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23

 

When we reached the summit, Baba took us first to see the source of the river Godavri—a tiny trickle between the rocks that grows and widens into the holy river round which centers the city of Nasik.

 

Perhaps Baba saw us lagging—we had been up since 4 a.m. So he signed to us to be seated and to unpack the picnic baskets. Everyone being rested and replete, Baba had us repack what remained, to be eaten later. We wandered for some time among the ruins of old temples, admiring the views and hoping at any moment Baba would tell us to rest awhile as it was getting hot. Instead, Baba said we should make tea, intimating that he was hungry and why not all eat! "There will be nothing left for the next meal," said the housekeeper ... "Never mind! We will eat!" Baba motioned all to be seated—the baskets were unpacked and food distributed, to be washed down with tea. We had by now had our lunch, tea and supper!

 

At 10 a.m., it was too hot to do more than seek out a shady nook and doze. But no! Baba spelled out on his board: "There is nothing else to do--we will go home!" The sun was at its zenith by the time we had descended the 700 steps. Delia, who suffered from headaches, was noted for her constant applications of cologne, which she was careful not to do without on this occasion, dabbing left ear, right ear, exclaiming, "O Lord, what heat!" Baba, smiling at Delia, asked to see the bottle, then told her to give some to all.

 

I think the trip to Trimbak was one of the few occasions in Nasik when all were able to accompany Baba. Alas, so often one or another of us was sick with some minor ailment. Baba felt this keenly. If Baba planned an outing, he wanted the whole group with him. Wanted! "Yes," said Baba, "you are all very dear to me." Chanji once put it thus: "Baba goes nowhere without his spiritual baggage—his group of disciples."

 

The visit to Meherabad was always a very eventful occasion. To begin with. Baba's order was that we should leave Nasik by car at 2 in the morning so that we would reach Meherabad at about 7, thus avoiding traveling in the heat. To start at such an hour we had to get up at midnight, and to our amazement, all the servants would be up, too, and complete breakfast served at 1 a.m. with all the trimmings!

 

On one occasion when Baba had sent for the group to come to Meherabad for the day (we went fortnightly), we replied by wire that this one and that one could not come, as for different reasons they did not feel up to it.

 

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