ASPENDIAR RUSTOM IRANI (PENDU)
Pendu, Aspendiar Rustom Irani, was the first cousin and has been close to Baba since childhood. He was a part of Baba’s mandali since Manzil days. He was assigned the job of construction and making arrangement of stay for mandali, Baba’s and darshan programme which he performed in all sincerely.
His some of real time incidents with Baba and Baba’s comments about him are elaborated as under:
Dr. Karkal was deeply impressed with Baba’s acts of compassion and became very drawn to the Master. He worked selflessly in treating patients at the hospital and those afflicted with eye ailments, which were frequently found among the schoolboys and the other dispensary clients. Pendu was the doctor’s assistant. (Lord Meher-p-662-1926)
In one of incident in 1927, Pendu had a quarrel with Ardeshir (Kaka Baria). It was Baba’s order that everyone should drink tea from his own cup and eat from his own plate. One day Bapu Brahmin went to Ardeshir for tea with Pendu’s cup, as he was delayed in taking the boys to the school. Ardeshir refused to serve him and put Pendu’s cup away, keeping it on a shelf. Bapu informed Pendu about the incident.
When Pendu went to Ardeshir and asked why he did not give tea to Bapu, Ardeshir reminded him of Baba’s rule not to use another’s cup. Pendu then inquired why he did not return his cup. Ardeshir said he was not going to return it, which irritated Pendu. Buasaheb came along and sided with Ardeshir. A heated quarrel took place and Pendu shouted in sheer exasperation, “You Persian Iranis really are Jungli (uncouth, ignorant)!”
This remark upset Buasaheb who complained to Baba, adding that it would not be possible for him to act as manager any longer with an assistant like Pendu. Baba called Pendu and Ardeshir. Pendu explained that they always used each others’ cups and plates, so why was it that only today Ardeshir refused to serve tea to Bapu in his cup. Baba turned to Ardeshir and asked, “Why do you use others’ plates and cups?” Ardeshir brazenly replied that it was untrue, that he never did.
Hearing this blatant lie, Pendu lost his temper and picked up a ladle lying nearby to strike Ardeshir. Baba’s brother Beheram interceded and grabbed the ladle from Pendu’s hand. Baba became very upset with Pendu for his obvious intention. He scolded Pendu severely for losing his temper, but after a few minutes, Baba in a calm manner explained to Pendu, “It is not befitting to get so angry. He who fails to control his temper is a weakling. To conquer anger is true courage. A commander of an army may rule the entire country, but he may not be able to control his own temper.”
Pendu had been coughing for many days. On 7th January 1929, Dr. Sathe prescribed some medicine for him. Baba’s brother Beheram, who was the compounder, mistakenly added some hydrochloric acid while mixing the medicine. When Pendu swallowed the mixture, he felt as if his throat was on fire, and his condition became serious. Baba immediately had Adi drive Pendu to Sassoon Hospital in Poona, Nusserwan and Dr. Sathe accompanied them. The doctors there were prepared to operate on Pendu’s throat.
When this news was conveyed to Baba, He lost his temper and began flinging things about. His terrible mood lasted for half an hour before he became calm again. The next day,
On 8th January, a telegram was received that Pendu’s operation had been averted. Nothing serious had happened except that the painful burning sensation continued. Beheram did not disclose his mistake but Baba found out about it later.
On 22nd June 1932, after an eleven-day voyage, Baba and party landed in Shanghai, China, where they met Herbert and Jalbhai. They reached Nanking the next morning. Pendu and Gustadji were waiting on the platform to receive Baba.
In 1938, Baba called Pendu and said in a very serious tone, “I am giving you two more weeks to complete the work. It must be finished by August 25. I will have no place to stay. I am being evicted from the P.W.D.! So we have to come to Meherabad. I am coming on the 25th whether you have finished or not!”
Pendu looked somewhat worried and Baba urged him, “Be brave! Don’t feel dejected or despondent with difficulties and inconveniences. Face it all — that’s manliness, that’s heroism.
