Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


1 to 15 September 2006

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

There is a Chickungunya epidemic in India. It is a virus passed on by a mosquito bite. It causes swollen joints, fever, chills, aches, soreness, and lack of energy. It can last anywhere from a few days to months. You can also get relapses up to one year.

This Meherabad Diary will have a lot about Chickunguya, because I got it. Weeks went by where it felt like it was just too much to try to organize my mind so I could attempt to write. One Resident has had it since June. Another Resident just went to the States on vacation, when she arrived there she came down with Chickungunya that she got in Pune on her way out.

There were days when I only slept. Events here at Meherabad just escaped me. I was not able to stay in touch with what was going on. Sometimes I was able to, other times I just stayed in my room to rest. This Diary will not be very detailed, because there were just too many days I did not have the energy to even want to know what was happening at Meherabad.

I am now on the road to recovery. My body feels stronger than it has the whole month. So, I am able to write once again.

Friday 1 September 2006. I went to the old MPC to take our bus to the Trust. All the rickshaw drivers were on the verandah. There was going to be a meeting between the Meherabad Trustees, PRO, and the rickshawalas. Irene (PRO) had done research on the current rate from the Transportation Department in Ahmednagar. She measured the distance from place to place, and this is how the new rates were calculated. Some of the old rates would be raised. Some however, were being lowered.

I took our bus to the Trust. Then I got a rickshaw and went into the bazaar to buy material for curtains we will have made for the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. We want to soften up the atmosphere in the Lobby, Reception Office, and the Staff Room. I found a nice light green material that will look pretty as curtains.

Saturday 2 September. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM to clean Baba’s Cabin Room. Then I went back to Lower Meherabad to clean the Jhopdi and Table House with my two helpers, Joseph and Mariko.

I went to the MPC to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad. No one was there, so I went into the PRO office and talked to Irene. She was making a folder that would have the information of each rickshawala, this would include a photo, driver license number, and their rickshaw license number. This information will also be on a laminated card that must be affixed to the back of the driver seat for the pilgrims to see.

At 4:00 PM tea and cake was served on the verandah of the Music & Arts Demonstration Center (the official name of the theatre). At 4:30 PM a program was given.

Sunday 3 September. We had the big monthly meeting at the MPR with the Meherabad Trustees and all of the volunteer supervisors of the Retreat. One of the discussions was about a new type of seven-day worm bed. Each day the garbage would be put in one of the beds. This system takes less maintenance and is better for our climate. It is harvest once a year. A company who specializes in this system will be hired to do the construction. It will be supervised by one of our volunteer supervisors.

I took Virginia to the Banyan Tree Café for lunch. She just loves ice cream and had two helpings for dessert.

Monday 4 September. I was at the MPR from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM. I was busy most of the day, but hoping I would be able to see Bhau at the MPC. This was Bhauji's first talk since he returned from the States. I took a rickshaw to my room and dropped off all my stuff. I then quickly rode my scooter to the MPC, hoping to be able to see Bhauji.

Though almost everyone was gone, Bhauji was still on the MPC verandah getting ready to leave. I quickly went and gave him a big hug and kiss. I was so happy to see Bhau. He is so adorable!

Tuesday 5 September. I stayed in bed most of the morning resting. I was not feeling well, I was so tired. But, it was my turn to attend the MPR weekly staff meeting at noon. I got on my scooter and rode to the MPR.

I was not able to do my Samadhi duty at 6:00 PM. I was not well and went to bed.

Wednesday 6 September. I was up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. It took so much energy to walk that distance. I then got ready for my morning duty at the MPR.

Kanji, from Los Angeles, was here on pilgrimage. He helped out by polishing the marble statue of Baba and Mohammed the Mast. Kanji then also polished the stone seats in the Tile Courtyard.

It seems another resident and a pilgrim have come down with Chickungunya. I took some lunch to the pilgrim in her room.

It was raining all day and was pouring rain by 5:45 PM. The rain had stopped for a while and by 6:30 PM I was up the hill to spend the night with Goolu and Jaloo.

Thursday 7 September. I woke at 3:00 AM with my throat burning and the rest of my body feeling very cold. At 5:00 AM I was up making tea for the women. I now felt sore all over my body. By the time I got home I was barely able to function. I felt an ache everywhere. Within a few hours my joints were swollen. It was obvious now that I had Chickungunya.

Friday 8 September. I woke up miserable. I ached everywhere. I could not get comfortable. The doctor gave me a shot that helped me relax enough to sleep.

Bhauji came to the MPC at 4:30 PM to give a talk. He was talking about the importance of going to see the Jhopdi, where Beloved Baba began His silence. Bhauji then asked who was showing it? Dr. Anne raised her hand and said, "Debjani and Judy both show it each week, but they both have Chickungunya."

There was a big thunderstorm in the afternoon. The wind was blowing so hard that the rain was blowing into my room. I was not able to get up and close the window. Fortunately for me my housemate was home and came to help.

Saturday 9 September. I don’t think I slept during the night. I was sore everywhere and could not get comfortable. In the morning I was given some homeopathy that immediately took the soreness away and I could sleep.

There was a big storm with thunder and lightening in the afternoon. There was a program at the Music & Arts Demonstration Center in the afternoon.

Sunday 10 September. I had a good night sleep and went for a short walk outside. My feet felt sore, as if I had walked on hot sand.

The next several days had a lot of rain. We have had some heavy downpours that flood the roads and gullies within a short period of time. For me, having Chickungunya has made the days seem to just run into one another.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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