86-SIDHU DAULAT KAMBLE (Sidhu)
Sidhu Daulat Kamble, 23, a resident of Arangaon. He was devoted lover and one of mandali of Meher Baba.
Some of his life time experiences with Meher Baba are described as under:
In year 1924, Sidhu was looking for work in Ahmednagar. Hearing that "a great man" had settled near his village, the young man came to Meherabad during May 1924 to have Meher Baba's darshan. The Master was playing cricket with the men near the Post Office building, and Sidhu sat down to watch from across the road. Baba called him over and asked in a friendly manner, "What's your name?
Where do you live? What do you do?"
Sidhu answered, "At present I am not doing anything; but I am looking for employment somewhere."
"How far have you studied?"
"Through the third standard (grade) in a Marathi school."
"If I found you a job in Bombay, would you accept it?"
Baba then offered Sidhu lunch, which he refused. Baba insisted he join them, whereupon He piled a plate with a huge amount of food for him. Sidhu was deeply touched by His kindness toward an apparent stranger.
Baba soon arranged a job for Sidhu in Bombay, working in a theatrical company. Baba also ordered him not to come to see Him for one year. While he was in Bombay, he was instructed to regularly visit Tipu Baba (a saint and the chargeman of Bombay). After one year passed, Baba instructed Sidhu to come back and live at Meherabad, where he and his wife would be provided for.
In 1925, Sidhu Kamble returned to Meherabad after working for a year in Bombay, according to Baba's instructions. Upon his arrival, Baba asked him what he would do now.
Sidhu replied, "Whatever you tell me to do."
Baba said, "I can use you here, but you must not ask Me any questions and you cannot even ask for wages. You must leave your maintenance to My discretion. But as soon as you accept employment under Me, you will have to do the work assigned to you." Upon Sidhu's full acceptance of these conditions, Baba asked, "Would you even work as a sweeper and clean the toilets?" Sidhu hesitated before answering, and Baba said, "Don't worry. If you won't do such work, I will do it."
The Master then walked to the hospital, and Sidhu followed Him. Once inside, they found that a patient had soiled his bed and Baba began to clean it. Baba turned to Sidhu and said, "Don't worry. If any patient makes a mess in his bed, I will clean it. You need not bother."
Sidhu felt ashamed of himself, realizing that if Meher Baba could do such lowly work he could do it also. After some time, the Master included Sidhu as a permanent member of the mandali and assigned him the duty of laundering the patients' clothes and keeping the hospital immaculate.
In 1927, one day, a large gift parcel of sweets arrived. Baba gave a small amount to Sidhu and then asked him to gather the boys. While on the way to get them, Sidhu ate his share of the sweets. When he returned with the boys, Baba asked, "Where is the sweet I gave you?" Sidhu innocently replied that he had eaten it. Baba exclaimed, "You shameless idiot! When the children have not had any, you have already finished your share? Vomit it up!" To induce vomiting, Sidhu put two fingers in his mouth. Seeing this, Baba laughed and told him to stop, as He was joking.
Once, Sidhu brought in tea for Baba, and Baba asked who had sent for it. Sidhu replied, "You yourself told me to bring it." Baba had a hearty chuckle because when He had gestured to Sidhu that he might get TB, Sidhu had misunderstood Him and thought He was calling for tea! Baba sipped a little and gave the remainder to Kaka.
While Dastur was recovering from his experience, it was Sidhu's responsibility to look after him and he was instructed not to leave Dastur unattended. But that day, for just a short while, he left Dastur alone. Baba somehow found out and reprimanded Sidhu for making this mistake while performing his duty.)
In year 1929, Genu's father came to Meherabad to take his son Genu from school. Pesu and Sidhu urged “Why do you want to take him home? He is being given the best possible treatment here, and Baba Himself is attending him." Genu's relatives agreed and the father eventually consented.
Pesu and Sidhu were happy with their efforts and went to inform Baba that Genu would be staying after all. However, when Baba heard this, instead of being pleased, He became extremely upset. "Why did you break My order?" He demanded angrily. "I had told you to send Genu away immediately, as soon as the taxi arrived. Why inform Me you have done otherwise?"
Mastan was the first mast to stay at Meherabad and had been kept there by Baba since 1925. Sidhu was looking after him during 1930. Baba then told Sidhu to go to Ahmednagar and pick up the mail and any telegrams. In those days, all correspondence for Baba was sent to Akbar Press and someone from Meherabad would collect it daily. Baba gave this order to Sidhu in the early afternoon, but Sidhu decided to leave for Ahmednagar later when the heat had lessened.
After some time, Baba saw Sidhu and asked why he was still there. "The sun is so strong, Baba," Sidhu replied. "I will go after a little while."
"Aren't you ashamed to speak to Me like that?" Baba snapped. "When I asked you to leave, I meant at that very moment and you still haven't gone."
