Visit to Sherri
The Combined Diary
Plans to construct a "palatial" building are discussed openly while at the same time the mandali are aware that everything depends on Baba's "whim and fancy!" folios #2v248-2v252, May 4-5, 1927.
The previous three days were devoted to "improving and adjusting" Ashram procedures as well as to the publicity campaign and discussions and planning to expand it into a "grand Institution." The news appeared in the sixteen leading newspapers and was also published in "vernacular papers" like the Urdu daily "Khilafat" of Bombay.
Menu for the Ashram boys: milk-tea and wheat bread for breakfast; dhal-rice and a vegetable dish for dinner; two vegetable dishes and wheat bread for supper. Each boy received a new pair of sandals of "uniform pattern." A new clock costing 55 rupees was ordered along with sports equipment.
Plans to construct a "palatial" building were discussed openly while at the same time the mandali were aware that everything depended on Baba's "whim and fancy!" The Ashram could grow into something "grand" or it could close down the following week. For the present however it seemed that Baba intended for it to succeed "on a very large scale."
Baba accepted a devotee's invitation to attend a wedding at Sherri, about 35 miles from Meherabad. At 4 PM he and a few mandali motored to Kaka Shahane's place in Ahmednagar where they shifted to a bus sent by the devotee. Immediately Baba got down and said "He did not feel like going." Baba went into Kaka's house with instructions to Vishnoo, Ramjoo and Jal to carry on and attend the wedding on his behalf.
The three suffered a bone jarring ride in the old "tin pot" of a beat up Ford bus. They were welcomed by their host in Sherri despite disappointment over Baba's absence. They were uncomfortable because no refreshments were served. In addition the host talked about sending them back by public bus the following morning; they struggled with the thought of passing the night there.
At 6 PM the groom's procession moved with noisy drum beats toward the bride's house. Just as the ceremony was about to take place there, Baba suddenly appeared. To the "pleasant surprise" of everyone, he participated in the ceremony. Afterward hundreds of people rushed him to pay their respects. When Baba had blessed the couple, he and the mandali "amidst ringing cheers" started their return journey in the new Chevrolet which Baba had "procured."
On the way through Ahmednagar, they stopped at Raya's and Anna's houses, arriving back in Meherabad about 10 PM.
Baba issued a new order concerning visitors, that they were not allowed to enter the school or any other premises at Meherabad. They should wait near the dhuni and only approach Baba when he was seated there or moving about in the area. Baba mentioned that visitors often have to wait to see saints; at Tajuddin Baba's place in Nagpur a visitor often had to wait for days. Shankarnath was appointed to keep watch particularly near the school to enforce the new rule.
Part 143: The Combined Diary
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