JUST FOR THE PEACE OF MIND WE GET
Mani S. Irani
Like all the family, in fact like all the Iranis I've known, my parents shared a marked sense of humour. Moreover, there was Father's incredible kindness which extended to all, friend and foe. And above all, it was Father's quality of stillness within him which I could feel even as a child. Many a family friend or acquaintance has come into our home to sit for hours beside him in total silence. "Just for the peace of mind we get," they would say.
I too loved sitting beside Father, on that low bed of his. While we sat side by side, I would look up to catch a glimpse of the tip of his tongue moving up and down as he silently repeated God's name, "Yezdan, Yezdan."
Father was a gentle companion and a special friend to me. We had secrets that Mother didn't share. Here's an instance: Water chestnuts are considered a wonderful tonic, and Mother would grind them fine with sugar for Father to have between meals. Father kept that delicious chestnut powder all for me. Whenever Mother was very busy or away from home, he would bring down the jar from the shelf and give me big helpings of it. I must add that I, too, brought him little presents from school. The brown-sugar toffee was one of his favourites.
My respect for Father was special. I hated to displease him, but when I was arguing with Mother it couldn't be helped. Such as when I pestered Mother for a pleated satin skirt that went "whoosh, whoosh" as you walked I'd seen one and heard it on an older girl in school. And Mother would tell me, "No, Mani, you can't have it. I told you once, I told you twice, you can't have it. Not until you're much older."
"But I want it," I'd wail. "I want it now. So-and-so has it. Why can't I?"
Then Father would say in his imperfect Gujerati, "Mani, stop pestering Memo!" And I'd know I was displeasing him. But when he was really displeased, he would add, "Mani, may God be good to you." ("Mani, Khodai tara bhala karay.") Even his scolding was a blessing!
I would stop immediately. I never overstepped Father's blessing.
GOD-BROTHER, pp. 57-58
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust