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27

 

—in any household capacity. Nonny did the general typing, transcribing my own shorthand notes of Baba's talks and messages. Margaret spent three hours' work in dancing, as directed by Baba. Delia spent three hours gardening and helping Margaret. Delia recalls how, much to Rustom's disgust, while working in the garden, she one day had a beautiful jasmine vine cut down because she had heard that it attracted snakes, and she adds, "I never saw a snake there."

 

Rano was busy drafting, drawing and painting spiritual themes as instructed by Baba. Her work was interrupted for six weeks when she contracted scarlet fever. Baba had Ruano take complete care of her and visited her two or three times daily. He also told us that he had saved her for his work, otherwise she would have died. (She is now one of the only two Westerners with Baba in India—William Donkin being the other.)

 

Will Backett spent three hours corresponding daily with the European groups, and did other work, health permitting. Will wrote me recently, apropos of his work: "I know I had to face my own personal limitations, especially in expecting every one else to be filling their rice and dahl bundles for the poor on Baba's Birthday. It seemed an impossible task to get it all done in time, but at the 11th hour, Baba called on the local village headman who provided a big squad of village women who completed the job in no time—one way of teaching me my error—'Just to do your best and leave to me the rest!"' as Baba says.

 

Mary Backett continued weaving on her loom and I, playing for Margaret's dancing and teaching piano to Meheru, Freni’s daughter. I also took notes in shorthand whenever Baba dictated on his board for Nonny to type, and helped Norina in the household.

 

Lastly, Jean was to be general secretary to Garrett and Malcolm in their magazine work; also to devote two hours to writing spiritual prose and poetry, Malcolm likewise.

 

The magazine, proposed by Baba at this time and tentatively called “The Avatar," (but which materialized much later, 1938-1940 as the Meher Journal), brought forth untold arguments and cries as to its type, contents, and so forth. Even so today, there is some variety of opinion existing with our own "Awakener” journal. Seldom can the editors and committee agree and in 1934, with Malcolm and Garrett, chosen by Baba as coeditors, and

 

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