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19

 

At 11:00 a.m. the Arti was sung and then all dispersed for lunch. Baba was in the assembly hall again at 12:20 p.m. Lata sang for a short while. A sitar solo followed. Shanker Shamboo, the Qawwal singers from Bombay sang before Baba for three hours in the afternoon. Baba gave his handkerchief to each of the Qawwal party. This was followed by Arti at about 5:00 p.m. After the Arti each one filed past Baba with folded hands. Baba retired at 5:30 p.m.

 

June 15th —At 7:10 a.m. Sri M. R. Appa Rao, Minister for Excise and Prohibition, Andhra State, arrived. Baba had specially permitted him and his wife to do his Pada Puja (washing and anointing his feet). Both of them anointed Baba's feet with honey, milk, curds, perfume, etc. They then washed his feet with eau-de-cologne and lastly with rose water. They offered Baba tea, of which he sipped a little and then returned it to them as his prasad.

 

Baba then came into the assembly hall and long queues of people stood for his darshan. Madhusudan sang some bhajans while the people were taking darshan. Baba then asked Lata to sing a ghazal . Another girl gave a dance performance. Baba was very much pleased with it, particularly when she danced standing on the rim of a brass platter.

 

A Qawwal then sang for about an hour and a half. Baba enjoyed the singing and gave his handkerchief to the performer. At 10:50 a.m. Arti was sung and all were asked to disperse.

 

Baba then came into the side room to be with the Mandali . He said that the nine months to follow were very crucial from the point of view of his work. He warned us that under no circumstances should we let go of his daaman. There was no special program in the afternoon. Baba retired at 3:00 p.m.

 

June 16th —In the morning at 6:45 a.m. Baba came into the Mandali's room. He asked me to hold fast to his daaman during the coming nine months. He then asked the Mandali to say the following: "Oh God, help us all to hold onto Baba's daaman till the very end."

 

Baba embraced two cricketeers who had come from Bombay, and said that he was very happy to see them. He then came into the assembly hall. Long queues of lovers waited for his darshan. While they were taking darshan, Madhusudan and others were singing bhajans. At 8:30 a.m.

 

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