When Baba was out looking for masts on Mukamma Ghat in Batanagar on April 1st, (1948) an amusing incident took place. Baba was conversing with Baidul, Chhagan, Eruch, Gustadji and Kaka. As Gustadji was keeping silence, he was “talking” with his fingers, and Eruch, who was the most adept at putting his gestures into words, was interpreting for Baba. Because Gustadji had enjoyed a bumper breakfast that morning, he was in a good mood and his fingers moved rapidly.
Nearby a policeman was observing this odd exchange and became suspicious. He asked everyone to accompany him to the police station. Eruch asked what they had done wrong. “This man is not speaking but making signals and I am suspicious of him. You’ll have to come with me to the station to be interrogated.” The policeman thought there were some secret coded messages being passed between Baba and Gustadji by signs. Due to the bitter relations between India and Pakistan at the time, even the smallest, most trivial incidents were viewed with apprehension.
Eruch assured him, “We are Parsis, and this person is dumb and therefore was speaking through signs.”
Gustadji’s feelings were pricked by this repeated remark and he gestured to Eruch, “Why do you always call me dumb? Am I dumb or observing silence?”
Eruch did not pay any attention to him and continued talking with the officer, but Baba snapped at Eruch, “What is he saying, what is he saying? Why don’t you tell me what Gustadji is saying?”
When the policeman saw that there were two “dumb” persons in their group, he became even more suspicious. Eruch, with difficulty, persuaded him of their innocence and the man left.
Now an argument ensued between Eruch and Gustadji. Gustadji asked again, “Why do you always call me dumb?”
“Had I not said you were dumb, you would have been locked up in jail!” Eruch explained.
“So what?” Gustadji pointed at him. “That would have been better than being insulted!”
Baba continued goading Gustadji and at the same time demanding that Eruch decipher his gestures. Finally, Eruch got so exasperated he told Gustadji, “Pardon me; henceforth I will never call you dumb again.”
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 9, pp. 3264 – 3265.