Symbols of the world's religions

               

QAWALI PROGRAM

Sam Kerawala

 
In Satara Baba had two houses, 'Grafton' for the women and 'Rosewood' for the men mandali. On the night before giving up the alphabet board, 7th October 1954, Baba said that they would have an all-night Qawali program.

The men came from Rosewood in the dark of the early evening, and on entering the big room in Grafton found cups and a huge kettle of tea. Aloba presumed that this was for the men, so he distributed it. At this point Baba came, and seeing the soiled cups, suddenly became upset: 'Who told you to have the tea?' His mood was such that some of the men trembled, and there was stunned silence.

Then Eruch spoke, 'Baba, the kettle was here and we all thought it was there to be drunk and Aloba served it.'

'Who is Aloba that he takes it on himself to serve the tea?! Eruch, tell the singers to leave immediately, and you all return to Rosewood!'

Eruch somehow gestured to the other men that it was a passing storm, and said to Baba, 'We are so sorry. We presumed that the tea being here, it had been left for us.'

'Yes, I did keep it for you and with these tablets it was to ensure that you stayed awake all night. Alright, I forgive you, but all of you bow down and rub your noses at My feet.'

The men of course were delighted, the storm over and with the added joy of being at His feet. It was, in a very strange way, a victory for the men.

Then Baba directed that the women, who were behind a curtain in the same room, prepare another kettle of tea. Baba was by now His usual loving self, chatting in an easy flowing manner, unique to Him, never forgetting anyone — 'make sure there is sufficient tea for the Qawali singers.'

Well the program began, and everything was fine until one or two in the morning, when suddenly Aloba came running to Baba: 'Kill me immediately' so overcome was he by the words and music of love for God. Baba took Aloba's hand and held it very tightly, gesturing at the same time 'calm down, calm down, calm down...' Then He ordered another cup of tea, and Aloba gradually calmed down, and the program resumed until about five or six in the morning.

Baba told Eruch to pay the Qawali singers extra which was always the way with Beloved Baba. As Mohammed the Prophet, He had said: 'Pay your labourer ere the sweat has dried on his brow.' Baba then told everyone to depart, fold their hands to Him and go — no embrace as He had earlier specified.

Sam who was returning to duty and this was therefore his last visit to Baba, felt keenly the absence of an embrace. He returned to Poona early afternoon, and in the afternoon mail delivery was a beautiful letter from Baba, saying Sam should not feel disappointed that he was not embraced and to remember that he was embraced long ago — as it were, in the very beginning of his life with Baba.

Sam was amazed — how could the letter have reached him so soon, when normally mail took 24 hours or more.

THE DIVINE HUMANITY OF MEHER BABA, pp. 106-107, ed. Bill Le Page
1999 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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