The happiest days, or what I am sure Baba hoped would be the happiest, both for him and us, were the days arranged to take all to the Ashrams in Meherabad, upper and lower, where his groups of women and men disciples lived respectively.
To this intimate coming together of East and West, Baba had given much time, thought and planning. He wanted us to share with the Eastern group their interests and way of living, which were directed solely towards pleasing and serving Baba (see Awakener, 1955), by learning to live his "Way of Life." In this way, we would get to know and understand one another.
Among the women gopis were Mehera, Mani (Baba's sister), his cousin, Naja, Masi and her daughter Khorshed, Valu, Gulmai, Adi Senior's mother, and Kaku, Vishnu's mother. At this time, Shirin Mai, Baba's beautiful mother, Daulat Mai, Mehera’s mother and Frenimasi, Padri's mother, were living close by in a whitewashed cottage on the outskirts of Arangaon Village. Baba took us all to the cottage to meet them. Daulat Mai was silent, having been observing silence for some years.
Was Baba testing our reactions, to see if any of us could harmonize and fit into such a secluded strict life, keeping the peace and harmony that was its over-all pervading atmosphere? Beyond the one occasion when Baba did ask of one whether she could live up on the hill and be happy—to which the answer was "yes," none had the slightest inkling at this period what Baba had in mind for the future,—namely calling a few of the Westerners to live and share this "Way of Life" on Meherabad Hill—before the end of 1937—to its ultimate dismantling in 1949!
Alas, there were some, who due to their physical condition, found the day's outing from Nasik to Meherabad very exhausting. An early start at 5 A.M—a late return, a bumpy, dirty, country road, a crowded car, a different type of food served at an unaccustomed hour, and so forth and so on! Baba, of course, knew the reactions of each and on January 11th that noon, the Western group were called together (women only). Baba began:
"I want you all to tell me honestly whether it will be a strain for you to come to Meherabad one day a week. Now any suggestion regarding time of eating and comforts in the car?" (Just think of it!!)