16 to 31 July 2011
16 to 31 July 2011
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
Saturday 16 July 2011. I was up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi when they opened the doors, and then clean Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. When I was through I walked to the MPR and back to my room.
I have been waiting for the electrical workers to change two electric boxes in my staff quarters. This morning I put the water immerser in the water to heat it up, when I tried to pull the plug out part of it melted. I took it to our store when the workers clocked in and showed the electrician. So, I was first on the list to get those two boxes changed finally.
My right foot sometimes pains me from when it was broken in May. The bone healed but it seems the muscle and tendons will take longer. I have to put my foot up often because it swells.
In the afternoon I went to the Page house to see what work was happening. The plumbers where connecting all the pipes to the house! Happy day! That means this week they will test to see if there are any leaks. If no leaks, then the toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks and all will be connected. This will be a big step in getting close to finishing the house.
When I was coming off the 'new-new site' road and onto the MPR road on my way home, I saw one of the Indian residents. He was stopped on the side of the road watching some work off in an area that the government owns. The area is at the end of the slope going down from the MPR road. There is a seasonal lake during monsoon. I asked why there was a new dirt road along side the back-side of the burm of the MPR road? Why also was there work with a backhoe? He told me the governments owns about twenty acres and they are leveling out the slope and making a burm that will surround the area. He said this was so when the monsoon comes the water will hold and not spread out. Then the water will sink into the underground aquafir. This will help allow local wells to have water even in May, the hottest month of the year.
There was a Baba film shown in Hostel-A at 4:30 pm.
Sunday 17 July. I went up the hill early to take darshan and then walk to the MPR and back to my room. I did a thirty-minute DVD workout before getting ready for Meherazad. This would be my first day since it opened this pilgrim season.
I took Marge, Fereshteh, and Hooyar with me. When we were on the far side of Ahmednagar I realized we would be too early for Meherazad so I suggested stopping for a cup of tea. We turned around and found the place Marge and I use to go to with Virginia. We ordered six teas as Marge and I each wanted two cups. When it was time to pay the man said Rs72 for the 'special tea'. I asked "what 'special tea?'" I told him tea does not cost that much but he said each cup was Rs 12 for the 'special tea'. I told him no one asked for 'special tea'. Then I turned to Hooyar, Fereshteh, and Marge and asked did you order 'special tea'? I knew they didn't because it was Hooyar and I who ordered the tea. Everyone told the man they did not order 'special tea'. Finally he told me regular tea was Rs 42. I told him we would not come back to his place. I think the man was trying to cheat us because we are foreigners. When we went with Virginia we were never charged for 'special tea'. But then we had our Indian driver with us and maybe that is why there was no trying to cheat us.
It was so lovely driving down the approach road to Meherazad. The large trees on both sides gives lots of shade as well as beauty. Marge said "were going down lovers lane."
The buses were already there when we parked. There were not that many pilgrims as most went home after Dhuni. Meheru was on the porch enjoying the interaction with the pilgrims. I went into Mehera's room and sat by her bed for a little while. Sometimes the feeling there is stronger then other times. For me there was a beautiful energy around her bed.
I sat out on the porch for just a few minutes before going into Baba's room for darshan. Just then the bell rang calling all to come to Mandali Hall for the program.
Charlie and Christine Keeler sang a beautiful song in Arabic. Cindy Lowe sang one of my favorites, then an Indian pilgrim got up, sat in front and sang. We then covered all the windows with the dark cloths and Hooyar showed a beautiful Baba film. It was such a lovely morning at Meherazad.
When I got home I had lunch and then a nice nap. I tried my cell phone and found my new SIM card had been activated and was working. And when I made a call I did not get the message 'Thank you for using BSNL'. Oh happy day! No more message. Finally I am rid of that stupid message that came up every time I used my phone with the old SIM card. I had to always press 'ok' before the message would go away.
The weather has been hot and sticky with lots of dark clouds, but the clouds just go away. We need the rain.
Monday 18 July. I went up the hill early to be at the Samadhi when the doors open. After taking darshan I went for my walk to the MPR and back to my room. I did a short twenty-minute workout before breakfast. When I looked at the clock it was almost 8:00 am. I quickly gathered my archive Samadhi cleaning cloths and drove to the railroad tracks. When I reached the Samadhi Arti was over and the pilgrims had all gone for breakfast. Cleaning while the pilgrims are at breakfast seems to be the best time to clean.
By this time I was pretty sticky. Though I now have next to the shower room new electrical boxes for plugging in my water-immerser, the sockets turned out to be too small for the new plug they put on my immerser. I took the immerser to our store and showed the problem. The electrician said he would order a higher wattage electrical box for the immerser. So, in a few days I'll be able to once again use my immerser. Until then I'll have to heat the water on the stove.
In the afternoon I went out to pick flowers for the next morning. It started to rain, so I went back to get my umbrella. It has continued to rain, but not the heavy rain we need.
Tuesday 19 July. I went up the hill for darshan at the Samadhi before cleaning Mani's shrine and Baba's Room Cabin. I usually go for a walk right after; on the way home I would stop back by the Samadhi to take some flowers from the pile that were taken out of the Samadhi when the doors opened. I do this almost every day. However, in the past two weeks I have been stung on my flower picking hand three times by bees. They like the flowers too.
So, I decided to try another way. As soon as I take darshan I go to the pile of flowers and select the ones I want. It is still dark at that time and there are few bees. When I wait until after my walk it is daylight and lots of bees. So far this has worked. I put the pile of flowers somewhere so others don't see them and pick them up on the way home. I share the flowers with my neighbor, Marge.
In the evening I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The day has light showers and mostly overcast.
My dog started barking like crazy at 3:00 am. Finally I went out to see if there was a snake or what the problem was. I flashed my flashlight in the direction Cookie (our dog) was barking. What do I see? A cat up on my roof! Finally Cookie stopped barking and I went back to sleep for a little while.
Wednesday 20 July. This was my birthday. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi before going for my walk. When I got home I called my daughters. I knew they would try and call me and I wanted to make it easy since I knew when I was home. I don't always have my cell with me.
I found out Bhauji had to go to the hospital last night. He didn't want to go but finally agreed. When I went to the Trust I stopped to see Mehernath. He said Bhauji was better. He will have to stay in the hospital for a few days.
I then went to this shop and ordered four kg of a sweet called Jalabis. While they were being made I went to visit Anil at Meher Tailor. The sweetshop is only a few stores away. After about twenty minutes I went back and had to wait another ten minutes. The rickshaw driver and I each had a couple of the hot Jalabi's. Oh yummy! They are so good! I'm going to take these to the Samadhi for Prasad after Arti.
On the way home I stopped at Yash Grand Hostel and picked up some lunch to share with Fereshteh and Hooyar. They had a little cake for me for my birthday. That was very kind of them. I shared some of the Jalabi's.
I had put the Jalabis in a large container and carried it up the hill to the Samadhi at 6:45 pm. After Arti everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. I like it when they sing it to me at Beloved Baba's Samadhi. Then the Jalabis were given as Prasad. It was a very lovely way to end the day.
Thursday 21 July. This was my youngest daughter's birthday. When I went up the hill for darshan I told Baba about the birthday. In the evening I will take a garland. I then picked my flowers and put them by a tree and went for my walk. On the way home I picked up my flowers.
At the bottom of the hill, on the 'Samadhi road' there are now trees planted all along it. This must have been done during the summer. How lovely it will look when the trees grow. The shade will also be appreciated.
I got ready and drove to the Trust to park my car. I took a rickshaw into the bazaar to buy a few things I needed. One thing I needed was clean thick plastic that will fit in my front verandah window. I have a water cooler in the window. The clear plastic will be to fit the window and cut open the areas for the knobs and vent.
