Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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Meanwhile Baba found the incident humorous and tolerated his toothache until it subsided.

Since the mandali were not mixing with the other passengers and were not seen except at mealtimes in the dining room, there was varying speculation among the passengers about their real identities. Some erroneously took them to be successful businessmen who traveled around the world, as they carried briefcases and were always busy with papers and correspondence and sending telegrams anytime of the day or night. Having seen them speak frequently with Akbar Hyderi, some assumed they must be high government officials who were involved in the Round Table Conference going on in London.

Baba seldom had any visitors or left his cabin, except for an hour walk in the morning and afternoon. He wanted to stay aloof and he found his accommodations to be very comfortable this voyage.

The ship docked in Port Said on the morning of 2 October, and the Maharani of Indore, Mrs. Yeshwantrao Holkar, came to Baba's cabin for his darshan with her secretary. At the time, Baba was out for his morning walk on deck and someone directed her there. As she approached, Chanji intercepted her, saying, "Meher Baba only gives darshan after making an appointment. I will have to ask his permission and let you know." The secretary explained that the maharani had not come to ask anything of Meher Baba, but that she only wanted his darshan. Chanji reiterated that he would ask Baba and inform them. But they followed him and came face to face with Baba before Chanji could seek Baba's permission.

Baba was wearing European clothes and, for his own reason, did not want any Indian to see him in that attire. Baba explained to them, "As I do not wish to meet anyone while outside on deck, I dress like an ordinary man to avoid being recognized. No one knows me as I really am. For those who want to know my Real Self, I have no need to put on such a show. But I am afraid of those who have no longing to know me truly and have to hide my identity from them. I therefore must go about incognito." A meeting with Baba was scheduled for the maharani.

Akbar Hyderi and his wife had come to see Baba at noon on 29 September. "We are both miserable," Lady Hyderi admitted, "Our son, Ali, is a drunkard and a spendthrift. We are terribly worried about him." Baba consoled them, assuring them there was no cause for worry, and their son would be all right after two months. Lady Hyderi asked if she could bring their son to him, and Baba indicated at another time.

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