MANZIL-E-MEEM, BOMBAY ( Mumbai ), INDIA
29th May 1922 : Sunday - continued....
On the 29th May, the Muslim Festival of Id - the birthday of Mohammed the Prophet was celebrated at Munshi's home. He had a large canopy erected for all.
30th May 1922 : Monday
The following day, an intense search for a suitable bungalow for Baba and the men began.
2nd June 1922 : Thursday
On the 4th day of searching, one was found and approved by Baba, it was found in the Dadar district of Bombay at 167 Main Street, ( near - Ramjoo D ) opposite the G.I.P. railway station.
It took 2 more ( 4th June ) days to settle the terms of rent from the landlord - Haji Abdur Rehman. The property was rented in Beheramji's name for an amount of 350 rupees per year.
Lord Meher V2 p.380
29th May 1922 Historic Timeline : The objection by Pope Pius XI to the proposed British Mandate over Palestine was received by the League of Nations. The Roman Catholic Church stated that creation of a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land in Palestine gave unequal privileges to Zionists.
30th May 1922 Historic Timeline : The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day, with U.S. President Warren G. Harding praising President Abraham Lincoln.The building took 10 years to construct.
MANZIL - E - MEEM
House of the Master
June 1922 :
Later, Slamson supervised the partitioning into different rooms - 2 large halls & 13 small bedrooms, 8 ft sq., with white-washed gunny cloth. A large kitchen was made at one end.
On the 2nd floor, a small room was given to Gustadji, while Sadashiv & Beheramji shared a room. A small bedroom off the large hall on the upper floor was for Meher Baba.
Baba and the men moved in on the 7th June after the renovations.
The first topic was to name the place, Baba decided it should be called "Manzil-e-Meem" the House of the Master. That night, Baba requested a music program of qawaali singing and invited many of the neighbourhood Muslims to attend.
Meher Baba & Ghani prepared a list of 7 orders, 2 days prior, which every man was given to sign - the house rules.
Lord Meher V2 p.381
** The house consisted of 15 rooms and it was never furnished as per Baba's instructions.
God Man p.29
*** The full list of instruction are listed in the various publication referenced.
7th June 1922 Historic Timeline : The Greek Navy armored cruiser Georgios Averof shelled the Turkish city of Samsun, prompting the Ottoman government to deport Greek residents in western towns and villages under Turkish control.
The British Mount Everest expedition was called off after an avalanche killed seven of the 17 mountaineers on the team of Nepalese Sherpa porters carrying the supplies.
July 1922 :
On Sunday 2nd July, Meher Baba in the afternoon went with the men mandali to Bandra in the north of Bombay by train, to play games of 'iti-danda' by the seashore.
Meanwhile, a new hardware business with the partnership of Usman and Behramji was started in Vazier Mansions on Sandhurst Road under the style of S.A. Wahab & Co. This was to entail that everyone had an occupation that lived at the Manzil.
Ramjoo's Dairies p.56
** It is not clear whether the business is located near the Sandhurst Road Railway Station. in Eastern Bombay / Mumbai.
July 1922 : continued....
Meher Baba ordered Ghani to close his ailing dispensary and stay with him at Manzil-e-Meem.
On the 12th July, Ghani closed his business
"American Homeopathic Stores & Co."
On the 19th July, Baba requested a few of the men to start composing poetry and encouraged their efforts.
Lord Meher V2 p.390
Irani ( Pendu ) came from Quetta where he had moved to after his mother Piroja died in 1917. She was Merwan's paternal aunt, her husband Masaji had joined Baba in Bombay. Pendu was working for a nephew of Gulmai's - Rusi Jehangir Irani. Naja ( Pendu's sister ) had been sent to
Quetta earlier. When Pendu came to Bombay on business for Rusi, he met with Meher Baba at the Manzil-e Meem and agreed to join his group after agreeing to Baba's
All the men at the Manzil were assigned duties, such as Ahmed Abbas & Asar Saheb who were engaged to write Upasni Maharaj's biography in Urdu. Other men were employed in either in a government office or factory or a private company. All had to be back by 7pm.
Lord Meher V2 p.392-4
July - August 1922 : continued....
