[Words to American Arti repeated at the bottom of this page for clarity-webmaster]
The first touch of Baba's darshan was the tremendous baptism of monsoon rain — the first of the season — as our plane landed in Bombay Airport, around 4 a.m. Monday, June 2nd, after a long glide over the Indian Ocean in full moonlight. It dampened our luggage but not our spirits, as welcoming cries of "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai" flickered from the balcony of the airport. Bombay and Poona lovers had come to welcome us to India, and to the great darshan. It was surprisingly easy to get through customs and pile into the special buses each manned by a Baba volunteer or two. I made my first contact with Meherwan Jessawala, brother of dear Eruch. After a night's rest in various hotels, we board the Deccan Queen at the station and began the 3-hour journey to Poona. Here a natural phenomena seemed staged just for our benefit. As dusk was falling, huge orange and violet monsoon clouds drifted over the ghats, or mountains; against which the black trees, the purple rocks, glowed like a scene from Dante's Divine Inferno—'Baba's light show,' one youngster called it.
At Poona we walked from the station to the hotels, breathing once again the soft, magic air of an Indian night. Our Los Angeles group was put up in the Poona Club, where Freni and Rustom Dadachanji were in charge of us, with an assist from Baba's two nephews, Sohrab and Rustom, and Bejon. This was also where Dr. Donkin, author of The Wayfarers stayed.
Tuesday, June 3rd: After the bank visit and the shopping spree (the Kashmir stores did a roaring business, — being run by a Baba devotee), we had lunch at the Club; we all voted 'for vegetarian' food, much to the surprise of the manager. Dr. Donkin gave me a lift in his "Blood Clot," a red Wolseley, over to Guruprasad, where Lenny Willoughby was rehearsing tomorrow's entertainment. I stepped off to greet Mehera, Mani and the girls in the adjoining room. It is hard to describe what it was like to meet Mehera again — to see how grief for her Beloved Baba had etched lines in her beautiful face. I could not keep from crying. It was as if in her Baba was there and yet not there. It was the first shock of the Darshan for me, a shock of love and grief combined in a
[Webmaster is adding the words here to the American Arti because the words on the scanned image above are illegible. 6-26-07]