Arrangements for a school for village girls
The Combined Diary
The schoolboys celebrate Ramazan Id with games in the morning; sweets and milk-tea are served twice during the day, folios #2v193-2v197, April 3-5, 1927.
Dinner was served by Kaka and his family at noon with the mandali seated on one side of the room and the "untouchables" [scheduled castes], among whom Baba sat, on the other. Kaka and other mandali repeatedly insisted that Baba join them until with prominent signs of displeasure he shifted to their side. An "atmosphere of depression and gloom" pervaded the party until it was lifted by spontaneous praise and recitations of verses of poetry.
Later Baba and the mandali visited Anath Ashram where the boys sang for them and Baba played "in a very loveable manner" with a blind boy. Baba was garlanded and a special arti was performed.
That night after a game of ata-pata the mandali engaged in general discussions with Baba while sitting around the dhuni and Chanji told the story of "Sati's Curse," which was "well appreciated by all."
The schoolboys celebrated Ramazan Id with games in the morning; sweets and milk-tea were served twice during the day. Two "Bhendi," recitation competitons, were held, one during afternoon tea and another after dinner with teams lead by Vishnoo and Chhagan.
The school staff were called for a meeting in the morning. Baba expressed "deep dissatisfaction" with "loose management" and "careless supervision of the boys." He threatened to close the school "for good." After lengthy discussion he backed away from closing the school and concentrated on improving discipline and conduct among the boys by appointing a supervisor. He called Kaikhasroo and "abruptly" asked him why he "freely" mixed with the boys and played cricket with them "to the extent of breaking so many window panes." Why was he so interested in "the young ones?" He was "taken left and right and greatly criticized" and then Baba casually asked him if he would accept the position of Supervisor. He accepted and was declared Director and Supervisor of "all the school boys for all time."
Baba then opened discussion of a new school for village girls. Before the day was over arrangements had been made for the location of the school and the teacher, who was to be the Christian lady who had worked at the girls' school during Baba's previous stay at Meherabad.
A package of gifts was received from Mr. Sorabji Desai of Navsari containing "a nice cushion for Baba, a beautifully embroidered silken piece as a mount for Shri's photo" and a number of books for mandali members with whom Mr. Desai had developed deep acquaintence during his visit.
Baba drew the attention of some mandali to a passage from Gandhiji's Autobiography which was published in the Jame-Jamshed weekly newspaper. He asked Chanji to cut it out and keep it on file. In the passage, here paraphrased, Gandhiji wrote that he "was quite unworthy and unable to undertake even the stopping of the butchering of sheep near the Kali Temple in Calcutta much less carry out the work of Salvation for humanity at large or do service for his country."
In the evening the mandali were summoned to the dhuni where Shankarnath told the story of "Vikram and Shani." After evening arti Baba went to the "Ladies Quarters" and remained there for about an hour.
Part 131: The Combined Diary
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