1-15 Dec 2012
1-15 Dec 2012
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
Saturday 1 December 2012. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before the Samadhi doors opened. It is a beautiful way to start the day and I always love standing in front of the double doors as they are opened. It is like saying "good morning Baba", only we say 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai'.
I next went to clean Baba's Room in the little cabin next to the Samadhi. When I finished I walked down the hill to the Jhopdi to clean. I had parked my car close to the Jhopdi so I could have the clean brushes handy. I took them to clean both the Jhopdi and Table House.
After I finished cleaning I went to my room to get ready for the Tour of Historic Meherabad. There were several pilgrims waiting. I explained I would have to leave at 11:15 am, as I had an appointment with the building contractor at my family home. Yohann would take over when I had to leave.
The pilgrims and I finished up at the Jhopdi when it was time for me to leave. I called Yohann and he came to finish the Tour. Yohann is one of our residents and works mostly in the Welcome Center of the MPC. So, he often takes people around Meherabad who are asking for the first time about Meher Baba.
I drove to the Page house and met Joshi. We went over the last few things to do before the Pages come on the 23rd December. I then drove straight to Ajay Gas, the place that issues the gas cylinders. The woman I needed to see was there, but she told me on Saturday they only work on accounts on the computer, not do any business. I asked when she would be available to process my papers. Monday, she said. I asked the times she would be in the office. She said from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, unless she gets called away. She is the head manager of the area and goes to different outlets. So, I asked for her phone number.
A tempo (rickshaw with open back to transport things) came to pick up my old desk and take it to the Page house shortly after 1:00 pm. At the house, they picked up my new desk and brought it to my room. I had removed everything from the old desk drawers, so you can imagine what my room looked like.
This new desk is long and narrow, which works better for my room. Now that everything is out of my old desk, it gives me the opportunity to go through everything and get rid of what I don't need. The old desk had stuff in it for over twenty-years. My files will be the biggest challenge. Yet, it will be good to know I have streamlined my life a little more.
Sunday 2 December. I slept late, as I knew this would be a long day. I got ready for Meherazad, and Bhauji's Chat, putting my sari and jewelry in the trunk of the car. I drove to Meherazad, getting there in time to take darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus. I then went to the main house to help. I was early enough to help remove the window covers in Mehera and Baba's rooms. It is a small thing, yet to me it is a great privilege, one that I am grateful to be allowed to do.
I stayed mostly in Baba's room. When the bell for the program rang, I remained in Baba's room so it could be kept open for any pilgrims who chose to sit instead of attend the program in Mandali Hall.
I stopped to have lunch at Yash & Joli before going to the Trust for Bhauji's Chat. I took a photo of the outside of the restaurant with my small camera.
----photo of outside of Yash & Joli
Bhauji came in the Chat room wearing a suit and his suspenders. Bhau used to wear them all the time when he gave talks at the MPC. So, it was nice to see him wearing them again.
Monday 3 December. I woke early and walked up the hill to clean Mani's shrine before getting in line to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. As soon as the flowers are removed from the day before, and a temporary cloth is put on the marble we are allowed to enter the Samadhi for darshan. The Samadhi is cleaned at 6:00 am, and new cloths are put down.
I then went to clean Baba's Room before going back down the hill to my room. Later in the morning, I drove back to the Ajay Gas and went to the woman in charge. She looked at my papers and then asked for the domestic gas cylinder and regulator. Oh, I told her I could bring the gas cylinder, but I have no idea where the gas regulator was. Why not, she asked? I explained when I got the gas cylinder and regulator I never used the regulator, as the person I shared the house with already had one. Where did it go she asked? I said I didn't know, I might have lost it over the years.
Well, the woman told me I would have to return the regulator or a police report stating it is missing. You see, the gas cylinder and regulator were government issued. So, they must be accounted for. Especially as it is the same office where I will be buying the commercial gas cylinder and new regulator.