In the evening of the 27th July, Baba and a few of his men went for a motor spin ( drive ) to Haji Abdur Rehman Baba's Tomb or Dargah.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.59
On the 28th July, Meher Baba & Ahmed Abbas went to Poona to research facts about Upasni Maharaj. Baba spoke with him for 4 days extensibly, while Ahmed wrote down notes about his life and about Sai Baba of Shirdi.
Lord Meher V2 p.394
Baba had gone with Khak Saheb ( Ahmed Abbas ) & Trimbuk to Sakori by the Nagpur Mail
( train ). He returned 3 days later on the 31 July.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.59
August 1922 : continued....
During August, Naval Talati began visiting the Manzil everyday and soon became devoted.
One day he brought along a friend Hormusji Jehangir Valifday, a famous cricketeer to meet Baba, he was 29 y.o. and he too became devoted and would also come daily. They would both bring bread and were considered a part of Meher Baba's Circle, but they didn't stay overnight with him.
Lord Meher V2 p.398-9
** S.M. Usman ( Munshi Rahim's adopted son ) married on 20th August 1922.
** Naval Talati was living at Bombay Central area.
On the 21st August, they decided to go to Ghodbunder on a picnic. Some of the men went up ahead. From Dadar Railway Station they took the train to Borivali and then to Ghodbunder. They all thoroughly enjoy the natural setting of land and sea. They stayed the night and moved on to another location.
After travelling by foot, they returned to Charni Road, a week later, then back to the Manzil by noon of the 27th August.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.62-3
*** It's not clear how many of the men went with Meher Baba on the trip and where else did they go to in the days in-between the 21st &
27th August 1922 Historic Timeline : An underground fire at the Argonaut gold mine in Jackson, California, killed 47 miners.
September 1922 :
On the 10th September, a white pigeon flew into the Manzil-e-Meem, after the bird was captured it was apparent it was very ill. Although Baba nursed the bird throughout the night it died. Baba explained the bird was a message from Babajan. The bird was buried by Baba in the backyard of the Manzil.
Lord Meher V2 p.410
10th September 1922 Historic Timeline : Film producer Hal Roach introduced the first of 220 short films in the Our Gang series.
Born: Yma Sumac (stage name for Zoila Chávarri del Castillo), Peruvian soprano; in Callao (d. 2008)
October 1922 :
New daily instructions for the residents of the Manzil-e-Meem came into effect on the 1st October.
Ghani wrote as per Baba's instruction, a letter to Prof. Shiak Abdul Kadar Surfraz of Elpinstone College in Bombay, which was given to Munshi Rahim to deliver. The letter was to inform the professor not to come unless called for. The professor had planned to visit.
A Zoroastrian named Khodadad K. Irani, a relative of Adi's, had heard of Baba from Gulmai and was permitted to stay at the Manzil. He was working at a textile mill during the day and was a chronic asthma sufferer since childhood, so Baba nicknamed "Asthma".
What became apparent to all, since he moved in, his condition had improved.
On 4th October, Asthma purchased a new bicycle and brought it to the Manzil. Baba rode it in the backyard and then told Asthma not to allow anybody else to ride it.
On the 5th, Baba stated that some noise in the Manzil was keeping him awake at night.
Baba explained that it was a ghost ; "This spirit is always with me, wherever I go. He is one of the ghosts whom Arjun saw outside my hut in Poona. Upasni Maharaj has put him in my charge. Some of you may see this spirit. If it happens, don't feel afraid of him and don't be afraid to move about the Manzil at night".
Once Ghani was massaging Baba's legs at night, Baba further explained about ghosts and why he had his body rubbed ; " The physical contact of a human being with my body keeps the 'spirit world' away from me for the time being and thereby enables me to snatch a little rest. My sleep is not the sleep of ordinary human beings, it is a sort of mental rest from my spiritual working. A spirit always accompanies me wherever I go and in whatever I do".
Lord Meher V2 p.412- 420
Ghani had been massaging Baba's legs, when he remarked that he had a sore neck, Baba told him to rub coconut oil onto it.
Lord Meher V2 p.425
1st October 1922 Historic Timeline : The White House Police Force was created by order of U.S. President Warren G. Harding.
4th October 1922 Historic Timeline : The Allied and Turkish representatives at Mudanya agreed to allow Turkey to have all of Thrace and to place Constantinople under joint control.
5th October 1922 Historic Timeline : Forest fires in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec killed 43 people, as well as burning 650 square miles (1,700 km2) of property.
October 1922 : continued....