“I don’t like things to go smoothly or easily,” Baba continued. “There is no credit in doing things easily. One must experience resistance, difficulties, and pass through awkward situations. These are real tests and bring out the best and worst in men. The more opposition you have from maya, the more you should resist and face it with fierce determination. Don’t feel anxious. Do your best.”
Pendu accepted Baba’s terms and thought: “If I work wholeheartedly, Baba will surely help me.” He agreed to do his best, but added, “Baba, I will finish everything by the date you wish, but you must also agree to one condition: Don’t come here before that date! Each time you come you add to my work!” Baba smiled and extended his hand in promise, saying He would come at eight o’clock on the morning of the 25th.
The work on Meherabad Hill now had a definite deadline. Pendu arranged a day and a night shift, and had a tea stall opened to keep the workers (mostly from Arangaon Village) fortified. Pendu himself brought his clothes and bedding up the hill and never came down, even once, during the ensuing two weeks. He stopped taking baths and his meals were sent up to him. Everything was done at a breakneck pace.
“Since 1922,” Pendu replied.In 1939, One day, Pleader could not hide his dejection and frustration of attaining God-realisation. In response, Baba called Pendu, and asked Pendu in front of Pleader, “How long have you been with Me?”
“What do you want from me?”
“Then why are you with Me?”
“To serve you, to see to your pleasure and to do as you order.”
Sending Pendu away, Baba reprimanded Pleader, “Pendu has been with Me for so many years, and you know how hard he works for Me. Still, in return, he wants nothing! You, too, should create that mental attitude which will bring you, unasked for, that which you desire!” Baba then sent Pleader back to Bombay after giving him certain instructions. (Lord Meher-p-2023-1939)
In 1945, Pendu and Don went to meet the landlord. He was a lawyer, and was entertaining guests when they arrived. They talked with him, after which he drew up an agreement in Urdu. Pendu returned to the hotel late at night, and Baba asked, “What does the agreement say?”
“It is in Urdu,” Pendu replied. “I can’t read it, but he prepared it according to our terms.”
“But we must know exactly what it says. If it has not been properly drawn up, there will be trouble later.”
It was quite late, most people were asleep, and who was Pendu supposed to find to translate the document? He left, and as he was walking around the hotel he saw three Muslims sitting in a room drinking wine. Pendu asked if anyone read Urdu, and one of them, rather drunkenly, answered, “Come, friend, I am your servant — at your command, ready to obey. What have you brought?” Pendu took him to Baba. He staggered in, grandly shook hands with Baba, and began reading the agreement out loud with dramatic flourish.
Baba was amused and entertained by his performance. He would indicate to Pendu to tell Him, “Read it again, read it again!” And the drunken Muslim would begin once more and falter through it. After reading the full text several times and shaking hands with Baba, he staggered out.
As he was leaving, he said, “If my services are required further, don’t hesitate to call me.” After he left, Baba had two or three corrections made, and the next day the agreement with the lawyer was executed.
In another incident, Pendu as the manager at Meherabad handled all the money and kept accounts. On one occasion, Dattu showed Pendu’s account book to Adi Sr., who complained to Baba about the accounts not being regular. So Baba sent for Pendu and criticized, “Your accounts are not correct.”
“They’re perfect!” Pendu protested.
“Every item in the account should be listed separately,” Adi pointed out.
“Do banks have different coffers for their money?” asked Pendu. “The money is kept together and accounts are written separately. Similarly, I too have kept the accounts separately.”
His reasoning upset Baba who said, “You are quite loyal and none can ever doubt your faith; but you don’t know the first thing about accounting! What Adi says is true.”
Baba went on lambasting Pendu in front of everyone and Pendu grew very angry. But he stood still listening to what Baba was dictating.