What is a regulator? It is that top that is put on the cylinder when the plug is removed. The regulator also connects from the cylinder to the stove.
Anyway, it was hard to believe I would have to file a police report for something that cost only a couple of dollars. Yet, I had no choice. I was starting to feel like a dog running in circles chasing his tail.
I called the Trust and asked Mehernath how I went about filing a police report? He told me to bring the papers and he would help. I said I would stop on the way to Meherazad the next day.
I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. I drove to the railroad tracks and parked my car. As I was crossing the tracks I noticed the poles that were along them now had wires strung through them like phone lines. I got my camera out and took a couple of photos.
---photo of pole with lines threw them. (later I got a better photos from Paul)
Tuesday 4 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. After polishing the marble I got in line to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then went to clean Baba's Room. After I finished I gathered my flowers and walked back to my room to get ready for Meherazad.
I stopped at the Trust Office and showed Mehernath all my papers that I needed to apply for the gas cylinder. He said I would need copies of everything in order for me to file the police report about my not having the gas regulator for the cylinder. You know, this regulator only cost Rs 100. In US dollars it is less than one dollar! But, that is not the point. This is a government issued regulator and it must be returned or given a police report that it is missing. I then left for Meherazad.
It wasn't very busy at Meherazad, so I spent a lot of time on the verandah visiting. One of the pilgrims was talking about walking up Seclusion Hill. Shelley suggested walking with a stick because of the loose dogs and one time someone saw two wolfs. Wolfs? I asked? Yes, they have been spotted at different times.
On my way home I stopped at Mr. Swapnil's to give him the two old Blackberry cell phones I still had that were given to me. Mr. Swapnil said the models are old and he would have to get new batteries for Mumbai. So, it would be about a week or more before he could make sure they worked. Then I will give them to some residents and be done with it. If they break down I don't want to know about it. I have been dealing with all those I had fixed and given away going on two years now. My new philosophy, if you take an old Blackberry, it is yours, and so are any future problems.
In the evening, I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. There was a constant stream of pilgrims. Actually, it was much more than a stream. Sometimes they came in groups of twenty or more. I asked a pilgrim if it was an Indian holiday? No, I was told. Then I was told this old-time Baba lover came in a bus with about sixty pilgrims. Another group of around a hundred pilgrims came in buses from Mumbai. Plus, there were the many pilgrims who came early for Dhuni, which would be on Wednesday. I was kept very busy the whole two hours.
Wednesday 5 July. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then went for a power-walk to the MPR and back. Then I went up and down the hill one time before getting my flowers and walking back to my room.
On my walk I was enjoying looking at the half-moon. It isn't as lovely as a full moon, but it is still pretty when walking out behind the Samadhi.
I then walked back to my room and got ready to go to the Trust. I called Meher Darbar to ask if their copy machine was fixed. No, still not fixed. So, I called the Trust to make sure there was electricity. There was so I knew the Xerox place near the Trust would also have electricity and I would be able to make copies of my gas cylinder papers.
I then drove and parked at the Trust. Bless Mehernath's heart. He checked my papers and then took me to the local police station in the bazaar to file my missing gas cylinder report. We sat there for a while as the papers were being processed. Then I was given a copy of the report and we left.
Later in the afternoon, Carolina came over and helped me remove my teenage granddaughter's music from her old iPod. Carolina then showed me how to make a file to put the new music on the iPod. She also said I may be able to have Ganesh fix my iPod that I dropped on the floor and caused it to stop working. Ganesh is a man who is an authorized worker for Apple products in Pune.
Later I called Ganesh and he said it may be possible to fix the iPod, but he would have to check it out. I told him I would be coming to Pune on Friday. We made an appointment to meet at Dorabji's at 10:00 am.
Thursday 6 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. Just as I finished the Samadhi doors opened. I took darshan and then went for a power-walk to the MPR and back. Then I went down the path and back up the drive to the Samadhi. I got my flowers and walked to my room.
