Transporting the “small pyramid” of nearly 100 parcels of luggage presents a challenge to the mandali,
folios #2v041-2v045, December 5, 1926.

Rising at 5:30 AM, all prepared to depart by train for Dadar in Bombay. An enormous pile of luggage was transported to the station by bullock carts or carried by a number of mandali who walked; other mandali were delivered by carriage and car. Baba and the women came last by car, arriving just before the train. The 27 individuals in the party quickly made themselves comfortable in the third class compartment which had been reserved. A crowd of well-wishers cheered “Jai!” as the train departed.

Baba’s mood was very good and games were played in the train. At Khandoba Baba instructed Ramjoo to keep a look out for Mohon who had stormed away from the group in anger in the morning. At Kalyan the mandali took tea and by 4:50 PM the party reached Dadar, where difficulties confronted them due to lack of facilities to transport the luggage. A victoria departed with Baba for Santa Cruz where the mandali was to lodge in the house of Mr. Ramdas. The women were sent with Navrozji by local train.

No reasonable transport was available for the luggage and railroad authorities insisted on its quick removal. It took the mandali two hours of heavy labor to carry the nearly 100 pieces of luggage off the platform a mere thirty yards to the road, where police in turn insisted that it be immediately removed. With difficulty the services of a half dozen coolies and a four wheeled trolly were engaged; loaded with luggage, however, it could scarcely be moved. A serious accident was narrowly avoided as the trolly was heaved over the tracks at the crossing.

Clearly it was impossibile to load the luggage on a local train, which stopped only briefly. A bullock cart was located and sent to Santa Cruz laden to capacity with part of the luggage and two mandali. A sympathetic guard on the local train allowed them to handle the remaining luggage and also pitched in to help. At Santa Cruz a victoria transported some luggage to Mr. Ramdas’ house, but the remainder had to be carried by the mandali themselves.

By a “strange coincidence” the parcels containing Baba’s bedding and the food arrived last, compelling everyone to wait without food until it arrived at 10:30 PM. After an hour of settling in and eating, all retired for the night.

Part 95: The Combined Diary

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