Afterwards, Dattu came out of his room and Pendu followed him. Catching hold of him he said, “You’re the cause of all this trouble,” and he gave him a hard slap. Baba overheard him and called them back. He severely scolded Pendu and ordered him to touch Dattu’s feet. Pendu did it, and forgiving him, Baba explained, “Dattu is not the root of the quarrel; it is the wrath of everyone! If there is no anger, there is no quarrel. You have dedicated your whole life to Me and have been serving Me for years with all your heart. But up to now you have failed to dedicate your anger to Me. If you do it, you will be unequaled!”
In 1945, at Calcutta, on the 9th, In Pendu and Eruch contacted three officials who greatly facilitated their task: the mayor, an executive officer and a former health officer of Calcutta. With their help, they managed to secure facilities in a dharamshala in Kalighat locality for a day, erect partitions in it for Baba’s work and have a tent pitched. A secluded area for Baba to distribute His prasad was provided, and the premises were swept and cleaned. In addition, 1,001 needy persons — 601 men and 400 women — were contacted and instructed to be at the dharamshala early in the morning of the 11th. By dawn of that morning, Eruch and Pendu were at the dharamshala, distributing printed tickets to the 1,001 men and women who had come. The mandali had been instructed to fast the entire day. Baba arrived, and the proceedings began at eight o’clock.
In 1947, one day during this period, Baba went to Meherabad to meet the mandali residing there. Deshmukh had come for a visit. While sitting in the old Mess Quarters, which the mandali still used to sleep in, Deshmukh raised a wary eye toward the dilapidated ceiling and said, “Baba, I’m afraid to sleep here. Any minute the roof will come tumbling down.
You should allow the mandali to repair it.”
Looking up as if noticing the dilapidated condition of the building for the first time, Baba nodded that he was right. Calling Pendu, Baba asked, “How much would you need to fix the ceiling?” Pendu, knowing Baba’s habit of telling them to pull down one building to use its material for another, replied, “Baba, it’s quite all right as it is. We do not want it repaired.”
“But the ceiling might fall on you any minute,” Baba replied. “You might all die.”
“Then we die,” Pendu shrugged. “Your nazar is there. Nothing will happen.”
But Baba kept insisting and finally asked Pendu, “Tell me what you want.”
Pendu replied, “We need a brand-new building. This one is too old to be repaired, and besides, we are now so many, we need more space — not only for the mandali but for visitors as well. All these years we have been staying in buildings made of kutchera (rubbish, trash). We need a pucca (solid) one now.”
“I’ll give you Rs.2, 000,” Baba replied, having in mind a building of bamboo sheets and a tin roof.
“It is all right, Baba. We prefer to stay in the old building,” Pendu replied. “We like it.”
“All right, I’ll give you another Rs.1, 000,” Baba offered. Pendu kept saying no until Baba sanctioned Rs.10, 000 for the work.
A plan for a new hall at Meherabad was drawn up by Pendu, Padri and Kalemama. It was to be quite large, 126 feet in length by 40 feet in width, and Baba gave his approval. Application for formal permission to build it was submitted to the authorities in Ahmednagar on 26 October 1947, and construction began soon afterward. The building material came from a military auction held at the time.
On 9 December 1947, the youngest boy, Raja, fell ill with malarial fever, and Pendu duly informed Baba that Murli was treating Raja homeopathically. But on receiving the news, Baba dispatched Adi Sr. to Meherabad with orders to see the child personally and report his condition back to Pimpalgaon.
Pendu informed Adi that Murli was treating Raja, and the fever had come down. Adi reported this to Baba, who sent this warning back to Pendu the next day: “If anything happens to Raja, I will take your life and you will be doomed forever!”
Therefore, Pendu had a physician from Ahmednagar summoned, who after examining the boy said, “He is quite all right, and there is no need for further treatment.”
Pendu conveyed this to Baba, who remarked, “Raja should be treated like a raja [king]!”
Although Raja recovered, the mandali had to be careful with him and remain attentive to him night and day.