As I was leaving for Meherazad I saw my neighbor, Paul. I asked if he was planning to go to Meherazad? Yes, he said. I offered a ride. However, I explained the Meherazad family requested me not to bring people with me when I got there early. Paul said I could drop him off at that tea stall we have gone to in the past.
After dropping off Paul, who said he would flag down our bus when it came past the tea stall, I drove to Meherazad. After parking and taking darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus, I went to the main house. I was able to help remove the dark cloths from the windows in Baba and Mehera's rooms. I feel happy being able to help in those rooms.
When the bus arrived I helped in Baba's room because there were a number of new pilgrims. There were four first-time pilgrims from Russia. They seemed deeply moved.
When the bell rang for the pilgrims to depart I once again was able to help put the dark covers back on the windows in Baba and Mehera's room. When I came out of Mehera's room I saw Rolly, who had been Meheru's dog. Rolly just sniffed me, so maybe he is starting to get use to me. I was glad about that as he used to bark when he saw me. Also, he had been known to bite.
I stopped to pick up some chicken and stopped at a friend's house for lunch. We shared a bottle of beer as well. It was a most relaxing afternoon.
Friday 7 December. I went up the hill early and sat under one of the Samadhi windows until the doors opened. After taking darshan, one of our rotation cleaning team member asked if I would be able to help with the cleaning. She was not feeling well, but for me there was not enough time to do both, so we shared. She cleaned Mani's shrine and I cleaned Baba's Room. After, I went for a power walk to the MPR and back, then up and down the hill before getting my flowers and walking to my room.
I had an 11:00 am appointment with Joshi at the Page house. Once again we went over how to tile around the Jacuzzi bathtub. After it was decided what to do we both left. I went back to my room and spent most of the rest of the day organizing my desk files. I like to organize things, as I find it relaxing, and also because it makes it easer to function.
At 4:30 PM there was a talk given my Mehernath Kalchuri in the MPC Meeting Hall.
Saturday 8 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before the Samadhi doors opened. When the doors opened I took darshan and then cleaned Baba's Room. I then did a power walk to the MPR and back. I walked down the hill to the Jhopdi, where I cleaned it and the Table House.
I got ready for the Tour of Historic Meherabad and drove to the MPC. No one was waiting. I always wait fifteen minutes in case someone is late. But, no one came and that gave me the morning off to do other things.
Sunday 9 December. I slept late, as it was going to be a long day. I drove to Meherazad and parked my car. As I was getting close to the Blue Bus, one of the residents, Suzie, invited me to join them on Mehera's porch for birthday cake. Her granddaughter had turned two years old. They had been given special permission to come early.
It was a spice cake that was very tasty. We had just enough time to have a slice and then everything had to be put away. The pilgrim bus was coming down the road.
--photo of birthday
We were busy not from the number of pilgrims but rather because many of them were first timers. When the program started in Mandali Hall at 11:30 AM most pilgrims went. However, we kept Baba's room opened for any pilgrim who wished to sit inside. I stayed in Baba's room so we could keep it open.
I went to Yash & Joli for lunch. The food is very good but the outside does not look too inviting. Since I often mention it in my Diaries I thought it would be fun to share a photo. The sign is in Hindi.
---photo of Yash & Joli
After lunch I drove to the Trust. I put something on a seat to save in Bhauji's Chat room. Then, I went into the Ahmednagar Baba Center and took a nice rest for over an hour. It was then time to put my sari on for the Chat. I usually do this in Upasni Maharaj's room.
--photo of sign
Asha help me because I saw others arriving with there saris already on. I went to the room adjacent to the Chat room and refreshed my makeup. Just then Bhauji came walking in. It was only 3:45 PM. He was early and I barely had time to quickly finish.
Bhauji was in an excellent mood. He joked and talked a lot during the Chat. Because it was Hanukkah, Bhauji had Robyn sing the lighting of the Menorah song when he started talking to the Baba Lovers on Skype. Michal, in Israel, sang another Hanukkah song. I really like here voice and so I enjoyed it very much.
Rama came in and sang a couple of songs. We all look forward to her playing the drum and singing. We sometimes sing along if we can, as the songs are all in Hindi.
--photos of Bhau & Rama
Bhauji was in a very talkative mood. Of late, he has not had the health to talk much. So we have been very happy to see him feeling well enough to talk and joke.
Monday 10 December. 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. After collecting my flowers, I put them in the Caretakers room and went for a power walk to the MPR and back. I stopped to pick up my flowers and went back to my room.
I called Debjani and asked if she was free to put the information for Mehera's garland on my pin-drive. Debjani had the information on her computer, but she didn't have a color printer to print out the flyer announcing Mehera's birthday garland from the Meherabad residents. Also, we had to change the information. In the past, while the Women Mandali were still alive, there was always a special Arti for Mehera's birthday. The women would come from Meherazad, so the Arti was usually at 10:00 am. Now that all the women Mandali are with Baba there will not be another special Arti. This part of the flyer had to be removed.
Every year we collected a small donation from the residents if they wanted to be part of the 'Meherabad residents garland for Mehera's birthday'. This garland would be put on Mehera's shrine when the women Mandali came to her shrine before leaving.
My printer was not working, so we asked Harry Muir if he would print the flyers since he has a color printer. Sure, he said, come on over. When we put the pin drive in his computer he had trouble setting the printer to what we wanted. He could not get the red rose border color to come out. I had to go out for a few minutes. When I returned he had printed the flyers sideways, not long up and down. And the border still did not show color. I went back to Debjani and we redid the pin-drive with the information. Again I went back to Harry's. Again the red rose color would not print. By this time we decided to just use that flyer as it was, and I could take the pin-drive to a Xerox place in Ahmednagar another time to have it printed with color.
All this trouble took most of the morning. It is amazing how the smallest job can take all day here. Harry jokes that here it takes all day just to brush our teeth!
In the afternoon I went to the Page house to see the tile work around the Jacuzzi. Oh! Oh! The tile work looked great until I saw in one corner they had the electrical cord sticking up above the tile and hanging on a hook on the wall. What? They expected the electric cord to come over the rest of the tile, at the top of the tub with water in it, and be plugged into a socket near the floor? Had they no concept of what happens when water and electricity meet?
I called Joshi, the contractor, and told him the new problem from the workers. He said he would call me back the next day.
Tuesday 11 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. On Tuesdays I also polish the shrine and then bring all the cleaning cloths home to wash. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan before going to Baba's Room to clean it. I gathered the flowers and cleaning cloths and walked back to my room. I then got ready for Meherazad.
When I reached Meherazad I parked my car and went into Mandali Hall to take darshan. Then I went to the Blue Bus and also took darshan. I love laying my head on the bed in there. I sometimes just want to be absorbed by that wonderful, blissful energy.
After taking darshan I went to the main house. Baba and Mehera's rooms were already ready for pilgrims. So, I sat on the verandah and visited until the pilgrims arrived. There were two large buses and one smaller one, plus cars. So, there were a lot of pilgrims. We were kept busy until the bell rang for the pilgrims to board the bus.
When I got home I had a good lunch and then I took a deep sleep nap. It was hard to wake up and I had to have three cups of tea to help.
In the evening, I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. I took all the clean cloths back up the hill and put them where they would be ready for the next day's resident to use. At the Samadhi there was a constant stream of pilgrims. Actually, it was much more than a stream. Sometimes they came in groups of twenty or more. I asked a pilgrim if it was an Indian holiday? No, I was told. Then I was told this old-time Baba lover came in a bus with about sixty pilgrims. Another group of around a hundred pilgrims came in buses from Mumbai. Plus, there were the many pilgrims who came early for Dhuni, which would be on Wednesday. I was kept very busy the whole two hours.
The weather has been so hot the past few days. It is starting to feel like an early summer. We seem to have had only a few days of cool weather, which I enjoy from the constant heat.
