The 33rd Birthday Celebration (Part One)
The Combined Diary
Much to the joy of many, rumor spreads that Mahatma Gandhi, who is lodging only a couple of miles away, is walking toward Meherabad to visit Baba on his birthday, folios #2v133-2v137, February 17-18, 1927.
Activities began at dawn. Despite an unpleasant misunderstanding on the part of the mandali, the bathing of the boys got underway at 9 AM. For an hour and a half Baba bathed a large number of boys with the aid of two mandali selected by turns from time to time. Afterwards Baba instructed the mandali to bathe the remaining boys individually and specified that each mandali should bathe at least one boy all by himself. The younger boys were immediately served a meal while the mandali bathed themselves in preparation for a specially prepared meal with Baba and the older boys which commenced at 12 noon.
After a delightful meal the mandali returned to the Makan carrying equipment from the Hill. When some returned to the Hill to retrieve remaining things, Behramji reported them for disobedience. The issue was worked out with Baba and the mandali cleared away the remaining equipment, completing the job by 3 PM.
Then activity turned to preparations for the next day's birthday celebration. Water had to be delivered to appropriate places in a tank wagon pulled by the mandali. All participated in kitchen duty to prepare the birthday meal for themselves and guests, an expected total of about 200 persons. All retired at 3 AM and rose again full of enthusiasm and good spirits at 5 AM to grab a quick bath in the chilly predawn breeze.
Sunrise revealed a gaily decorated scene adorned with colored bunting, flowers and leaves, especially the mandap at the site of the previous Sai Darbar. At 6 AM the bell called the mandali to a breakfast of milk tea and rava served by Baba along with two quinine pills as prevention against colds. After 7 AM visitors from the city and surrounding villages began to arrive; those from Bombay and Poona arrived by train at 8 AM.
Much to the joy of many, rumor spread through the group that Mahatma Gandhi, who was lodging only a couple of miles away, was walking toward Meherabad. Baba said that Gandhi "will never come here." Were he to come however, said Baba, he would break his vow not to use the pen and would explain in writing to Gandhi the "intellectual side of Truth" and make him stay in the mandali for one year. Baba repeated that Gandhi was "not destined to come." Nevertheless, Vishnoo kept the slates and pen ready just in case.
Part 116: The Combined Diary
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