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1448 1932

Chapter 11: Portofino

Less than 24 hours after landing, Baba left Bombay on Saturday afternoon, 16 July 1932, sailing for Marseilles on the Kaiser-i-Hind. He was accompanied this time only by Chanji and Kaka — and 200 fellow passengers.

While at sea, Chanji sent this telegram to Kitty:

Stopped Bombay twelve hours. Baba's arrival caused phenomenal outburst of feelings. Lovers and devotees saw him at my place. After first expressions of heartfelt greetings, news of his immediate departure shocked all. Loving hearts like Mehera and Gulmai cried bitterly. Amidst touching scenes of painful separation all left Baba, imploring him to return soon. Inform Stephanie about Baba's coming Genoa.

Age marveled at Baba's stamina and pace: "Baba had been on a tour through Europe, America and the Far East for the past four months, and now he is leaving again! The Beloved had captured the hearts of his lovers in the West and taught them how to sing; but now he must return there to give them further 'singing lessons!' "

During this period, Sampath Aiyangar of Madras was publishing a magazine devoted to Meher Baba titled Meher Gazette. In a letter to Aiyangar on 20 July from Aden, Chanji wrote of some of the highlights of the past months:

Events of great significance and importance have transpired in connection with Baba's movements and activities during the last four months. This time, I have been unable to keep even my daily diary notes up-to-date, owing to a very heavily scheduled program at almost all the places, and very quick moves from one place to another. Just imagine that within the space of about four months, Babaji has made a tour round the world, visiting Italy, England, France, Switzerland, New York, California, Honolulu, Japan, China and back again to India for a few hours!  Now he proceeds again to Europe on important work there and returns again to India in the beginning of September.

Again this was no pleasure tour, but for work; work that concerns almost the whole world — a preparation for the great upheaval that is to come in the very near future. During this flying visit to all these places, he has seen thousands privately [and] also in public receptions given in his honor by his devotees and ardent admirers. For over twelve hours a day, he has given private interviews to prominent people in England and America, leaving practically no time for himself for food or rest which had to be ignored.

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