Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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1791NASIK & CANNES1937

Before leaving Nasik on Saturday, 20 February 1937, Baba sent Garrett Fort on a tour of northern India for a month. Chanji accompanied him to Bombay by train, and Garrett left from there the next night. He was to spend one month visiting such places as Bhopal, Ujjain, Gwalior, Agra, Delhi, Benares and Allahabad. Being used to a glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, Fort had become restless after two months of the confining routine in Nasik, and so Baba allowed him to tour India, ostensibly to look at locations and collect background material for the film project. Although Baba laid down certain restrictions, Fort's tour was not as strict as those that others had undergone, such as Pleader, who was sent begging. Before Garrett left, Baba gave him the following list of instructions:

Don't stay at first–class hotels because by leading a simple life you will be able to know and feel real Indian life.

Don't stay at very low–caliber hotels either; a mid-range type will do.

Don't eat flesh or fish. Eggs, vegetables, milk and fruit should be the diet.

Don't take intoxicating alcohol or liquor.

Don't engage in any lustful action.

Don't strike anyone under any circumstances except in self–defense.

Don't inquire of or inform anyone of Baba.

Don't enter into political discussions with anyone.

There is no objection to querying about religious and spiritual subjects.

There is no objection to discussing the film; you may come across people who would like to help.

There is no objection to interviewing a local yogi or saint, but avoid giving them money.

Travel by second–class train throughout your journey.

Drop a letter to Baba from every place of visit. Send a telegram in case of any dangerous happening.

Garrett left Nasik with his mind full of thoughts of having an exotic adventure in spiritually romantic "Ind-ya" and encountering spiritually advanced souls who would show him wondrous things. His dreams, however, were not to be fulfilled. On 25 February, from Gwalior, he wrote to the other Westerners in Nasik:

So far no dark, turbaned strangers have signaled to me from the shadows of a neem tree and led me off into dark corners to reveal secrets of the occult East, but I haven't given up hope. This trip has been more or less prosaic — though half of the red dust of India has been absorbed into the Fort system!

On 2 March, from Agra, Garrett wrote to Baba:

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