16-31 December 2011
16-31 December 2011
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
Friday 16 December, 2011. I slept late, trying to give my knee a chance to heal. For me, most of the day was spent doing things for the Page house. I drove to the Trust and parked my car. I took a rickshaw into the bazaar and bought a lot of stuff for the Page house.
At Meherabad, in the afternoon, Sam & Roshan Kerawala shared some of their Baba stories in the MPC Hall.
Saturday 17 December. I went up the hill early to say my prayers and then clean Mani's shrine. I then took darshan at the Samadhi when the doors opened. I picked some flowers to take home and then went into Baba's Room to clean. I next walked down the hill to the Jhopdi to do a quick clean so it would look nice for the Tour of Meherabad Historic Sites.
At 10:00 AM I went to the MPC to meet anyone who wished to go on the Tour. There were a few pilgrims waiting and we went around Lower Meherabad, finishing at the Memorial Tower. I don't add Upper Meherabad on the Tour anymore, because with Padri's Room and the Tower now added it takes more time. The Tour of Upper Meherabad is now scheduled to be given on Wednesday mornings.
As soon as I was done with the Tour I drove to the Page house to consult with the plumbers and to oversee the other work. The Pages are coming next week and will be spending some time in their house. They will stay at the MPR too as the house is really not ready to have someone stay for any length of time. Basic things like dishes and the many things that are needed for daily life have to be purchased.
After a short nap, at 4:30 PM I picked up Coocoo (nickname that does not have the same meaning as in the West) and we went to the Big Bazaar on the other side of Ahmednagar. I had to buy all kinds of cleaning supplies, including a couple of bath towers and bath mats. When we finished it was 6:00 PM and dark outside. Now, driving in Ahmednagar during the day is challenging, but at least you can see what is going on. However, at night it is a different story. You have the same type of drivers; some who don't bother to turn on the headlights, or feel it is still okay to drive on your side of the road. You also have the glare of high beams on your windshield because some of the drivers don't lower their headlights. On top of all that, you have some bad roads and areas with no lights. Now I think you may understand why I don't like driving at night it just plain isn't safe! I wasn't on the main road all the way home, I had to take some back roads so as not to add another half-hour to the drive home.
Well, we somehow took a wrong turn, because we were not able to see the right one. We were somewhere in the bazaar and had to keep asking directions to get back to our road. When we got home we were so happy!
Sunday 18 December. I slept a little late because I was going to have a full day. I had an appointment at 8:00 AM to pick up the electrician and take him to the Page house. We had to talk about what was immediately needed before the Pages arrived. Only the kitchen was necessary and outside where the pump for the water is stored. The driveway is being paved with stone and the workers are ready to connect the drive to the garage. However, first a narrow trench would have to be dug across the entrance to the garage; this way the pipe for the electrical wires that go from the outside pump to the switch in the garage can be put in place.
I dropped the electrician off on my way home. I got dressed for Meherazad, picked up my neighbor, Marge, and off we went. As I turned onto the Meherazad approach road I pulled my car over and stopped. I wanted to take some photos of the new Trust fence being put around the huge field at the entrance to the Meherazad Road.
The Trust fence goes from the main road, all the way behind those buildings in the far end, and then by the first farm on the left. The front of the fence with the gate faces the Meherazad approach road.
Being at Meherazad is such a fulfilling experience. It was Baba's home, and the whole atmosphere of the place is like paradise. Meheru was sitting on the porch greeting old and new Baba lovers. What an amazing life she has had the good fortune to live.
Before the film in Mandali Hall, there was some singing before Hughie did a little of his magic. They were going to show a new film put together by Bob Frederick. It was about the time of Baba's visit to Hollywood, California and what Baba said about art and its impact on the world at large. But the DVD was faulty, it kept breaking up, so it had to be stopped. A better copy will have to be made. It looked so interesting I kept hoping the showing would get better, but instead it got worse.
When I left Meherazad I had to drive to the Page house to meet with some workers. Then I went home to rest, before I drove to the Trust for Bhauji's 'Internet Chat'. I first picked up the two Iranian women, both with the name Zahra. We also stopped to take Robyn with us. I only drove because I would be able to follow a rickshaw home when it was dark. It is way to dangerous to drive alone.
Bhauji has the 'Chat' on every Sunday afternoon if he is feeling well. We call it the 'Love Club'. It is so much fun being part of it. Bhauji looks so well and expresses so much love to all those who contact him during the 'Chat'. It is quite something to experience.
Bhauji starts his 'Chat' around 4:30 PM and we take a half-hour break at 6:30 PM. The 'Chat' will continue until 8:30 PM when Bhau's team will let Bhauji know it is time to call it a day. It is so cute to see Bhauji's face he is like a little kid who does not want to go to bed. He asked several times if they were sure no one else was on the Webcam. He wants to keep going.
Monday 19 December. I was up the hill early to take darshan when the doors to the Samadhi opened. I then went down the hill and did a short workout in my room, had breakfast and was back up the hill by 8:15 AM to do the Archive cleaning of the Samadhi floor. Every time I clean it I wonder to myself 'how am I so fortunate that I am cleaning the floor of the tomb where God's body is resting?' When I finished I went into the bazaar to buy some stuff for the Page house. Then the rest of the day was dealing with problems that kept coming up with some of the work at the Page house. I drove past the MPC on the way home, there were three huge buses in the driveway the Sufis had arrived. There are over 200 Sufi's from America that will be staying here on pilgrimage. Some will stay in the MPR, others in other facilities or homes.
Tuesday 20 December. I went up the hill early to say my prayers at the Samadhi window and then cleaned Mani's shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan, then went to clean Baba's Room. At 9:00 AM I had an appointment with Dr. Gus and Rada (his wife). I have had a cough caused by a burning in my throat for several years. It comes and goes. It started when I got Chickungunya. They were going to try some homeopathy treatment. It sure would be nice to finally find a way to stop the problem.
Then once again I spent most of the day working at the Page house.
In the evening I had Samadhi Prasad duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Around 6:30 PM a lot of Sufis came and got in line. Just as the prayers were about to be said I heard a mass of movement. I turned around and saw a wave of more Sufis arriving along with their Murshida Carol.
After the prayer part of Arti I usually go down the hill to my room. However, there were some very good singers that I stayed to enjoy before leaving.
Wednesday 21 December. I didn't set my alarm, yet I woke before 5:00 AM. I decided to quickly get ready and go up the hill for darshan. By the time I got to the Samadhi the doors were already open. I took darshan and went back to my room.
I spent most of the day trying to straighten out a mess with one of the showers at the Page house. I bought it 2½ years ago. Because I was gone for over a year taking care of my sister, the shower was never delivered. Now we find a part is missing. Anand Traders and I have been trying to trace all the payments. I am going to have to go to the bank in Ahmednagar and have them give me a copy of the original check. It is a problem for all of us. The people at Anand Traders are trying there best to work this out. They even have someone from the company in Pune coming here Friday to look at the house and see if we can replace it. It is just a mess.
Thursday 22 December. I was up the hill by 5:00 AM to clean Mehera's shrine. The Samadhi doors were already open by four of the Samadhi Supervisors. They were doing the cleaning. Usually the Supervisor has pilgrims go in to clean, and the supervisors mostly oversee the work. But on mornings when there is a special occasion they do the cleaning themselves. Then several cloths were put over the whole marble to protect it.
A special cover had been made for Mehera's birthday by Katie Pye and her tailor. It was so lovely. I would have taken a photo but my camera was giving me trouble. We next put a 'jali' over it (a jali is flowers strung in many long lines and held together by flowers strung on top and bottom). A woman living nearby had made a jali and we also put that on. Then a few garlands and roses were placed on her shrine. The whole Samadhi area had a celebratory feeling to it, an excitement of happiness to be able to share in this special occasion
We had a 'Meherabad resident garland for Baba' as well for Mani, Baba's Room, and the Gadi. All theses garlands were put on before I went down the hill to get ready for the 10:00 AM special Arti for Mehera's birthday.
For some reason, I had just decided to wear a sari for Mehera's special Arti. Now, I had not worn one in years. In fact, I had to search my room to find where I put it. I actually have two. One of them I wore to the 1969 Darshan. I can't fit into that choli anymore (that is the top), so I will have to have another one made.
After finding the blue sari I had to iron it. By the time Sulu, our housekeeper, arrived I had finished ironing it. I got ready except putting on the sari. Sulu wears a sari every day, so she helped me put it on. Together it took over twenty minutes. The Indian women who wear them everyday can put a sari on in only a few minutes, but trying to put it on another woman is more difficult.
I drove up the hill and took out the bag with the 'Meherabad residents garland for Mehera'. It would be placed on Mehera's shrine later when Meheru came. Every year the Meherabad residents donate toward the garland and it is put on only during the special Arti for Mehera. The other garlands we buy from the donated money are put on before morning Arti.
I walked to the Samadhi to get a basket to put the garland in. I left it on a bench next to a pilgrim, after I covered it with another basket so it would be kept safe. The Samadhi area was already crowded with pilgrims. I went back to the Gadi area to wait for Meheru to come from Meherazad. When she came she went straight into the East Room which was Mehera's room when the women lived up on the hill. In there she arranges the flowers and garlands in baskets. We waited outside, though there were times when we were allowed in. When she came out we all walk together to the Samadhi.
At the Samadhi Meheru went in, inviting Murshida Carol to also go in. A few of us went in as well to touch the garland as it was placed on Baba's shrine. Then most of us went back out to the portico area, standing with the other pilgrims.
The Master's Prayer and the Beloved God prayer were said. The singing of the Gujerati Arti followed the prayers. Then we sang some chants while the women inside the Samadhi took darshan. When they came out Meheru, Murshida Carol and a couple of others sat on the bench facing the Samadhi doorway. The singing by the pilgrims then started.
So beautiful were the songs and the hearts singing them. Many of the songs were 'sing-along'. Meheru then recited a poem (I will have to get information on it). This was the first time I heard her. Meheru must have been enjoying the singing and the wonderful atmosphere because she kept requesting another song. So lovely was the special Arti for Mehera, you could feel this higher form of energy, of something unique and special taking place. I was so happy to be present!
A final song was song before we all stood for the Australian Arti song we sing by Francis Brabazon. I went and stood by Mehera's shrine waiting for Meheru. She came along with Murshida Carol. There were many pilgrims around the shrine. We all touched the garland Meheru gave. Then I offered the 'Meherabad resident garland for Mehera'. Anyone who was near had another opportunity to touch a garland as it was being put on Mehera's shrine. Some of us stepped back so others could have a chance to put a flower.
We next went to Mani's shrine. I touched the garland and then stepped back. Meheru also put flowers on the other women Mandali's tombs.
I went to Baba's Room and went in. Meheru, Murshida Carol, and lots of other women came in. We put a garland on the stretcher. A few of us went out of the cabin so other women could go in. When Meheru came out we all walked to the Gadi to put a garland and flowers. I stood back and men as well as women came forward to have a chance to participate.
I had some photos taken. One is with Dr. Anne, Marge (my neighbor), and myself.
You could see in the Sufis faces how much their hearts were being touched by Baba. Beloved Baba's love is so great and his compassion so beautiful that it fills the heart more than a human could believe possible.
Meheru then went back into the East Room to finished what she was doing before coming out to leave. She got into her car as all gathered around to say good-bye. Some of us were waiting by the gate for the car to pass. We waved to Meheru as the car passed by. It was a heart-filled morning.
As soon as I got home I took off the sari. They may look beautiful and elegant, but I find them uncomfortable to wear for any length of time. Of course, if I wore them more often I may not feel that way.
Tea and cake were served on the verandah of the Music & Arts Center at 4:00 PM. Because there were so many pilgrims Alan had set up three tables. At 4:30 PM the doors were opened to the Theatre and we all took seats. Cindy Lowe and Suzie Imura arranged a concert for Mehera's birthday. There were a number of songs and a dance.
One song was "Swanee," the song Mehera sang to Baba in the 1920s when Baba asked her to sing. It was the only song she remembered from her school days. Baba had her teach it to him. The next day to Mehera's delight she heard Baba singing it. A young Sufi woman sang it. She had such a sweet voice and her performance was so good that to me it was of Broadway quality. During the performances, the backdrop was used to have a slide show of photos of Mehera.
This completed a wonderful day of sharing in the love Mehera had for Baba. The heart felt full and so grateful to be here in Meherabad, sharing in the celebration of Beloved Baba's Beloved, Mehera.
Friday 23 December. I went up the hill early to say my prayers and take darshan at the Samadhi. I spent most of the rest of the day doing things for the Page house. They come next week and I want the house to be functional enough that they can stay there one night during their stay.
Saturday 24 December. I went up the hill early to say my prayers and then clean Mani's shrine before getting in line for the Samadhi doors to open. After taking darshan I went to Baba's Room to clean. Everything is so dusty. Because there has not been much rain the ground is now getting like powder, the top layer mostly dust. I then went down the hill to clean the Jhopdi.
I got ready to give the Tour of Meherabad Historic Sites. There were a few people waiting at the MPC, including two children, one seven the other nine. When we got to the Dhuni the seven year old asked if she could read my notes about the Dhuni. Yes, I happily answered. After that the two girls took turns at every place we stopped. They read the written part, and then I would tell a story or two.