Wednesday 12 December. I went up the hill early to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then collected my flowers, left them in the Caretakers room, and went for a power-walk. When I got back to the Caretaker room I gathered my flowers and walked back to my room.
I got a call from the contractor, Joshi, asking if I could meet him at the Page house at 11:00 AM. We went into the master bathroom and he wanted to know exactly what I wanted to change. I showed him and then left.
I drove to a nice restaurant that is near by. I ordered several meat dishes and asked if everything could be ready at 5:00 pm. Yes, they said. So, at 5:00 pm I went to pick up the food. I was very happy it was ready on time. I drove it to the Muir house and left it there. The Muir's were having a 12/12/12 potluck party. I had ordered food not just for myself, but also some of my neighbors. The party was to start after Dhuni
The Dhuni started at 6:00 pm. Evening Arti was an hour earlier, at 5:00 pm. There were several hundred pilgrims here, so the Dhuni was crowded. I drove to the Dhuni and parked my car. As I neared the Dhuni I saw Bhauji's car and his team of helpers. I was surprised, as Bhauji had not been to a Dhuni in a very long time.
The team brought Bhau in his wheelchair to the Dhuni platform. It seems he had first gone up to the Samadhi. It was nice seeing Bhau getting out and about. Bhau's health is delicate and he has to be careful. He stayed for part of the Dhuni and then left.
----photos of Bhau at Dhuni
After the Dhuni I drove to the Muir house. The Dhuni is only a five-minute walk from my room, and the Muir house about a two-minute walk. But it would be dark and I just didn't feel like walking.
The party was so much fun. It is always good sitting around with other residents and visiting. Sometimes, that is the only time we have to visit. We enjoyed ourselves. There was a lot of good food. Also, it was Harry and Sharon Muir's 45 Wedding Anniversary!
Thursday 13 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. Alice (from Australia) has for years spent time here in Meherabad helping in Archive and sewing. She has made a number of the covers for Mehera's shrine. She came early to try the multi-layer cover she made for Amartithi, or any event that would continue for several days.
The purpose of the multi-layer cover is to be able to remove the top cover while still keeping the shrine covered with the other covers. During Amartithi, when one top gets dirty, it can simply be removed. There are pilgrims round-the-clock for three days, it is very dusty, and things need to be cleaned constantly.
After taking darshan when the Samadhi doors opened, I went on a power-walk. I then went home and got ready for Meherazad.
After parking, I took darshan inside Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus. I then went to the main house to help. When I saw Shelley I handed her a bag of reading glasses I had found in the Savages Kitchen in Meherabad. She and Kacy looked at each other and started to laugh. Shelley said she was having a 'Margaret Craske moment'.
It seems Shelley had only two days before sent to Meherabad all her old reading glasses. She thought someone in Savages Kitchen might want them. Now, here they were being given back to her. The funny part about Margaret Craske is during the years she lived up the hill in Meherabad with the other women Mandali, she would throw in the trash what she didn't want. Mani and the other Indian women Mandali would quickly hurry to see what she threw away. They had learned from years of being with Baba that you made use of what you had. So, they would make use of what Margaret threw away. Now, here is Shelley throwing away something and here I am bringing it back to her again!
There were many pilgrims that came on a couple of buses. We quickly took up stations so we could have things go smoothly. And smoothly it went. When the bell rang for the pilgrims to board the bus we went inside the house and closed Mehera and Baba's rooms.
I gave another resident a ride back to Meherabad. I had to stop at an ATM to get some cash for my trip to Pune the next day. When I got to Meherabad I dropped of the resident at the MPC and drove up to the Page house. I checked on the work and then went home.
Before taking a nap I called my car mechanic and asked if he could check out my car. I needed to have the oil checked, air in the tires, and other things like that. I would be taking my car with a hired driver to Pune, and I wanted to make sure my car was in good shape.
Parog, the car mechanic, picked up my car and returned it a couple of hours later, all checked out and fixed.
Friday 14 December. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then quickly walked back to my room and changed clothes. The driver arrived at 6:30 am. We drove to Hostel-D to pick up Coo Coo (Rajshree), and off we went to Pune.
On the way, Coo Coo was telling some amazing stories about her family. Her grandfather was a freedom fighter here in India with Jawaharlal Nehru. Baba liked Nehru very much and said the world would not see another like him in a long time.
When we got to Pune we went to Yazdan Café for tea and 'toast butter', as they say it. We then went to Dorabji's. While we were shopping there I got a phone call from Ganesh. He was down in the parking lot. We had arranged to meet at Dorabji's at 10:00 am. Ganesh had fixed my iPod and iPod Dock Station. I was very happy he was able to fix them. My small green iPod he could not fix though. The iPod he fixed was the pink one my granddaughter no longer wanted as she had the iTouch. I loved the green colored one I had, but her pink one is exactly the same, only a different color.
I had an 11:00 am hair appointment. When I was done I went for lunch. We met Coo Coo later in Dorabji's to head back to Meherabad. I had been looking at Microwaves. I wanted a small one to heat up food. I have always put some water in a pan and steam whatever I wanted warmed. I don't have a stove, only a top gas burner. I am at the point of only looking to see what is out there and the cost.
We got back to Meherabad just as it was getting dark. I don't like being on the road at night as the drivers drive just as crazy, only you can't see them as well as during the day.
Saturday 15 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. I then got in line to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. This was Mani's birthday and a special cover was to be put on her shrine at 6:00 am.
I went to start cleaning Baba's Room. When it was time to put the cloth on Mani someone came to get me. Marge, who made the cloth, was there with her daughter. There were about seven of us that shared in putting the two cloths on. I took a photo of the first cloth, and someone else took the photo of us putting on the second cloth.
We then put the beautiful flower jalali over the whole shrine. The jalali was moved up on all sides so people could see the adorable birds that were sewn all around the border. Marge is very gifted in making things. She had made this some years ago and it is always put on Mani's shrine for her birthday.
After placing the garland on Mani I went back to finish cleaning Baba's Cabin Room. When I finished, I went for a power-walk to the MPR and back to the Samadhi. I wanted to attend the Arti because there was to be singing of Mani songs. She wrote such beautiful music and we all sang along.
After Arti I walked down the hill to do a quick-clean of the Jhopdi and Table House. I always do this before giving the Tour of Historic Meherabad. Yet, I knew there was a special reading of Mani's 'God-Brother' book in the MPC Meeting Hall at 10:00 am, so I was pretty sure no one would be waiting for the Tour. Yet, in case there was someone, I wanted to be ready.
Well, there was no one waiting for the Tour at 10:00 am. I went back to my room and did some work. Later I went to the Page house to meet the plumbers and masons. When the bathtub was moved to change some tiles I saw the whole job under the tiles was so poorly done that the cement between the bricks was already crumbling. Had there not been the electric cord being put in the wrong place the cement problem would not have been know until some time in the future when the tiles gave way because the cement had crumbled. It is like an endless journey. I have to check constantly the work being done. I am so glad there are only a couple of small things to finish and I will be done with these workers. Their contract will come to an end.
I told the workers I wanted to be present when they redo the cement. The cement is supposed to be 'cured' with water for a couple of days before it is properly set. They never did that and so it is already crumbling less than two weeks after the work was finished. But, today they have to take it all down and clean the area.
By the time the meeting with the workers was over, I drove to the MPC where another program for Mani was taking place. This time it was a concert by Angela Iimura & her husband, Owen Newcomb. They both played the guitar and Angela did the singing. They sang songs of Frances Brabazon's poetry. There music was jazz and Brazil tunes.
Angela has the ideal jazz voice, a bit raspy. It was a very enjoyable concert.
---photo of concert
Chocolate cake and tea was available at one end of the room.
In Beloved Baba"s sweet love, Judy