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14

 

mandali present on that day will often look back upon the memory of the joy that overflowed from Baba and intoxicated body, mind and soul of his very earthly companions. Baba was not only supremely happy at this contact but explained that his work had been accomplished to such perfection that there was no need for any further meeting."

 

Into the midst of this happy mood of Baba came Norina Matchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson on July 13, 1947, whom he had recalled from the United States.

 

Norina, before leaving New York had been very ill with a heart condition. Picture Baba, standing on the doorstep of the Satara house as Adi’s car arrives, bringing Norina and Elizabeth from Bombay. Baba's encompassing embrace, that wipes out time . . . his welcoming smile that uplifts the heart . . . his unmatched tenderness as he helps Norina up the steps . . . his subsequent care and attention throughout the two years she remained in India, appointing Dr. Goher to look after her . . . these are incidents one always remembers.

 

Baba had arranged a separate bungalow for Norina and Elizabeth. Altogether we occupied five bungalows; the women mandali's, the men mandali's, the masts and Norina and Elizabeth's. Dr. Ghani and Dr. Donkin were in a fifth bungalow, presumably working together on The Wayfarers. Incidentally, I think Dr. Donkin and Dr. Ghani, unlike the rest of us, were non-vegetarians at this time, for Elizabeth remembers the following domestic episode.

 

In India when one goes to the village bazaar to buy a chicken, one buys it alive and keeps it until needed. Well, apparently a chicken had been bought and kept some time until it became a pet. I believe Baba had fed the chicken from his own hand. Then came the day! While the two doctors were enjoying their "unusual meal" Baba turned up. Among other remarks, Baba said, "Never kill or eat what once you have made a pet of."

 

Dear Kaka was the Major Domo in Norina and Elizabeth's bungalow. There was also a maid and Dr. Goher. Norina, with her wonderful sense of humor, remarked, when she found they were in a separate bungalow and not with the girls, "We, who came from the West with all our worries and troubles, seemingly had to be put into spiritual quarantine for a period."

 

Baba put Norina on silence for the first six weeks after her arrival, partly

 

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