Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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At 4:30 in the afternoon, they left for Sakori by train. Also on the train were devotees of Upasni Maharaj from Bombay — some had seen Meher Baba in Sakori, and a few were seeing him for the first time. Several were greatly attracted to him, and later became some of his most important and devoted disciples.

Chief among these was a Zoroastrian jeweler from Bombay named Kaikhushru Masa, his wife Soonamasi, and their twelve-year old daughter Khorshed. Kaikhushru Masa was a frequent visitor to Sakori, and it was he who had first told his wife and her sister Gulmai about Upasni Maharaj. He was instrumental in bringing Gulmai and her whole family into Maharaj's contact and, subsequently into Meher Baba's. Kaikhushru Masa had seen Baba at Sakori, and his wife Soonamasi most likely met Baba a year prior at the opening of Sarosh Manzil in Ahmednagar. But for their daughter Khorshed, this meeting on the train was her first encounter with Baba, to whom she would soon dedicate her life.

Also on the train was another Zoroastrian couple, Navaroji "Navalsha" Curshed Talati, 29, and his 18-year-old fiancée Dina Karani. Naval (as the mandali came to call him) had met Sai Baba years before and visited Upasni Maharaj at Sakori regularly. He encountered Merwan at Sakori many times, but took him to be insane and used to refer to him as "that mad Irani," for he had once seen Merwan roll on the ground in front of Maharaj's hut.

Traveling in the compartment with Baba were Shireenmai, Jamshed's wife Khorshed, Gustadji, and Arjun.  In the same compartment were those from Bombay who took every opportunity to glance at him — in their words, "to see his loveliness." At every station stop, Baba would casually step off the train and, throwing a rubber ball back and forth, play catch with some of the men. As the train would start he would leap agilely on board.

Reaching the village of Chitali, Baba sent his mother in one tonga and Ramjoo with Kaikhushru Masa and his family to Sakori in another tonga, while Baba and the others walked (nine miles). Khansaheb, Gulmai, their son Adi, and nephew Sarosh had already arrived. Also gathered were the Irani sisters, Daulatmai and Freiny Masi, along with many others. Upasni Maharaj's birthday was to be celebrated on a tremendous scale with a four-day program, and a great feast was served to several hundred people.

Soon after arriving, the disciples of Baba went for Upasni Maharaj's darshan.

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