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30

 

with orders not to distract her by talking but to be ready for an emergency or necessary hard work. We still had miles to go before reaching home — Meherabad. The bus was beginning to show "mental and physical fatigue" and needed a good rest. Baba gave orders to Don and Nilu that we must get home without spending any more money on new tires. This Baba could not afford. Don could do what he liked in the way of repairs, etc., but no new tires!

 

Many were the times on the last stretch when we had to get out and sit by the dusty roadside while the tires were mended and shifted, Don and Nilu disappearing under the bus, Baba patiently walking up and down en­couraging, watching moods. Each time we stopped, along would come the villagers who would look on, offer to help, fetch water, etc., or bring bullocks to haul us out of a ditch. Baba was happy, for here were new contacts. Twelve such "incidents" occurred on the home stretch. Finally, Don had a brainwave! As there was no inner tube to put in the old tire, he got hold of two old army blankets. These he stuffed into the tire and slowly, uncertainly, we crawled back to Meherabad. Don said much later, that in this way, Baba had shown him a side of India which he would never have seen in any other way—the Indian villages, and the kindness and helpfulness of the village folk, who comprise over 90 per cent of India's population.

 

 

 

Commemoration of the New Buildings on Meherabad Hill

 

I recall the occasion on which, after our return from a long stay in Bangalore, Baba formally christened the new additions on Meherabad Hill, built around 1938.

 

We assembled late one afternoon in Baba's compound. Baba sat on the patio with his men mandali around him, looking radiant and beautiful as ever, "his face a fusion of spiritual bliss and serenity and a sort of dragging sadness, which gives such dignity and grandeur to the face and really surpasses all scenery of nature, both in its amazing hold on the onlooker and its rapid changes." Such is a true description of Baba when facing a large group of devotees and disciples.

 

In a short while crowds of men, women and children from the village of Arangaon and devotees from Ahmednagar were seen ascending the hill

 

 

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