At the end of January, this message from Baba (previously dictated by him on December 18th, 1964), was sent to his lovers for his seventy-first birthday:
On the day of his birthday, Thursday, February 25th, 1965, another message was sent by telegram to all Centers in the East:
For the Jabalpur bimonthly publication "God-Man", Baba cabled this message:
At the beginning of February, Baba called Sarosh and Viloo to Meherazad. He informed them that he was sending them as his representatives to Mehersthan in Kovvur, where a guest house was to be opened on the morning of the 25th.
That morning at Meherazad, an unexpected but welcome visitor arrived. It was Begum Akhtar. She came to Ahmednagar to give a concert arranged by the local Center for Baba's birthday, and wished to sing a few ghazals for Baba as her personal offering of love.
Even though she was tired after the long train journey and her hectic schedule of engagements, she sang superbly. A poet from Ahmednagar, Afsar Seemani, composed a ghazal in Baba's praise, which Begum Akhtar read. She then spontaneously began singing.
Afterward, Baba remarked to her, "Your songs were my best birthday present. Your voice is matchless."
Begum Akhtar replied, "It is all your grace, Baba; there is nothing else."
Observing her, Baba showed concern for how tired she looked and stated, "Take rest this afternoon."
With tear-filled eyes, she said, "My rest is only at your feet."
That night, Begum Akhtar sang before a crowd of seven thousand at the Gandhi Maidan in Ahmednagar, and Pukar spoke about Meher Baba's life and message.
Other visitors to Meherazad that day included Khorshed, Arnavaz, Nariman, Adi Jr.'s family and Meherwan Jessawala, who had been staying at Meherazad for a month. Meherwan left for Poona on the 28th. Freni, Dara and Shireen saw Baba once more before leaving for Bombay on March 5th to return to England.
Celebrations for Meher Baba's birthday were held in a variety of ways in various Centers throughout India and abroad. Poor-feeding programs, bhajan-kirtan programs, large processions, exhibitions, plays, lectures, et cetera, were arranged to mark the occasion.
Those in Masulipatnam were inaugurating a free medical dispensary in Baba's name. Baba cabled this message:
In Hyderabad, to commemorate the God-Man's seventy-first birthday, seventy-one days of continuous programs were held, starting on December 17th and concluding on the 25th. Baba sent this telegram to them:
To those gathered in Kakinada, Baba cabled:
LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol. 19 & 20, pp. 6314-6317
2001 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust