“I will fish you out even if you hide yourself in the very depths of the earth; there is no place that my eyes cannot reach,”
folios #2v283-2v288, May 21, 1927.
The letter from Abdulla arrived with details of Burjore’s behavior in Poona. In the afternoon selected mandali were called to consider the information and decide how to deal with the boy.
He was employed by the kindness of Messrs. Ardeshir and Sons, a mineral water works, with a salary of 25 rupees plus room and board and clothing. His work was satisfactory and his employers put him in charge of a retail shop in the city. One day he disappeared with 35 rupees as well as the keys to the shop. His angry employers were in a mood to teach him a lesson.
The mandali agreed with Baba that the boy was a silly fool rather than “dangerous,” as alleged in Abdulla’s telegram, and that he might improve his behavior if given a chance. Were he “really cunning with criminal tendencies,” he would have absconded with a larger sum of money or embezzled a considerable amount over a long period.
Tearfully and hesitatingly Bujore confessed his guilt in detail and pleaded to be allowed to stay. Baba pardoned him and gave him permission to remain, conveying “You may manage to avoid the detection of a crime elsewhere, you may succeed in running away from any other place but this won’t do here. I will fish you out even if you hide yourself in the very depths of the earth; there is no place that my eyes cannot reach. Not only that but if you do anything wrong here you will instantly become a cripple.”
Baba enjoined a mandali to relate the experience of Bal, who insisted on leaving the mandali. He took a job learning to drive and repair vehicles at Rustomji’s garage but shortly he fell and seriously injured his hand and had to confess that it was “very dangerous to go against Baba’s wishes.”
When the boy was out of earshot Baba remarked that Bujore being an extremist would prove to be either “an excellent addition to the mandali or become a criminal of the worst kind.”
After the meeting Baba went to the Post Office building where he “provided a fresh example of His really being the steady rock in the dashing sea of Maya.” Shireen Banoo, Mrs. Bomanji, Masaji “and a few others” got caught up in a terrific argument. It was like a “great cyclone” and they all seemed to be on the verge of violence. Meanwhile Baba continued calmly playing with Pilamai’s small son. When the “first frenzy of excitement” had subsided Baba stepped in and mediated the peace.
After supper while the mandali were listening to a Sexton Blake story the Deputy Collector of the District arrived with a group of prominent citizens from Pandharpur. Two were Hindus and the third was an “old Bohri [a Shiite sect of Gujarati speaking Muslims] gentleman” who was the President of the Municipality of Pandharpur. His cordial and civil demeanor with Baba gave insight into how a Muslim could hold the position of President of an overwhelmingly Hindu city.
The guests all expressed considerable appreciation for the “Meher Ashram Institute” and they were eager to know if there was a “living Saint” in Pandharpur. Baba indicated that there was one but did not reveal his identity. They suggested names and made guesses but to no avail. Baba hinted, “He goes about in torn rags and appears to be as unconscious of His body and surroundings as a Majzoob or Paramhansa.” Baba indicated that if they continue to be “keen and devoted” they will eventually meet the Saint. “Keep searching,” was Baba’s final advice to them.
After completion of the Sexton Blake story, all were “ordered to bed.”