Before going to the Memorial Tower, we stopped in Padri's room. When I showed them the tin that has written 'tiger fat' on it, the younger one asked, 'Is there still tiger fat inside?" I said I didn't know, but doubting there still could be any. However, I lifted the can and it was heavy. The mother gave me a key to pry the lid open. We looked inside and sure enough, half the tin was full of the tiger fat! I told the little girl if she had not asked I probably would never have thought to look and see.
We then went across the street to the Memorial Tower site. The cement that had recently been poured had a blue tarp over it. They must be pouring water on it daily to set the cement and then covering it. No one was working, so we asked Motiram, the resident worker, if he had the key to the room where the Memorial Tower model is kept. To my relief he did.
The pilgrims were amazed at the beauty of the model and were very happy to have come to see where it is being built. The two girls shared in reading the information, and then I finished up by telling them how Ted (the architect), had found the formula that was needed to design the Memorial Tower. The Tour was finished and I walked them part of the way back to the MPC, where they would catch the Trust bus to the MPR.
After a short rest I went to the Page house to check on the work. I was glad I did as some changes had to be made that were done wrong.
In the evening, I drove to the Samadhi to join in the singing of the Christmas carols that were sung after the Arti prayers. Every year on Christmas Eve we sing carols at the Samadhi. I then drove to the Garden Condos, which are next to the Page house. Scott Himmelsbach, a resident, lives there and he has an annual Christmas Eve party. There are all kinds of delicious food, wine, beer, and yummy cookies. He also has two baskets full of bags of cookies and we can each take one home. Scott said we could add to our bag with some of the table cookies as many will be left. I did just that and filled my bag.
The party was so nice. It was on the two terrace roofs. The top roof had a large steel round container with burning coal fire. It is so nice when we residents have a chance to just visit each other.
Sunday 25 December. This was Christmas Day at Meherazad. I took Marge, my neighbor, and her son, Paul, who is our newest Meherazad resident. There were already many pilgrims there when we arrived. I went to Mehera's porch to see if they needed any help. Meheru was sitting near the edge greeting pilgrims.
They didn't need any help at that time, so I quickly got in the line going into Mandali Hall. This is where we take darshan at Beloved Baba's chair and then receive a bag of Prasad from Santa Claus, who is sitting next to the chair. Martin Herda has played the role of Santa for a few years. His wife, Suzie, would make sure the basket had plenty of bags of Prasad. In every bag is a pink slip of paper that has a saying of Baba's on it; we are always eager to learn what message Baba has given us that year. Also, in the bag are M&Ms, peanuts, and other kinds of candy.
I decided to spend some time just sitting on Mehera's porch listening to the choir singing Christmas carols. The small stage is facing the porch where Meheru sits. The singing continued while pilgrims went about taking darshan or just visiting.
Then another resident and I were asked to help in Baba's room. She stood by the door to make sure not more than ten pilgrims were in the room at any one time. I stood in the room and help out there. There were several busloads of pilgrims plus the many cars. What they do now at Meherazad is have people direct the line around the building to Baba's room where they can take darshan first, or they can go directly to the line for Prasad, listen to music, or whatever. The house is closed when there are so many pilgrims, so no one can go into Mehera's room. Then the pilgrims make there way around to where the blue bus is and visit there before leaving. All must leave when the bell is rung at 12:30 PM.
I had a short rest before I met Zahra at the MPC. We then picked up Bobby and went to Bhauji's 'Internet Chat' at the Trust Office. We got there by 3:45 PM. The other Zahra went by motorcycle with her husband. Bhauji didn't come into his office until shortly after 4:00 PM. The 'Chat' starts at 4:30 PM. So, we all have time to greet Bhauji with his giving our hand three taps, for Bhrama, Vishnu, and Mahesh.
Bhauji talked a little about the letters his grandsons had given him in the past. These two are the sons of his daughter, Sheela, and her husband, David. Their names are Aman and Adeem, and both live in the USA.
It is so much fun being part of the 'Love Club'. Michael McDonald makes and serves tea and cookies at the start and also during the break at 6:30 PM. We do a lot of joking with each other before Bhauji starts his 'Chat'. We also see who dressed up, including the men in 'Raj' long shirts and the women in Saris or Punjabis. When the 'Chat' starts there are Baba lovers from all over the world who do the Webcam and interact with Bhauji. Then one of Bhau's team takes the laptop and shows the room of us residents to whoever is on the screen. There are some people who call Bhauji every week.