Meher Baba returned from Sakori to the Manzil-e-Meem on the 17th October at 8:30am.
The following day, a written paper was passed around the residents of the Manzil which gave undertakings by all not to leave until the 23rd Apil, the following year 1923.
All agreed to sign the document, except Asar, who was asked by Baba to leave immediately.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.115
Some the men had been negotiating to buy a flour mill at Parel near Dadar Station, which was to provide extra employment for some of the idle men at the Manzil.
A large group of the men were instructed by Baba to board the
Delhi Express train without Baba, Khak & Ghani, for Sakori via Manmad at night, arriving at Sakori the following morning. Although Upasni was welcoming and gave food and discourses to the men about staying Meher Baba, the men were uncomfortale and uneasy. They
stayed 2 days in Sakori.
They all left early on the 23rd October, for Poona to receive Babajan's blessing under Baba's instructions. They arrived back at the Manzil in Bombay at 1pm.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.116-7
Lord Meher V2 p.452
17th October 1922 Historic Timeline : U.S. Navy Lieutenant Virgil C. Griffin became the first pilot to make a takeoff from an American aircraft carrier, departing from the carrier USS Langley in a VE-7 "Bluebird" biplane and landing at an airfield.
The U.S. Army's largest airship, the dirigible C-2, exploded and was destroyed by fire as it was preparing for takeoff at Brooks Field near San Antonio, Texas.
23rd October 1922 Historic Timeline : Bonar Law was unanimously elected leader of the Conservative Party and then went to Buckingham Palace where he accepted the invitation of George V to take over as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The census of Palestine, which contained the modern State of Israel was carried out by Britain and reported a count of 757,182 people, of which nearly 591,000 were Muslims and a little more than 73,000 were Jewish.
October 1922 : continued....
On the 28th October, Baba and the men went to Victoria Gardens in Bombay, with Vajifdar managing to get
access to special facilities from a superintendent friend. Once there, they had food and then exployed the gardens with it's water canal,
flowers and caged animals.
Baba went into fasting prior to the following days event.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.118
*** This was the second visit to these gardens by Meher Baba
The following Sunday, Baba decided to give alms to the poor, on 29th October, sending Ramjoo & Ghani to Bhendi Bazaar to buy 100 cotton shirts to be distributed to the poor. The other men at the Manzil, were to bring 1000 lepers, blind and destitute to the Manzil. All they could muster was 100 genuine ones. The men went many miles throughout Bombay.
Finally, 200 were served with food, some were bathed. others given clothes and they were garlanded.
Lord Meher V2 p.452
28th October 1922 Historic Timeline : King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy refused to grant the still-acting Prime Minister Luigi Facta's request to declare martial law.
The first nationally broadcast football game was transmitted by KYW in Chicago and WEAF in New York City as the Princeton University Tigers and the University of Chicago Maroons. Princeton came back to win, 21 to 18.
29th October 1922 Historic Timeline : Benito Mussolini departed Milan for Rome on an overnight train upon receiving word that he would be asked to form a new government.
Elections were held in Switzerland.
The Greek Army completed its withdrawal from Eastern Thrace.
November 1922 :
By November, Upasni Maharaj's biography was in the final stages of being published, posters erected, leaflets, etc. A publishing company was formed "Circle & Company".
On the 3rd November, posters of Upasni's image was plastered in the area around the Muslim mosque - Jumma Masjid by many of Baba's men, also, the area near Zakaria Masjid in the Kacchi Mohalla area, which was also a heavy Muslim presence.
Advertisements were also distributed at the 'Phool Gally' ( Flower Lane ) in Dadar.
1,000 copies of the book "Protector of the Poor" arrived on the 15th November and selling of the book became the main activity for the following several months.
Lord Meher V2 p.455
15th November 1922 Historic Timeline : The United Kingdom general election was held for the House of Commons.The Conservatives retained a majority.
More than 300 protesters were shot and killed while participating in a general strike in the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador.
December 1922 :
On 24th December, Meher Baba told all the men to sell all the copies of the book and the lottery ticket for the car by the 31st December, or the Manzil-e-Meem will close. He then started a fast on 28th December, he said "all previous orders are hearby cancelled" , signed Merwan.
This was then followed by another sheet with 28 new orders for all to follow.
