58-KHODADAD K. IRANI (Asthma)
Khodadad K Irani was relative of Gulmai Irani. He heard about Meher Baba from his aunt Gulmai and was permitted to stay in Manzil-e-Meem. During the day, he was employed in a textile mill. Khodadad had suffered from chronic asthma since childhood so Baba nicknamed him Asthma. Despite the best medical treatment and dietary precautions, Khodadad could not rid himself of this ailment. But it was observed that since coming to the Manzil and being addressed by this new nickname, he was freed from any asthma attacks, and the disease eventually left him altogether. It seemed almost miraculous that his attacks did not recur in spite of taking cold baths each morning like the other residents.
Some of his lifetime episodes and dialogues with Meher Baba are produced below:
On 4th October 1922, Asthma purchased a new bicycle and brought it to the Manzil so that Baba would be the first to ride it. Baba agreed and rode it over the recently rolled back playground, thereafter instructing Asthma never to lend the bicycle to anyone else to use.
Asthma had explained to Baba that his parents had not given consent for him to join the journey. This was the reason why, in Quetta, Baba kept insisting Asthma return home; He wanted Asthma’s father appeased.
In 1922, a flour mill on Elphinstone Road (near the railway bridge) was purchased by Asthma in partnership to provide employment to those men at the Manzil who needed jobs. The mill, however, was located in an undesirable area at Parel — a thickly-populated place with stinking sewage flowing in gutters nearby. The building was dreary inside and in a dilapidated condition. To operate the mill there were three engines and about six grinding machines.
In 1923, once, Rusi presented Baba with a postin — a long, fur-lined coat of the area. After Baba tried it and some boots on, Asthma took His photograph which depicted the Master beautifully in a novel dress.
Before proceeding on Kashmir tour in June 1923, the kafnis and other articles arrived for the journey. Baba and the mandali donned their new outfits on this date and were photographed by Sohrab. Baba decided to send Asthma to Ahmadabad to obtain his father's permission before joining the group in Kashmir.
From the Ahmadabad train station, Asthma left the Master and returned home. From that day on, he led a worldly life; according to the wishes of his parents, he married, worked with his father in a textile mill, and later had children. Perhaps, had he listened to Meher Baba in the first place and gone home then, the Master might have called him back sometime in the future. As it was, he only saw Baba a few more times and, though he remembered Baba the rest of his life, he never mentioned his name to his family. In a sense, this was Asthma's death.
They arrived at Ahmedabad on 27 th June 1923 Asthma was to meet the group at the station.. Baba then had a private meeting with Asthma, Sadashiv & Vajifdar on the station platform.ion, Sadashiv was to take Vajifdar's suit, shoes and hat with him and deliver them to Vajifdar's house in Bombay. According to Baba's conditions, the men could not wear anything else except the pajamas, shirt and kafni.