16-31 Aug 2012
16-31 Aug 2012
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
Thursday 16 August, 2012. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine before the Samadhi doors opened. After taking darshan I went home to get ready for Meherazad. I got back to my room around 6:30 am. Anne, whom I share the Doctors Quarters with, told me Manu had just gone to Baba.
When one of the Mandali goes to Baba, we residents go straight to Meherazad to be there. I told Anne I would drive and we could leave by 7:15 am. Meanwhile, she and I were busy calling and notifying the other residents. Anne, Paul (resident neighbor), and I left at 7:30 am.
When we got there we waited on the Mandali Hall verandah, as Manu's body was being washed and prepared. Many other residents were already there. When Manu's body was ready four men were asked to carry the stretcher from her room to the main house. There, Manu was carried into Mehera's room and placed next to her bed. Manu's family and caregivers were the only ones in Mehera's room. Most of us were near the kitchen or on the verandah. Paul took many photos.
Manu's body was then taken into Baba's room. Again, only her family and caregivers went in. There were just too many of us to all fit. Some prayers were said and an Arti sung. Then again four men carried Manu's stretcher, this time out the door to the outside. From there it was carried into Mandali Hall where the stretcher was placed at the foot of Beloved Baba's chair.
---photos of Manu in house and being taken from Baba's Room.
We gathered in Mandali Hall where Mehera Arjani (Manu's niece), caregivers, family members and residents stood while singing the prayers. It seems Manu had a twice-daily routine of saying many prayers, including the Zoroaster ones. So these were sung by those who knew them. It was so beautiful to listen to, so much beauty in the sound. When these were finished we all sat and each one separately placed flowers on her and said our good-byes.
The Meherazad workers and villagers came in to say good-bye to a loving soul who spent her life in Baba's close contact. Manu was Eruch's sister. What a fortunate life she lived.
I drove home to take a rest. I stopped at Yash & Joli first and picked up some chicken lollypops. They are basically chicken drumsticks that are fried. Not that healthy but so very tasty. Paul and I ate them on the way home. Anne had gone back earlier with another resident.
At 2:00 pm Manu's body was brought in our ambulance from Meherazad to the Samadhi. The stretcher was placed in the Samadhi and then taken next to Mehera's shrine and Mani's shrine. The stretcher was then placed back in the ambulanced and taken to Lower Meherabad's main bungalow (original Mandali Hall). Everyone gathered and placed flowers on her as others sang. At 4:30 pm again the stretcher was put in the ambulance and taken to the cremation site near MPC. Here it was placed on a pyre and set on fire. We all sang and bid Manu a happy journey to be with her Beloved Baba.
Our funerals are really a celebration of the person's life, and the joy of them going to Beloved Baba.
---photos of Manu going to Baba
Friday 17 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors were opened. I then went for a power walk. When I got back to my room I did a DVD workout with weights.
After breakfast I drove to the Trust in 'Nagar to see Mehernath. Next I went to Meher Tailor to get some of the saris he fixed for me.
On the way home I drove to the Page house to check on things. Yesterday John & Karina left to go back to the States. They were very happy with all the work at their house. John said when they come back, maybe in December, they will stay in their house. They will not have to stay anymore in the MPR. I was very happy to hear that, as it has been a lot of work making their house a home! There will still be things to do, but that can be done little by little.
Saturday 18 August. I got up early to go up the hill. When I had just left my room I saw 'grandpa frog' sitting on the side of the road. That frog sure gets around. I drove on the far side of the road so as not to scare 'grandpa frog'. I parked my car near the Jhopdi. I had cleaning things in it that I would need for the Jhopdi and Table House.
I walked the rest of the way up the hill and cleaned Mani's shrine before the Samadhi doors opened. I was there in time to open the outside windows of the Samadhi. After taking darshan I went to clean Baba's Room. I then went back down the hill and got the cleaning things out of my car and cleaned the Jhopdi and Table House.
I then went home to get ready to give the Tour of Historic Meherabad. There were several people waiting at the MPC. It was a good Tour and we finished at the Memorial Tower.
Sunday 19 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then went for a short walk before getting ready for Meherazad. I put my sari and other things I would need in the car. I got to Meherazad around 10:30 am and went straight to the main house to see where I would be needed.
Because there were four buses of pilgrims, the main house was closed and only Baba's Room was opened. If there are more than 100 pilgrims, the screen door to the house is closed. There is a well-organized crew who help direct the long lines, so everything went so smoothly.
Most of the buses left after taking darshan, so there was a program in Mandali Hall. There was some very beautiful music and Bhajans that I could hear from the main house; where I was sitting on the verandah with another resident.
I had lunch at Yash & Joli before going to the Trust. I took a nap in the Baba Center before putting on my sari for Bhauji's Internet Chat. We have a lot of fun and I always enjoy it.
----Photo of Bhau & Rama
Monday 20 August. I slept late because I always get home late from Bhauji's Chat. It was nice to go at a slower pace, doing chores around my room. Later, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm I had Samadhi duty. It was a nice, relaxing day.
Tuesday 21 August. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. After cleaning Baba's Room I went straight back to my room so I would have time to wash all the cleaning cloths we use. This way they have time to dry and I can take them back up the hill when I go for evening Samadhi duty.
I drove to the MPC and parked my car. I was going to ride to Meherazad with a couple of friends, but I didn't see them so I got on our bus. It wasn't long until they came, so I got off the bus before it left.
We got to Meherazad in time to take darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus before the pilgrims arrived. I went around back to the main house and sat on the verandah until the bus arrived. I was needed more in Baba's Room, so that is where I stayed.
When it was time to leave, I was told that Falu was showing the 'road' to my friends and they would not be long. When they returned we went to Yash & Joli for lunch. We asked for no chili, yet one of the dished was too hot to eat. I think Indians find it hard to believe we Westerners really don't want chili. The other dishes were very tasty and we enjoyed our lunch.
I was dropped off at the MPC where I had my car. I went home to have a short rest before going back up the hill for my Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. I took the clean cloths and put them back so the next day resident could get them for her cleaning.
Wednesday 22 August. I went up the hill to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then went for a power walk before going back to my room. I had to go into 'Nagar to see if International Electric had the right kind of light bulbs that would be needed for all the wall sconces at the Page house. Yes, they did have them and I bought a few to see which type gave the best light.
In the afternoon, Kishore got some men to make a cement floor in my carport. They did such a good job. Now my car will be proud to park there. I also had a water tanker truck bring water to fill the 2000-liter storage tank I have. We use that water to water the garden, as we are not allowed to us Trust water since we still have no rain.
I am going to Pune for two days, so I hired a car to pick me up by 6:30 am tomorrow morning.
Thursday 23 August. I walked up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan and then walked back to my room. Just as I reached my room the car arrived to take me to Pune.
When we reached Pune I checked into The Lotus hotel. I dropped my bags in my room and quick left. I was looking forward to 'toast-butter' at Café Yazdan, near Baba's house.
---Photo of Café Yazdan
I had a hair appointment at 11:00 am. After that I went shopping and had lunch. I had an afternoon appointment for my hails, and then I rested the rest of the evening.
Friday 24 August. I had breakfast in my room before going to Dorabji's to buy groceries. I read one of the local papers during breakfast. It seems the whole western part of Maharastra State is having a sever drought. Dr. Lazado, my dentist, said Pune too has had very little rain. Next door to Dorabji's is my dentist office; in which I had an appointment. When I was done I went back to the hotel to check out and return to Meherabad. I had to be back by 3:30 pm.
Saturday 25 August. I drove to the Jhopdi and parked my car; I had cleaning supplies in it to clean the Jhopdi and Table House when I was finished up the hill. I walked up the hill and cleaned Mani's shrine. I took darshan when the Samadhi doors opened, and then went to clean Baba's Room. When I finished I walked back down the hill to the Jhopdi. I got out my cleaning supplies and did a 'quick-clean' of both.
I was at the MPC at 10:00 am to see if anyone wanted to go on the Tour of Historic Meherabad. There was one woman waiting in the Welcome Center of the MPC. She was new to Baba, having come with a friend who often comes to Meherabad. I could only give her one-hour, because I had the telephone man coming to my room at 11:00 am. My phone line is old and pieced together in places. When the wind blows (here it is often windy), or it is cloudy (though no rain), my Internet gets dropped. Then it will restart after a while. This goes on all the time and finally I convinced the phone man to change the wire. I had been trying to get the wire changed for over a year. That is why I cut short the Tour so at last my phone line would be replaced with a new one.
At 4:00 pm I drove to the MPR to pick up Lynne Berry. On my way to pick up Lynne it started to rain. The clouds were not very dark, yet they brought rain! Lynne and I had to dash into the Page house because the rain was coming down hard.
Lynne, a friend of many years, who lives near my daughter in California, is also a friend of John & Karina. She was eager to see their home. It was a lot of fun showing her everything. The rain continued for twenty minutes. Walking around the house we were able to see where more protection from the rain was needed.
Sunday 26 August. I walked up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi when the doors opened. The paths were wet, but not too muddy. The trees were happy because they got some rain! Near Mani's shrine is a drainpipe, and I heard the frogs that live in there making their crocking noise.
On my way back down the hill I stopped at our mail table on the verandah of Mandali Hall. There was a notice posted from the Meherabad Trustees saying the electricity would be shut off from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at both Upper and Lower Meherabad.
I drove to Meherazad and went to the Main House at 10:30 am. I was needed in Baba's Room. There were not a lot of pilgrims, but enough that I was busy until the bell rang for the Mandali Hall program to start at 11:30 am.
On the way to the Trust I stopped at Yash & Joli for lunch. When I got to the Trust I decided to rest in my car instead of the Baba Center. I put my front seat way back and I rested deeply. When I'm in the Baba Center I am aware that someone could come in at any time, so I don't really get a deep rest.
At 3:30 pm I put on my sari and went into Bhauji's Chat Room. A number of the regulars were already sitting. We have fun admiring each others pretty saris, or for men, there are 'Raj' tunics. It is all in fun and none of us take it seriously.
