Jehangir R. Irani (known as Jangu) and his wife, Amy, on their very first visit to
Jangu is Meheru’s youngest brother, and Mehera to him was “Mehera Masi,” his maternal aunt (Masi literally means “like mother”). He was born in
As an infant in 1939, Jangu was brought to Meher Baba’s
Although Jangu used to feel deprived of his parents, especially compared with other children who had intact families, Baba assured him: “I am your father and mother, so don’t worry about anything.” Jangu spent a happy childhood in Baba’s embrace. He had the distinction of being taken along on the famous Blue Bus tours, in which Baba traveled with some of his Eastern and Western disciples to contact masts at different places in
Khorshed looked after Jangu till he was six or seven, and he regarded her as his mother (he did not meet his real mother till he was sixteen or seventeen years old). Later he lived at Eruch’s family home, Bindra House, in Pune. Baba visited Bindra House often, and Jangu has a memory of once being alone there with Baba, who looked into his eyes in an indescribable and unforgettable manner.
Jangu subsequently lived in Ahmednagar and then moved to
Amy came from a traditional Zoroastrian family and initially did not believe in Meher Baba, although a few years after their marriage she dreamed of Baba saying, “I am God, believe in Me.” In later years, when Freiny had a fall, Amy beheld a clear vision of Baba’s face on the wall, an experience that made a deep impression. Amy did not tell anyone about it, even her husband, for years. She never told her own family about Baba, apparently because of their conservative attitudes. Amy spoke very warmly of her mother-in-law, Freiny (“a wonderful lady”), who lived close to the couple, occupying her own independent section of the bungalow.
Jangu conveyed to us how strongly he had come to regret losing contact with Baba and breaking His orders. Baba had told him “Don’t gamble, don’t drink, and don’t go around with women.” He broke all three orders and felt guilty about it. Yet he always continued to remember Baba, especially in times of trouble. Several examples were given in which his remembrance of Baba helped to avert injury or other problems. For example, in a bad scooter accident he had in
Another time, when it was very hot, one of his daughters was sleeping with a fan above her; the fan fell, and in the morning they found that its blades, going at full speed, were half a centimeter from her body, yet she was not hurt.
Referring to hims
Jangu last saw Baba in 1962 at the East-West Gathering. On the last day of the Darshan he went out for a “joy ride” instead of staying with Baba, a source of deep regret later.
Jangu told a dream he’d had of Baba saying, “You have killed me”; then Jangu dug a grave and buried Baba’s head in it. “It was a terrible dream — but what can I do about it?” Jangu added with pained resignation. Another dream that Jangu recounted came after a fall in the bathroom that caused Jangu to faint for a moment. He feared he had broken something, and he took Baba’s name. He then dreamed that Baba laid him on a bed and then walked away very fast and had a fall. The dream seemed to express that Baba had taken on Jangu’s pain.
Although Jangu said that he had abandoned Baba, “Now [since 1969] I know that He is the Avatar, and He never abandoned me.” And to this day, whatever happens, the first thing Jangu thinks of is Baba.
The well-known photograph of Meher Baba at Arthur’s Seat in Mahabaleshwar in 1954 (p. 117 in Love Personified) was taken by Jangu at Baba’s request — it is the shot of Baba leaning back with arms outstretched on the railing against a mountainous backdrop. But on another occasion when Jangu tried to take a photo of Baba, Baba told him not to. Nevertheless, Jangu clicked the camera. Baba, who was seated in a chair, turned his head and shot him a glance that scared Jangu. Later, when the film was developed, Baba’s figure was not to be seen; only the chair appeared, along with a spot of light, even though the camera had no flash.
(Jangu’s gift as a photographer is evident from several snaps he took on the Center that were later shared via e-mail with my husband, Jonathan Burroughs, who had given Jangu and Amy a tour of the Center. One of them is a stunning portrait of Jonathan entering a doorway with a vase of flowers, beaming his characteristic smile. “It even cheers me up!” Jonathan said of the photograph.)
The Iranis’ talk left me with a warm sense of Baba’s presence, touched with poignancy, for Jangu’s feelings of regret — for his lost chances to be with Baba and the failure to obey His orders — were palpable. But even more tangible was his profound connection with Baba. Both he and Amy radiated a silent, gentle love for Meher Baba. Their visit to