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3

 

for years as a retreat for Baba's secluded women disciples. Baba had been the only man to set foot in the retreat, with the exception of Dr. Nilkanth, a Hindu disciple, who, being a physician, was called for consultation when needed. Baba decided that the retreat should now be used for the Western men, who were accordingly conducted there late in the evening of September 11th.

 

The upper story had been converted into a dormitory, where 20 iron beds, with springs, mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets and mosquito nets, were ranged along the sides of the large room. (The Eastern men in the ashram below slept on bedding-rolls stretched out on the stone floor). There were several dressing tables and a number of wardrobes for clothing. A bath towel and a face towel were provided for each visitor. In addition to the dormitory there were two rooms on the ground floor, with accommodations for several men. Also on the ground floor was a large community lounge.

 

Back of the house was a refectory with three tables stretched lengthwise, end to end, under a corrugated iron roof. Here the meals were served by three men waiters. A little beyond were the kitchens, where a cook and two or more assistants functioned; five bathrooms, three washstands with soap and running cold water and mirrors for shaving; and five toilets. Early in the morning buckets half-full of steaming hot water were brought by several men servants to the bathroom as required, where they were mixed with running cold water from taps on the wall. Soap and a large cup for dipping and pouring stood on a shelf above.

 

The meals were nourishing, varied, and delicious. For breakfast there was fruit, cereal, eggs, toast, butter, marmalade, cheese, milk, tea, coffee. The luncheons and dinners were equally sumptuous. Our clothes were laundered, pressed or cleaned as it became necessary. Our outgoing mail was posted for us and our incoming mail was delivered to us. Medicines were supplied for those who needed them.

 

In charge of all these arrangements were Sarosh Irani and his charming wife Viloo. Sarosh provided everything, from cigarettes to station wagons, and assisted by his most efficient secretary, Savak Damania, attended to all our necessary government papers and other bureaucratic red tape. Viloo was busy from early morning until late at night, planning our menus,

 

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