Chapter 26: Three Incredible Weeks
As he had stated he would, upon his return to Mahabaleshwar Baba stopped all correspondence "on any subject whatsoever," until the end of May 1954.
Meanwhile, Baba called Isa from Dehra Dun, the precocious but outrageously demanding sweeper's son. Baba ordered that he be treated like a prince, and Bhau and Krishna were given the duty of serving as his attendants. They had to bring his food and place it on the table, clean his plates, make his bed, and generally do whatever he demanded. It was Baba's order that Isa be kept pleased and that he be "treated as gently as a flower."
For their own food, the mandali had to trudge to Shahastrabudhe's restaurant every day, and there would always be confusion, because Bhau could not leave without first feeding Isa. Food was brought for the boy from the women's kitchen. But when it was placed before him on the table, Isa would seem disinterested and would not finish it quickly. Once Bhau asked him, "Isa, please eat your food. I have to go with the other men a long distance to the hotel for my meal."
To this, Isa replied sharply, "Have you come to Baba for eating or obeying?"
Bhau had no answer to this. What Isa said was true. The teenage boy had especially been brought to instill such lessons in forbearance for certain men mandali.
One day Bhau asked him, "Isa, have you found employment here or not?"
"What have you to do with work?" he snapped. "Don't mistake me for a sweeper. I can employ you and your ancestors! And remember this: your pulse is in my hands! One word from me to Baba and you will be nowhere!"
Thus, one had to be cautious when dealing with Isa. He was indulged by Baba, given everything he wished and attired in the best of clothes — anything to keep him happy.
After two weeks, on Friday, 19 March 1954, accompanied by Mehera, Mani and Meheru, Baba left Mahabaleshwar in Nariman's car with his driver. Eruch, Rano, Goher and Naja rode with Adi Sr. in his car. Baba was on his way to Sakori, where he had agreed to perform the housewarming ceremony of Yeshwant Rao's newly-built residence. They stopped first at Bindra House in Poona. Baba then traveled with Adi Sr., Meherjee, Nariman and Eruch to Ahmednagar, leaving the women in Poona with Nariman's car, until he returned.