Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


16-30 Sep 2012

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

Sunday 16 September, 2012. I slept late and then got ready for Meherazad. It had rained overnight, so I was sure to take an umbrella. Of course I put my sari and jewelry in the car for later.

As soon as I got to Meherazad I took darshan in Mandali Hall and in the Blue Bus (one of my favorite places). I then went to the main house in the back to see what I could do to help. There were two chartered buses with around 80 pilgrims from Mumbai. They were from the Zoroaster community and many were first-timers. From the MPR was just the small bus with only about twenty pilgrims. On the bus were several new pilgrims from Iran.

We were busy for a while, than the bell rang for the program in Mandali Hall; most of the pilgrims went to attend. When we were not busy we just sat on the verandah and talked.

I stopped at Yash & Joli to pick up my 'take-out', which I took to the Trust and ate. I took a short nap before getting ready in Upansi Maharaj's room. It gets hot in there and I was in a rush to get out. I had put my necklace and earrings on a window ledge (it is kept closed) and I changed. As I was leaving I picked up my stuff and put it in a bag. Asha helped me make the sari look a little better, though mostly I'm doing it myself now.

Bhauji came into the Chat room just before 4:00 pm. I quickly got out my video camcorder and starting taping. After the photo of Baba was garlanded Bhauji sat down. He had on a silver robe and lap shawl. Zahra and Arjang had brought it from Iran as a gift. Bhauji said how happy he was with it as we all said how nice he looked.

Bhauji was in such a good mood. He had us laughing a lot. He likes to joke with the Baba lovers who call in on Skype. It is so sweet to witness the love between the ones who call in and Bhauji; he really touches their hearts with his soul-deep love for our Beloved Baba.

Bhauji reluctantly agreed to close the Chat around 8:40 pm. I gave a couple of people a ride back to Meherabad, following other cars all the way to help me see better. The oncoming drivers often don't put their dimmers on, and the glare from the headlights almost blinds a person.

When I got home I put things away. I got my necklace and earrings out of the bag, but to my dismay only found one earring. It was to late to call Asha. I think I must have left one in Upansi Maharaj's room. I sure hoped I didn't lose it.

It started lightly raining. We have had many days of light rain, which we are grateful for even though it doesn't affect the water level very much.

Monday 17 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before the Samadhi doors opened. After taking darshan I went to Baba's room and cleaned it. I then got out my IPod and went for a walk to the MPR and home. I love walking in the early morning; everything is fresh and cool.

I drove to the Trust for visiting time with Bhauji. I wanted to video him in his room greeting pilgrims and interacting with them. The room is small, yet they managed to get in around twenty people. I stood in the back, but finally I had to stand on a stool to video over the heads of the pilgrims. Bhauji asked different pilgrims to sing; some of them had very beautiful voices.

When I got home I noticed some activity near our Meher Hospital. I walked over and saw there was construction going on at the North side of the Isolation Ward Building. They are going to move the homoeopathy clinic to this site. The Isolation Ward is being divided in half, with half for the clinic. There will be three offices with consultations rooms. The construction was for an additional waiting room.

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I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. I saw a lot of cows under the trees near the Samadhi so I called Ramesh, who is in charge of the watchmen. He said it was their duty to keep away the animals and he would talk to them.

Tuesday 18 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi. Because of the rain there are now mosquitoes around. All of a sudden I would start scratching and realize the annoying insects had gotten me again! This is the time not to have much skin showing.

After cleaning Baba's Room I went back to my room and got ready for Meherazad. I prefer to take the bus on Tuesday because it is a long day. However, I was asked to come early to Meherazad because the residents had a meeting to attend. I drove and when I got there I went straight to the main house to see what I could do to help.

I was happy to be able to help get ready for the pilgrims in Baba's room by removing one of the cloth covers on the windows. Doing anything in the house is such an honor to me, because this was Baba's house.

There were not many pilgrims, but I would be in Baba's room if anyone came in. One of us needed to be inside the room unless it was someone we knew. First-time pilgrims usually want to know some things about His room, which we are very happy to share.

