A Peek at Life with the Avatar
Meheru’s earliest memories of Meher Baba were of loving Him. Whenever He called her to Meherabad during the holidays or with her family, she would jump at the chance to be with Him. She was also drawn to spend time with her aunty Mehera and the other women mandali. From an early age, Meheru set her heart upon living in Baba’s ashram with Mehera and the women, and in 1942 —when she was only 15—to Meheru’s surprise and great joy Baba brought her to stay for good.
Born Mehera Rustom Irani, Baba re-named her Meheru to avoid mix-ups once she joined the ashram. Meheru’s place with Mehera and the ladies was set from the beginning: as the youngest and strongest, she would serve as a handy girl Friday at the beck and call of Baba, Mehera, and the ladies. Her love and respect for Mehera was great, and she embraced her place in the background, helping Mehera and the other women serve Baba.
This short film clip is typical of Meheru’s life: while Mehera and the women attend to Baba, Meheru gently brings up His chair from behind.
But being in the background did not necessarily keep Meheru out of Baba’s sight! How He worked with her!! With a twinkle in her eye, Meheru would tell stories of how she’d find herself in impossible situations, caught between Baba and Mehera.
One such situation comes alive in the following clip. Baba has just been carried in His lift chair to the Main Bungalow by the men mandali. The women were busy inside preparing for Baba’s return from His work in Mandali Hall. As soon as the men leave the verandah, Mehera comes out to greet Baba. Take a look just inside the door and you can see Meheru, and this is where the fun begins.
Baba was very sensitive to winds, even light breezes. Often in the films we see Him outside with a kerchief over His nose to keep any breeze from affecting Him. And when Baba was inside He liked the windows to be closed.
Mehera was just the opposite. She loved fresh air, breezes and open windows. So when Baba would come to the house in His lift-chair, Mehera would go outside to greet Him, and Meheru would quickly close the windows to prevent drafts from blowing on Baba. In particular, she’d eliminate any cross drafts by closing these east windows in Baba’s room:
After quickly closing these windows, Meheru would go to the doorway just in time to greet Baba as He walked through the door, only to find Him angrily gesturing at her, “Why have you closed all these windows? You know that Mehera likes the fresh air!”
What could she do? So the next time when she tried keeping the windows open so Baba wouldn’t be upset that she hadn’t thought of Mehera, Mehera frowned and scolded poor Meheru saying, “Why didn’t you close the windows? You know that Baba doesn’t like drafts!”
Even after Baba dropped His body, Mehera’s tender care of her Beloved was deeply touching. Notice the difference in these two photos:
This is the passageway, the room just inside the entrance to Baba’s Main Bungalow. As you can see in the top photo, Baba was and is always there in the “Sadra Photo” on the small table, to greet all who walk through the door. Naturally it was a curious event when, for a few minutes every morning, a white cloth would hide Beloved Baba’s welcoming glance, as you can see in the lower photo.
Because it was odd to walk into the House and find Baba’s familiar greeting hidden, I asked Mehera about it. Her answer revealed more about her love for Baba than I could possibly imagine!
In Baba’s house early each morning the floors were swept, and one day when Mehera noticed the reflection of the broom “sweeping” across Baba’s face, she could not bear to see it. So every morning she would place a little white cloth over Baba’s picture while the floors were being swept, just so the broom’s reflection would not mar the beauty of His face.
It was such glimpses into Mehera’s profoundly thoughtful care for Baba that shaped Meheru’s life and guided her service, especially after Mehera had gone to Baba.
Beloved Baba’s Advent in its entirety is, as Meheru’s uncle Adi K. Irani would say, “Something far too higher!!” It was and is immense, something we cannot grasp. As the God-Man, Baba gave us His beautiful form and His perfect life, His tireless efforts and suffering, and in His compassion He gave us His mandali through whom we glimpse His Love, how He works, His remarkable humor, His patience, and the infinite blessing it is to be born close to the Avatar of the age.
—Kacy Cook for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 31 August 2017