For all of you who have been in the bazaar you may be interested to know MG Road is being widened. All the buildings have to cut back several feet. This means the front of the buildings are being demolished. A lot of them will renovate, modernize.
Friday 22 July. I went up the hill for darshan at the Samadhi before picking some of the flowers taken out of the Samadhi. I put them by the tree I selected and went for my walk. When I got home I got ready to go back into Ahmednagar. One of the things I bought the day before turned out to be broken when I took it out of the box. I hope to find a replacement.
I drove to BSNL with Marge and her son, Paul. We wanted to pay our phone bills. I inquired about one of the phone bills from the Page house. I have two lines to the house, but they aren't turned on until the construction is finished. They are in 'safe custody' as they say here. That means I can keep the phone lines and pay only a small monthly fee. But, I noticed I had not been getting a bill for one of the lines. I had been in the States so much the past year that I just didn't notice. When I showed them a past bill they could not find the phone number in their computers.
I went into the office where this problem could be addressed. It seemed when BSNL recently changed their computer software one of the phone numbers wasn't put into the system. The man told me 'not to worry madam' they would take care of the problem. I'll go back next week and check up on whether the problem had been solved. Next I went back to the shop to replace the broken object. I also bought a trunk to hold the Silence Day archive cleaning buckets, cloths, brushes, etc. Carolina and I want to keep all the items in one place to make it easer
I drove to the Page house to meet Joshi, the contractor. He tested the plumbing while I was there and the men opened one of the pipes inside a bathroom and for the first time water poured out. Tomorrow the faucets, and other bathroom plumbing will be installed.
I was having lunch at the MPR with other residents. But, first I wanted to drop off the trunk in my room. As I came off the condo road to the MPR road I saw in the distance the backhoe in the field. I took some photos of the work to level the ground to hold the rain water.
I hadn't been at the MPR in quite some time. It was fun having lunch with some of the pilgrims and residents.
Saturday 23 July. I went up the hill to the Samadhi for darshan and then clean Mani's shrine and Baba's Room Cabin. I then went down the hill and cleaned the Jhopdi before getting ready to give the Historic Tour of Meherabad.
There was a small group waiting at the MPC when I arrived at 10:00 am. It was a lovely morning, weather wise, for the Tour. The group had lots of questions. We only did Lower Meherabad as it was 12:30 by the time we finished at the Memorial Tower.
After my nap I drove to the Page house to see what the plumber did. Nothing as it turned out. It seems the keys to the trunks where the plumbing fixtures are kept had never been given to the plumbers. Now we will have to wait until Monday.
I went to visit Sharon Muir, one of our Meherabad residents. She has fallen and broken her leg and it is in a cast now. I only had to wear the 'big-foot' for six weeks. And I was able to walk with it. Sharon has to be off her leg for six months! She may be able to put some pressure on it soon by standing up, she will find out when that will be next week.
Sunday 24 July. I slept a little late and so didn't go up the hill until just before Arti. When I got back home I got ready to go to Meherazad. I picked up Fereshteh and Hooyar. As soon as we got to Meherazad they went into Mandali Hall to set up the projector for a Baba film.
I took darshan in Mandali Hall and then went to Mehera's porch and greeted Meheru. She was sitting on the porch and seemed quite relaxed. I went into Mehera's room and then Baba's room for darshan. I didn't stay on the women's side as I wanted to visit Manu, Eruch's sister.
While visiting Manu I had a chance to talk to Merwan (her brother) too. I asked Merwan some questions about giving future tours of Meherazad. He said there will be a brochure made of the historical information, including Seclusion Hill. We have a 'walking tour of Meherabad' brochure for pilgrims in Meherabad.
On the way home we stopped at Yash & Joli. Last week I had ordered food from I thought Yash Grand, but by mistake I had pressed Yash & Joli on my phone. When I got to Yash Grand they did not have my food order and that is when we found out I ordered the food from the other Yash.
Anyway, I stopped at Yash & Joli to pay for the food I ordered. But, they manager would not accept my money. He said it was okay, a mistake and not to bother. I thought that was very nice of them.
Monday 25 July. I went up the hill for darshan and then back to my room to do a DVD 'Ab Boot Camp' workout. I didn't go for a walk as I had to be back up the hill by 8:00 am to do an archive cleaning of the Samadhi.
After breakfast I gathered my cleaning cloths and drove to the railroad tracks to park. The weather has been so muggy and overcast, yet the days pass and no rain. Because it sprinkles earlier the Samadhi glass windows were closed. When I started cleaning I quickly started to feel the heat with the windows closed. So, I went to have the window on Mehera's side opened. I reminded the person on Samadhi duty to not forget to close the window if any rain starts.
It was much better having air circulate from the breeze while cleaning. The thought came into my head while I was on my hands and knees cleaning the Samadhi floor, 'What irony, here I am scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, yet by doing so I am the most fortunate on this planet!' I often wonder how I am so fortunate? I am cleaning the floor at the most sacred spot on earth. Wow! That is something!
I remember Bhauji saying one of the high points of his life was being a watchman. Well, for me it is being a 'scrubwoman'.
In the evening I went to a birthday dinner at someone's home. She is such a good cook!
Tuesday 26 July. I was up the hill early for darshan and then I cleaned Mani's Shrine and Baba's Room Cabin. In the evening I had Samadhi duty 5 to 7 pm.
Wednesday 27 July. When I woke at 4:00 am and went to the kitchen to make tea, a small frog came hopping from under my bed to behind something near the kitchen. How it got into my room I don't have the slightest idea. I was getting ready to go up the hill, I left a note on the kitchen counter for Anne, who I share the doctor's quarters with, telling her to watch out for the frog.
After I took darshan up the hill at the Samadhi I immediately went home and got ready to take a car to Pune at 7:00 am. I was sharing a car with two other residents.
When we got to Pune we went first to Café Yazdan, directly down the road from Baba's home.
Café Yazdan has the most delicious 'toast butter', this is how they say buttered toast. We also had they great tea. We all purchased some of their 'broom-bread' to take home. I bought two extra to share with my neighbor and roommate.
We all wanted to go to Dorabji's to buy food, as it is a favorite place for most of the residents. It is as close to a 'supermarket' as we have seen in India. It is now three stories high and they keep adding more features. Like several months ago they added a café on the top floor with a buffet.
I next went across the street to a shopping mall to see if the electronic section of a store could tell me why my IPod dock-station would not charge. They man didn't know, so I decided we could stop at another mall on our way out where I bought the dock-station at the Apple store. It is not an Apple product, but it was sold in their shop.
After a few more errands we went to lunch at this place that has delicious steak. Only when I go to Pune am I able to have a steak, none of the restaurants in Ahmednagar sell beef.
On our way out we went by where the German Bakery was being built. I learned construction had been put on hold because of a local ashram opposing it. It seems the German Bakery was taking business from the ashram which seems to also sell baked products. Oh, brother, politics! So now I don't know if it will ever be finished.
We stopped at the Apple store. I was told the charger on the dock-station was not charging. They gave me the phone number of some manager to call who would be able to assist me, as Apple was unable to reach them. I was on my way home and they didn't want me to leave my dock-station in case the company said it was not under warranty. I bought it on 17 August 2010 so I had little time if it is under a one-year warranty.
Thursday 28 July. I went up the hill early for morning darshan, and then for my walk. When I got back to my room I did a DVD workout. Shortly after my bath I got a phone call from one of the residents, she told me Mehernath Kalchuri was inviting all the residents to lunch at the MPR in honor of a Minister (MP) from Andra Pradesh who came here specially to have his birthday at Meherabad. He is a Baba lover and wanted to celebrate his birthday here with Baba.
I gave a ride to the MPR with three residents. When the MP arrived we all sang Happy Birthday to him. He is here with two of his sons. The man seemed a little shy with all the affection shown him. It was sweet to watch.