Monday 26 December. I woke late and did some laundry before going up the hill to do an Archive cleaning of the floor of the Samadhi. This was my last day until my next turn in six months. When I got back to my room I did more laundry before going to the Page house. They arrive for a week tomorrow and I wanted to arrange a few things.
The workers were supposed to clean out the underground septic tanks that didn't have any covers on them since they were built. The plumbing was never connected and over the years debris had fallen in plus rainwater. Now that the plumbing was connected they needed to pump out the water and remove the mud and all other stuff from inside.
Kishore went to the house at 6:00 PM and asked the watchman if the water was pumped out? The covers were put on all the septic tanks and then cemented closed. No, the watchman said. The supervisor had told the workers to only cover the septic tanks! Kishore then broke open one septic tank and saw it almost full of water. I called Joshi, the contractor, and told him. He was surprised and said the work would be done correctly on Tuesday. Joshi is a good man and he did not know what the supervisor did.
I spent most of the day trying to deal with problems with the house.
Tuesday 27 December. I went up the hill early to say my prayers and then clean Mani's shrine before the Samadhi doors were opened. After taking darshan I cleaned Baba's Room. I then went home to get ready to go to Meherazad.
After greeting some of the people at Meherazad I went to Mehera's porch to see if they needed any help. I went into Mehera's room until I was ready to leave. Someone needs to be inside her room because they have to make sure no man touches Mehera's bed. Only women are allowed to touch her bed. But, the men are allowed to touch Mani's bed and other things in the room.
In the late afternoon I had Samadhi duty giving Prasad from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. There was an endless stream of pilgrims coming for darshan. By 6:30 PM the place was packed with those coming for Arti. By the time Arti started at 7:00 PM the area around was packed too. The Sufi Murshida came just before the Arti started and had time to take darshan. A place for her to sit was made on the bench facing the Samadhi door. I've seen some of the Sufis with tears in there eyes both at Meherabad and also at Meherazad. These are powerful places full of Beloved Baba's love.
I noticed there were some new Chinese pilgrims at the Samadhi. Or I should say I had not seen them before. I just love seeing new pilgrims from countries were we have not had many pilgrims in the past. To me, it shows how Baba's love is spreading to all corners of the world. Just as I was getting ready to leave I saw John Page sitting on a bench. He and Karina arrived sometime earlier in the day. They are here for only about a week.
Wednesday 28 December. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. I waited for the flowerwala to pick up a garland I had ordered the night before. I took the garland back down the hill with me to my room. I planned to give it to the Pages so they could garland Baba's photo in their house. They are here now and I met them at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat at 10:00 AM and take them to see their house. Their house is only about five minutes driving from the MPR. I was very excited to show it to them.
We drove to their house and I had the watchman open all the doors to the rooms so they could walk around. I didn't realize it had been since 2006 that John was last here in Meherabad. It was hard to believe it had been six years. Karina comes more often.
We first placed a large photo of Baba up against one of the windows. Then together, Karina and John garlanded Beloved Baba's photo, in their home, after so many years of trying to have it built. I was so happy. We then walked around and they were well pleased at how the house was looking. John said it was starting to look like a home.
I drove them to the Samadhi, where I had parked the car one of the resident's was letting them use to drive around Meherabad while they are here. This way they can go to their house whenever they want, since they will only spend one night there. They can drive to other resident's houses to visit, etc. After dropping them off I went and bought some Kingfisher beer and took it back to their house and put it in the refrigerator. That way they can have beer when they sleep there or show friends the house.
Thursday 29 December. I went up the hill early and cleaned Mehera's shrine before getting in line to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then went to my room and did a DVD workout. I got ready and drove to Meherazad. There were a lot of pilgrims, but less than the past two times at Meherazad. Merwan was greeting pilgrims near the blue bus while Meheru was on Mehera's verandah greeting pilgrims.
I helped out in Mehera's room. Since no man is allowed to touch Mehera's bed, someone needs to be in the room to inform the men. Women, of course, may touch Mehera's bed. Otherwise pilgrims are free to look at whatever is out. Mani's bed is okay for anyone to touch.
I saw John & Karina Page at Meherazad and told them we had an appointment with the contractor, Joshi, the next day at 10:00 AM. It will be the only time to go over any details on their house as they leave next week. When I left Meherazad I spent most of the day dealing with the Page house.