Lord Meher V2 p.461
24th December 1922 Historic Timeline : Ava Gardner, American film actress; in Smithfield, North Carolina (d. 1990)
28th December 1922 Historic Timeline : Stan Lee, comic book creator and president of Marvel Comics; as Stanley Martin Lieber, in New York City (d. 2018)
Ramapada Chowdhury, Indian Bengali language novelist and screenwriter; in Kharagpur (d. 2018)
31st December 1922 Historic Timeline : The All India Kshatriya Society, chaired by Raja Nahar Singh, approved a policy for a "ritual purification" for Muslim Rajputs to convert from Islam to Hinduism. The policy applied to persons whose ancestors had been Hindus forcibly converted to Islam.
Meher Baba and his men mandali continued to live in the Manzil-e-Meem for several more months. This will be covered in the next chapter ( 5 ) and the many other aspects of Baba's Advent during the following years.
On 3rd January 1923, Meher Baba called all the men at the Manzil-e-Meem and announced a new regime whereby daily for an hour or two, they'll have time set aside to hear all matters from the men, chaired by Meher Baba, followed by recreational activity.
This meeting was called a "Gutta" or wineshop / tavern.
The old car was finally sold by lottery to a Hindu man - Shri Satchitananda, one of the bhajan singers from Mahim in Bombay.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.471
On the 12th February, the Poona men mandali ( close ones ) arrived and were sent to Chowpatty Beach to bathe and wash their clothes, before being permitted to enter the Manzil.
On the 13th, a large pandal 'tent' was erected over the Manzil's backyard, to celebrate Baba's 29th birthday.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.483
A Pathan ( of ethnic Pashtun ancestry ) in the service of Saint Tipoo Baba brought a bouquet and a
garland of flowers for Baba on the 15th. February. He in return, sent Tipoo Baba a garland and a sheet of flowers for Abdur Rehman Baba's tomb.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.137
Later that day, 500 poor people were brought to the Manzil to be fed. The Poona visitors returned to their homes.
The following day, Maulvi Abdul Wahid came to the Manzil, he had come from Hyderabad, he had seen bright lights above the Manzil while he was in the nearby mosque meditating. This prompted him to seek out this place.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.483
***There is no image for Maulvi Abdul Wahid
The feast was continued up to 4 pm when about 800 poor were fed, while the mandali were observing a complete fast since the previous night, which ended at 9 pm that night. However, Baba did not break his liquid fast.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.155
SAINT TIPOO BABA ABDUR REHMAN BABA'S tomb ABDUR REHMAN BABA
Baba's birthday was celebrated on the 19th February at the Manzil-e-Meem.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.160
Later in February, Shireen ( Baba's mother ), Daulat and her sister Freiny, cousin Naja and Gulmai came to Bombay for Baba's birthday celebrations. The ladies were accommodated on the top floor of the Manzil. Baba stayed downstairs with the men.
During Baba's birthday, he was profusely garlanded whilst seated on the floor. Another 200 people came for his birthday. All feasted, then a qawaali singing program followed.
Baba's birthday was celebrated on the 19th February at the Manzil-e-Meem.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.160
***There is no image for Freiny ( Daulat's sister ).
SHIREEN D. IRANI DAULAT S. IRANI NAJA R. IRANI GULMAI K. IRANI
The following day ( 20th ), Baba asked Daulat in a private meeting "Are you willing to marry your daughter Freiny to Rustom ( K.).
Daulat agreed, as this arrangement had been planned for some months. That afternoon Meher Baba betrothed Rustom & Freiny ( who had also come ) to the Manzil, this gave both mothers great pleasure.
Later, Baba remarked, " After Rustom's wedding, I am thinking of moving to some village for a while." Gulmai then asked, " Why don't you come and visit our property near Arangaon village, outside Ahmednagar ?"
Baba replied to her, "Why do you say that ?" Gulmai replied, " Your visit has been foretold by a local saint Gilori Shah."
Baba made out he didn't understand and Gulmai told him the story that Gilori Shah told her. Baba then told Gulmai after hearing her story, to complete the tomb for the saint as he wished.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.484-5
On the 23rd February, about 200 poor, blind and maimed were fed and 50 were clothed.