In 1949, Pendu, being the manager of Meherabad, was extremely busy throughout this period. The burden and pressure to sell everything at lower Meherabad had fallen on his shoulders. In the short period of time at his disposal, he had to sell the lands, dispose of the cows, buffaloes, bullocks, utensils, furniture, and so forth. It was quite difficult to sell about 100 hundred acres of land, even at a low price of Rs.20 to 40 per acre; but by Baba’s nazar, Pendu managed to wind up all these dealings in the time Baba wished. (Lord Meher-p-2756-1949)
In 1950, Pendu and Murli had brought to Motichur Raja, the English bull, harnessed to pull the bullock cart. Baba wanted the bull to be given to a goshala (cowyard) to be bred. Kumar, who happened to be in Motichur at the time, suggested that it should be given to Mirabehn, Mahatma Gandhi’s English disciple, who was running such an institution nearby. It was named Pashu Lok (Animal World). Baba agreed, and asked Pendu to stop at Mirabehn’s place on his way back to Manjri Mafi.
Pendu accordingly visited Mirabehn’s vivarium near Motichur. She was willing to accept Raja, even though they had stopped using English bulls for breeding purposes. Pendu asked her to send someone to Manjri Mafi to take Raja away on the 10th, and she consented. (Lord Meher-p-2903-1950)
On 17 March 1950, accompanied by Baidul, Eruch, Gustadji and Pendu, Baba proceeded to Saat Sarovar, where he completed His work by bowing down to 400 sadhus and holy men before evening.
In an interesting incident while walking along on their way back to Motichur, Eruch and Pendu noticed two crows mating. Eruch mentioned it to Baba, and added, “It is said that anyone who sees crows mating will die.”
“After how long?” Baba asked.
Making light of it, Eruch said, “Within a day. Now both of us won’t be alive tomorrow.”
“My Kumbha Mela work is pending, and if you both ‘cross over,’ what will happen? Is there no remedy to save you?”
“There is one way out,” Eruch joked. “If any of our relatives or acquaintances is informed of our death, we will be saved.”
Baba took him seriously. “All right. Both of you go back to Hardwar immediately and wire Keki Desai about your demise.”
Their joke was backfiring. What would Gaimai say when she received the news that her eldest was dead? What would Naja say when she heard that her brother Pendu was dead? But they had to carry out Baba’s instructions. They walked to Hardwar and sent a cable that they had perished.
The next day, Baba told them to send a second telegram that they were alive. As it turned out, Keki received the second telegram first, and therefore did not take the first one seriously when it arrived.
Although the crow superstition is prevalent in India (and also its “remedy”), Pendu and Eruch did not believe it; they had only broached the topic to amuse Baba. But the tables were turned and the joke was on them!
In April 1950, one of the Old Life devotees who took this idea to heart was Gustadji’s nephew, Rustom Sohrab Hansotia, 35, who had first met Baba in 1944 at Meherazad. After thoroughly studying and pondering over Baba’s circular, Hansotia decided to join Baba in the New Life. He had a good job in the railway department at Ratlam. After quitting it, he arrived in Manjri Mafi on the morning of 18 April 1950.
Pendu met him in the compound and explained that Baba was not giving interviews, or granting darshan to anyone. Hansotia said that he knew all that, because he had memorized all the conditions and different plans, but he was firm in his resolve to join the New Life that very day.
Pendu informed Baba, who advised, “Tell him, I will be holding a meeting of the companions by the end of April, when the whole New Life situation and other developments will be discussed. Rustom’s case will be considered. Meanwhile, he should go back to his home and await my decision, which will be mailed to him along with my instructions.”
Adamant, Hansotia was reluctant to accept this so easily and argued with Pendu. Pendu urged him again and again to obey Baba. Hansotia then expressed his desire to see Baba — just a glimpse of his faces “even from a distance.” Pendu informed Baba, who came out and waved to him from a distance, and Hansotia then returned to his home in Ratlam.
