Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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212MERWAN IS BORN1919

Later, Merwan Seth nicknamed him Nervous because at the slightest mishap, and even more so in Merwan Seth's presence, young Khodadad would appear uneasy, anxious and nervous.

There is another version of how Nervous came into Merwan Seth's contact: Baily has written that he first met Nervous on a visit to Calcutta, where Nervous was employed as an actor in a Parsi theatrical company at the famous Corinthian Theatre (run by the Madan Theater Company, which also made films). "When Nervous heard about Merwan Seth," Baily recalled, "he got so anxious that he wanted to resign from his job immediately and return with me to Poona. It was only after I convinced him that I would talk to Merwan Seth and seek his permission first that he agreed to wait. I took his address and told him I would be sending him a reply within a week. Merwan Seth agreed to the request, and so I sent a telegram to Nervous asking him to come to Poona. Nervous resigned from his job in Calcutta and came to [either Poona or Bombay], and from then on remained a staunch disciple."

Merwan Seth's frequent visits to Sakori expanded his circle of contacts. Upasni Maharaj, like Babajan, would often mention Merwan to his followers. One of Upasni's disciples was a very special woman named Gulmai, the wife of Kaikhushru Sarosh Irani, a prominent businessman and civic leader in Ahmednagar. Gulmai was then 36 and the mother of four children. Married at an early age, she had encountered many problems in her life and, prior to meeting Maharaj, had been depressed and unhappy at her joint-family home.

Merwan's uncle Masaji was employed as a clerk at a liquor store owned by Kaikhushru in Ahmednagar. The owner's sister, Gulnar, suffered from a skin disease, and Masaji told her and Gulmai about Upasni Maharaj and about Merwan Seth. 

During August 1919, Gulmai's younger sister Soonamasi, 35, and her husband Kaikhushru Beheram Irani, 39, came to Ahmednagar from Bombay to visit their relatives. Kaikhushru Masa, as he was known, was a successful jeweler and an ardent lover of God. About eight years before, he had been to Shirdi for Sai Baba's darshan. It was at Shirdi that he had learned of Upasni Maharaj and had gone for his darshan at the Khandoba Temple. Later, he became a regular visitor to Sakori, where he met Merwan Seth and immediately recognized the divinity manifest in him. Kaikhushru Masa tried to persuade his sister-in-law Gulmai to accompany them to Sakori, but she refused because she felt her husband would not like it.

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