Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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Baba directed almost everyone to leave and asked Bashir in private what he really wanted. Bashir said, "Baba, help me find a good job, as I am in need of money."

Baba smiled. Replying with a touch of disappointment, he spelled out, "See how I raised you up in the presence of the mandali and you have now brought it all tumbling down. You have come down from the heights of mukti [liberation] to finding employment!"

Baba asked Rustom to employ Bashir, and Bashir gratefully accepted Rustom's offer.

Goher Irani had moved to Ahmednagar from Quetta in 1932 with her brother, Jal. The rest of her family moved in 1933, following Baba's warnings to leave Quetta before a terrible earthquake struck in 1935. All in the family were devoted to Baba, especially Goher and her sister Katie. On 22 August, "Rusi Pop" (as Goher's father came to be known) arrived in Nasik. He stayed overnight and left with his cousin Adi Sr. the next day for Ahmednagar.

The day Baba returned to Nasik, he received an invitation from Graham Stokes in New York urging him to attend the All Faiths Conference in Chicago. A second invitation from the executive director of the conference arrived sometime later. Baba agreed to attend on the condition that, if by that time he had not broken his silence, he would deliver a message to the conference through his alphabet board. The chairman of the conference was intimated accordingly, and he accepted this condition. Baba was generally averse to attending any public meetings of this kind. His acceptance was therefore surprising to the mandali. Baba decided to proceed to America and preparations were begun.

Daily discussions were held about what the mandali should do in Baba's absence. Should they stay in Nasik or Meherabad, and how should they pass the time? Baba did not want to leave the men unoccupied. A meeting to work everything out was held on Saturday, 26 August 1933. There had been talk of constructing a few new buildings at Meherabad, but if it were later decided to stay in Nasik permanently, then constructing buildings in Meherabad would be a waste of money and energy. Rustom suggested taking preliminary steps toward the fulfillment of his film project by engaging the mandali's help. Baba liked this idea and decided that Beheram and Pendu should learn how to operate a motion picture camera, and Jalbhai should study acting.

A trial film of a silent comedy was to be shot before Baba left. Plans were made for Pendu and Sidhu to travel throughout India, filming different locales, thus having scenes which would later be used in Rustom's film as required. (This idea was later dropped.) Pendu was to learn film developing, as well as to order and manage whatever stock was required for the film work.

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