WHEN I FINISH MY WORK
Mehera J. Irani
From 10th July we heard a new sound; it was the sound of loud claps. "Oh, it must be Baba clapping to draw the attention of the mandali," we realised. Those first days of keeping silence must have been very difficult for Baba. Baba was outgoing. He loved to talk, to sing, and to laugh, and He was not used to being silent. Baba had so much work, and He still supervised everything and saw to everything. Nothing was done without consulting Him, so naturally He would want to talk, but He did not. It was very, very difficult for Baba.
It is so natural to laugh, but when the mandali around Him said something funny Baba could not laugh out. He covered His mouth with a kerchief to remind Himself not to make a sound. Baba put so much strain on Himself. At first Baba wrote very quickly on a slate, as those around Him could not understand His gestures. I remember that He used English and Gujarati.
Now at night when I think of darling Baba I wonder if He sang out loudly in the Jhopdi just before twelve o'clock on 9th July. He loved singing, and He knew that in a few minutes He would no longer be able to sing for the rest of His life.
We took Baba's silence very lightly at that time. When, at the very first, Baba had told us about it He had said that when His work was finished He would talk. So we thought, "Oh, yes, seven days will pass, and then Baba will talk!"
But seven days went by, and Baba did not talk. And then we waited and waited, and now it was seven months and still Baba was silent. This was serious to us, and we asked each other, "When will Baba speak?" We missed His voice, His talking, Baba's beautiful singing and His cheerfulness.
One day we asked Baba, "When shall we hear Your lovely voice, Baba? When shall we hear You sing and talk again?" And Baba replied on His slate, "I'll talk again when I finish My work."
Baba kept giving us hope so that we would not feel hopeless, but for the next forty-four years Baba kept silence.
MEHERA, pp. 84-85
1989 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust