!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN"> Judy Stephens: Meherabad Diary #96


Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


1 to 15 September 2007

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

I had mentioned in the last Meherabad Diary that my computer was at the Mac computer hospital in Pune, having surgery. I am happy to say I finally got it back on Saturday the 15th.

Saturday 1 September 2007. I was up the hill by 5:30 am. When the Samadhi doors were opened, I helped remove the cloths from the day before. The temporary cloth is placed until cleaning at 6:00 am. Next, I cleaned Baba's Cabin Room; put flowers on the Ghadi and Samadhi threshold. I then went down the hill to clean the Jhopdi and Table House.

I went to the MPC at 10:00 am to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad, but no one was waiting. So, I had the morning free.

Sunday 2 September. I was up the hill by 8:00 am to do the archive cleaning of the Samadhi. There were pilgrims still taking Darshan from Arti, so I sat on one of the benches and waited until all were gone. It is such a pleasure to have the Samadhi to yourself. Just being in there, I constantly ask myself how it is I am so fortunate to have a turn to clean Beloved Baba's Samadhi? I am so grateful.

Monday 3 September. I took Foundy for a walk before the rickshaw picked me up at 8:30 AM. It had rained a lot the night before and everything was muddy and wet. I was on duty at the Retreat. It was a slow day.

Tuesday 4 September. I woke early and did my workout. Then I took Foundy for a morning walk and worked in the garden for twenty minutes. I spent the rest of the morning working on the quilt. It sure is looking cute!

At lunchtime, I walked to the B.T. Café. As I was getting ready to go home, I heard a lot of hollering and honking of horns. I recognized this sound! It is usually associated with the Tonga horse races. I saw the kitchen women going out to the verandah. I also rushed out to the verandah. Sure enough, down the road I saw a lot of motorcycle headlights on, heard their horns honking, and listened to the wild yelling of the men on the motorcycles. The men are usually two or three to a bike, none wear a helmet, and they are racing together, alongside the horse Tonga. It is an unbelievably wild scene!

I walked to Meherabad (three minutes away) and sat on a small wall to continue watching the horse Tonga races. At one point I thought the races were over, so I went home. Later, I heard more honking and yelling—the races were still going on. But, I was home by that time. I was more interested in reading for a few minutes before my nap. I like to read in bed before falling asleep.

In the afternoon, I continued working on the quilt. Before going up the hill to the Samadhi for my 6:00 PM, I went outside to pick flowers for the morning. On the way up the hill, it began raining and the wind was blowing the rain at an angle. I was glad I took my large umbrella.

When it is raining, we remove all the flowers from the women's shrines. Some of the flowers can cause a stain on the marble. We also close the outside glass windows of the Samadhi. The inner wooden doors are kept opened so you can see inside. As I was opening one of the inner wooden window shutters inside the Samadhi, I noticed the mud packing from white ants. The White ants can destroy anything wooden in no time flat. I was surprised this happened in the Samadhi, as it is cleaned daily.

When one of those responsible for the care of the Samadhi arrived, I quickly showed it to him. He said it would be taken care of after Arti.

Wednesday 5 September. On the way up the hill, I had to be so careful because of the mud from the heavy rain last night. I was up the hill by 5:20 AM. I wanted to be sure to be there when the Samadhi doors were opened. I really like being there at that time. When the doors are opened, we go inside and remove the garlands and extra cloths. Next, we place the temporary cloth on the marble until cleaning time.

After cleaning Mehera's shrine, I put flowers in Baba's Cabin Room. I went to the Ghadi to also put flowers, but it was still being made ready for the day. I left some flowers and went back to the Samadhi. I saw Indira. Indira was the supervisor to clean the Samadhi on that morning. I asked her if Ted was informed about the white ant mud stuff. She said the ants were removed and the mud would be soon. With the Samadhi, everything needs to be carefully handled to avoid any damage. It is the treasure of the world, where God's body is resting.

I went back down the hill to get ready for my day at the Retreat. I had a rickshaw pick me up at 8:30 AM. We were stuck at the railroad crossing for fifteen minutes. When I went into the Reception Office, I saw the last ficus tree in the office was just not doing well. I showed it to Jeff, our gardener. He said the office isn't getting enough light for the fichus trees. Jeff said we would need other types of indoor plants. He said he would put all our ficus trees in the Dining Hall when they are healthy again. There is a lot of light in there.

My computer continued turning off on me. Cory, who is here for a number of months and helped set up our Retreat computer system, was in the Reception Office and heard me talking about the problem I was having with my computer. He became serious and said he hoped I had all my files backed up, because what would I do if I couldn't start the computer?

Yikees! That put the fear of God in me! I immediately called the Mac computer center in Pune to make sure they would be open the next day. Then I called for a car to pick me up in the morning. I did not touch my computer again.

On the way home I saw the National Cadet Corp's 406 cadets had arrived at Meherabad. Every few years they come to Meherabad for around ten days. They train in the ample space of outer Meherabad while staying in Hostel-B. During their time here, they always do a project; such as clean up the trash, etc.

Thursday 6 September. The car picked me up at 6:00 am. On the way to Pune, I tried to call one of my daughters to inform her I was going to be without my computer for a while. Well, my cell phone said I didn't have that service. I thought I had applied for everything except roaming. Now, I will have to go into Ahmednagar Friday and see what the problem is about.

There were three other residents in Pune. I stopped at the German Bakery for breakfast, and two were having breakfast also at the German Bakery. Later, while at Dorabji's I ran into the third resident. Many of us like the same places.

I left my MacBook at the Mac computer center and returned to Meherabad. I was home by 4:00 pm. When I take Foundy for a walk, we go out back. Often the cow herders are around. I try to keep my distance. Well, a black and white cow decided we, or Foundy, were too close and started to chase us. I dropped Foundy's leash and told him to run! I took cover behind a large bush. Foundy stopped running and turned on the cow. The cow didn't like it at all and left.

Friday 7 September. I did my usual morning things, and then caught our bus to the Trust. I went to BSNL to ask why I didn't have International calling, since I applied for it. Well, apparently, after they turn your service on, you have to go back to the office and fill out a different form, then have it and the other information they want all notarized.

I tried to take care of the stuff, but finally turned to the Trust for help, and got it. One of the workers even took me to the courthouse. At last, five hours later, I return to the BSNL office and showed the notarized documents to the man in that department. He said it would take a few days to turn it on.

In the afternoon, Bhau came to the MPC and gave a talk in the Hall at 4:30 pm.

It was my brother and sister's birthday. They are fraternal twins. I called them to wish them Happy Birthday. There was another big storm at night.

Saturday 8 September. I was up the hill around 5:30 am. It seemed to take me forever to get up there because of all the mud. I cleaned Baba's Cabin Room and then went down the hill to clean the Jhopdi and Table House.

I went to the MPC at 10:00 am to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad. There was a group from Russia waiting. At the end of the Tour I finish at the museum up the hill. There was a woman and her son from Korea also wanting to see the museum.

In the afternoon at 4:00 pm, tea and a snack were served on the verandah of the Music and Arts Center. Then at 4:30 pm a film "Riding Solo To The Top Of The World' was shown. The director, a Baba lover from Mumbai, gave a brief talk before the film.

In the evening, just before I took Foundy for a walk, he was barking and barking. I looked out my window and saw a horse going around our compound. When I went back there, the horse ran to another part of the area. I left it and took Foundy for our walk. By the time we returned, the horse had finally found his way out. Foundy was fascinated and went up to the horse to bark. The horse just ignored him as it walked away.

Sunday 9 September. I woke later than usual. When Foundy and I went out walking, we had to pass all the cadets training. They were in several groups in different areas we passed. Again there was a lot of rain last night so lots of mud to be careful of.

I went up the hill by 8:00 am to do the Archive cleaning of the Samadhi. Sometimes I clean on Friday, and sometime on Sunday, depending what is on my daily schedule. One of the hill dogs is in heat, and male dogs were hanging around. All these unknown male dogs naturally don't want to go away, but are a problem because some are not friendly.

After cleaning, I went to my room for breakfast and then got a ride to the Retreat for the 11:00 am meeting with Retreat volunteer Supervisors and the Meherabad Trustees. During a break in the meeting, tea and a snack were served. This was our first meeting since Jal had gone to the hospital.

I borrowed my neighbor, Marge's, computer to rewrite the Meherabad Diary for the 16th-31st of July. I spent two hours writing, and then returned it to Marge, as she needed it. I will just continue Tuesday, since Monday I am at the Retreat for duty.

