Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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1801NASIK & CANNES1937

The priest then left quite puzzled by his encounter with Baba. What Baba meant by "Home" was that he was one with God, and "Rome" was the church — rites, rituals, and religious orthodoxy.

Meanwhile Garrett Fort was feeling quite sorry that he ever wished to leave Nasik to see the "real" India. During his travels, he became lonely and depressed by what he saw of the country, staying in run-down hotels and eating poor food. He also began to reflect on what exactly he was doing in India after all. On 5 March 1937, he wrote a long letter to Baba expressing his feelings. His letter is revealing as an example of the inner turmoil Baba was stirring up in each of the Westerners in Nasik, by whatever methods necessary. In fact, as things unfolded, Garrett Fort's feelings were to lead to major changes in the ashram. The following is what he wrote to Baba.

... So far I've had no experience that any ordinary tourist wouldn't have, and aside from seeing the "surface" of contemporary Indian life, I am a little dubious about having gathered much in the way of impressions that will assist us in our film. I feel very pessimistic about filming what I've seen so far. There must be an India, Baba, that has the glamour and charm I've read about and heard about all my life. Where is it? Not along my line of march so far. What I've seen is an India I don't know, which strikes me as slightly disconcerting, considering that I'm supposed to be digging into Indian life with both hands. And if you think I'm missing Indian life by not staying at those bad hotels, eating awful food, sleeping on hard beds, and listening to the prattle of some third-rate hotelkeeper who wants to know if I know Jean Harlow, then I'd better come right back to Nasik and settle down to studying Urdu. 

I hate to sound so ungrateful but I must always be honest with you and there's nothing to be gained by my cooing, "Marvelous!" when I don't see anything to coo about. What I hoped to find was the India of olden glamour. I haven't found it at all. I think that India is a dirty place, and I feel so far I've been an awful flop.

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