Sidhu said he would start out immediately. Baba said, "Now, what is the use of going after disobeying Me?" Sidhu quietly left, thinking that Baba had no compassion in sending him to Ahmednagar by bicycle in such heat.
Shortly thereafter, Baba sent Kalingad in a truck to bring Sidhu back. Baba explained to Sidhu, "I am sorry; I truly am merciless. I didn't know what I was doing. Sometimes it happens. If you ever find Me behaving like this again, remind Me about it." Sidhu asked Baba's forgiveness for not obeying Him.
While Baba was in strict seclusion in the Panchvati Cave, Pleader was isolated in the Post Office building. One day Pleader looked up and saw a long black cobra hanging from the ceiling. He had orders not to leave the room, nor could he shout for help, since he was also maintaining silence. Although terrified, there was nothing he could do but stare up at the snake and remember Baba even more.
A considerable amount of time passed (and it is even said that the cobra drank some of Pleader's milk). Finally, when Sidhu came to bring the next ration of milk, Pleader pointed toward the ceiling. Sidhu stumbled backward when he saw the size of the snake. He was so scared that for a few moments Sidhu could not utter a word. Then he began shouting. Pendu and Chhagan came running to help.
For some time, Sampath Aiyangar had been especially anxious for Baba to come to Madras to celebrate His birthday. Accepting the invitation, Baba left Ahmednagar by bus for Dhond in the afternoon of 16th February 1934, accompanied by Sidhu and others.
In June 1938, Sidhu was called from Meherabad to Panchgani and told to bring Chhagan's wife Shanta. When he arrived, Baba told Sidhu to take Bhagirath sightseeing in Mahabaleshwar and then have their food when they returned to Panchgani. Sidhu took Bhagirath and showed him all the sights. On their way back, they felt hungry and ate in a restaurant. Only afterward did they remember Baba's injunction to have their meals at Panchgani upon their return.
In year 1942, Baba began fasting that day, taking only water and milk less tea. From the 6th, he began fasting on milk tea and dal taken twice a day. On the 9th October 1942, according to Baba's instructions, Sidhu brought Mohammed Mast to Lonavla from Meherabad. He arrived on 12th October, and Baba began working with the masts and seeing no one else.
Sidhu came to Bhilar with Mohammed Mast, so that Baba could work with him. Sidhu's main duty in Meherabad consisted in looking after Mohammed and he continued this important work until he died.
On the night of 28 April 1945, Sidhu went out into the jungle to move his bowels. Bhilar was situated in the midst of thick jungles and was infested with tigers. As Sidhu was squatting with his pants down, a tiger came right up to him out of the dark. Its eyes burned and it began growling at him. Sidhu wanted to shout Baba's name but his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. He was so scared, he began perspiring and then he fainted.
At that moment, Baba sent Krishna to give Sidhu a message. Sidhu was not in his room and Krishna informed Baba. Baba instructed him to tell the mandali to go out into the jungle with lanterns to find him. Chhagan, Nilu, Vishnu and Masaji, armed with clubs and carrying kerosene lanterns, left to look for Sidhu. When they found him, the tiger ran away. Sidhu was so frightened he could not utter a word. With difficulty, they lifted him up. But his legs were shaking so much he couldn't even stand. They helped him walk back to the mandali's quarters and after an hour he managed one halting sentence: "Baba ... saved ... me!"
Baba said; Sidhu has been serving Me in various capacities since 1926. His sincerity and simplicity of faith are exemplary. I can rely on him in all private matters. No japa can be compared to his services.
In 1946, in the afternoon, at five o'clock, the mandali were divided into two teams and a volleyball match was played at Meherabad. Annasaheb Kale was the referee, Sailor the captain of one team, and Sidhu of the other. Baba awarded a prize of Rs.28 to the winning team.
In the evening qawaals sang ghazals in front of Baba's cabin from six to nine o'clock. Only the mandali were invited. Sidhu also sang and performed several humorous songs which amused Baba.
On 1st April 1947, Baba and the mandali left Mahabaleshwar by car in the morning. They went to Poona, where they boarded the Madras Express train at 5:30 P.M. With Baba were Gulmai and fifteen men including Sidhu.
After Baba would come out of seclusion, Sidhu would entertain Him by singing ghazals with exaggerated gestures and expressions. Baba enjoyed it and remarked, "His pantomimes lessen my burden!"
In year 1947, one day when Sidhu was on watch, a local boy named Shelke brought a letter from the post office. Baba signaled to the boy to come inside His room. He dictated to him for a few minutes, using the alphabet board, before sending him away. Baba then sent for Sidhu, whom He upbraided: "You were ordered not to allow anyone to enter My room. Why did you permit Shelke to come inside?"
