Bal Natu

On August 15, 1981 one of the factories of Ahmednagar held a company picnic to celebrate Independence Day. It was held at "Happy Valley," near Dongargan, about 15 miles from Ahmednagar. The families of the staff were to be taken to Happy Valley by chartered buses.

One of the staff, a mechanical engineer from Simla, a hill station in the Himalayas, spent too much time getting ready and by the time he and his family arrived, the buses had already left. They decided to take a rickshaw instead, as they knew Happy Valley was not too far away, although they didn't know exactly where it was.

But, as their Marathi (the local language) was not very good, when they told the rickshaw driver to take them to Dongargan, he misunderstood and thought they were saying Arangaon and took them to the Pilgrim Center, six miles in the opposite direction.

On their arrival they thought, "What a beautiful place this Happy Valley is!" The children asked if they could have their picnic soon; just then the supervisor's wife realized that she had been there for Meher Baba's darshan some months before with her religious-minded mother. Though her husband did not know of Baba, the whole family went up the hill to have Meher Baba's darshan in the Samadhi before proceeding on their journey to Happy Valley.

They decided to return to the bus station in Ahmednagar and then take the bus to Happy Valley. They got on the correct bus and purchased tickets for Dongargan, from where they would walk to Happy Valley itself. As the bus stopped at Pimpalgaon lake, which at that time was full of water, and they saw a nice grove of trees nearby, they assumed they had arrived. Instead of asking whether this was Dongargan they simply asked if they could get down. The conductor said yes and very happily the whole family got down and began walking towards the trees....

As it turned out, they had walked to the old pumping station the British had built when Pimpalgaon lake was used as a reservoir. One of the workers there came over to them and mistaking them for lost Baba-lovers showed them the way to Meherazad. Once again, language problems played their mischief. They were unable to explain where they really wanted to go, and unable to understand that he wasn't directing them to Happy Valley. So they walked the mile and a half and arrived at the verandah outside Mandali Hall in the midst of a number of pilgrims.

Seeing an Indian family, I walked up to them and said, "Jai Baba." As there wasn't a like response, I simply said, "Namaste" (an Indian greeting) and asked them what had brought them to Meherazad.

After hearing their tale and noting the "coincidence" that brought them to both Meherabad and Meherazad in the same day, I told them of Baba and who He is. As an exceptional case, I took them to Baba's room, where they bowed down and again had Baba's darshan. It was then tea time, and I told them to sit and have Baba's prasad of tea, which they happily did.

Afterwards, they returned to Ahmednagar. Although they never did get to Happy Valley, they were truly fortunate to have arrived instead at the "Happiest Summit." They have not visited us again but perhaps through such coincidences, Baba, using this humorous aspect of intimacy and dragging them to His feet through misadventure, is putting them on the "waiting list" of His next Advent.

Our constant companion- pp. 85-87, ed. Bal Natu 1988 © Avatar Meher Baba Trust