Monday 10 September. I was at the Retreat by 9:00 am for my Reception Office duty. I had nine expected arrivals and we only had 23 pilgrims at the Retreat. In the morning at the MPC, one of the pilgrims, Caroline Ball, shared her story of being part of the creation of the 'Heartland Center' in Prague, Oklahoma. This Center is located close to where Baba had his automobile accident in America.

In the afternoon, Bhauji came to Meherabad and gave a talk in Hindi to the National Cadets Corp, in our Music and Arts Center. His normal talk at the Meher Pilgrim Center was cancelled.

Tuesday 11 September. There was a big storm during the night. I did my morning stuff and then borrowed Marge's computer to continue rewriting the last Diary. Boy is it a lot of work-sometimes-whole paragraphs disappeared because I accidentally pressed the wrong key! Or, the curser was all of a sudden someplace other than where I wanted it.

At 5:15 pm I started to walk up the hill for my Samadhi duty at 6:00 pm. With so much mud, I knew I had to give myself plenty of time. I had barely left the house when it began to sprinkle. The wind was blowing, and before I even got to old Mandali Hall, it was pouring. I had to tilt the umbrella to keep the rain from soaking me.

I stopped at old Mandali Hall and sat on a bench, hoping the rain would let up. It was pouring so hard everywhere that the water was making little rivers. After ten minutes of waiting, it became clear to me that the rain had no intention of letting up. So, taking a big breath, opening my umbrella, I tried to find a good place to start walking. Since there was no area where there wasn't a puddle, I just stepped in one and kept going.

I got to the Samadhi with the upper part of me dry, and the lower part of me wet. It continued to rain through most of the Arti. Then by the time I was walking back down the hill, the rain had stopped. At night another huge storm came with lightening, thunder, and pouring rain.

Wednesday 12 September. I arrived at the Retreat by 9:00 am for my Reception duty. During the day we had rain. I was finished by 6:00 pm and took a rickshaw to my room to change for the Dhuni. Evening Arti was at 5:00 pm and the lighting of the Dhuni was at 6:30 pm. At the Dhuni, the platform was wet, so no one was sitting. The line moved quickly. None of the Bhajans could be played on the harmonium and tablas because of the wet platform. Ted, standing, played his guitar while singing a few songs. We also had a Japanese pilgrim here, and she so lovingly sang a song in her language. Again at night there was a huge storm.

Thursday 13 September. I was sick during the night, often running to the bathroom, with pain in my stomach. In the morning, while walking out back with Foundy, I saw a huge construction backhoe. There had been a lot of trench digging because Peter was replacing the old sewage pipe that had broken, with new pipe.

I took our bus at 10:00 am to the Trust office. I then got a rickshaw and took it to the bank. Lakshmi, the woman in the Foreign Exchange department, told me the slow process had finally been fixed. She said my check would clear that day or the next. Yeah! I don't have to wait for one or two weeks.

I also had my security deposit returned from Idea. I asked where I could deposit it. She said they have a deposit box that I will have to drop it in. The person who does that work only comes in the afternoon. I found the red metal box and dropped it in.

All day I had been feeling dull pain in my stomach and extremely weak, so I went to bed at 7:30 pm.

Friday 14 September. I had a good night of sleep, but I still had the dull pain and was very weak. There had been another big storm during the night.

I went up the hill to do the archive cleaning of the Samadhi. Other than that, I just stayed in my room resting. I had called the Retreat Receptionist to cancel my Historical Tour of Meherabad for Saturday morning. There was just no way I had the energy to walk all over Meherabad for two and half hours.

Saturday 15 September. I was up the hill in time for the Samadhi doors to be opened. I helped remove the cloths and then put on the temporary one until cleaning at 6:00 am. I took Darshan and then went to Baba's Cabin Room to clean. I was not feeling well, so I let Joseph and Mariko clean the Jhopdi and Table House by themselves.

At 10:00 am I called the Mac Computer Center in Pune to ask about my computer. They said it was ready! I decided to hire a car and go to Pune to get it. I rested in the back seat all the way to Pune.

I was so happy to see my computer again! The computer people also showed me how to use the Ipod remote on the computer. I then ran a few errands and returned to Meherabad. I found out later that Laurel, the Saturday Receptionist at the Retreat, had 48 pilgrim arrivals! Saturdays are often heavy arrival days.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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