"Baba, you yourself called him in," Sidhu pointed out.
"This won't do! Don't make excuses," Baba scolded. "You are at fault, and there is only one way you can be forgiven. I will bow down to you." Baba laid His head on Sidhu's feet and thus forgave him. What the purpose of this divine pretext was, no one has any real idea. Baba had His own particular reason for bowing down to Sidhu, and to bring it about, any pretense was sufficient.
On 27th May 1647, Sidhu and Kalemama were told to bring Ali Shah to Satara, and they arrived the next day driven by Sarosh. Baba told Sidhu that the instant they arrived he should immediately send Adi to Him. They came at 2:00 P.M., and, as soon as Sidhu saw Adi, he delivered Baba's message. But Adi was hungry and, instead of going to Baba, he sat down to have lunch. At that moment, Baba appeared and blamed Sidhu.
Sidhu insisted he had given Adi the message, so Baba retorted, "Why didn't you catch the pig and bring him to Me?"
Baba had His own particular reason for bowing down to Sidhu, and to bring it about, any pretense was sufficient. For example, once when Baba was in seclusion in lower Meherabad, Pendu and Sidhu were on night watch near Him. Baba had a bad cold; he was coughing up a lot of phlegm and wheezing. Still, He would bathe at 5:00 A.M. daily, and Pendu and Sidhu would heat His bathwater and wash His clothes. One morning, after his bath, Baba directed Sidhu to bring chapatis and cream, and added, "Shout loudly for Khak the Virile Devil, Don the White Devil and Nilu the Black Devil! Call those devils here!"
Accordingly, Sidhu yelled, "Is that Virile Devil Khak present? Where is Don the White Devil? Is Nilu the Black Devil here?" The three men came immediately, and Baba laughed and served them chapatis and cream.
In 1952, Sidhu, on a sign from Baba, got up to bring in the mast Ali Shah. Baba stated, "I forgot about what I had decided early this morning, that I would begin the day by bowing down at the feet of a mast. There are two here, Mohammed and Ali Shah. The first is out of the question; he would not leave Me alone for long once I saw him. He is the mavali (mischievous or cunning) type. So, it is better to get the jamali (gentle) type."
Sidhu brought Bapji (as Ali Shah was affectionately called) into the hall. As Baba had just begun to walk without crutches, Nilu was concerned about his decision to bow down to the mast. He held Baba anxiously, until Baba touched Bapji's feet with His forehead and then sat up.
In 1954, after everyone had been embraced Baba at 9:30 A.M., Sidhu helped Baba wash His hands, and removed the garlands around His neck. Kaikobad was called and recited a prayer from the Zend Avesta. Just as he finished, Matra Dutta Shastri shouted, "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" Baba warned all not to shout anything until He himself asked them to do so when the prayers were over. He, however, pardoned Matra. He also issued strict orders that no camera should click during the prayers.
Due to this interruption, Baba again wished to wash his hands. There was no water left, so Sidhu was about to go for more when Baba stopped him. Instead, he signaled Padri to collect water from a pool of rain water which had formed in the pandal itself. From the small pool of dirty water, Padri took some in his palm and poured it over Baba's hands. Kaikobad was told to repeat the prayer, which he did. At its completion, Baba bowed down to him and, as instructed, Kaikobad uttered, "Ya Ahuramazda."
In 1955, Introducing Sidhu, Baba folded His hands to him. "Sidhuji: you will find him illiterate. Although uneducated, it is not possible to describe his service to Me for the last many years. He is still here. It would take years to describe him.
Since Sidhu and Bhau were responsible for the hall being swept and dusted, Baba rebuked them soundly and demanded that they show Him how the carpet was dusted. Sidhu, with the help of several of the laborers, gave a demonstration of how it was done. Baba was not satisfied, which made Pendu flare up. Then he had the carpet taken out again and thoroughly shaken as He watched through a closed window.
In 1958, once, Sidhu brought in tea for Baba, and Baba asked who had sent for it. Sidhu replied, "You yourself told me to bring it." Baba had a hearty chuckle because when He had gestured to Sidhu that he might get TB, Sidhu had misunderstood him and thought He was calling for tea! Baba sipped a little and gave the remainder to Kaka.
While Baba was in Poona, Sidhu was instructed to stay at Meherazad to assist Kaka Baria. On a previous occasion, Mohammed Mast had stopped eating for a week in Sidhu's absence. Padri complained about this to Baba, who permitted Mohammed to accompany Sidhu to Meherazad that year. So on 12th April 1962, Adi drove Sidhu and Mohammed there. This was most unusual, as it was the first time in years that Mohammed had left Meherabad. His stay, however, only lasted for five days. On the 17th April, Mohammed asked to be taken back to Meherabad, and Waman drove him there, along with Sidhu, who then returned to Meherazad.