Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


2-15 Feb 2012

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

Thursday 2 February 2012. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. The brooms were still in Baba's Room Cabin from Amartithi, and that would not be opened until the Samadhi was first opened. So, I went into Mansari's kitchen and took one from there. Just as I started to sweep I saw a frog next to the Samadhi. It hopped to the front near the door. One of the watchmen helped encouraged it away. So I was able to clean without bothering the frog. By the time I finished cleaning it was time to open the Samadhi. I got in line and took darshan. Then I put the cover on Mehera's shrine and went down the hill.

Meherazad was closed for Amartithi and will open on Sunday the 5th Feb.

Friday 3 February. I went up the hill early to take darshan and then walked to the MPR and back to my room.

After breakfast I drove to the Trust and parked my car. I took a rickshaw into the bazaar to find material for a 'choli' for a sari that an Indian couple gave me several years ago. A 'choli' is the top part of a sari. Since I didn't wear a sari for years, except Baba's birthday, and even then I often didn't wear one, I never used the sari. Now that I am wearing them for Bhauji's 'Chat' each Sunday I have take a new interest.

I had trouble finding the right material, so I stopped at Meher Tailor and Anil said he would find the material for me. He had a sample top of mind and would make the choli for me too.

Saturday 4 February. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's Shrine and then got in line for darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I next went to clean Baba's Room. After I finished I went for a walk to the MPR and then down the hill to clean the Jhopdi. I did a quick clean and got ready to give the Tour of Meherabad Historic Sites.

When I got to the MPC there was a lot of activity. The pilgrims who had been staying there during Amartithi were going back to the MPR. There was a bus and a tractor to take the pilgrims and their belongings. A lot of the young adults chose to ride in the back of the tractor, more fun.

There were a few pilgrims who wanted to go on the Tour. It was fun taking them around. We finished at the Memorial Tower.

Sunday 5 February. I slept late and then got ready to go to Meherazad. I was half way there when I had to pull over because of a flat tire. Some young Indian men on motorcycles stopped to help. One changed the tire and got out the spare. Well, that didn't have much air but there was enough for me to drive back to a petro station. One of the young men rode in my car while the other drove his motorcycle. They were so sweet and wanted to make sure I got to the station safely.

I arrived at Meherazad by 11:15 AM. I greeted Meheru on the porch and sat to enjoy some singing by a pilgrim. When the program began in Mandali Hall I went back to Meherabad, as I wanted to rest before going to Bhauji's Chat.

I drove to Bhauji's 'Chat'. By the time Bhauji entered his office the room was already crowded. As more and more came to his Chat the room was soon so full, and the back room was also full. At break-time a little after 6:00 PM a number of pilgrims left to go back to Meherabad to attend Arti at the Samadhi.

Monday 6 February. I slept late again and spent the morning doing laundry. At 10:00 AM I went to our Music & Arts Center for the first reading of the script for Baba's Birthday Play. This would be the first time I would actually be in the play. I have helped with makeup, helped with scenery, and helped with making costumes. I only had a part as a weeping widow, and a part as a demon who dances during a war. This is from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. It is the story of Draupadi, India's most famous queen, who married the five Pandava sons.

We sat in a group on the verandah and the history of the Mahabharata was told. We were given our scripts and schedules.

Tuesday 7 February. This was the anniversary of Beloved Baba's Interment, the day his body was covered for all time. I was up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine and then take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors were opened. I then went to clean Baba's Room before going for a walk to the MPR and home.

Marge and I drove to Meherazad. There were very few pilgrims, it was the quietest I have experienced it in a long, long time. I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!

Later, I drove to the railroad tracks with Marge and parked the car. We walked up the hill, Marge to take darshan, me for my Samadhi Prasad duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. After Arti I looked toward the compound and enjoyed the beautiful sight. There was the full moon, just to the side of the tower of the Meher Retreat. The Amartithi lights still lit the tower and Baba's flag flew in the wind. I though, "I wish I knew how to take a picture that could show the beauty of what I am seeing." It was so beautiful it just warms the heart.

Wednesday 8 February. I slept late. At 10:00 AM I was at our Music & Arts Center (Hostel-A) for the first rehearsal of my part for the Baba Birthday Play. I am a dancing demon in this part. There are three of us and it was fun, though very exhausting after only two minutes. When dancing I find it gives energy, however, this dancing demon had to be intense in movement — because we were encouraging a war.

The afternoon rehearsal started at 2:30 PM. I am among fifteen or more wailing widows whose husbands had just been killed in the war. I have only a couple of lines, so it is easy. I have never been in the play itself and at this time I can't give much time because of my other commitments.

I am going to Pune Friday and had arranged for an economy car. But, the car owner could not get a driver. I decided to drive. Then later I thought to call Sirish, he use to drive Virginia and me to Meherazad all the time. He is a very nice man and his wife use to send some of her cooking to me. I thought to call and see if he would be able to drive. Yes, he said he would be happy to.

