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3644 1954

Chapter 27: Satara

On Friday, 1 October 1954, the day after the Western men departed, Baba came to Meherabad in the afternoon and instructed those mandali concerned to wind up everything and settle all the accounts by the 4th. Baba then told them that their departure date for Satara was the 5th. It was difficult to pack up all the hired materials and send them to the vendors in Ahmednagar in such a short time. But, according to Baba's wish, Pendu managed it.

Pilamai came unexpectedly on 2 October and met with Baba at Khushru Quarters that day and the next. Baba permitted her to stay at Khushru Quarters for a week with her close friend Gulmai.

Nana Kher was still ill with typhoid, and Don was treating him. Since the mandali were to leave for Satara, Don advised that Nana be sent to the Ayurvedic Hospital in Ahmednagar. This was done, and Bal Subhedar continued to look after Nana. After Nana was a bit better, he left for Nagpur on the 8th.

Baba left Meherazad for Satara with the men and women mandali on Tuesday, 5 October 1954. Sarosh drove Baba and the "anderna" (inside; secluded) women, while Rano, Naja and Nilu traveled in Adi's car driven by Eruch. Baba's car stopped at Sarosh Motor Works, where he met Adi Sr., Dhake and Yeshwant Rao. He went to Viloo Villa before starting for Satara, where he met Gulmai, Piroja and Pilamai.

Breaking his journey in Poona, Baba visited the Yeravda Central Prison to see a devotee named Beli Phiroz Randelia, 35. As a young man, Beli had become a devotee of Upasni Maharaj. He had quit his studies and lived in Sakori for a number of months before and after Upasni Maharaj died in 1941. But the young man was emotionally unbalanced and had an irritable temperament. His brother, Noshir, was a student at a Bombay college and also used to visit Maharaj. Somehow, Beli got the impression that Maharaj, and later his parents, loved Noshir more. (The father wanted to send Noshir to America for further studies.) Unable to bear this, Beli began hating his brother. The animosity between them increased until May 1945, when his brother was found dead on his bed with a deep gash on his neck. In a fit of jealousy, Beli had murdered him.

For the next eight months, Beli roamed about undetected by the police. He had heard of Meher Baba and tried desperately to meet him, but Baba was away on mast tours.

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