1 to 15 September 2011
1 to 15 September 2011
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
Thursday 1 September 2011. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. I then went for a walk to the MPR and back to my room, where I did a DVD workout. Later I drove to the Page house to see what work had been done since I left for Israel two weeks ago.
I had a meeting with the contractor two days before I left on my trip. With him were the plumbers who were to put faucets in the bathrooms. I explained what I wanted done and not done. Now, here it is two weeks later and to my disbelief the plumbers had put two faucets and two other handles for something around each of the five toilets. I have never seen four handles, two with faucets, around a toilet. Why? That is the question! No one was at the house but the watchman, so when I got back to my room I called Joshi, the contractor to arrange an appointment the following day. I didn't tell him the problem on the phone, as this day was a major holiday in India. It is the festival of Ganesh, the Elephant God.
Friday 2 September. It had rained the night before so on my way up the hill I had to be extra careful of the mud; it is so easy to slip. However, while looking down when walking I didn't see the spider webs I walked into under the trees. Twice I felt something across my face. I quickly wiped at it. That is one problem walking up the hill in the dark, spider webs under trees. Yuk!
After taking darshan at the Samadhi I walked to the MPR and back to my room. I did a short workout to a DVD before getting ready for my meeting with Joshi at the Page house.
I showed Joshi the problem in the bathrooms. "Hummm!" That was what he said. He told me one of the handles was to have water to fill the tank. I told him the two separate faucets, one for a bucket and one for the spray, can be purchased in one unit. He did not know what that fourth handle was for, and told me he would ask the plumber. Anyway, it will have to be removed. We should only have two handles, one with a faucet that has a duel purpose, and the handle to have water for the flush tank of the toilet.
After our meeting I went to a nearby supply store in Ahmednagar where we purchased the faucets. Yes, the man knew Joshi's plumber. He showed me the two purpose faucet and said he would make sure when the plumber returned the four wrong ones for each bathroom that the plumber would buy the correct ones. I then called Joshi and told him what I found.
Saturday 3 September. I went up the hill for early darshan and then I cleaned Mani's shrine and Baba's Room Cabin. After finishing I walked to the MPR and back down the hill. I did a quick clean of the Jhopdi so it would look nice for the Tour.
It had been drizzling most of the morning, so near 10:00 AM I called the MPC to inform Yohann that the Tour of Historic Meherabad would be cancelled. He said there were two women waiting and they didn't care if they got wet. Okay, I said. I figured if it was that important to them that was enough for me. I grabbed my stuff, two extra umbrellas and drove to the MPC.
It was a mother and her twenty-something grown daughter. The daughter had been to Meherabad once before for a day only. She wanted to come back and bring her mother; they live in Mumbai. It was a real pleasure taking them around Lower Meherabad. They were very sweet and very interested in Baba. We finished the Lower Meherabad Tour at the Memorial Tower. They were fascinated with the story of the Tower. When we were through, I walked them back to the MPC so they could wait there for our bus to return from the Trust in Ahmednagar; they would ride it back to the MPR. While we were waiting I told them a little more about Meherabad.
After lunch at the Savages Kitchen I went home to take a nap. I had been in a deep, deep sleep, when all of a sudden I was so rudely shocked awake by a crow directly outside my window going "Caw, caw, caw, caw"! I stumbled to the back door, found some stones from a pile I keep by the back door, and continued to stumble to the area where the crow had been. It took off when it saw me! I am such a bad aim I only scare the crows, but I didn't even have the pleasure of throwing the stones at it because it flew away. I tried to go back to sleep, but the damage was done, I was awake now. I had tea and went back to doing stuff.
At 4:15 PM the Music & Arts Theater was showing the next of a series of animated films on the different Avatars. This week it was on the life of Jesus.
An email was sent out from the Trust to our Baba community telling us Bhauji's new schedule. The time for visitors had been changed. Bhauji is now going to Meherazad on Thursday and Sunday mornings, so no visitors.
Sunday 4 Sept. I went up the hill for early darshan before going on my walk to the MPR and back to my room. I did a short DVD workout and then got ready to go to Meherazad. On the way I picked up Fereshteh and her son, Hooyar.
Meheru was not at Meherazad during pilgrim time so I didn't have a chance to say hello. I spent some lovely time in Baba's room before going into Mandali Hall for the program. Usually a Baba film is shown after some performance, however, the Lobbyman at the MPR forgot to load the projector on the bus. So, there was no film. Hooyar tried to get pilgrims to sing. Usually there is an abundance of performers around but this day there were not many.
Monday 5 September. It had been raining overnight so I slept later that usual; I just didn't want to deal with the mud, umbrella, and flashlight in the dark. When I did get up I did a DVD workout.