Friday 30 December. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi when the doors were opened. I then went home and got ready to pick up the Pages at the MPR at 9:00 AM. We went to their house and walked through each room, carefully checking any work that would need to be done. By 10:00 AM Joshi, the contractor, and his supervisor, arrived. John, Karina, and I walked them to all the areas that would need work. We finished by 11:00 AM and then I drove us to the Trust where we got a rickshaw to take us into the bazaar. There is a shop where Karina could look through books of sample material to make curtains and seat covers for chairs. She found what she wanted and one of the men at the shop will come to her house on Monday and measure the windows and chairs. The Pages leave to go back to the States on Tuesday after Meherazad, so there is no spare time to wait.
We went to lunch before I dropped them back at the MPR. After a short rest I had an appointment to have Dr. Anne give me another acupuncture treatment on my knee. I was very fortunate to be at our Meher Hospital Clinic at that time because Anne had an orthopedic surgeon come to see another patient for some reason and he examined my knee. He said I had injured the cartilage behind the kneecap when I broke my foot. He said cartilage cannot mend, however, it appears I did not have any break off, as my knee has not locked. So, since it seems to be healing all around that area I should be able to slowly build up doing power walking again. But, he said if I feel any sign of strain or pain I must rest the knee for a few days.
Saturday 31 December. This is the last day of 2011, tomorrow 2012. I went up the hill early to say my prayers and clean Mani's shrine. There are a lot of pilgrims here, and they love to offer garlands to Baba at the Samadhi, so when the doors opened, the watchmen had to take a large basket in to remove some garlands before the cloths could be removed. I then went to clean Baba's Room before going down the hill to do a quick clean of the Jhopdi.
When I got to the Meher Pilgrim Center (MPC) there was a group already waiting to go on the Tour of Meherabad Historic Sites. Actually there were two groups. One group was about ten Hindi speaking Indians. The other group was twenty-three Sufis from America. It would have been too difficult to take both groups at the same time, so I asked Yohann Nobel, who also gives the Tour, if he would take the Hindi speaking group. Yohann is from Mumbai and Hindi is his native language.
The Sufis were so interested in everything on the Tour. It was a lot of fun taking them around and sharing the history and also sharing some stories. Just before going into the Main Bungalow (the original Mandali Hall) I saw Bobby Street and wanted to ask him something. I asked one of the Sufis if she would read from the information I had on the building while I went to talk to Bobby and get the key to Padri's Room.
Bobby used to live here in Meherabad with Padri until Padri went to Baba. The Mandali gave him permission to live in Padri's Room. So, I felt he would be best to share the story of Padri. The group had to be split, with half going in and then the other half going in when the first one came out.
Meanwhile, I tried to find the wild flower that Baba said represented the five Perfect Masters, and was Mehera's favorite wild flower. We hardly have any flowers because of the draught and I couldn't find one. However, one of the Sufi's kept looking and happily announced she found one. We all went to look, and sure enough the tiny flower with the five white petals and yellow center was by a bush. What was amazing was this Sufi woman then show us her engagement ring her finance had designed, it was exactly the same as the flower! It had five gold petals with a diamond in the center. It truly was one of those 'Baba moments' that make life so much fun.
We then went to the Memorial Tower. They loved seeing the model of the Tower and were grateful to be able to see the Memorial Tower while it was being built. I then walked back to the MPC with them. They would catch the Trust bus that came back from Ahmednagar at the MPC, and then take it back to the MPR.
At 4:00 PM I drove to the MPR to pick up John Page. He was going to connect the Apple backup system to my Indian Internet. John had installed the backup when I was in the States. So, he only had to connect it. I was very grateful for his help. I drove him back to the MPR when he finished. Then I got ready for the New Year Eve Party.
I once again drove to the MPR. This time I went to enjoy the music and dancing. The large dining hall was decorated with balloons, and the sound system was up on the balcony. Chairs were on both sides of the hall filled with pilgrims from the Hostels as well as community members and MPR pilgrims. Alan and the kitchen served snacks and soft drinks. Later éclairs were served for dessert. I had so much fun dancing, but chose to leave early to go to the Samadhi. I was one of the early ones there and found a place to sit. Within half an hour the area was packed. When it was near midnight the whole hill was full.
Ted began the singing with a song, followed by other songs. When it was four minutes to 12:00 we began the chant of Baba's name called 'Meher Dunn'. At midnight we said Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai several times, followed by Arti. It was a wonderful way to end one year and bring in the New Year at Beloved Baba's Samadhi.
I wish you all a beautiful New Year filled with Baba's sweet and compassionate love,