JUNE 1947 – A HUMOROUS EPISODE ABOUT GUSTADJI
AT THIS TIME, (June 1947) Arab terrorists were at war, assassinating people under the fanatic leadership of Kasim Razvi, causing violent turmoil throughout the area. These Arabs were looting, burning down buildings and kidnapping children. Fear was everywhere and the atmosphere of the city and its populace was tense. The most insignificant incident could spark off a riot.
During his attempt to contact Baitulla Shah, ( a subtle conscious salik in Ahmedabad) Baba instructed Chhagan to stay in Ahmedabad with the luggage. As Baba and the mandali were walking to a bus stop to catch the bus back to Ahmedabad, a frightening incident occurred. When the bus came, Eruch and Baidul boarded first to find a seat for Baba, then Baba followed them inside. Gustadji, who could not walk as fast as the others, was plodding along slowly, about fifty yards behind.
It was time for the bus to start and Baba clapped for Gustadji to hurry. Gustadji at once began running. A small boy was walking toward him just then and seeing this strange-looking man in a black cap running toward him, he thought Gustadji was going to seize him. The boy got frightened, turned around and started running, screaming that a man was after him. Hearing the boy’s shrieks, a few people appeared and began shouting, “Chaous, Chaous!” “Arabs, Arabs!” which at that time was tantamount to shouting “Murderers, Murderers!” Pointing at Gustadji, they mistook him for an Arab chasing the boy. Hearing these inflammatory cries, ten or twelve men with clubs ran to the scene ready to pounce upon Gustadji. Had Baba’s help not been there, Gustadji would surely have been beaten to death. Baba signaled to him from a distance to stop still in his tracks. Gustadji stopped running and stood still, panting. While he was standing still the local people had a chance to observe his gentle features, and they hesitated before raising their clubs. They began asking roughly, “Who are you? Where have you come from? Are you an Arab?”
Since Gustadji could not speak by Baba’s order, Eruch and Baidul stepped forward and intervened. Eruch said, “Brothers, we have come from Bombay, and this old man with us was trying to catch the bus. Why should an old man like him run after a child?” These words calmed the mob, and they believed Eruch was telling the truth and were satisfied, and thus Gustadji was saved.
Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 9 pp. 3280 – 3281.
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