I had an appointment with Phroize, a contractor, who had done some work at the Page house. He wanted to see how well rain-gutters would work on the roof slopes. He said he would call someone and see what could be done. Joshi, our contractor for the house, had built a huge cistern to hold the rain-water. Now we needed rain-gutters so we could catch the rain. I then drove to the Samadhi to take darshan and say my prayers.
Next I drove to the DSP (police department) to check in with them. I only returned last week from Israel. There had been holidays the week I arrived back, so this was the first chance to see them. We always have to check in with the foreign department of the police within fourteen days of entering the country. They stamp our papers and all is well.
I stopped at the Savages Kitchen to have lunch before taking a nap.
Tuesday 6 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. Then I cleaned Mani's shrine and Baba's Room before going on my walk to the MPR and home. I was pretty busy around my room until my Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.
Wednesday 7 September. Again I slept later because it rained during the night. It didn't rain much, just enough to make everything muddy. Later, after I checked on the Page house I drove to the Samadhi and took darshan.
It was my brother's birthday so I called him.
Thursday 8 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. I than went on a good walk past the MPR and up and down the Samadhi driveway once before going home. The road for driving a car up to the Samadhi is good to walk up for exercise.
I met Gorak at the Page house along with our workers. We only have two solar panels for the hot-water tank and it comes with three. Gorak is Sharad's plumber and he wanted to see that it came with three. The problem is the paper I signed for what was delivered is with Gorak, and if he claims he delivered three we have no proof to the contrary. So many problems building a house, especially if you have changed contractors!
I drove to the MPR to have lunch with some friends. I noticed the Lobbymen had new uniforms. So, now they are not just brown, they also come in blue. There were three men at the MPR in three different Trust uniforms. So, I took photos of them to show you.
I called my bank in the States in the evening to see if they had processed the forms for my having a wire-transfer system. Yes, they were processing it and in a few days I would be able to start using the wire-transfer system! Oh happy day! Writing a check takes six weeks before you get your money. A wire-transfer takes a day or two!
Friday 9 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. Before the doors were opened I had time to walk up and down the hill two times. After the doors of the Samadhi were opened I went in for darshan and then went for a good long walk.
I saw Steve, one of our residents. He said Ted and some workers had taken the four steel pipes that will be used in the Memorial Tower to a special place. At that place the pipes would be prepared so they can be fitted together when brought back to Meherabad. These four steel pipes are for the center of the Memorial Tower. They are to hold up the circular marble spire. I don't know how long it will take to have the four pipes prepared for fitting;I will have to find out. These steel pipes were bought in Mumbai for the use in the Memorial Tower.
The news of the pipes being taken for preparations inspired me to go to the Memorial Tower and take a video of the latest work. I also took some still photos for this Diary.
I had an appointment to go to Meherazad Saturday morning to video a 91- year-old farmer who was a teenager when Baba did His seclusion work on Seclusion Hill. This teenager took things up the hill to Baba.
My video camera batteries are old and don't last long, so I called Bif, my neighbor, and borrowed one of his 8-hour batteries.
Saturday 10 September. I went up the hill early to say my prayers outside the West Window of the Samadhi. I then spent the next thirty minutes walking in a circle by going down the walking path and up the driveway to the Samadhi. I decided this would be a really good exercise because it is going up a hill. After four times making the circuit I went back to the Samadhi as it was about the time for the doors to be opened and I like being there when the doors opened.
After taking darshan inside the Samadhi I went for my walk to the MPR and home. I didn't have much free time as I had to get ready to go to Meherazad for an archival videoing. I grabbed my two video cameras that I had ready to go.
I met Carolina at Meherazad. She was going to use one camera and I the other. Mehera Arjani stays at Meherazad often to help her Aunt Manu and Uncle Merwan (Eruch's brother and sister). After greeting everyone we gathered up our gear and walked to the farm that borders Meherazad to video a 91-year-old farmer who was a teenager when Baba came to Meherazad.
The farmer's name was Sampati Jine. He had a red turban wrapped around his head. His weathered faced filled with smiles as he talked of his times with Baba. Mr. Sampati helped Dr. Donkin make the path up Seclusion Hill so Baba could use it. They would work four hours at a time digging a path.
When Baba was in seclusion on the hill, Simpati would take things up the hill to him. I had asked him if Baba ever gave him any orders. Yes, he said. If he every saw Mehera walking he was to immediately turn his face and walk away. I asked if there were any other orders. Only one was his reply. Baba told him to always remember Him.
I asked him if he was here when Baba dropped the body. Yes, he saw the ambulance taking Baba's body to Meherabad. I asked how he felt? He said he was so upset that he could hardly eat or drink for over a month. I asked if he had ever gone up Seclusion Hill again. "No, never! I will never go up there again!" He wanted to remember the Hill as it was when Baba was still in the body at Meherazad.
His daugher-in-law made tea for us and picked peanuts from their farm, roasted them and offered them to us. Such sweetness they showed us.