On the way home I stopped at Yash Grand (near Meherabad) to meet some friends for lunch. We were sitting outside near the pool when it started to sprinkle. The waiters simply picked up our table and carried it inside, where they then transferred our food to another table. We shared some white wine that is made here in India, in Nasik, a city not far away. The man who makes the wine had worked in the USA 'wine-making capital', Napa Valley, California. It is nice to find a good wine made here in India.

I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. There was a constant stream of pilgrims coming for darshan, but not that many for Arti. Usually it is crowded. There were a lot of clouds and it started to lightly rain during the night.

Wednesday 19 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. Because the path to the MPR would be muddy I decided instead to do my power-walk up and down the hill a couple of times before going back to my room.

I went to Meher Darbar to have some papers copied. I was very happy to see the new Thomas Cook sign in front of it. Yes, that is right, Thomas Cook has come to Meherabad. It is going to be so much easier for pilgrims to exchange money, book travel plans, and other services they offer.

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Thursday 20 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. After taking some flowers that were removed from inside the Samadhi I went back down the hill to my room.

I drove to the MPC and parked my car so I could take the bus to Meherazad. There were only about fifteen pilgrims on the bus, with some getting off at the Trust. When we got to Meherazad it turned out to being a very quiet day. Some of the pilgrims went up Seclusion Hill and only a few came to the main house. We mostly sat on the verandah and talked.

Friday 21 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then did a power-walk before going back to my room. Later I drove into Ahmednagar to run an errand. From there I went straight to the MPR for lunch. I had not eaten there in a while.

The lunch was so good; beans, corn bread, and a tasty salad. I then took two residents to see the Page house, which is only about three minutes by car from the MPR. While showing the Page house it started raining. It let up long enough to dash to the car, than it came down hard for about an hour. The rain didn't last long but it is keeping everything green and alive. The sky has had clouds most of this pilgrim season.

When I got home I took a nap and then worked on the new desk design for my room. My old desk is too big for my room. It is solid teak that I had designed and made about twenty years ago. I am selling it to the Pages, charging only what it will cost to make my new desk. Unfortunately, my new desk will not be solid teak because the cost of teak has gone up so high. But I will have a teak front and top.

In the evening I did a DVD workout with weights. I feel so much better after a good workout, and I have overall a lot more energy in my daily life.

Saturday 22 September. I drove my car to the Jhopdi and walked the rest of the way up the hill to clean Mani's shrine. After the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan and then cleaned Baba's Room. I next walked down the hill to the Jhopdi and cleaned it and the Table House. It had started to lightly rain and by 10:00 am it was raining harder, so I cancelled the Tour of Historic Meherabad.

I spent a good part of the day completing the design for my new desk. I gave it to Kishore and he gave me an estimated cost. I leave for the USA in ten days and hopefully when I return to India in November my desk will be finished.

It rained most of the day, which we are very happy about. However, we now have more mosquitoes, which we are not happy about. Such is life: some good and some not so good.

Sunday 23 September. I slept late and then got ready for Meherazad. I put my sari and video cameras in the trunk of my car to have later for Bhauji's Sunday Internet Chat.

I drove to Meherazad and went to the main house to see what help I could offer. The residents of Meherazad had a meeting, so Cindy, Dana, and I were on duty at the house. I went to help in Baba's Room, Cindy went to Mehera's room, and Dana stayed on the verandah or showed pilgrims other parts of the house.

It wasn't that busy, so we were okay. One of us stayed in Baba's room during the program in Mandali Hall. It is kept opened in case pilgrims want to just sit in there instead of attending the program.

I had lunch at Yash & Joli before going to the Trust. I rested in my car because there were pilgrims in the Baba Center. Around 3:00 pm I took my sari and got dressed in Upasni Maharaj's room. It gets hot in there, so I dress quickly. I can now mostly do my sari by myself. However, Asha still helps with the part of the sari that goes over the shoulder.

I got out my video and videoed Bhauji coming out of his room and into the Chat room. Bhau was wearing a green robe. I had on the sari I bought during the 1969 darshan in Pune. I know the sari is out of date, but it is special to me. I wore it to Baba's darshan and I will always treasure it.