On Wednesday, 24 October 1951, Baba left Khojaguda Hill (near Hyderabad) in the afternoon to start out on the last foot journey he would ever undertake. A bullock cart was hired to carry the remaining luggage down the hill, and Pendu drove it
Pendu had been instructed to keep a bag full of loose coins ready for Baba to hand out to poor people he met on the way. But that day, Pendu kept the money with him in the bullock cart, as Baba had already left. Soon he came to a nallah (riverbed) full of water. He sent the bullock cart across it, and Pendu crossed by another way, to avoid getting wet, thinking he could catch up with the cart on the other side. But by the time he reached the other side, he could not find it. Since the money bag was in the cart, he became anxious and started running. A large snake was passing through the grass and, fortunately, Pendu saw it and jumped over it unharmed. After covering about a mile, he met Baba and the men, and Baba inquired about the bullock cart. Pendu said he was trying to find it, and ran off in another direction. He was able to locate it and sighed with relief when he saw that the money bag was intact.
For Baba’s Manonash work in August 1951, Eruch, Pendu and Baidul found a hill known as Khojaguda, eight miles from Hyderabad. On top of the hill was a cave adjoining the tomb of Hazrat Baba Fakruddin, a Muslim saint. Below this cave was another naturally carved beautiful cave with a ledge inside. And below it was a Hindu temple.
Baba liked the place very much. He chose the second cave for his work, keeping the upper one as a place for rest and for sleep. He commented, “At the top, a Mohammedan tomb; at the foot, a Hindu temple; and in between, my cave for my great work which will end in either utter failure or great victory!”
Pendu put up a door of bamboo matting at the entrance to the cave, and made the cave above into a bathing room.
In 1952, before traveling to America and Europe, Baba had sent Eruch and Pendu on a speaking tour of different places in India, such as Andhra Pradesh in the south, Hamirpur in the north, Delhi, Allahabad, Nagpur and Saoner in the central provinces, and elsewhere. They had even carried Baba’s message of love to Karachi in Pakistan. The gatherings were not open to the general public, but were meant only for Baba lovers and those genuinely interested in spirituality. Before addressing each meeting, Baba instructed Eruch to repeat: “O God, Baba is sending us both (Eruch and Pendu) in Your Name, and Baba and we ask that Your Will be done in this work.”
One day in January 1952, Meher Baba casually asked each of the companions His age. Pendu while replying happened to add that he had only four years left to live. Baba looked amused and asked, “Why?” In reply, Pendu related an incident which had taken place in December, 1926.
In that year, under Baba’s instruction, a well was being dug at Meherabad. It was between the road and the railway track (and it is still there). Pendu’s duty was to empty the leather bucket that was used to haul out the pieces of hard rock and murram (soft rock) from the bottom of the well. While hauling out the rocks, he had to lean forward to pull up the leather bucket. Sometimes, when he happened to look below, he felt as if the gravitational pull was dragging him down into the darkness of the pit. Occasionally, he was afraid that he might fall in and die.
One day when Baba visited the site, Pendu told him about this fear. Baba brushed the subject aside with a casual remark, “Don’t fear, Pendu, you won’t die for 30 years!” Pendu felt relieved, but whenever Baba asked him his age, he involuntarily recalled Baba’s words. The prescribed period was to expire in December, 1956. This was the reason for Pendu’s incidental comment while answering Baba’s question.
Patiently hearing the whole story, with a swift glance at Pendu, Baba added, “Pendu, you won’t die in December, 1956!” But at the same time, He made a sweeping gesture of passing His fingers over His left side. Pendu thought that although the death was averted, Baba’s sign might indicate a paralysis of the left side. He, however, did not say anything and Baba switched to another subject.
September 5th was Pendu’s birthday. That evening, the mandali were sitting in Rosewood wondering how to celebrate it. Their daily fare consisted of plain rice and dal in the afternoon, and a vegetable and chapatti in the evening. Since nothing special could be cooked without Baba’s permission, food was not considered. Instead, they decided to enact a humorous play for Pendu.
