Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


1-8 July 2013

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

I returned to India on the 28th of June. Because of jetlag and getting settled I decided to start the new pilgrim season Meherabad Diary on the 1st of July instead of the day I return to Meherabad from my summer vacation in the States visiting my family.

My seven years old granddaughter loved her birthday quilt. She was so happy to see the roller coaster ride on it, California Screaming, a Disneyland ride, that it was the first thing she pointed out when she saw it. It warms my heart to see how much each grandchild loves his or her special quilt.

I have twin grandsons who will turn seven years old next march. That means I will have two quilts to make this year! Thank goodness they are boys, all that glittery stuff takes forever to glue on. When I was in NY I had each grandson tell me some of the things they want on it. Both wanted what I made for their older brother when he turned seven. I told them that each quilt is special and not a copy of another one. I told them they could maybe have some of the things from their brother's quilt, but I want them to tell me what interest they have. I sure am glad I have almost a year to make them.

Monday 1 July 2013. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. It was a beautiful morning and I took a photo on the hill.

--photo of Samadhi and Tower

I went to the Trust on Sunday for Bhauji's Chat. All the women were dressed in saris, even Bhauji's team. But, just before the Chat started one of the team came out to say Bhauji had fallen into a deep sleep and so the Chat would be cancelled. I was disappointed, as I love the Chats. However, none of us would even think to disturb Bhauji. We all respected the message and a few of us went out for a snack.

--photo from Sunday

Later in the morning I drove to the DSP to check in. The boss was not in and I was told to come back the next day. I explained I would be at Meherazad, so they said to stop by on my way home.

I drove to the Trust on my way home, hoping to see Bhauji. No luck. Bhauji was not well and so no visitors. He would be resting all day.

Tuesday 2 July. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I then went for a power walk before going home and getting ready for Meherazad.

At Meherazad, Shelley said there were some new rules. All bags and purses were now to be kept outside all historic rooms. A bench was provided near Baba's room in the main house. The Meherazad residents also began restoring the rooms to how they were when Baba and Mehera were there. All extra photos and flower vases were removed. In Baba's room a water pitcher was put on a table where it had been for Baba's use.

There were not many pilgrims and the morning was relaxing.

On my way home I stopped at the DSP. I got there just in time to have my papers stamped and signed. The boss was getting ready to leave, so I felt fortunate to have it done. Mr. Tagget, who had been the main man at the foreign department of the police department retired and is no longer there. He had been such a help to us all over the years. His assistant is now the one in charge, and also a nice man.

I am so tired. Jetlag hits me harder when I return to India than when I go to the States. I don't know why that is but it just is that way.

Wednesday 3 July. I woke up at 1:00 AM. I tried to go back to sleep but all I did was toss and turn for one hour. Finally at 2:00 AM I made coffee and got up. I don't know why jetlag often doesn't affect my sleep until several days after I return — or it seems that way.

I took the opportunity to do a workout and then at 5:00 AM I walked up the hill to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. I then went for a power walk before going home.

Thursday 4 July. I woke early and went up the hill to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. I collected my flowers and walked home.

I got ready for Meherazad. My neighbor, Marge, and her son Paul, stopped at our favorite tea stall and we each had two cups of chai. The chai is really good, and a woman and her daughter run the little stall.

When we got back on the road we saw the Trust bus ahead of us. I quickly passed it so we could get to Meherazad before them. I had to hurry to the main house to help. Next time we stop for tea we will have to go earlier so I won't get to Meherazad late. I like being early so I can help get Mehera and Baba's rooms ready.

I stayed in Baba's room until the bell rang for the pilgrims to board the bus. I was then able to help close up Mehera and Baba's rooms. I also was able to close the curtains in the sitting room. That was a first time for me. I know it isn't much, but to me it is so special to help with anything in Baba's house.

Marge, Paul, and I went to lunch at Yashanjali. It was fun and relaxing.

Friday 5 July. I woke up at 2:00 AM. Since I was wide-awake I made coffee and then did a workout with one of my DVD videos. I actually like being up at such an early hour — not 2:00 AM, but I like the quiet of 3:00 AM. There is really no reason for me not to start my day at that time. It is quiet, I can fit in a good workout when it is nice and cool, and I have time for the Internet before going up the hill. Also, I balance the early hour with going to bed early. All my schedule times are in the morning.

I had an appointment to meet the manager of the Ajay Gas Company to change the gas cylinder from a domestic to a commercial one. I had Sulu, my housekeeper, come with me as she speaks Marathi. The India government has changed their policy and now only Indians can use the domestic gas cylinders. All foreigners have to get the commercial one.

