Upasni Maharaj’s Birthday Celebration,
8th-10th May 1925,
folios 54-58

After caning His brother Jamshed, a quarrel between Gustadji and Rustom provided Baba with occasion to expel the mandali from their usual sleeping quarters, despite a heavy rainfall and blustering winds. After a comparatively sleepless night, during the next day the mandali and Baba were occupied with a game of atya patya, bathing the school boys, watching a movie.

The celebration of Upasni Maharaj’s birthday on 10th May was a grand occasion. A mandap had been erected for the occasion, and Lower Meherabad (which in those days encompassed the strip of land between the road and the railway tracks) was decked out for the occasion. Over the course of the day, from eight in the morning until five in the evening, thousands of villagers of all ages from the surrounding district passed through Meherabad, feasted, and enjoyed the bhajan and kirtan performances, including a kirtan narrative and dramatization of the life of Maharaj. Two local ascetics lead bhajan singing near the Jhopari. Throughout the day Baba roamed here and there, taking part in the festivities and overseeing them all.

A formal birthday celebration took place at sunset, featuring a procession by the untouchables of Arangaon. After a display of fireworks, an open-air cinema display of the life of Sant Sakhubai was a great success with a rural populace that had rarely seen movies. Festivities came to a close at midnight.

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