After tea in the afternoon I called the company that represents the dock-station I bought. Ms. Gayatra told me I had a one-year warranty and they will fix the problem. She had me email her all the information. Within in a half-hour she emailed me back asking if I could bring in the dock-station. I told her yes if she is in Pune. Otherwise I will take it to the Apple store and they can send it to her.
She said I should do this right away as my warranty ends in less than three weeks. So, early next week I will go to Pune with my dock-station.
Friday 29 July. I went up the hill for morning darshan at the Samadhi. I then collected my flowers and went for a power walk to the MPR and back to my room. I made breakfast and then went back up the hill to the Samadhi. This was then last day for my rotation turn to do an archive cleaning of the Samadhi.
I finished by 9:20 am. I had parked my car on the other side of the railroad tracks. I drove by the MPC and saw Anand, the electrical engineer. He said the men were at my room preparing to put the 5 watt socket by the bathing room. I was very happy to hear that because I could once again use a water-immerser to heat my water instead of doing it on the stove.
I saw Ramesh Jangle, one of our Trustees and the supervisor of security. I told him about a motorcycle that had been parked at the entrance to the Nurse's and Doctor's quarters. This was the third day it had been parked there. Since it didn't belong to any of us we wanted it removed. Later in the day I noticed the motorcycle was gone. Ramesh must have sent someone to remove it.
When I got to my room the electricians were busy working on the box for the socket. I was hoping for a bath before my appointment at 10:30 am with Joshi. While I waited I called Megan, who was able to open the archive storage room for me. I had the Silence Day cleaning things in a trunk and we will store it there.
I hurried home hoping the men would be finished with the electrical work no luck. It was 10:30 and I had to leave. I did change clothes; but clean clothes on a sticky, dirty-body doesn't make one feels much better.
I met Joshi at the Memorial Tower and videoed him showing and explaining all the latest work. It is very impressive how they cut the large stones and shape them. Joshi and I then went to the Page house where he explained the latest work.
On the way home I noticed the work was still going on near the MPR by the government to make a burm to the surrounded area for the seasonal lake that can help the underground aquafer, giving farmers water in May.
Then I took photos of the fence the Trust is building along the dirt road from the main road to just by the Hostels.
Saturday 30 July. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi and then cleaned Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. After putting flowers everywhere, I went down the hill to the Jhopdi and did a quick clean. The Jhopdi is shown during the Tour of Historic Meherabad and we like it to look clean.
At 10:00 am I went to the MPC to see if anyone was there for the Tour. No one was waiting so Baba gave me the day off. I went into the Welcome Center room, which is where the MPC accounting office use to be when we had pilgrims staying there. Caren and Yohann were there working. I told Caren I was going into Nagar to have some VHS tapes converted into DVD's. She had some of Baba's Mandali and she went home to get them. I took ours to Meher Tailor near the Trust. Anil has a friend who can convert the tapes but needed a VCR to do it. I took the old one I had given to the Savages Kitchen for the residents use. It is ironic that my DVD/VCR player, which is newer, had the VCR part stop working. No longer are there any parts or people to do the work. Yet, my old VCR works just fine.
When I got home I went to Harry and Sharon's. Sharon is recovering from a leg-break. Harry has a large library of DVD's that people give him to share with the community. I picked out four DVD's to watch. In the evening I went next door to Marge's and we watched a movie. She made popcorn. This was the first time we had done that and we have lived next door to each other for over twenty years.
Sunday 31 July. I went up the hill for morning darshan at the Samadhi and then took a walk to the MPR and home. I did a short DVD workout. I had decided not to go to Meherazad as I feel my body is fighting a cold.
In the afternoon at 4:00 pm, in the Music & Arts Center we had a Classic India singer who focused on Sufi music. Tea and cake were served first on the verandah. The singer would almost chant his singing. It was spellbinding.
In the evening again I took a DVD movie to Marge's and we watched another movie. We decided it would not be a good idea to have popcorn every time we watched a movie. I have two more DVD's before I return them to get more.
In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy