Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


16 to 30 September 2006

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

This Diary will continue with the saga of the Chickungunya and our almost daily rain. Everyone I know who has Chickungunya also gets relapses. Each person is affected differently, some worse than others.

Saturday 16 September 2006. I have had an itch all over my body for a couple of days. I felt better, so I went for a short walk. I saw Debjani, a Resident who has Chickungunya, and told her about the itching. She showed me her arms and face, all covered with a very red rash. She said her body had also itched before breaking out in the rash. But, she said she put Aloe Vera to stop the itch, and she thinks that is why she got the rash. So, she suggested not to use Aloe Vera.

In the afternoon there was thunder and lightning, soon after a downpour lasted for a couple of hours. Our gullies and wells are all full.

At 4:00 PM tea and cake were served on the Music and Art Center (theater) verandah. At 4:30 PM a movie on Eruch Jessawala "Becoming His" was shown.

Sunday 17 September. I woke with a red rash all over my body, from the top of my head to my feet! The itch was mostly gone, but I don't think there was a rash-free area on my body! My feet also felt like I had walked on hot sand.

Monday 18 September. My rash was mostly gone, but my feet still felt like I was walking on hot sand. I did not have much energy, but had enough to go to the Meher Pilgrim Retreat to do my scheduled day.

I took a rickshaw to the MPR for two reasons. First, I did not have enough energy to ride my scooter. Second, the roads are very muddy and I do not feel safe riding on them. The day was slow, which I was happy about because of low energy. Again it rained during the day. At 6:00 I took a rickshaw home.

Tuesday 19 September. I rested most of the day in my room. All this time in my room has allowed me the opportunity to work on my granddaughter's quilt. In the evening I went to the Samadhi for my 6:00 PM duty. It was the first time in two weeks I was able to do this. There were a lot of different kinds of Prasad to give out after evening Arti.

Wednesday 20 September. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM to clean Mehera's shrine. After that I also put flowers in Baba's Cabin Room and the Gadi.

Then I went to my room to get ready to go to the Retreat. I have a half-day on Wednesday. By lunch time I was feeling very tired.

At 4:00 PM tea and cake were served on the verandah of the Music and Arts Center. At 4:30 PM a Baba movie was shown.

Thursday 21 September. I was in my room working on the quilt when I get a call from another Resident. Shirley Judson (Ted's sister) had died during the night. Her body was found in the morning on the floor of her room.

Her body was taken to Meherabad Mandali Hall in the early afternoon. We had a chance to say goodbye to Shirley. Clouds were gathering and thunder was heard. So, it was decided to take Shirley's body quickly to the Cremation grounds before it started to rain.

In Ahmednagar, the storm was so severe that it was said to be one of the biggest downpours seen there in years. Because of the severe storm, the people from the Trust Office could not come to Meherabad for the cremation.

For us at Meherabad, the rain stayed away. We sang some lovely songs to Shirley. One of the favorites that had everyone clapping hands was 'Will the Circle Remain Unbroken'.

I continued to work on the quilt when I got to my room. My energy was very low. I felt extremely tired. In my room I tried to get on the Internet, but could not for the whole day.

Friday 22 September. In the morning I tried to get on the Internet, again no luck. I decided to take our bus to town and go to BSNL (internet server) to find out what the problem was.

I worked on the quilt until 10:00 AM. I went to the MPC at that time to catch our bus to the Trust Office. The road to the Trust in places was almost flooded. The water under the bridge we cross was up near the top bank.

At the Trust I stopped in to see Bhauji. I was told the phone PBX was hit by lightning on Thursday during the huge storm, and the phone system was out. There was also some construction taking place at the Trust. In front of Mehernath's office three stone benches are being built.

I took a rickshaw to BSNL and found out my Internet service was not working because I had zero hours left. I had to buy more hours. They must have sent a notice to me, but I did not see it. Only after I was reconnecedt by BSNL did I leave their office.

On my way home, I saw a group of shepherds camped out in the field near our Dharmshala. They had their horses and sheep near their tents. I really love seeing them here. I was glad when I did get home. I felt very tired; it seems to take so much energy to function.

At 4:30 PM Bhauji came to the MPC to give a talk. The talks are in the old dining hall. It is a good place because of the space and its central location in Meherabad.

