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52

 

with his umbrella except at the moments of film-taking. Other amateurs were clicking their cameras too. An amusing touch was Beheram telling his big brother to make some gestures to liven things up!

 

At 9:25 the two musicians from the Poona All-India Radio Station entered the room. One was Sri Golwalkar, music director of A. I. R., a sarangi player, the other was Sri Chandra Kamat, a tabla player. Baba asked them for a farewell piece for the Westerners who were leaving Him today taking with them His farewell embrace. They played a song depicting a bride leaving the house of her mother to go to her husband's home. Baba gestured, as the liquid minor notes poured forth, "Tears are falling" and at that moment I found myself crying. After another "song" came a solo on the tabla or drum to which Baba kept time with His hands. At the end He said He was very happy with their performance and reminded them to keep out of a draft when driving home. The young tabla player had played especially vigorously. When Baba asked him if his arms ached, the boy said he was getting different vibrations while playing for Baba than while he was practicing. "Did you like the tabla playing?" Baba asked us. Most of us nodded.

 

One of the Westerners said she was staying on in Poona, at which Baba gestured, "Then you make Me stay!" He continued: "I am the Christ. If your eyes were opened you would see Me as I am. . . Ben. . .what is your percent of happiness today?" Dr. Hayman replied, "150%!"

 

Now Baba gestured for each of us to come forward individually for that heart-rending final embrace. Some stepped forward at once, others hung back. A few prostrated themselves at full length before Him. Some were crying, others looked grave. But as usual Baba gestured to them, "Look happy!" I took advantage of this moment to kiss Baba's "Lotus feet" for the first time; — for previously Baba was always in the “New Life" phase when this was forbidden.

 

Everyone cheered when Ruth White, unaided, walked up the aisle to Baba and embraced Him and He called her "My soldier!" Ruth is ninety-three.

 

On a final note of humor, Baba cautioned all of us not to come to Guruprasad that afternoon, and, — "Harry, don't 'phone!" Harry had 'phoned Guruprasad even before leaving New York.

 

Then, very, very slowly, supported by many loving arms, Baba walked out of the hall into His own room, until all we could see was the top of His head. That was my very last glimpse of the Beloved Avatar. May it really not be the last for any of us!

 

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