During this period, Manohar Mohanlal Panday (known as Bhaiya), age thirty-five, a photographer in Ahmednagar, had been in Baba’s contact since 1932. However, he did not acknowledge Baba as the Avatar, although he had faith in him and was an occasional visitor. One day, Panday colored a photograph of Baba and brought it to him. It was not painted well, but Baba praised it and, raising his hand, remarked, “I have given it to you today.” From then on, Panday’s skills gradually improved; yet he still did not believe Baba to be the Ancient One.
Once, when Baba came to Khushru Quarters in 1945, he asked about Panday. It was learned that he had been hospitalized, and that his condition was serious. He had a ruptured appendix, and the doctor had lost all hope of saving his life.
Baba sent a message to his family not to worry, and that night Panday had a vision of Baba. He saw Baba standing by his bed saying, “Don’t worry, my nazar is on you.” In his delirium, he began speaking with Baba. His mother, thinking he was about to die, brought the doctor.
The doctor asked how he was feeling. “Better,” Panday said. “Meher Baba came, and I was talking with him.”
“Yes, he came to me too,” joked the doctor. The doctor took Panday’s pulse, and was convinced he had only a few hours left in this world. But the next day, Panday’s health took a turn for the better, and after a few days he completely recovered.
“Miraculous,” conceded the doctor. “I think there was something between you and Meher Baba.”
Weeping, Panday bemoaned his previous attitude. “How foolish I was not to believe in him. Meher Baba, forgive me; you are the Avatar! I bow down to you.” From then on, Panday accepted Baba and became his devoted follower – and also took several beautiful pictures of him throughout the years.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 9, p. 3065.