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4

 

Air-India girl had been so impressed by this band of Westerners coming to see an Eastern Master, that she decided to meet Him. Meherjee urged us to pay a visit en masse to the bank to change our money into Rupees, for later there would be no time. Not being able to walk that far, I called for a cab, making my first and biggest mistake, I guess, at the Sahavas, for while I was gone at the bank, Baba called for me and no one knew where I was. At the bank I felt a most peculiar unease and impatience at the whole money-shuffle; on our return to the hotel I discovered the cause! Frantically I prevailed on one of the volunteers to drive me to the colorful arched gate of Guruprasad (he was not allowed further). I hastened up the dirt road, bordered by gay flower beds and bookstalls, past the supercilious marble noses of Victorian stone angels and up onto the tiled portico of that long-dreamed-of holy of holies—Guruprasad itself! With thumping heart I waited while my name was sent in to Baba. The others He had called that morning had already come and gone. When I walked into the inner hall the first thing I saw from afar was the white light beaming from Baba's eyes—it seemed soft and brilliant as a sun, and of all the glimpses of Beloved that came afterward in the crowded Sahavas calendar, I still remember that first marvelous Nazar or glance of Baba. He was seated alone on the couch, dressed in His dear familiar pink jacket and white sadra.

 

I leaned over to embrace Him and kiss His cheek and remember thinking "His eyes are brown, after all!". And also that He was a little stouter than in 1958. Baba asked His special question, "Are you happy?" and I nodded—"To see You." He then inquired how my hip was, and how I had made the trip. Then I heard Mani’s lively voice addressing me and for the first time saw the girls standing at the left. Baba beckoned for me to embrace them―dearest Mehera, Baba's chief woman disciple; Mani, Baba's sister; Dr. Goher; Rano Gayley and Meheru whom I had met in 1952 at Myrtle Beach, and also Naja and Khorshed, whom I had heard so much about. Then Baba asked, "How do I look?" "Beautiful!" I replied. I fell silent, eyes traveling over every line of that beloved and oft-recalled Face, then Baba beckoned for me to leave.

 

At the lunch table I picked at the odd food, trying to joke with the others, absorbed in my meeting with Baba. After a brief interval our group were all packed onto buses in the charge of Jal, Baba's charming young brother, and Mr. Minoo Kharas. We were going to make a tour of spots in Poona associated with Baba's life. It is indeed a holy city and no doubt one day will be the scene of world-wide pilgrimage. Naturally our first stop was the

 

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