1-8 February 2013
1-8 February 2013
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
Friday 1 February 2013. I had a good nights sleep, as I'm not one of those people who can stay up all night. I was so dirty, with dust caked on me from only the past day; Meherabad is like a dust bowl during Amartithi with dust blowing behind the endless vehicles driving on our little dirt roads, so I took a bath before going back up the hill. I went straight to Baba's Room Cabin. There's been a constant line of pilgrims since we set up at noon on the 30th January.
I saw Indira and Hardeep near the Samadhi. They said all the token numbers had been posted. There were 20,000 tokens given for the line to take darshan in the Samadhi. The Meherabad Trust Office said they had 18,705 registered pilgrims for accommodations. That usually means there were probably another 10,000 to 15,000 pilgrims who had not taken tokens, and were not staying in the pilgrim accommodations. Each year the number keeps growing.
At 1:30 pm we stopped the line at Baba's Room and did a major cleaning. Amartithi was over at 2:00 pm and I gathered all the supplies we used in the room. Some of the volunteers for the Cabin helped me carry them to my car.
Photos of Amartithi can be seen on http://www.ambppct.org or http://www.avatarmeherbabatrust.org
I was so hot and I was so exhausted that I decided a cold beer was just the thing needed. It felt so refreshing. I then went home and took another bath, because I felt like I was covered in dirt. My chest and throat hurt, probably from breathing in all that dust.
I woke up at 5:00 pm and smelled the ozone, like just before it rains. How could that be I wondered? I went outside, and as far as the eye could see in the northern sky there were dark clouds. Within an hour the weather cooled and we had rain! Imagine! A couple of hours after a continuously hot Amartithi, even at night it was hot, now it is cool and it rains. It was only a light shower. But it lasted for a while. It was enough rain to pat down the dust on the roads, wash the leaves on the plants, and hopefully even give the roots a little drink of water.
Saturday 2 February. I slept late as someone was covering for me to clean Mani's shrine and Baba's Cabin Room. I was very tired and feeling like I had breathed lots of dust which I probably did.
I spent most of the rest of the day washing all those cleaning cloths we used in Baba's Room during Amartithi. I also washed the lambs' wool dusters we use to wipe the shelves and ledges in Baba's Room.
Later, I went to Anand Trader and paid for the Page house glass shower stall that was installed during the Amartithi time. It seems it was the only time they could come so we had to arrange to have someone there.
Sunday 3 February. I woke early and went up the hill to take darshan at the Samadhi. I then went back home and back to bed. I found I was not feeling well. Meherazad will not reopen until Tuesday, so I was able to stay home and rest. I also decided not to go to Bhauji's Sunday Chat. I did not want to be around Bhauji when I was sick.
It is funny. I didn't know how to do the Internet Chat on my computer. I was able to get the live Webcast, but I couldn't hear anything. So, I got out my IPad to try on it. No luck. I will have to have someone help me learn. I was able to watch, but not hearing anything was disheartening.
Monday 4 February. I went up the hill right when morning Arti was over. It was finally my turn to do the Archive cleaning of Beloved Baba's Samadhi. It had been seven months since I last had a turn. Marge had added two new people to our team and that sure changes how often my turn comes around. When we clean, we always wait until the pilgrims finish taking darshan when morning Arti is over.
I was very happy to do the cleaning. It took over an hour because it was very dirty where the walls and floor meet. Amartithi is a very dusty time, and even though the Samadhi is cleaned every morning before Arti, it is not scrubbed in the corners like we do when we do the Archive cleaning.
When I finished I went home and washed all those cloths. I have spent a lot of time cleaning cloths the past few days. I also called Pune and made appointments with my dentist, eye doctor, and manicurist. I plan to go to Pune for four days, starting Wednesday. I need the rest and time for the appointments.
When in Pune, it is hard trying to do so much in only one or two days. It is tiring and I want to rest. So, I spread the appointments out one per day. I then went back to bed to rest until I had to go up the hill for my Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
The grown son of one of my best friends was at the Samadhi. I've known Josh since he was a toddler. He was here for Amartithi only and leaving after Arti. I told him I would like to take a photo of us together to send his mom.
Josh introduced me to his wife. Her name is Mani; she has been coming here since she was a child. Mani is in her early 20's. I was happy for them. They had met here during the Young Adult Sahavas a couple of years ago.
Tuesday 5 February. I got up early and walked up the hill to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then cleaned Baba's Room, gathered my flowers, and walked back to my room to get ready for Meherazad.
While getting ready, I also washed all the cloths I used for cleaning that morning up the hill. Since I polish Mani's shrine on Tuesdays I take those, and everything I had used in Baba's Room too, to my room to wash.
My neighbor, Marge, went with me to Meherazad. After taking darshan in Mandali Hall I went to the main house, and was there in time to help open Baba and Mehera's rooms. When the pilgrims arrived I went into Baba's room and helped there.
