Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


1 to 15 August 2011

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

Monday 1 August 2011. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi and then clean Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. As soon as I got up the hill it began to sprinkle. Whenever it rains we are not allowed to put flowers on the shrines as it causes a stain. By the time I finished Baba's Room the sky started to clean so I put the cloth on Mani's shrine and then the flowers.

When I got back to my room I did a short DVD workout before breakfast. I then got ready to be at the MPC by 10:00 am. Mehera Arjani shared some of her stories of growing up with Baba. Eruch Jessawala is her uncle. Her father and mother are Roshan and Sam Kerawala. She was raised in Pune and when only a few days old Baba held her. Baba would come to visit her family and play with baby Mehera. Baba told her family that it was Mehera he came to visit.

Mehera had a very special relationship with Baba. Like the other family Baba lovers that were under Baba's care, he would instruct them on their daily lives.

There was a birthday lunch at the MPR for Rama, Bhauji's wife. I picked up Roshan and we drove there. Rama was sitting in her wheelchair at the head of a very long table. I found a seat at the table and when everyone was finished eating Hooyar started singing. Rama and I have for years been 'dancing partners' at parties. She called me over and wanted me to dance with some of the Iranian women. I at first did, but I wanted Rama to have the fun of dancing too. She has only recently been confined to a wheelchair, so I took the back of the wheelchair and moved it around the room so she too could 'dance'. It was so much fun!

I wheeled Rama to a lot of different tables as we 'danced' to the singing and she would clap hands with the people at the tables or who were standing. This went on for around fifteen minutes. There was more singing of Happy Birthday in different languages before we ended the fun.

On the way out of the MPR, one of Bhauji's helpers told me Rama told them she hoped I would come to her birthday lunch at the MPR because I was her 'dancing partner'. The helper then said she understood what Rama meant when she saw me take Rama in her wheelchair and 'dance' her around the room. That really touched my heart to hear that.

After my nap I called the man in Delhi who can authorize the repair work on my IPod dock-station. The charger isn't working and he said I was just to courier it to him. It is under warranty until the 17 August — this month. So, I plan to go into Nagar Tuesday to send it to him.

Tuesday 2 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi before cleaning Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. I went for a walk to the MPR and on the way back toward the Samadhi I saw a deer once again bounding across the path in from of me. I seldom saw deer in the past, now I see them often. Maybe it is because I go way out back now to walk.

After breakfast I drove into Nagar and found the place where couriers have their offices. There are three of them and I chose Blue Dart, which is a domestic subsidiary company of the International DHL. They packed the dock-station that was not working. They made the package from used cardboard boxes and scrapes of paper — very Indian.

In the evening I had Samadhi duty from five to seven.

Wednesday 3 August. I had a car pick me up at 6:15 am, so I didn't have time to go up to the Samadhi. We picked up another resident and drove to Pune. I stayed at the YMCA, which is very close to Baba's House and the Pune Baba Center.

I had a 12:00 noon appointment to have my hair done. Lizzie, who owns the salon I use, was available to style my hair. She is very good and also has salons in Mumbai and Goa. She had recently opened a spa near the German Bakery. She told me there would be a big 'reopening ceremony' for the German Bakery on the 15th August — in about two weeks. The 15th is India's Independence Day. She said an important MP would be present for the reopening. As I have mentioned in past Meherabad Diaries, the German Bakery was bombed by a terrorist attack last year. Maybe that is way there will be such a big ceremony to reopen.

I am so happy they are reopening. I drove by two days ago and it looked like there was still a lot to do to be ready for business. My next trip to Pune I will be able to have breakfast there — and buy their delicious baked goods!

Thursday 4 August. I slept until 6:30 am, which is late for me. I had tea sent to my room. After tea I took a two-mile walk. On the way back I walked to Yazdan Café for more tea, though no toast. I have stopped eating bread as my scale said I had gained some weight. Bread has always been my downfall; it is the easiest way for me to gain weight. So, when I stop eating it I lose weight.

I bought a coffee maker. All these years I have been using a French-press, but several residents now have coffee makers and the coffee tastes so much better.

