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32

 

ideas, interests and work. There were many friends coming in to visit, Anita, Christine, Delia and Andree among them.

 

Helping in our Cannes ménage was Irene Billo, called by Baba from Zurich, and Ilse who came from Czechoslovakia. Baba and a few of us having been invited to Paris by Consuelo Sides, we went there by car, Elizabeth Patterson driving. We spent three or four days at Consuelo's flat near the Seine, did excursions to the Eiffel Tower, Grand Exhibition, Notre Dame, etc., and then returned by car to Cannes.

 

The second great moment of my life was when three of us, Norina, Rano and I left Cannes for India with Baba and the Eastern group of women, in November, 1937, on the S. S. Circassia on her maiden voyage to Bombay. Elizabeth and Nonny came four months later, in time for Babas birthday, and Irene Billo and Nadine Tolstoy in July, 1938.

 

On arriving in Bombay, Baba with his Eastern group of women, went directly to Meherabad by car, Baba having instructed Padri to motor the three of us Westerners to Meherabad. We stopped at Poona on the way, where we met Shirin Mai, Baba's mother, and saw the house where Baba was born, also the place where the "Jhopdi' Hut had been, when Baba had gathered together the nucleus of his first group of followers in 1922.

 

It was dark when we arrived in Meherabad and later than Baba had wished. We found all had gone to bed, by Baba's orders; but Baba stood waiting at the Tower, outside the big gates, while Masi held a hurricane lamp, watching us climb up the hill from Lower Meherabad-each carrying a lantern.

 

On arrival Baba took us to a large room facing the West, and in the dim light I remember Baba showing me my iron bedstead in the corner just inside the doorway to the left. He pointed out a three-foot mirror, the only one in the room, in the same corner. I noticed it had a crack, but what of it! Had not Baba given us this extra comfort) At this period both the rooms for the Easterners and Westerners contained just our iron bedsteads with mosquito nets, a chair each, and our trunks.

 

That same evening began my most unique and treasured period, lasting over twelve years—with Baba and his Eastern group of women disciples—first in the ashram on Meherabad Hill and later in other places to which Baba took us in India.

 

Baba, on this, our first night in Meherabad, waited to see that each was comfortably settled and then, after wishing us good-night, and telling us to sleep well, he left us to go to the cabin in his own compound. Baba includes in his qualities of Perfection, that of being a perfect host, as all know, who have been privileged to visit in his ashrams.

 

Continued in   Volume 3 Number 2 Page 24

 

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