A VERY LONG TIME
Arnavaz N. Dadachanji
Most of the mandali took Baba's remark to be humorous, but Dr. Nilu later told us that Baba's remark had made him uncomfortable, and he wondered about their meaning.
A short time later Baba sent Chanji to Bombay, saying, "When I send for you, bring all your belongings because you will not be going back to Bombay for a very, very long time!" Chanji was with us for a few days and we spent our time talking of Baba, as we always did, but on this visit he wasn't joking with us in his usual manner.
The day he was preparing to leave Bombay, we were alone in the house. Uncle Chanji said, "Arnavaz, I am not coming back for a long time." Sometimes we wouldn't see him for long periods, months at a time, so I asked if he meant five or six months. Uncle Chanji said, "No, no, no! A very long time." I suggested, "Then maybe after a year or two?" He repeated, "No, a very long time!"
There was a sadness in his voice that I didn't understand. I went to see him off at the station, but I didn't go to the platform, as he had Baba's orders not to reveal to anyone where he was going. After he embraced me, just before he left for the train, he removed a five rupee note from his pocket and gave it to me. Uncle Chanji never had any money of his own, and this was a very unusual gesture. I asked, "Why are you giving this to me? I should be giving it to you." He answered, "You keep it." I took the money because I could feel that he was giving it lovingly, with a purpose.
That was the last time I saw him. Later I realized that he knew in his heart he would never see me or the rest of the family again, and perhaps he even had an intuition that he was going to die.
GIFT OF GOD, pp. 79-80
1996 © Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba