The New Life: Food prepared for a few serves all!

Kumar with Baba

Around 10:00 a.m. on January 12th, 1950, Baba and the companions arrived in Dehra Dun. As soon as they stepped off the train, Baba immediately sent the women to the ladies’ waiting room, where they began shutting the windows and doors to conserve heat. Outside, there was an icy wintry rain.

Keka Nalavala, Keki Desai, and Kumar quickly found Baba and the men companions among the crowds at the station. As soon as Baba and the men gathered in the first class waiting room, He called them to join Him.

Keka said to Baba, who was reclining on a bench, “Here is Mr. Kumar. He is the person who arranged for the plot of land that we have purchased for the New Life stay.”

Baba greeted Kumar, who later said how impressed he was with Baba’s radiance. Baba then called for lunch to be served, and it was soon discovered that no arrangements had been made in advance for food, so Kumar offered to bring it, saying, “If it will be your pleasure, Baba, I can arrange it.”

“You will have to give the food in bhiksha,” Baba said. “Can you bring it within hour?”

Making some quick calculations in his mind, Kumar replied, “I can prepare vegetable pulao in an hour and bring it.”

Baba approved, and Kumar sped off on his motorcycle. Upon reaching Manjri Mafi, he told his wife, Subhadra, to prepare pulao for ten people within an hour (Pendu, Aloba, Donkin, Baidul and Sadashiv were still traveling overland from Najibabad). Subhadra immediately began cooking while Kumar, having heard how particular Baba was about time, made her nervous by staying in the kitchen and counting the minutes, adding, “Hurry up, for God’s sake,” in frequent intervals.

“Be patient, otherwise, the rice will be spoiled,” Subhadra said, as she cooked the rice at an even temperature in order not to burn it, while putting up with Kumar’s nagging, “Turn up the stove, there’s no time to wait!”

Filially, the  pulao was ready and Kumar raced to the railway station, arriving within the hour, which pleased Baba. However, when he looked around the waiting room, Kumar discovered that where previously there had been just ten people to teed, now there were more than twenty-five, lie had not known about the women companions who were in the ladies’ waiting mom.

Kumar anxiously watched as the pot of pulao was set on the table along with plates that had come from one of the companions’ trunks.

Baba then began serving each person, giving out very generous portions. “Take as much as you want,” He urged. “Eat your fill. You may not get anything later.”

After the men were served, Baba ordered that the remaining pulao be sent to the women companions. Before the pot was taken, Kumar  rushed to it, certain there was nothing left, but to his astonishment, he discovered that the pot was almost full. Breathless, he was convinced he had just witnessed a miracle.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p308

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