With Sulu's help we did all the paper work and I paid for the gas cylinder. We were given a piece of paper to take to the Barate Gas Company supply shop. It was on the way back to Meherabad.

--photo of the window of the 'office'

At 12:00 noon I had an appointment at the Page house. I met with some men from the Tata Solar Company. The Solar inverter and charger as well as the cables that connect the solar panels to the batteries all had to be upgraded. The whole solar system had been purchased many years ago and it just doesn't have the capacity to run a microwave and other appliances that take much more electricity.

They will order everything we need and hopefully it will be installed before the Pages come for a visit at the end of this month.

By 2:30 PM I was beginning to feel very tired. I lay down at 3:00 PM. I woke around 5:00 PM and remembered I had to feed the dog. I barely dragged myself into the kitchen and put the food in a dish. When I got outside the man who comes to help in the garden was working and I gave him the food for the dog. I was so tired I crawled back into bed and sleep until 3:00 AM.

Saturday 6 July. I got up at 3:00 AM and making coffee, and then I did a DVD workout. How strange it is that I like very much doing a workout at this hour. In the evenings I am usually so tired it is hard to every get me to do a workout at that hour. But, I am really a morning person and it is fun to me.

I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine and then take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. Next I went to clean Baba's cabin room. When I finished I walked to the Jhopdi and did a quick clean.

I went to the MPC to see if there was anyone waiting for the Historic Tour of Meherabad. No one was there, but a pilgrim did come to the Welcome Center and ask to see some DVD. I had not been in the Media Center so I went with Caren when she opened it for the pilgrim. I was so impressed! There are two types of chairs. One is the standard straight back. The other has a back that is at a recline angle. I sat on one and really liked the comfort. Caren said that she got them in Ahmednagar.

I visited with Yohann and Caren, both of whom are there to help visitors. They have done wonders in making the rooms so inviting and warm.

In the afternoon I went up to the Page house and gave the two kittens some cat food. It was their first time eating food and boy did they gobble it up! In fact the white kitten put her foot in the bowl and growled at the tiger color kitten. I had to separate the feeding areas!

On the way home, as I was driving on the MPR road I saw a rainbow. I took a photo of it with the tower on the hill and Baba's flag flying in the background.

--rainbow with tower in background

Sunday 7 July. I went up the hill early to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. Indira was the Samadhi supervisor. She gave Zahra the cloths to change in Baba's Cabin Room for Silence Day. Coocoo and I are part of the team and we all change the cloths together.

After we cleaned the Cabin, Zahra got two pilgrim men to help us move the heavy glass cover over the stretcher. This was so we could change the stretcher and clean the underside of the glass. It is also something pilgrims very much enjoy doing and feel fortunate in doing so.

I then walked back to my room and got ready for Meherazad. Just as I got on the main road and passed Meher Darbar, I saw Robin Oppenheim standing on the side of the road waiting for the Trust bus. I offered her a ride to Meherazad, and it also gave us time to visit.

At Meherazad I helped out in Baba's room. We were busy but very aware in a few days we would have around 2000 pilgrims at Meherabad for Silence Day. Of course that means they will come to Meherazad by the busloads.

Monday 8 July. I went up the hill early and cleaned Mani's shrine. When the doors of the Samadhi opened I took darshan and then went to clean Baba's Cabin Room.

Some pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh helped.

I had Samadhi duty from 6:30 to 8:30 AM. After I finished cleaning I went for duty. There are a few hundred pilgrims here already, so it was busy at the Samadhi. I was able to leave early as the person on duty after me came early.

I went to my room and got some large cloths, as we would need them to cover the Table House. The Archive workers scheduled this morning to do the annual cleaning of Baba's Jhopdi and Table House.

On Silence Day (10 July) the Jhopdi will be kept opened from 9:00 AM until sundown, at which time we close the door. This is the one-day of the year it is kept opened and pilgrims are allowed to sit inside. So, we want to make it as clean as we can. The Jhopdi is where Meher Baba began His silence.

The Table House is also completely cleaned. The locked screen door is opened and one of the resident's goes inside to clean. When the inside is all clean the door is once again locked until next year. We also clean the roof, rafters, and the outside of the Table House. The Table House is where Baba wrote the majority of His book.

--photo of Table House being opened

Baba's flag was also hoisted on this day, next to the Jhopdi. It was first flown on 23 April 1924. Baba said the flag would be the colors of the rainbow; he didn't care the order, except the top had to be blue for purity and the bottom red for creation.

--hoisting Baba's flag

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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