When we got back to Meherabad, I put my stuff in my room and drove my car to the railroad tracks. From there I walked up the hill to the Samadhi for darshan.

Friday 5 August. I went up the hill for early darshan at the Samadhi before going for my walk to the MPR and home. I've noticed the past several days when I try to bow down in the Samadhi my right knee fills like it is swollen. It has also given me a little pain. By the time I got home it had dawned on me that I am having a little relapse from the Chickungunya I got several years ago. Every now and then I have this problem with my knee, or my foot hurts, my throat burns, and I get a little cough. Also I notice I feel tired. Sometimes it last only a few days, other times it last several weeks.

Saturday 6 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi and then clean Mani's shrine and Baba's Room Cabin. By the time I finished I was already feeling tired, so I skipped my walk to the MPR and went down the hill to the Jhopdi to do a quick clean.

The Jhopdi was just cleaned the day before. It was Carolina's day, and she called to tell me she found a cat had gotten into the Jhopdi through the open window. It had left some diarrhea on the floor as well as paw prints on the wall below the window.

I told her the paw prints on the wall we were to leave and tell Ted Judson; he is in charge of all the archive work on our buildings. If the wall needed a whitewash touchup he was the one to make that decision. If we wiped the wall with a damp cloth we would only leave streaks — best all around to tell Ted.

Yohann Noble is a resident here in Meherabad. He works in the MPC Welcome Center and also helps out giving Tours of Historic Meherabad. Since I have been so tired lately I asked him if he would give the Tour. He does a wonderful job and was happy to do it. This allowed me to rest most of the day.

Sunday 7 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan and than walked to the MPR and home. I was tired but with the help of coffee I got ready to go to Meherazad. I picked up Marge, Hooyar, and Fereshteh.

When we reached Meherazad we had to wait for one of the workers to push the button on the side of a building so the security bar would raise up and let us in. The security bar is kept down most of the time.

After greeting Merwan I went to the women's side and greeted Meheru, who was sitting on Mehera's porch. There was a young woman whose mother is Zoroastrian and father Jewish. She had been to the Zoroastrian temple in Iran, but she was not allowed into the one in Mumbai — because in Mumbai the old Parsis only accept you if both parents are Zoroastrian. They do not allow converts of any kind.

So, the conversation on the porch was quite lively. Some younger Zoroastrians in Mumbai and Pune are saying it is time to change that law. It was made only when the Iranian Zoroastrian fled Iran 1400 years ago when the Arabs came into Iran and forced conversion to Islam. The Iranian Zoroastrians fled to Gujarat in India. They would be allowed to stay and practice their religion only if they promised the king they would not try to convert anyone, and they would also have to dress according to the local people. So, it was from that time the Indian Zoroastrians, who came to be known as Parsis, would not allow anyone to convert. You had to be born into the religion. It is only in India this is practiced. And as I have said, many youth of the religion want anyone who wishes to join their religion to be allowed to convert. They say the old rule is outdated and has nothing to do with the religion.

When it was time for the program in Mandali Hall the bell was rung. There were songs by Cindy Lowe, Michael Childs, Mah Meher singing in Persian, and Hooyar singing some Baba chants. Then two short Baba films were shown. When I got home I rested.

Monday 8 August. I didn't go up the hill early because I was too tired. I went to see Michael and Sarah in the Homeopathy clinic at 9:00 am. After some consultation they gave me some homeopathic medicine.

At 10:00 am I went to the MPC to listen to Anna Khandale tell of his hearing of Baba since 1944 but never crossing Baba's path. He was asked by the Mandali to come to Meherabad and take over the Samadhi supervision since Nana Kher died. Anna Khandale was a relative on Nana Kar.

I went to the Savages Kitchen to have lunch before going home. All around the Savages Kitchen workers are digging a long trench. It is for laying pipes — but I haven't found out yet why they are doing it. I will have to ask one of the Trustees.

In the evening Marge and I watched a DVD movie, one of the four we got from Harry Muir.

Tuesday 9 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi and then clean Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. It sprinkled a little so I didn't go for a walk but went back to my room and did a DVD workout.

In the evening I had Samadhi duty. It sprinkled again, but not much. We just have not had heavy monsoon except a few times. There is concern of a water shortage later in the year.

Wednesday 10 August. I didn't go up the hill, as I was a feeling tired. Later in the day I went up the hill for darshan.

I have been dealing with a problem of a damaged IPod dock-station. I had sent the product to the distribution company in Delhi. They had told me they didn't have my model any more and would replace it with a different model. Well, the model they wanted to replace it with cost half what mine cost. I finally came to the conclusion there was nothing I could do, I would just have to receive what they would send. So, I called one of their subsidiary companies in Mumbai and offered to pay the difference if they would upgrade the one the Delhi Company said they would send. Yes, they said they would do that. So, I wrote a letter to Delhi. I told the man about the Universal Law of Karma and it is our choice of action that brings 'good or bad' karma. I mentioned it would not be possible to hide from our action as the law applies to all at all times. I then told the man it was his decision what IPod dock-station he sent me and his karma alone on the kind he sent.

Thursday 11 August. I went up the hill for darshan at the Samadhi and then went for a walk to the MPR and home. After a DVD workout I got ready to go to my bank in Ahmednagar.

The check-cashing policy here in India has changed in the last one and a half years. It now takes around six weeks to get our money. I am going to Israel on the 20th, and I don't know if my money will come in time. I wrote the check the first week of July. So, I needed to see if the money came through.

I had no luck at the bank, but the woman in the International Department suggest I set up a wire-transfer as that only takes a few days. Duh! I have lived here 21 years and I had not thought to set up a wire-transfer for myself! Hummm! Sometimes I wonder where is my brain! The woman gave me the bank 'swift codes' and I thought I was all set to contact my bank in the States.

I then went to the Trust to visit Bhauji. He looked so cute! He is getting thin but looking so adorable. Only a few Iranians were there as most of the pilgrims were at Meherazad. Hooyar was playing his daaf and singing. Bhauji asked me to dance.

When I got home I drove straight to the Page house to check on it. Just as I was pulling up the plumber from the old contractor, Sharad, was entering the property with two other men, one of them had a camera case. 'What are you doing?' I asked as they quickly backed out on the road again. The plumber's name is Gorak and he is not a very nice man.

It turns out Sharad decided he wanted pictures of the house he built. Now, Sharad did not build the house, he only built it part way. He had the chance to build it for over ten years and didn't do it. Finally three years ago I was able to replace him with a good contractor. Now, he thinks he has the 'right' to come on private property and take pictures. You can imagine how that went over with me!

I made it very clear that they do not have permission to enter the property for photographs. I told them they could take pictures from the road, as that was public. The men with Gorak were very apologetic, but all Gorak did was stare in a 'thug' way. When I got in my car I called Sharad and yes, he said he told Gorak to take pictures. He claimed he did not give permission to enter the property. But, then he said, 'maybe the trees were in the way'. I told him they could stand on their motorcycles on the road, but, no, they may not enter the property.

Friday 12 August. I woke early and went up the hill for morning darshan at the Samadhi when the doors were opened. I picked flowers from the ones taken out to the Samadhi and then went for my walk to the MPR and home. I am not feeling as tired as I had been, so maybe the homeopathy is working. I did a short DVD workout before calling the tailor to fix some clothes I'm taking to Israel.

Evening Arti was at 5:00 pm and the Dhuni was lit at sundown. There are a few hundred pilgrims here because of some holiday.

Saturday 13 August. I went up the hill to take darshan at the Samadhi before cleaning Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. I then went to the Jhopdi to do a quick clean before the 10:00 am Tour of Historical Meherabad.

I spent most of the day doing things in my room.

Sunday 14 August. I went up the hill for morning darshan at the Samadhi. After going for a walk I got ready to go to Meherazad. I picked up Hooyar and Fereshteh. I spent time in Baba's room before going into Mandali Hall when the bell rang for the Sunday program.

Monday 15 August. I went up the hill for darshan at the Samadhi. I went for a walk to the MPR and home. At 10:00 am there was a 'sharing of memories of Mani' program in the hall of the MPC. On the 19th it will be the anniversary of Mani going to Baba. Some very sweet stories were shared, especially about her charming ways.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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