Baba wished to give money as “love-gifts” to one hundred and one needy families in Warangal, and he sent Eruch in advance to contact the headman of the village. The headman owned a shop, and opposite his was another shop; and unbeknownst to Eruch, there was a bitter rivalry between the two shopkeepers. As Eruch approached the headman’s shop, the other shopkeeper called him over and asked what he wanted.
Eruch explained his purpose and the second shopkeeper told him, “There is no necessity of meeting him. I will arrange everything.” He then drew up a list of one hundred and one families who had once been farm owners but were now on meager government pensions of twenty to twenty-five rupees per month, as the government had confiscated their land. The shopkeeper handed the list to his servant, who accompanied Eruch to distribute passes among the listed families.
Meanwhile, the headman came to know of the matter and, out of spite, informed the police. Two constables came to where Eruch was distributing tickets. One constable, noticing that Eruch was poorly dressed and unshaven, arrogantly demanded, “Come over here. What are you doing?”
“Be civil,” Eruch replied. “I am not a thief. You are a public servant. Why behave in such an insolent manner?”
The policeman said, “Come with us to the police station; our chief wants to speak with you.”
“I have no time,” Eruch answered. “Send your chief here. I have not broken any law. If he will not come, I will see him after finishing my work.”
So both constables returned to the police station.
While Eruch was on his way with the heads of the needy families to the second shop, a police inspector with two constables confronted him. The headman, pointing to Eruch, told the inspector, “He’s the ruffian!”
Eruch then began to understand, and going to the second shopkeeper asked him, “What’s going on here? Is there some enmity between you and the headman?”
“That is true, but it is not my fault,” the man replied. “Though I do not do anything to provoke him, he is jealous of me.”
Eruch asked, “Then would you have any objection if our program is carried out at his house? My elder brother would first come to your shop, and then distribute his love-gifts to the families selected at the headman’s house.”
The shopkeeper said, “I would not mind at all. I only wish that your work be done.” Eruch complimented him for his cooperation and approached the headman.
The police inspector intervened and asked Eruch, “What is going on?”
Eruch said, “You will come to know.”
He then requested the headman to set aside a room for the work, and one was put at his disposal. Baba came from Gulbarga that same day, October 30th, (1951) with Pendu, Gustadji and Baidul. Without disclosing Baba’s identity, the work with the poor of this village began. One by one they stood in line, and touching the feet of the person representing each family, Baba handed each fifty rupees.
The program had a harmonious ending. The headman felt ashamed that he had tried to stop Eruch and repented for his behavior. After the program, Eruch asked the police officer, “Have you anything further to ask?”
The inspector said, “I apologize. All these complications arose because of the rivalry between the two shopkeepers.”
Because of the political unrest in the Hyderabad area at that time, and to avoid any trouble along the way, the police had been informed in advance of Baba’s foot journey. “Have you had any special circular from your commissioner regarding the movements of Meher Baba in the area?” Eruch asked the inspector.
“As a matter of fact, yes, we have received it.”
“It was Meher Baba who distributed the love-gifts; but please do not tell anyone,” Eruch revealed.
The police inspector took it as his good fortune to have been able to see Baba from a distance.
Completing his work with these poor villagers, Baba returned to Gulbarga with his companions. The district superintendent of police learned of Baba’s presence in the city and came to see him with his family. Although Baba was not seeing anyone at the time, he consented and met the officer and his family.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 10, pp. 3734 – 3736.