Mehera J. Irani Remembers
On 26 June, Baba declared that he would observe silence from 10 July 1925, and a sign about his statement was painted and erected at the entrance to Meherabad. Notices were also printed and mailed, announcing that Baba would not speak with anyone for a year.
On Thursday 9 July, in a meeting with the mandali, Baba gave final instructions for the supervision of the various activities at Meherabad and placed five of the men in charge. They were only allowed to communicate with Baba about their assigned duties at a specified time each day. The rest of the mandali could speak to him only when Baba wished it.
That afternoon, around four or five o’clock, Baba came to the Post Office, where he told the women: “From tomorrow, I will observe silence, but I will break my silence when I finish my work. I won’t be coming to you. You must not be sad about it. Keep happy and do your duties. Adhere to the orders I have given you. This will please me.”
He added very seriously, “Cook food for the children with love and care. Don’t think they are villagers, so it doesn’t matter how you cook. Do it with all your heart. You must feel they are like our own children.”
Mehera commented: “How Baba must have felt when he left our quarters to rest on the evening of 9 July. From the next morning, he was not going to talk but keep silence. He knew that he was not going to speak for the rest of his life. We thought his work would be done in a month, or maybe 15 days, and he would resume talking, so we were not worried. Baba told us that when his work was finished, he would talk. ‘How long will his work take?’ we wondered. Then it went on.
“At first, we thought Baba would keep silence only for a week. ‘Baba can’t keep silence for so long,’ we thought. Then, a week had passed, we thought he might keep it up for a month. How can one keep silence for so long? One month passed, then two. Seven is a good number, we reasoned. He might keep silence for seven months.
“Once or twice, we did ask Baba; but it didn’t help him to ask when is he going to talk. We were shy to ask, so we wrote it down [despite his orders]. ‘Baba, we must hear your lovely voice. How beautifully you used to sing. When will we hear you again?’
“Baba read our note and said, ‘I will speak later on. When my work is finished [gesturing k for kam (work)].It will be in my own time.’
“He said it to appease us, to keep us quiet. It was for his work, so we couldn’t say [complain] much. We didn’t ask again and again. When he had come on the afternoon of 9 July he had said, very confidently, that when his work was finished, he would talk. So we didn’t think much about it.”
—Source: Account by David Fenster, Mehera-Meher, vol. 1, p. 172.