I HAVE BEEN DRIVING THE BUS
Dr. William Donkin
We reached Satara on the first evening, a lovely situation; only burst one tyre on the way. I was very tired and after tea and bread and butter, the first meal since 8:00 a.m. that morning, Kaka, Nilu, and I were sent off in the bus to the station, 12 miles off. Filthy bad road, and me very tired already; we got back at midnight, slept fitfully on the stone floor 'till 5:00 a.m. Then off at 6:30 again.
The next day, we reached Kolaphur, and after some trouble, found where to stay. There is no doubt that Baba likes to make one exasperated and tired in order to work on one: at home, he says I eat when I like and things are easy, but when tired, it is not easy to control emotions and he will make me, he says, mentally and spiritually strong.
The road that day was fearfully bad, the back of the bus packed with people, and the roof piled up with luggage so that we must watch continually for low branches.
The next day, we went on to Harikar, just in Mysore State; we skidded in the mud and took about a half hour to get out of it. We reached Bangalore yesterday afternoon, and Baba and the Eastern ladies are in a Parsee house round the corner, while we Westerners, with Chanji, are in a hotel.
This morning, Norina, Nadia, and Chanji put on their "glad rags" to go and see the Dewan, (the Prime Minister) of Mysore State. At the last moment, Elizabeth's car breaks down, an awful to-do; Baba very fed up; a bad start, he says, and Norina, Nadia and Chanji all go off to the Dewan's house in a shoddy car. A half hour late, Elizabeth's car comes along. Car O.K. now; sand had got into the carburetor.
Baba, Elizabeth, Rano, Nilu, and I all go off to the Dewan's house. He has gone; Baba tells Elizabeth to drive fast; at every crossroads, we ask policemen if the Dewan's car has passed that way; an awful stir; racing down the avenues of Bangalore at 50 to 60 m.p.h.!
Frantically, after a series of misdirections and directions, we see a black car ahead. Baba says, follow it. In it is the Dewan with Norina, Nadia, and Chanji. They all hop out and come to see Baba, Dewan as well, and Chanji most impressed that Dewan gets out of his car to come to Baba, and not vice versa; which creates a terrific impression says Chanji in Bangalore. The Dewan wants Baba to stay in Bangalore; Baba is teasing about this a bit; so we will see what happens.
After this, we swapped passengers a bit, the Dewan with Baba in Elizabeth's car, and Rano, Nilu, and I in the Dewan's car. We were rather overcrowded. Thence, back to his "bungalow", a superb place with lovely gardens.
Throughout this trip, Baba, Nonny, and the four special invisible ladies have been in Elizabeth's car, which led the way; and I have been driving the bus with about 23 of the rest of us Baba's special monkey goes with Baba in Elizabeth's car.
THE AWAKENER MAGAZINE, Vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 7-8
1983 © The Universal Spiritual League in America, Inc.