Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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1507PORTOFINO1933

After some days, Baba held a meeting with the men mandali and gave detailed instructions to Pendu, Vishnu and Adi Sr. about arrangements for the Westerners' visit. A complete itinerary for travel through India was chalked out. Chanji was sent to Bombay for the same purpose. Baba went to Bhandardara with the close women mandali for four days from 25 to 29 March 1933 and then took the women to Kandivli on 3 April. Besides Mehera, Mani, Naja, Big Khorshed, Soonamasi and Small Khorshed, Freiny and Gulmai and her daughter Dolly were also with him, along with Pilamai and her daughter Silla.

The Western group had met in Europe and sailed together from Genoa on 28 March aboard the Victoria. The London group consisted of Kitty, Margaret, Mabel, Audrey, Minta, Delia, Christine and Quentin; the Americans were Elizabeth, Norina and Vivienne Giesen (who replaced Kim Tolhurst whose husband did not want her to go). They arrived in Bombay on Friday, 7 April 1933.

The Bombay lovers went to the pier to welcome them; Freiny and Dina Talati gave each of the new arrivals a wreath of flowers. The mandali in charge took the group to the Majestic Hotel, where they could bathe and rest.

At 2:00 P.M. the group was taken to Kandivli, where they were in for a surprise. All rushed inside, expecting to greet Baba. Instead they were met by Small Khorshed, who said to them in broken English, "Baba found! Baba found!"

Baba had hidden himself in the house, and had instructed Khorshed to tell the Westerners to find him. Khorshed did not know much English, so she was repeating what she thought was the correct message. This made everyone laugh and someone then explained that they were to look for Baba. All participated in the fun game of "Avataric Hide-and-Seek," and Delia eventually found him.

When Baba came out, Mehera, his queen, and the other women mandali were with him, dressed in gorgeous saris. This was the first time with Baba that they had an occasion and the permission to wear fine clothes. Baba introduced Mehera, and the Western women saw that she was just as Baba had described — pure and beautiful. They were then introduced to Mani, Freiny, Gulmai, Naja, Big Khorshed and Small Khorshed. Gulmai's daughter Dolly was not present; she was ill in bed. The ladies exchanged presents with their Indian sisters and the women mandali dressed the Western women in saris.

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