Chapter 28: 1955 Meherabad Sahavas
THE GUJARATI SAHAVAS
Preparations in Meherabad for the first of four sahavas programs were in the final stages. On Thursday, 27 October 1955, Baba had been driven to Meherazad from Satara, and from the following day, he began visiting Meherabad daily. Tents for sleeping and for the meetings were erected. A separate dining pandal, with tables and chairs, was pitched for serving tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cooking arrangements were the responsibility of Chhagan and Shahastrabudhe (of Mahabaleshwar), aided by Nana Kher, Bal Natu, Dr. Kanakadandi (of Eluru), Rangole, Dhiraj Parmar (Rama Kalchuri's brother), Minoo Kharas, Adi Dubash and Kohiyar Satarawala. Workers from Arangaon Village were hired as additional help.
Pendu was very particular about the arrangements, especially the food for the gathering. Free transportation from the Ahmednagar railway station to Meherabad was also provided. Vishnu and Bal Natu were to keep accounts; Bhau was to look after the lovers' accommodations, food and the general tidiness of the area; Aloba was in charge of seeing that hot water for baths was ready early each morning; Nilu and Don had duties as the camp's doctors; Kishan Singh and Feram Workingboxwala were told to write down Baba's utterances at the meetings; and Adi, while looking after his office in Ahmednagar, with Waman Padale's help, also helped oversee sahavas arrangements, as did Ramjoo. Eruch was constantly with Baba to interpret Baba's signs and gestures. All of the other mandali, besides Baba's brother Jalbhai, Sadashiv Patil, Nariman and Meherjee, were occupied in one way or another day and night, and of course Baba was overseeing every detail.
Age saw that Meher-abad lived up to its name and was "flourishing" in all its glory. "The rays of the Beloved's wine penetrated every heart, turning Meherabad into a divine tavern." Yet, despite the provision for all conveniences and outward rest — and a heightened sense of anticipation at the good fortune to enjoy the company of their Beloved — an inner restlessness and uneasiness prevailed among those who attended the programs, which only pilgrims on the Path can experience.
On Tuesday, 1 November 1955, Francis Brabazon from Australia and Don Stevens from America arrived in Bombay. Irene Conybeare had also been invited and all three were brought to Meherazad by Meherjee on the evening of the 2nd. Francis had met Baba three years before in America, and this was his third trip to India. (He had been with Baba during the Andhra darshan program and had also attended the 1954 men's meeting.) To participate in the sahavas activities, he had come to India for 40 days.