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5

 

use of a parachute, and how we should jump off if the occasion arose. He pointed out that the pulling of a string opened the parachute, but that if it failed, you could easily inflate it as you fell! This idea tickled me enormously and reminded me of the story of the man falling from the sky-scraper in New York who said, "Now for the bump," as he came to the last story! I felt that even Baba lovers would find this difficult and that in such circumstances, they would prefer to drop the physical body and remain in Baba without it!

 

At Bombay Airport, I was met by Meherji Karkaria in a beautiful Chevrolet car. He greeted me with much cordiality, mingled with deep relief, after receiving the short cable which I had asked Olla, my wife, to send from Copenhagen, giving time of arrival, and sending love to Baba. He told me how Gabriel Pascal kept putting off his trip to India from the U.S.A. so that in the end he came to Baba without his physical body.

 

Next morning, Meherji called for me at an early hour, so that we could avoid the heat and traffic of the journey to Poona, then via Ahmednagar, to Pimpalgaon.

 

Meherji's bungalow in Poona was cool, furnished with great taste and wholly delightful. His wife, a fine cook, had prepared a sumptuous repast, but he, fearing that Indian food might upset me, took me to a restaurant where good European food was served. From Bombay to Poona was about 115 miles, then on to Ahmednagar 75 miles more, and the final 9 miles brought us to the Ashram of Pimpalgaon. We got to Pimpalgaon by 2:30 p.m., half an hour before the time promised to Baba. The 200 miles had been covered at the astonishing average speed of 45 m.p.h., my fastest ever, and on the much despised Indian roads!

 

Impressions of Meherazad, the Pimpalgaon Ashram

 

The compound of the Pimpalgaon estate covers some five acres and forms a veritable oasis, which is an earthly paradise of beauty and color. Within the area of the one-storied building, in which Baba lives, also surrounding the small bungalow in front where some of the ladies of the household have their quarters, there are flower beds artistically laid out, with trees, tropical shrubs, hedges, borders and innumerable pots of plants. This can all the more be appreciated by one whose permanent residence for 14 years has been among islands of basalt rock, with lofty peaks rising unrelieved from the fjords; and mountains 3000 feet high, mighty in their majesty.

 

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