Saturday 23 September. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM to clean Baba's Cabin Room. After putting flowers on the Gadi and threshold of the Samadhi, I went back down the hill. This was the first day in two weeks I was well enough to help clean the Jhopdi and Table House, though, I have very little energy.

Cindy Lowe scheduled to give a concert in the old MPC. So, tea and cake were served there at 4:00 PM. At 4:30 PM Cindy and friends gave the concert. There was a lot of rain in the afternoon.

Sunday 24 September. It was a lovely morning. The sky was clear with only a few clouds. I was feeling very low in energy so I was given some homeopathy that should help. I spent most of the morning working on the quilt.

At lunchtime I took Virginia to the Banyan Tree Café. She again had two servings of chocolate ice cream. At the restaurant there were three young pilgrims who were helping with the cooking. They are learning so they can make and serve a meal on Friday evenings. It was very sweet to see them wanting to do something so positive.

By 5:30 PM a big storm brought thunder and lots of rain.

Monday 25 September. I took a rickshaw to the MPR. I had a lot of arrivals and they all came before lunch. I love it when the pilgrims come early.

Maruti, the tailor, brought the curtains I had him make for the windows in the Lobby, Reception Office, and the Staff Rooms. The color of the material is a soft green. They should add warmth to the rooms. However, the hooks and rods are still not on the windows. There has been one reason after another, including having the drill bits breaking. The ones in Ahmednagar are not very strong. Sooner or later, the curtains will be put up.

Tuesday 26 September. In the morning I worked on the quilt. Then I took our bus to the Trust, got a rickshaw and went to the bank because the ATM machine near Meherabad was not working. After the bank, I went straight back to Meherabad.

I have been feeling so tired from Chickungunya, so I rested most of the day. I did not have the energy to do my Samadhi duty in the evening.

I heard today that our dear friend, Jim Lyons, went to Baba. I will miss him. He had such a funny sense of humor. When he came here on pilgrimage, he was usually in the Baba Birthday plays.

In the afternoon there was lightning, thunder, and heavy rains.

Wednesday 27 September. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM to clean Mehera's shrine. Then I went home and got ready to go to the MPR. I am there only until lunch. Then I rested at home until evening when I went up the hill to spend the night with Goolu and Jaloo.

Thursday 28 September. I was told one of our volunteer Indian staff members had died the evening before. It seems death comes in three's.

I had hired a car to take Virginia to Meherazad. It is really sweet to see Virginia remembering all the years she had spend visiting the Women Mandali at Meherazad. She still remembers Katie and Meheru when she greets them; others she forgets. We stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants in town. Then we went to a place that serves ice cream. Our Virginia loves her ice cream.

There was a meeting in the Spiritual Training Academy for anyone who wanted to learn how to take precautions to control mosquito breeding. Caran St. John and Dr. Anne hosted the meeting.

Friday 29 September. I woke to awareness that I could feel some body strength once again. I had forgotten how it felt. This tells me my body is 'on the recovery'. Though my feet still feel as if I am walking on hot sand.

Bhau came to the MPC to give a talk at 4:30 PM. First tea and donuts were served at 4:00 PM.

Saturday 30 September. I was up the hill by 5:30 AM to clean Baba's Cabin Room. Then I went down the hill to the Jhopdi and Table House to clean them with Mariko and Joseph. After, I got ready to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad, meeting people at the MPC at 10:00 AM. There was no one there. I spent the rest of the day working on the quilt in my room.

At 4:00 PM tea and cake were served on the verandah of the Music and Art Center. Then at 4:30 PM a program was given.

A sweet event happened at the MPR during the day. One of the pilgrims heard a baby bird chirping, like in distress. The sound was coming from our elevator shaft. She looked down and saw a baby bird hopping around down there. It was still too young to fly. She had the maintenance men turn off the electricity to the elevator. Then, Matthew, a pilgrim, climbed down, carefully got the baby bird, and carried it back up to its nest on the roof in the machine room.

It seems what happened is: the elevator service men had come to clean the equipment, saw the nest and swept it away. The poor baby bird somehow fell down one of the cable holes, but it did not get hurt. It was a happy ending for one of God's creatures.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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