Monday 24 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before getting in line for the Samadhi doors to open. I took darshan and then went to Baba's Room to clean. I then went for a power walk to the MPR and home.

In the evening I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Tuesday 25 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then went to clean Baba's Room and then get ready for Meherazad.

When I reached Meherazad, I parked my car in back. I had time so I took darshan inside Mandali Hall and then inside the Blue Bus. The Blue Bus holds the special hospital bed Beloved Baba used during the last months of His life on earth. This is the bed in which He dropped His body. When I go and bow down, resting my head on the bed, I want to just stay there. There is an unbelievable sweetness and bliss that you seem to just immerse in. It is so beautiful, so incredibly beautiful to feel.

But, I could not stay in the Blue Bus. I had to help out at the main house. I was needed in Mehera's room. When I was not busy, I would sit on the verandah and visit with pilgrims and the other residents.

I stopped at Yash Grand and pick up some chicken that I ate on the way home. After resting I got ready for Samadhi Duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. It rained! We were very happy! I didn't mind walking down the hill in the rain. Besides, I had my car parked on the other side of the railroad tracks.

Wednesday 26 September. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then went for a power walk to the MPR and back to my room.

I started packing for my trip to the USA. I leave on Monday, the 1st of October. I am leaving a couple of weeks earlier than usual. I will be attending the 50th reunion of my high school graduation of 1962. Most of these people I had not seen in 50 years! We have a Facebook site that keeps us connected for this function.

But, I always seem to have so much to do to get ready. I have to first make sure I leave enough money to cover all my expenses. I have to find residents who will do my duties while I'm gone. Then I have to complete any paper work, like the one we residents give the Trustees about who will cover our duties, and what is our contact information where we are visiting.

I had an appointment at the Page house at 1:00 p.m. I met with the property manager and electrician; going over in detail what would be able to get done while I was away. Also, what we could finish before I left.

Thursday 27 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then went for a power-walk to the MPR and home.

I had already informed those at Meherazad I had to go to the DSP. I had to go to the DSP (Dept. of Superintendent of Police) to get my papers stamped in order to leave India to visit my family, as well as be allowed to return to India. I had a 10:30 AM appointment. I texted Shelley to let her know I would be at Meherazad as soon as I finished at the DSP.

Many times we have a long wait at the DSP, actually hours or even told to come back the next day. My papers were stamped and I reached Meherazad before 11:30 am. I went directly to the main house to help out.

Friday 28 September. I went up the hill early to take Darshan in the Samadhi. I then went straight back to my room because I had hired a driver to drive me to Pune in my car. It was a day trip to have my hair done. My hairdresser was going to be out of town for two weeks and I wanted her to do my hair before I left to the States.

Saturday 29 September. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then cleaned Baba's Room and went down the hill to do a quick clean of the Jhopdi and Table House.

At 10:00 AM I went to the MPC to see if anyone wanted to go on the Tour of Historic Meherabad. I was happy to see no one waiting. I had a lot to packed for my trip to the States and I was leaving in two days! I spent the rest of the day packing.

Sunday 30 September. This is usually a long day and I don't go up to the Samadhi in the morning. Instead I got ready for Meherazad and Bhauji's Chat. This would be my last day here in Meherabad, for tomorrow I would leave for Pune and then to the States.

At Meherazad I went into Mandali Hall and took darshan. I then went into the Blue Bus for darshan. The Blue Bus is one of my favorite places. It is so powerful and blissful inside the bus.

When I got to the main house I went to the tree outside Mehera's room to see if there was any special flower decoration. Yes, to my delight there was an arrangement of a horse. I only had my cell phone camera to take a photo so it isn't as good as from a regular camera. But, you can still see how cute it was.


When the program started in Mandali Hall I stayed at the main house for a while and then went into the Hall. I had said my good-bye to everyone and then left. I stopped at Yashanjoli for lunch before going to the Trust Office.

When it was near time for Bhauji's Chat I put on my sari and jewelry. Bhauji had on a lovely red robe. He was in a good mood and very playful. However, I had to leave early to finish my packing. I so very much enjoy the Chat time and I will miss it when I'm in the States.

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In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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