Chapter 24: Dehra Dun, 1953
Dehra Dun train station
Eruch, Keki Nalavala, Kishan Singh, Elcha Mistry
Upon Kishan Singh's return to Dehra Dun from Andhra, Baba, through correspondence, instructed him to arrange for Baba and the mandali's stay. Kishan Singh made all the arrangements responsibly.
After a two-week stay at Meherazad, Baba left by car for Poona on Sunday, 15 February 1953, with Mehera, Mani, Meheru, Goher, Naja and Rano. They traveled in Meherjee and Nariman's cars, and Eruch drove the one that carried Baba. Eruch then traveled with them to Dehra Dun. On their way, they stopped at the Salvation Army's Evangeline Booth Hospital in Ahmednagar to visit Eruch's sister Meheru Damania. She had not been well for months and had recently undergone a gallbladder operation. Later she was diagnosed with cancer. Baba comforted her and reminded her to remember him and repeat his name.
The men — Aloba, Baidul, Babadas, Gustadji, Kaikobad, Krishna, Nilu, and Pendu — left by train on the 15th for Dehra Dun. Vishnu had left four days in advance to make sure all the arrangements were suitable. Don was instructed to go to Kashmir, after obtaining the necessary permit, as Baba intended to travel to Kashmir for work at the end of March. Kaka remained behind to look after the Meherazad property, and Padri, Sidhu, Kalemama, Bala Tambat, Savak Kotwal and Jangle remained in Meherabad. Residing on the hill were Mansari and Kaikobad's family. Adi Sr. lived with his mother Gulmai at Khushru Quarters, which also housed the offices of Meher Publications, where Dattu Mehendarge and Waman Padale worked. Feram Workingboxwala lived at Akbar Press, and Chhagan stayed with his family in Bhingar.
Baba and the women spent the night of the 15th at Bindra House in Poona, and then went by train to Dehra Dun, via Bombay. Everyone arrived there by the 18th. Kishan Singh had arranged for the mandali to stay in his bungalow at 107-A Rajpur Road, and a separate villa at 103-A Rajpur Road was rented for Baba and the women. The bungalows were nearby and Baba would walk from one house to the other. (Goher would accompany him in the mornings and Aloba would escort him back at 11:00 A.M. for lunch.) Baba had permitted a few close lovers of Dehra Dun — Elcha Mistry, Keki Nalavala, Burjor Chacha and Hellan — to see him, and Kishan Singh and Kumar were permitted to stay with the mandali.
According to Baba's instructions, Kishan brought seven poor people to the men's bungalow the following morning. Baba arrived at seven o'clock to wash their feet. He also gave each Rs.50 as prasad. Quite a number of local inhabitants stood at a distance, watching as Baba did his work with the poor.