Masi was cousin of Rustom Dinyar of Bombay who married her after death of her husband.
She was devoted and longtime Baba lover. Her some of her experiences with Baba are written below.
Rustom Dinyar Irani of Bombay had met Baba years before in Poona, at the toddy shop in Kasba Peth, and had also visited Baba at Manzil-e-Meem. In 1922, he introduced his cousin, Kharmen Masi to Baba at Manzil-e-Meem. At the time, Kharmen was married and had three sons, but she was unhappy as her husband was prone to violence. After some years, the husband died and Baba encouraged her to accept a marriage proposal from Rustom Dinyar, which she did.
Rustom Dinyar arrived at Meherabad on the 12th with two of Kharmen’s sons, Homi and Sarosh, who were kept in the ashram and enrolled in the school. Their younger brother, Merwan, would join them later.
Rustom Dinyar and Kharmen Masi, 35, had become regular visitors to Meherabad, and Kharmen’s sons had stayed in the Meher Ashram School for some time. During this stay in Bombay, Baba visited their house. On that occasion, Baba indicated to Kharmen Masi that he was very hungry. She replied that food was being brought from outside. “I do not like restaurant food,” Baba replied. “I only require leftovers — chapatis and dal.”
Oddly enough, this was the only food left over in the house. But when Kharmen Masi opened the cupboard to get the food, she found it empty. She looked puzzled, and Baba asked her what was wrong. After Kharmen Masi explained, Baba remarked, “When you were taking a bath, a thief came and ate up all the dal and chapatis. Do you know who that the thief was? He is standing before you!”
Kharmen Masi’s eyes welled up with tears and she exclaimed, “O God, strange are Your ways! You ate stale bread and dal from the house of a poor woman like me. How loving you are to someone as unworthy as I. You are the sole support of the poor, Baba!”
Taking her in His embrace, Baba gestured, “You are not poor; you are very rich! What wealth is greater or higher than love? It is because of your love that I have come to your home.”
Kharmen Masi’s love for the Master was exemplary, and she would later live and travels with the women mandali for two years.
In 1939, while in Bangalore, Baba directed the women to stage plays for five days consecutively. One of the plays concerned an African tribe in the jungle. Rano took the part of a hunter, and Irene the wife. Katie was the African chief, Mani his daughter and Kharmen Masi, Soonamasi and Manu members of the tribe.
On one occasion, Baba told Kharmen Masi, “You are Buddha’s masi (aunt).” He informed Gaimai, “When I come back after 700 years, you will be My mother, and Kharmen Masi My father.”
Hearing this, Memo advised Gaimai, “Never be the Avatar’s mother! It is a miserable existence! Have you not seen My plight — how outsiders insult me and do not let me live in peace!”
Baba left Meherabad for Ranchi on 3rd July 1940, by train with the men and women mandali, and three masts, Chatti Baba, Shariat Khan and Mohammed. The women who accompanied Baba included Kharmen Masi and other ladies and several women servants.
In 1941, when Baba had left on His recent mast tour, He had permitted the Eastern and Western women to go together for a picnic or walk while he was away; but He had ordered them not to eat any wild fruit they might see. Sixteen of the women went out for a walk at sundown on 13th October 1941. One of them dug up what she thought was arrowroot, and passed it round to taste. Only Kharmen Masi ate some.
By seven o’clock that evening, she became violently ill with severe stomach pains, high fever and a swollen, red face. Dr. Nilu, whom Baba had ordered to look after the women, examined her, but could not diagnose what was wrong. All night Kharmen Masi tossed from one side of the bed to the other. Everyone thought she was about to die.
The next morning, Baba returned and heard the full story. He saw Kharmen Masi and put His hand on her forehead. It turned out that what Kharmen Masi had eaten was not arrowroot, but a poisonous plant given to buffaloes who are fatally ill — to put them out of their misery and kill them quickly! By Baba’s nazar, Kharmen Masi gradually recovered within a week.
On 15th July 1948, Jean Adriel and Delia DeLeon had arrived in Bombay. On 22 July, after eleven years of separation, they had a chance to see their Beloved Master again. Baba arrived at nine that morning with Mehera, Mani and the other women. Baba entered the room, and at the doorway, Kharmen Masi ceremoniously cracked a coconut at his feet.
On 10th August 1949, Baba came to Panchgani from Satara with the women mandali, Kharmen Masi and others were also called from Bombay. Considering the happy mood Baba was in these days, no one dreamt that an “earthquake” was coming. Baba was extremely happy in Panchgani. For two days He played games, had funny stories and jokes told to him, and took long walks and drives; the atmosphere was full of merriment and relaxation.
Bombay lovers sold several of their valuables, collecting the sum of Rs.10, 000, which was laid at Baba’s feet as their contribution. Baba accepted this gift with the utmost love, but returned the amounts to the respective lovers as His prasad. Praising His Bombay lovers, Baba remarked, “I know what Kharmen Masi has done, too. She always has had hard times to pass through and can hardly make two ends meet. Truly, she has gone half-hungry and still, surprisingly, was able to send Me Rs.400!”
Kharmen Masi came for the darshan. She was a stout, rotund woman, and Baba teased her, “Kharmen Masi, you seem weak! You should be sent to the battlefield to fight!”
Before the sahavas began, Baba wished a week’s change of pace, so on 21 st January 1958 he was driven to Bombay once again with the men and women mandali, and stayed at Ashiana.
Baba had sent word beforehand that He would not be giving darshan, and that no one should come to see him at Ashiana except for those few He called. Once, when Baba instructed Arnavaz that no one should know that he was in Bombay, one day the doorbell rang. Standing at the door was Baba’s old disciple Kharmen Masi.
“Don’t tell her I am here and drive her out!” Baba ordered. “Tell her to go away.”
Kharmen Masi was as dear to Arnavaz as her own mother, so she wondered how to accomplish this. Then Baba said, “Okay, tell her I am here, but she must go away.” Arnavaz did so with a heavy heart, and Kharmen Masi dutifully obeyed. Five minutes later, Baba told Arnavaz to call Kharmen Masi, who was overjoyed to have Baba’s darshan.
In 1963, to reap the benefit of Baba’s darshan whenever available, the Bombay group rented Jamnagar House in Koregaon Park for three months. They moved in the day after they arrived and stayed the entire summer. Kharmen Masi and other Parsi women would join them on weekends. For the first few days, their bungalow had no running water. Hearing of this, on one occasion, Baba remarked, “There will be a severe shortage of water throughout the whole world.”
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.
- Adele Wolkin
- Anita de Caro
- Aranvaz Dadachanji
- Delia De Leon
- Dolly Irani
- Elizabeth C. Patterson
- Enid Corfe
- Gaimai Jessawala
- Gulamasi Satha
- Gulmai K Irani
- Gulnar Sukadwala
- Hedi Mertens
- Helen Dahm
- Irene Billo
- Ivy Duce
- Jane Barry Haynes
- Jean Adriel
- Jeanne Shaw
- Kakubai Deorukhkar
- Katie Irani
- Kharmen Masi
- Khorshed Irani
- Kitty Davy
- Manu Jessawala
- Margaret Craske
- Mary Backett
- Nadia Tolstoy
- Nonny Gayley
- Princess Norina Matchabelli
- Roshan Kerawala
- Shanta Devi
- Shirin Sheriar Iran