Unannounced, a servant from Dr. Fernandes appeared carrying a box full of freshly made sweets. He inquired, “Where is the Doctor Saheb?” Nilu and Don were pointed out, but the man said, “No, no, the other doctor who visits the civil surgeon.” Since no one knew of Baidul’s secret activity, they did not know whom he meant. At that moment Baidul entered the room, and the man said, “Here is the man. I wanted this doctor. His treatment has proven beneficial to my employer’s son. He has sent this for him.”
The quantity of sweets was sufficient for everyone, and Pendu’s birthday was joyously observed.
In 1956, Eruch was apparently driving too fast, because Baba warned him to slow down. They drove on and neared Udtara, twelve miles from Satara, where Baba had played cricket with the mandali and other lovers a year and a half before. Baba pointed ahead to the spot and recalled the day. Baba met with the second auto accident near Satara (Maharashtra). Nilu, Pendu, Vishnu and Eruch were with Him in the car. Nilu (Dr. Nilkanth) and Pendu were seriously hurt and became unconscious. Nilu died without regaining consciousness. Pendu, as he came back to his senses, found himself in the Civil Hospital at Satara, with a cast around his entire left side, from shoulder to toe. On top of that, because of the injury to his pelvis, his right leg was also placed in a cast. With the slightest movement, Pendu suffered excruciating pain and sometimes even fainted. In a sense, he was dead and yet alive! Thus was Pendu’s “sentence of death” reprieved by Baba!
On Sunday, 3 February 1957, Pendu was brought to Poona by ambulance, accompanied by Sidhu and Aloba. He was taken to Silver Oaks to see Baba, and when Pendu saw a few close lovers from Bombay and Poona who were visiting, he was overcome and wept. Baba came out in His wheelchair to see Pendu; He joked and chatted with him and thereby gave him courage. “We will both be up and walking together,” Baba assured him.
“But you suffer it all in silence,” Pendu commented.
Baba replied, “You will be all right and walk again, but I will not be able to walk normally again ever. My hip joint, too, will never be normal.”
After having a checkup at the military hospital, Pendu was driven to Ahmednagar, where he stayed with the Satha family at Akbar Press to recuperate. The plaster casts were removed from both legs, but Pendu, too, could not yet stand. Aloba was appointed to look after him, and treatment was arranged. A month later, Pendu was sent to Meherabad.
During July 1957, the impending sahavas congregation was discussed, and Pendu became the target of Baba’s “arrows.” Although Pendu was still unable to walk unassisted, without crutches, Baba would often harshly criticize Pendu for not paying full attention to all the necessary arrangements which had to be made for the sahavas.
One day Baba called Pendu, Padri, Vishnu and Don to Meherazad to discuss the sahavas. Baba was in a serious mood that day. Pendu stumbled into the hall, sat on a chair, and Baba asked him, “Did you sleep last night?”
Pendu replied, “How can I sleep? I’ve got terrible pain; I cannot sleep, I cannot eat properly. It is unbearable for me!”
Baba scolded him badly. “Have you any shame? You think of your own pain, do you ever think of Mine? You suffer for yourself, but I am suffering for the whole universe! What will happen if you die? Nothing, Have you any idea of how much pain I have? How much I suffer? And still, I see to every small detail. You remain lying in bed and have nothing to do all day long!
This time, I, Myself, will look after all the arrangements and will not require your help.
“Go on, relax at Meherabad,” Baba taunted, “This time, you won’t be given any work! You are most selfish. I don’t want to see your face! Get out of here!”
Pendu burst out weeping, but it did not stop Baba’s onslaught, and he castigated him further. Distraught, Pendu returned to Meherabad with the others. When he began weeping, Jim also had tears in his eyes over Pendu’s pitiable condition. But after Pendu left, Baba told Jim with a smile, “In order to become infinitely compassionate, I have to become infinitely cruel.”
