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17

 

scarf wound round His head like a Sikh turban. We were all amused, and Baba seemed relaxed and happy. He began to call for this one and that one for private "darshan." When our turn came, He told us how lucky we were to be with Him so closely, for in India, those who are ready to give us their lives for Him, have to file past Him to see Him, and the crowds are so immense, that they have time only for a glance or a touch from Him before someone pushes them from behind. He called each of us to Him, saying, This is the last embrace for a long time." I thought of the "700 years . . . "

 

Out under the trees we ate a delicious buffet lunch prepared by Helen White with homemade bread baked by Charles Reade. Several new people arrived, but no press—which pleased Baba. Once again we were all called in together. Baba was seated in a large chair and was in a jolly mood. He called for Dana Field, saying he loved Baba so much he had given up his diet for the trip! Dana stood up and said that the delicious lunch he had just eaten was Baba's prasad. Baba queried:

 

"What did you eat? Dried fruits?"

 

"Different things, Baba. I think the fruit was home-grown and the bread was specially baked for you," Dana replied.

 

"What about your nuts that you always want to have?"

 

Some of us began to smile, for Dana was noted for his health food fads; he had been living on dried fruits and nuts and carried them about in his pockets.

 

"Wonderful," Dana replied.

 

"Fruits!" Baba smiled ruefully. "From childhood I have never liked fruits, nor milk. Whenever I have to fast, I'll fast on water, but not on milk. When I go on mast tours sometimes for as long as three days, I don't get the food I like, so the mandali ask me to take some milk, or fruits, but I'd rather go hungry and just live on water."

 

Eruch added: "Sometimes Baba is on fast without water, He won't take anything, even water."

 

The Master continued, gesturing towards the bowl of fruits at His side, "Dana has told me 'Baba, you should eat grapes, it's good for your health.' And today, as soon as I entered this room I found fruits here," gesturing towards the bowl of fruit by His chair, "So I ate a whole bunch of grapes. Among other things, plums were here. And now listen!"

 

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