When Bhauji came in and was helped to his chair, he was coughing. From the beginning it was obvious Bhau was not feeling well. We did the prayers and Baba lovers called in the Chat, yet during this time Bhau would have trouble speaking because of his cough. We tried to take a break shortly after 5:00 pm, but Bhau would not agree. Finally, a little after 6:00 pm, Bhau agreed to a break. However, he first asked all of us to remain and not go back to Meherabad, as he wanted to continue the Chat after the break. We all agreed and went out.
---photo of Rama and Bhau
Around 7:00 pm the Chat Room doors were opened and we went back inside. Rama had come in to sing. We danced while she sang. Sheila, their daughter, came on the Chat and was concerned about Bhau's health. She and all of us wanted Bhau to stop and close the Chat he would not agree. So, what everyone did was sing and dance so he would not have to talk. Finally, he agreed to stop the Chat because everyone was concerned with his health.
Monday 27 August. I was very tired and slept late. I then spent the morning doing things in my room. In the afternoon, I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. It was an easygoing day.
Tuesday 28 August. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. The path up the hill is wet from overnight rain. Not a lot of rain, but enough to give a drink to the thirsty plants. Their leaves were starting to curl from lack of water.
I next cleaned Baba's Room before going back to my room and getting ready for Meherazad. I parked my car at the MPC and took our bus. There were not many pilgrims and everyone had their own seat. At Meherazad I helped in Baba's Room for a while, but there really wasn't much to do, so I sat most of the time on the verandah visiting.
One of our residents offered to give me a ride home. I forgot I parked my car at the MPC and I had him take me straight to my room. When it was time for me to go up the hill for Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 I looked for my car. I usually drive it to the railroad tracks, as it is late when I get off duty. Not seeing my car, I soon remembered where I had left it. I walked to the MPC and drove it across the street to the railroad tracks.
While on duty, the big 'grandma frog' was making a lot of crocking noises. I call her 'grandma' because the other day I saw a small baby frog. During the prayers at Arti I noticed movement on the carpets in from of the Samadhi doors. I looked over and there was grandma frog hopping past everyone. I don't think others saw her. I was very amused.
Wednesday 29 August. I had trouble sleeping last night, yet I still got up to go up the hill early. I took darshan at the Samadhi when the doors opened and then did a 'power walk' up and down the hill before going back home. I wanted to do a DVD workout with my weights, but I was too tired. So, I just rested and read, and tried to take a nap.
Around 11:00 am I got my video camera and went to the Memorial Tower to do an update of the work there. I also took photos.
---photos of the latest work
I then drove to the Page house and met Jonny, who gave me a ride the day before. He has land in Meherabad and was interested to see the Page house. On the way back home I stopped at one of the local stores to buy something. Another resident, who is involved in Archive, asked if I show Padri's kitchen when giving the Tour. I told her no, as I was never given information. She told me some stuff and I will now include it in the Tour of Historic Meherabad.
When I got home I had lunch and rested before doing the DVD workout. It is hard to do a workout when the body is tired and has not had enough sleep. But, at least I lasted 35 minutes before I called it quits.
Thursday 30 August. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. I took darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened and then went back to my room. I got ready for Meherazad and decided to drive instead of taking our bus.
When I got to Meherazad I took darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus. I love being in the Blue Bus. It holds the bed Beloved Baba had in His room when He physically suffered so much before He dropped His body. There is such a powerful energy in the Blue Bus; it is extremely blissful.
I then went to the main house to greet the residents and see where I would be needed. I was able to help open Mehera's room by removing the covers over the window curtains, and also open the windows.
It turned out there were only a few pilgrims, the few others were residents! It was so relaxing we just sat on the verandah and shared stories. I found it very enjoyable. I know the time will come when we will not be able to 'just sit', so I am enjoying it while we can.
I had to stop at the Trust Office on the way home. Meher Tailor had dropped off the sari tops and slips he made for me. Now I have a nice selection to wear to Bhau's Sunday Chat's. I had to dash inside when I got to the Trust it was pouring rain! Finally, Ahmednagar was getting monsoon rain. It rained most of the way back to Meherabad. However, it was dry when I neared Meherabad. I thought 'all these clouds and rain all around, and Meherabad nothing?' Yet, I am happy to say it did rain a little later in Meherabad!
Friday 31 August. We had heavy monsoon rain most of last night! I went to sleep listening to the rain; it was wonderful. I slept late, as I didn't want to walk up the hill in the dark on the muddy path.
I did some work around my room before going to the Page house to check out the large cistern that is holding the rainwater. I wanted to see how much more water was in it.
In the afternoon, I went to visit Paul Liboiron, a neighbor resident, who was going to put some of the photos he took onto my computer pen-drive. Paul has a really good camera that has high resolution. He has taken many of the photos I use in the Meherabad Diaries. The photos taken at Bhauji's Sunday Chats are on my little camera, not as clear. Debjani Ray, a Meherabad resident, also has a good camera and takes photos that I use. I then went back to my room and did a DVD workout.
In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy