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Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre Celebrating 50 years!
Beloved Baba's Birth Day Celebration at Pune Centre.
In this group, Madhusudan and Ramchandra Gaikwad had met Baba for the first time. Seeing Baba’s form Madhusudan had lost his senses for some time until Baba himself asked someone to bring him forward. This darshan had a tremendous impact on Madhusudan’s life and his mind. A wave of inspired creativity moved through him from top to toe. Thereafter, Madhusudan started composing Baba bhajans and a series of Hindi – Marathi compositions based on Baba’s messages emerged from Madhusudan’s talent. It synchronized with Ghani’s explanations. Whatever Ghani explained to us, Madhusudan’s lyrics would capture and present it in a poetic form. Ghani accompanied Baba in New life as one of the ‘yes-wallas’ and in his absence, the group kept on running as a machine attached to a coiled spring and left to move on its own. After a span of about 15 months, Ghani was sent back by Baba from Dehradun and he resumed his regular meetings with the Poona group. This time we felt an agony of separation in his behavior. He did not disclose it or never talked about it but one could feel it. Dr, Ghani was a person who could humor and make any tensed situation light but the pangs of being away from Baba was discernible.
Now little about this old man Sule Kaka. Sule Kaka had left his home in Nagpur and had come to live in Pune. For a few days, may be for few months, he stayed with Gadekar and then chose his abode at Devji Buwa Muth near Daruwala Bridge, Pune. We used to address him as Sule Kaka. He was an eccentric old man. His whimsical nature would manifest many-a-times through his words and actions. For example, if he happened to visit a Baba lover’s house at lunch time and if a family member asked him whether he would like to join for lunch, he would retort, “Am I a beggar? Have I come here for your lunch?” And if someone evaded to ask him to join for lunch, he would murmur, “How uncivilized and uncultured these people are! They have no courtesy to ask to join for lunch?” However, this man loved the Poona group very much. Occasionally, on Saturday evenings, at a gathering at Thade’s house, he would go on and on, on his favourite subject of ‘Sanskaras’. For our young minds, this would be a severely boring dose of spirituality but knowing his whimsical nature, no one would dare to utter a word that would dampen his spirit. Sule Kaka used to get a very meager amount from his family for his sustenance. He had to manage his needs with great deal of austerity. Throughout the year, he would get up early and have cold water bath. A thin, worn-out dhoti, a whitish shirt, a black cotton coat and a black cap on his head was his attire. For years, Poona lovers witnessed no change in this attire. The chappals he wore were of the cheapest type bearing tortures of the hot sun and dust. The coat he used to wear was more for the purpose of hiding the patches on his shirt. He would pass his time sipping in the single cup of tea lovingly offered to him by the woman caretaker of Devji Buwa Muth. He would take food at homes of particular Baba lovers. Members of Poona group loved this old man for his pure heart, putting up with his eccentricities.
This old man who had hand to mouth survival, used to save amount from the meagre monthly amount received from his family and would spend the savings in printing Meher Baba’s messages on a cheap quality paper. He would then go from house to house in the wee hours distributing these hand-bills, carrying Baba’s name. For the Poona bhajan group, he had composed the Arti ‘Hey Avatara, Meher Baba , Arti sweekaro’ which the group used to sing until Madhusudan composed the hindi arti ‘Divya Sanatan’. When most members of the Poona group had their first opportunity of meeting Baba on 16th October, 1950 at Mahabaleshwar, This old man had walked 2/3rd distance on foot. For that occasion, he had composed a marching song which the Poona group sang while walking through the narrow streets of Mahabaleshwar in the early hours. I still remember words of this song - ‘Utha Utha o chala sarvajan darshanala, tumha bhetanya swargatalicha paramatma aala ‘- Wake up everyone and come for darshan of God who has descended from his abode in heavens only to meet you. Sule Kaka breathed his last in the same Devji Buwa Muth. All the members of the Poona group had gathered to bid adieu to their dear Sule Kaka.