The following day ( 24th ) news came from Davla Masi that Perfect Master Maharaj had gone very weak from he self imposed imprisonment in a bamboo cage.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.160
***There is no image for Davla Masi ( female )
RAMJOO JAFFER HORMUSJI VAJIFDAR DURGABAI KHWAJA H. NIZAMI
On the 7th March, Baba went on a car ride to Munshi's home on Charni Road in Bombay along with Behramji, Gustadji, Ramjoo, Adi & Vajifdar. This was the first time in 3 months of strict confinement. They stayed a couple of hours. Later that night they returned to the Manzil and leaned the Upasni Maharaj had sent some of his men to bring Merwan back to Sakori, which Baba refused.
Upasni's chief female disciple Durgabai also came a few days later and tried, but to no avail.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.495
For a couple of weeks Upasni Maharaj had been verbally putting down Baba to many who came to him, including Shireen - Baba's mother and Adi K. Irani. Shireen was physically abused by Upasni Maharaj, which scared her, but later settled down after talking to him.
On the 9th March, the Manzil was again staged to celebrate the engagement of Rustom & Freiny Irani. Decorations were everywhere - 200 tables sets, it was like a royal feast.
Family members were in their finest clothes for the event.
Baba told Freiny after the ceremony not to return to Sakori, but to stay with his aunt
( Gulmai's sister ) in Parel in Bombay.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.496
Baba returned to Charni Road on the 13th March, staying the night there, returning to the Manzil at 5pm on the 14th.
The Manzil on 19th March, had a distinguished visitor - Khwaja Hasan Nizami who had come by car, to see Baba, but Baba had disallowed anyone to see him. Arrangement were then made for some of the mandali to see Nizami the following day near Chowpatty in Bombay.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.173-4
On the 15th April, Baba went to the marriage ceremony at Naval & Dina Talati's house in Central Bombay, before the wedding started, he called them into the street, where he blessed them, he then rode back in a tonga to the Manzil-e-Meem.
The men had packed the luggage ready for the next chapter, leaving the Manzil-e-Meem.
Ten months had passed and the remaining 13 men left by train on the night of the 19th for Ahmednagar.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.502-5
By the 19th April 1923, all the arrangements were completed in full detail for leaving the Manzil, even the disposal of the Flour Mill was concluded as well, Baba decided to leave for Ahmednagar that night on the Raichur Passenger train.
The Menzil premises were duly handed back to the owner, the heavy luggage was dispatched to the station, an outhouse was retained as an office for matters of the 'Circle & Co.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.177-8
On 8th July, Baba along with Gustadji, Beheramji & Munshi went to select a permanent spot to stay which they found near the river at Gangapur. Later Baba, after ciding an excuse, that they should return to Arangaon.
They all woke up at 4:30 am, 9th July and were all at the Nasik Railway Station at 7:30 am courtesy of Aziz Ahmed's car doing 3 trips. They reached Manmad station at 10:30 am. After lunch, they boarded the Dhond ( Daund ) train at 12:15 pm and reaching Ahmednagar at 5:30pm.
They immediately left the station for the Post Office ( future Meherabad ) near Arangaon carrying their belongings walking the 5 miles.
After they arrived, Baba joined the men taking dal-rice at meal time, the first for him in 4-5 months, breaking his fast.
The next day, they woke up at 5:45 am, 10th July, Slamson, Masaji & Padri went to Ahmednagar to purchase materials to repair the Post Office and they brought their trunks that were stored at Khushru Quarters. Baidul and Nervous fixed the roof tiles and installed new glass in the windows. Rustom arrived from Bombay.
On the following day, 11th July, Baba suggested that instead of repairing the Post Office, it would be better to go back to
Dadar in Bombay, get employment, distribute Upasni's book, etc. The men convened a
meeting amoungst themselves and agreed to move back to Dadar into the small office which was behind the Manzil-e-Meem
house the following day. Adi K. Irani was sent back to stay with his mother - Gulmai.
The men loaded up the bullock cart with their things and proceeded to walk to the Railway Station on the 12th July. They departed Ahmednagar at 12:45 pm and arrived at Manmad station at 5:30 pm followed by a snack. The train to Bombay departed at 7:30pm and they arrived in Bombay at 4:30 am and reaching the Manzil office very soon afterwards on the 13th July.
It was the monsoon season !
Everyone in the group soon settled into the various tasks that Baba assigned, especially, the book-binding of Upasni Maharaj's biography "The Perfect Master".
Many of the men got jobs to suppliment themselves and the others. Work continued uneventful through to mid-August.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 231-4
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.551-2