There were a number of new Iranian pilgrims. I asked one, who has come here for years and lives in Canada, to translate for me while I gave them a little history of His room.
Marge and I stopped for lunch at Yash Grand, near Meherabad, for lunch. I had called ahead so our food would be ready. When we walked into the restaurant, there at one of the tables, were a couple of our Trustees and some pilgrims relaxing and having a good meal. They were finally able to relax now that Amartithi was over.
I had a short rest and then went back up the hill, with all the clean cloths to put back. However, as soon as I reached the Samadhi I was busy and had to wait until after Arti to put the clean cloths away.
When I got back home my mechanic, Parog, came over and took my car to check the tires, water, oil, fill it with petro, and even cleaned it. Yes, that is quite a mechanic! He returned it about an hour later. He said I was all set for Pune.
Wednesday 6 February. I set my alarm to wake at 4:00 am to get ready for Pune. I didn't have time before, and when I got home from Arti last night I was so tired I was in no condition to do anything.
It was almost 7:45 am by the time I packed my car and left Meherabad for Pune. I was going for four days and staying at a Baba Lover's apartment. Years ago this Baba lover had invited some of us to stay anytime we wanted at her apartment. I was usually so exhausted when I went to Pune overnight that I only wanted quiet and space. Though she had said we would have that at her place.
Well, I saw the Baba lover at Dhuni and again she invited me. This time, I thought I would give it a try. She is such a nice woman. She is of the Sikh religion, her whole family live in the States now. So her apartment has plenty of room.
I drove by myself to Pune and found her apartment, just around the block from the Hotel Lotus where I often stayed. Her apartment was so lovely and clean. I have a set of keys to her place that she gave another resident and me. So, she said we could come even if she is out of the country. I felt so welcome and at home that I plan to stay there more often.
After dropping off my luggage I drove to Dorabji's and parked my car. The dentist office is only two-doors away. I had an 11:00 am appointment. It was very fortunate I had this appointment, since last evening I chipped a front tooth when I bit down on a toothpick that was inside a piece of meat.
Dr Lazado took about two hours to fix that chipped tooth. He will do the other work. I set the appointment for the next day. He and his wife are such nice people and I have been going to him most of my time living here in India.
When I got back to my friend, Baljit's, I took a bath and then went out walking. I wanted to find a new restaurant, to try something new. I had heard there was an Iranian restaurant near by. I saw a man sitting in front of a store, so I asked him. He told me, but first I decided to look inside the shop as it had many things with the Kashmir style.
Well, it turns out the store was owned by the man from outside. He was from Iran and before I realized it, we were talking about Meher Baba. He said someone had just recently been in his shop and also talked about Meher Baba. I ended up spending about one hour telling him about Meherabad and the role of the Avatar.
When I left and went looking for the restaurant, which I found was out of business, I was thinking how Baba works. I thought I went looking for a restaurant and instead He sends me down a street I was not planning to go down, and I end up talking about Baba. It has been a long time since I freely talked about Baba to unknown people. I used to do it in my early days with Baba. But, after a while it just got more and more personal and private. However, lately I find myself telling people about Baba once again. I don't know why, it is just happening.
Thursday 7 February. In the morning I drove to Yazdan Café to have some tea and 'toast butter' as they say here. I then went shopping at Dorabji's before going to the dentist for my 11:00 am appointment. While waiting I met some of the people in the waiting room. Again I freely talked about Baba. Dr Lazado enjoys my talking about Baba, though he is a Christian. Dr Lazado was the dentist who came to Meherabad years ago and set up a dental clinic in our Meher Hospital.
In the afternoon I had an appointment with the manicurist around the corner from where I was staying. I last had my nails done in December. The other man who helps out did my nails. It was such a bad job that they started to chip and crack within a week. I made sure when I made this appointment I got the regular man, who is really good at doing nails.
Friday 8 February. I had breakfast in a restaurant near the apartment. I then drove and parked my car on the main road in front of Inox theater. I went and purchased a ticket to see Lincoln at 2:00 pm. It was opening day and I wanted to make sure I had a ticket, even though it was a weekday. I then took a rickshaw to my eye doctor. Her office is in an area of Pune I don't know very well and it would have been too frustrating to drive.
The eye doctor's name is Dr. Roopali. She does eye surgery and for the past three years she has been monitoring the cataracts in both my eyes. She has had me come back once a year. She said my eyes have changed slightly and to come back this time in six to seven months to check. The cataracts have to be at a certain ripeness before the surgery can take place. The amazing thing is after the implant your vision is almost back to 20/20, and glasses are no longer needed. But, only one eye at a time is operated on.
I took a rickshaw back to the Inox Theater and put some things in my car. Then I took another rickshaw to a really good restaurant down the road. After lunch I took a rickshaw back to Inox theater and went in to see Lincoln. Wow! What a great movie.
I then drove to buy some Jessawala tea at The Regal Tea Depot, a shop that Eruch's family used to use. I bought some for my neighbor, Marge. I then drove back to the apartment to rest.
In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy