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26

 

In the afternoon we played cards and Baba bid us goodbye, but soon returned to have another game of cards. He left us again only to return a second time. He repeated this three times. Was he training us for the separation which was to come in a few minutes? By now we were in such a melancholy mood that we did not feel like talking even to the mandali. Our intellectual understanding that Baba—God― does not reside in Meherazad only but in everyone's heart and everywhere else, also faded away. The one thought that we were to be separated from Him, loomed large in our minds. This agony, as far as we were concerned, was only temporary. What about the true lovers of God who continually burn in that love? Baba's words to me several years back came to my mind, "If you pine (not only desire) for union with Me for twelve years without a moment's rest, you will get God-realization." How much the true lover has to suffer to reach the goal! We felt our love for Baba was not even lukewarm in comparison. However every minute that now passed seemed to riddle our hearts as with arrows. We had become speechless.

 

A box of toffee lay beside Baba's chair, and a stray desire that Baba would give us that as prasad flitted through my mind. The all-loving Baba picked up the box and distributed its contents to all of us. The clock struck three and Baba arose from His seat. Eleven days were over; the final minute had come. Baba gave us each an embrace. Tears would have rolled down our cheeks, had it not been for a superhuman effort to control them. Baba had once told me, "Cry within, so that no one knows you are crying, except Me." We were crying within and Baba knew it. His loving eyes poured forth such love that we stood motionless before Him after the embrace. As He reached the door He bowed in His usual manner to all of us and we did the same. A clap from Him brought one of the women mandali to Him. Baba slowly walked away towards His house. We followed Him with our eyes until He was lost to view. He seemed to have walked out of our lives at that moment. As if lost in a huge desert, we did not know what to do, when suddenly the friendly voice of Padri fell on our ears, telling us to hurry as the train would leave at 4 p.m.

 

We went to our room and picking up our bags with a heavy heart, stowed them in the car. The mandali stood around and we could see that they too felt deeply at our separation. In these eleven days we seemed to have become one of them. As the car moved on, the mandali shouted, "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!" We did respond, but in voices that hardly left our throats. The car sped away raising a cloud of dust behind, obstructing our last glimpses of Meherazad, but the memory of these eleven days were imprinted indelibly on our minds and hearts.

 

 

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