The New Life: Ghani carries out Baba’s humiliating order with his characteristic humor

One day, Dr. Ghani, being a Muslim who relished meat dishes, complained in his usual humorous way of the tiresome “grassitarian” diet. He asked, “In this vacuum period, why can’t we enjoy non-vegetarian dishes?”

Baba answered, “Today I permit you to visit any good hotel you like. You can satisfy your palate to your heart’s content, with as many dishes of any non-vegetarian food as you want.” Ghani was overjoyed.

Baba asked Dr. Nilu to accompany Ghani and to eat the same dishes that Ghani ordered for himself. This was a difficult instruction, since Nilu, a high Brahmin, had been a strict vegetarian his entire life!

The pair went into town, located an expensive hotel, and Ghani took his time perusing the menu before ordering a lavish assortment of dishes. Likewise, when they were served, he savoured each one. Only Ghani had the audacity to take such liberties in the New Life. Meanwhile, poor Nilu forced himself to eat the meat dishes, which he greatly disliked. Only out of obedience to Baba did Nilu manage to get through this repast.

When the meal was finished, Ghani called for a cigar and smoked it leisurely as the crowning touch to a wonderful meal. He then paid the bill, leaving a very generous tip, which made quite an impression on the manager and the waiters.

The next day, Ghani, who was still delighted from his evening of extravagance, was called by Baba and asked how he had enjoyed the dinner in town.

With gusto, Ghani described every dish, and he made a special point of embellishing how much he enjoyed smoking a cigar at the end of the meal.

Greatly entertained, Baba got into the spirit of Ghani’s descriptions of mutton, chops, chicken, fish, and finally, the cigar. He gestured, “Fine!” after each item of the feast, and when Ghani was finished, He gave His approval again and then added, “l am happy you obeyed me. Today, here is another order from me for you. Put on your kafni and visit the same hotel and beg for food!”

Ghani, with his characteristic good humor, went back into town. When he came to the hotel, the manager and waiters were shocked to find their distinguished customer of the previous evening at their door with a begging bowl. Nonetheless, they gave him food.

This was how Ghani carried out Baba’s seemingly humiliating order, and as a bonus, he managed to entertain the other companions, who enjoyed the unfailing dynamic of humor between Ghani and Baba, even in the most difficult times. It made life more bearable for everyone.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life’, Bhau Kalchuri, p270

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