Then we walked to the farmhouse just a short way from the farmer's house. Sampati's wife lived there with one of their sons. Muktabi was bent over from years of working in the fields of their farm. When Sampati turned 90 he decided to move out and live with his other son. They had been married for something like 70 years! They were still married, just living with different sons.
--- photo of Muktabi
Sunday 11 September. I went up the hill early to say my prayers at the Samadhi before taking the walk up and down the hill. When it was time for the Samadhi doors to be opened I made sure I was waiting in line. Then I walked to the MPR and back to the Samadhi for Arti.
This was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the attack on the World Trade Center. It was also the 80th anniversary of the first time Baba stepped foot on Western soil, 11 September 1931 at 8:00 AM. It was in Marseille, France, where Baba first went; there was to be a gathering and prayers exactly at 8:00 AM, the exact time Baba stepped on Western soil.
A message was sent from the Trust saying at morning Arti and evening Arti these special prayers would be said. Dr. Anne, who is from France, read the prayer if French.
Later I drove to the Trust and joined the group in Bhauji's office for his Internet 'Chat'. I wanted to video the Chat because it was the 9/11 anniversary and if anything special took place I wanted to capture it.
I have wanted to come to Bhauji's Sunday Chats for some time. The problem for me is they last until 8:00 PM or later. It is just not safe driving at night, plus I can't see well enough when the high beams of cars hit my windshield. I planned to follow a rickshaw back to Meherabad that another resident would take.
I set my camera in the doorway of the adjacent room. I thought it would be easier to see Bhauji and also video people in his office. It turned out it would have been better to be in the office itself, but I didn't realize that at the time.
The prayers that were said in France were also said in Bhauji's room. All the major world religions prayers were said. There wasn't really much about the 80th Anniversary of Baba's first trip to the West, or the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. But I did get a chance to video Bhauji and the "Internet Chat" program.
When it was time to leave I was very grateful to Zarah for having her rickshaw go slow so I could follow it all the way home. It made the ride comfortable instead of being nervous.
Monday 12 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi and then did my walk before doing a DVD workout in my room.
Evening Arti was at 5:30 PM and the Dhuni was lit at 6:30 PM. Almost all Dhuni's now have a crowd. There was also a busload of thirty children from a blind school who were spending the day at Hostel-C and eating in Hostel-D. They had the opportunity to take darshan at the Samadhi and also attend the Dhuni. They were lead by their instructors. The children would also hold onto each other's shoulders. We of course helped them if it was needed.
After the Dhuni, when I was walking back to my room I heard the children near the Savages Kitchen. I wondered why they were on the path by the Kitchen. I had a flashlight I was using. One of them come over to me and was asking in Marathi to help them. I don't speak Marathi but I gathered they wanted to go to Hostel-D and didn't know the way. I happily escorted them there and we all felt better that they were safe and sound.
Tuesday 13 September. I went up the hill and said my prayers at the window of the Samadhi before cleaning Mani's shrine. Tuesday and Thursday are polishing the marble days, so I didn't have time to take a walk. By the time I finished Mani's shrine it was time to get in line for the Samadhi doors to be opened.
After taking darshan inside the Samadhi I went to Baba's Room and cleaned. I put flowers and then walked back to my room.
I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Just before prayers there was a frog that hopped to the East window of the Samadhi, on Mani's side. It went directly under the window. Then it hopped back near the gate by Mani before once again hopping under the Samadhi window. It was an amazing thing to see. It was like it was taking darshan!
Then it hopped out of sight around the back of the Samadhi.
When I got home and went to my email, I saw my daughter had bought my ticket to visit the States. Wow! She was fast. We just talked about it the night before. It seems to take me time to do stuff like that.
Wednesday 14 September. I went up the hill early and said my prayers at the window of the Samadhi. Then I went up and down the hill four times until it was time to get back to the Samadhi for the doors to be opened. After that I went for my walk to the MPR and home. I then did a DVD workout.
I had an 11:30 AM appointment with Joshi, the contractor for the Page house. We talked about what work was being done. I then went to order some tandoori chicken at the new restaurant near Meherabad. While it was being prepared I drove to the Savages Kitchen and had some dal and rice. When it was time to pick up the chicken I took it to a friends house to share with her.
Now I don't know what the cause was, but a couple of hours later my whole body felt like I was coming down with some kind of flu. I felt drained of energy, my stomach was very queasy, and I overall felt lousy. I went to bed.
In the middle of the night I got up and hurried to the bathroom because I felt I might vomit; I didn't though. When I realized my stomach had settled down some I went back to bed. That is where I stayed for the next couple of days.
Friday 15 September. I stayed in bed all day. Still not knowing what the cause of my illness, I wondered if it food poisoning? I didn't think so. I think it was just some lousy flu.
In Beloved Baba Love, Judy