On 3rd April 1962, soon after their arrival, in the evening, Pendu had much pain passing urine and was admitted to the Jehangir Nursing Home. He had to have a prostate operation, but when the surgery failed to relieve his condition, he was operated upon a second time. This operation failed as well, but fortunately the third attempt (on 9 May) was successful. As Meherwan Jessawala pointed out, “It was so obvious that such a capable surgeon would not fail three times. All these procedures were extremely painful for Pendu, and it looked as if Baba was making Pendu share in the suffering that was always the lot of the mandali who were with Baba.”
So during Baba’s stay in Poona, Pendu had to remain in the hospital, with Aloba and Meherdas attending to his needs. Don also stayed in Poona to oversee Pendu’s treatment.
In an interesting episode, on his return to Meherazad, Baba expressed His dissatisfaction with Padri and his management of Meherabad. Pendu and Padri were old friends, and Baba remarked, “No one is allowed to visit Meherabad, but the relatives of Padri’s servants Nana and his wife Tani go there. This is not good, and Padri should be informed about it.”
Addressing Pendu, Baba reprimanded, “Why haven’t you mentioned this to Padri? Are you afraid of him?”
“I am not afraid of even his father!” Pendu declared.
The next day, Padri was summoned to Meherazad and Baba asked Pendu to tell him, “There is a ban on any outsider entering Meherabad. Why do you allow Tani’s relatives to come there?”
Padri replied, “Tani stays in Meherabad all day long, and those in her household come to see her about work.”
Pendu said, “If anyone comes to meet you, he is made to stand near the dhuni platform, where you go to speak with him. Can’t Tani walk to the dhuni to meet with her relatives?”
Baba agreed. “What Pendu says is true. This partiality is not good. If Tani wishes to see anyone, she should meet them at the dhuni.”
Padri said, “All right, from now on I will send her there.”
Pendu continued, “If Tani is in Meherabad throughout the day, where does she bathe?”
“In the mandali’s bathroom?”
“Look at this!” Pendu declared, “Is the bathroom meant for the mandali or for Tani?”
Baba commented, “Pendu is right. Tani should not bathe there. She has a house in the village and can bathe before coming to work.” Padri acknowledged the validity of this point also.
Pendu continued the interrogation, “Nana and Tani are cultivators. Where is the thrashing yard for their grain?”
“In Meherabad,” Padri answered.
“This is too much!” Pendu declared, “Are Nana and Tani your servants, or are you theirs?”
Baba remarked, “I did not know of this. Padri, what are you doing? I don’t like it at all! It is good Pendu is bringing this out into the open. Reflecting on it, he has been unable to sleep at night because of it. This is why I have called you. Remove Nana’s thrashing apparatus from Meherabad!” Padri agreed to do so.
Continuing, Pendu probed, “Where are Nana’s oxen kept?”
“In Meherabad — but only when the grain is thrashed,” Padri answered.
Pendu remarked to Baba, “Padri has become the king of Meherabad! He does what he likes there!”
Padri could be short-tempered. Upset, he retorted, “I will stop it all! If you want, I will also drive Nana and Tani away!”
“It will be better if you do so,” shouted Pendu. “What a mess you have created!”
Baba was quite pleased with Pendu and instructed Padri, “Do not dismiss Nana and Tani, but stop everything else.”
This incident is an example of obeying the Master’s wish. Although close friends, Pendu put all his heart into scolding Padri, as Baba wished. Such incidents often occurred among the mandali. Baba would purposely create the friction. It was all to keep his pleasure, to help his close ones to burn up their attachments, and master perfect obedience. The same was the case with the women. Yet the clashes flourished against a background of amity in an atmosphere where, despite their personal differences, all resided as one family.
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- Adi K. Irani (Adi Sr.)
- Anna Saheb Kale
- Bal Natu
- Bhau Kalchuri
- Don Stevens
- Eruch Jessawala
- Francis Brabazon
- Gustadji Hansotia
- Jal S Irani
- Kaikobad Dastur
- Murli Kale
- Ramjoo Abdulla
- William Donkin