Thursday 9 February. It was so cold this morning! I had left all the windows open, as the weather seemed to have warmed. However, it changed back to cold! When I went outside to go up the hill to clean, I looked at the thermometer on our verandah. It said 10C, which is 50 F. I didn't put on my gloves and was soon sorry. My hands were so cold as I held the flashlight. I would change hands to hold the flashlight and put the other in my pocket.

I cleaned Mehera's shrine, took darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened, then went for a walk to the MPR and home. A little later while working on the computer, I hear this bird that could be a woodpecker, pecking on my window again. This little bird has been pecking on my window for well over a month. I don't know why. Maybe it sees its reflection from the slight tint that was put on my window from the past resident. I tried to take a photo, but it was not clear.

Friday 10 February. Sirish, my driver, came by at 5:45 AM. We decided Sirish would drive the first half of the way to Pune, and I would drive the second half. Everyone usually stops for tea at one of the many tea-stalls at the halfway spot. After tea I took over the driving.

When we got to Pune we first went to the Café Yazdan for 'toast butter' as they say here; meaning buttered toast. I drove to all the shops we needed to go to. One of our Indian Meherabad resident's was in Pune and called to meet for a ride back home. When all errands were finished we picked up Jayshree and headed back to Meherabad. I had not had time to eat lunch and so picked up food to eat in the car. Outside of Pune I pulled over to let Sirish drive while I ate. We got back to Meherabad just before dark.

Saturday 11 February. I was up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before getting in line to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then cleaned Baba's Room, and went down the hill to do a quick clean of the Jhopdi.

I had a morning rehearsal but told everyone I could only come after giving the Tour of Meherabad Historic Sites. There was only one person waiting at the MPC when I got there. This was her first time at Meherabad. We finished the Tour by 11:30 AM. As we were walking back to the MPC I saw Mariko, one of the dancing Demons from the play. That part of the rehearsal was over, so I did not have to go until the afternoon.

Sunday 12 February. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then walked to the MPR and back home. It is a good way to start the day, darshan at the Samadhi and exercise.

I got ready and then drove to Meherazad. It again was not too busy, quite enjoyable. In the afternoon I had play rehearsal. Being in the play this year has taught me to really appreciate all the work that goes into putting on a play for Baba, especially in such a short time, three weeks.

I got a text message on my phone telling me it was time for my annual payment to Tata Sky. They are a satellite dish TV server. I like their service and am glad they sent me a text, as I probably would have forgotten to pay.

Evening Arti was at 5:00 PM and the Dhuni was lit at 6:15 PM. There were quite a few pilgrims here.

Monday 13 February. I was tired and slept late. I took my time in the morning before going to the 10:00 AM play rehearsal. It seems Joe, the play director, likes the role of the demons and has added us to several more scenes. Of course that means we have to be at those rehearsals.

I didn't have a rehearsal in the afternoon, so I took advantage of the free time and drove to Meher Tailor near the Trust to picked up my the Sari tops he made for me.

Tuesday 14 February. I was up early to clean Mani's shrine before getting in line to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. After cleaning Baba's Room I went for a short walk and then back to my room.

My neighbor Marge, her son, Paul, and I drove to Meherazad. We stopped on the way at this tea stall we had gone to another time and enjoyed the good tea. When we were driving down Meherazad approach road we saw the Trust blue bus doing something. When we got closer we saw it was turning around, and all the pilgrims were still inside! Now that was a first. Why? As the bus pulled over we went around it. I thought maybe the security arm was stuck and couldn't be raised. No, that wasn't it at all.

The bus had to park on the approach road because a huge pandal was being erected where the bus normally lets the pilgrims off. It is the area in front of where the old medical clinic used to be. They were putting these huge green shade covers over that whole area. It is the same green cover used in nursery's to protect the plants during summer. They were preparing for the program on Thursday, where 1000 school children from the surrounding villages would attend.

The program will start at 10:00 AM, so I will have to be there early to be of help if I am needed. Hugh McDonald will do a magic show as part of the program. Mehernath Kalchuri, one of our Trustees and Bhauji's son, will give a talk as well.

Marge, Paul and I stopped for lunch at the Yash & Jali. I was feeling very full by the time we got home near 2:00 PM. I had to be at rehearsal for the play at 2:30 PM. I lay down for fifteen minutes and then went to the Music & Arts Center. I don't think it is a good idea to eat too much when you can't take a nap after!

The rehearsal finished at 4:30 PM and I had to be on Samadhi Prasad duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Let me tell you, this was one long day. I had some yogurt when I got home and went to bed.

Wednesday 15 February. I slept late and then went to the theater for rehearsal at 10:00 AM. I had to leave for a while to meet the contractor at the Page house. I first stopped at the Memorial Tower, where Joshi was discussing with his son about building Baba's birth room at Sassoon Hospital in Pune. The hospital has set aside the space to put Baba's delivery room where they believe it was before the old building was torn down.

-----photos of the windows at the Memorial Tower.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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