way that turned both into something else, something beyond. But there was also the well-remembered sparkle and vivacity of Mani, Baba's sister, and the loving greetings of Naja, Meheru, Khorshed, Dr. Goher and Rano.
Mehera started to speak of all the things that had happened around the time of Baba's passing. She told us how on January 31st a man in Pakistan saw Baba standing on his veranda. He said "Baba, how is it that you are here? You were in India." Baba replied: "Yesterday I was in India, today I am everywhere. "Also, at noon, on the 31st, the whole of Mombosa in Africa was completely covered in darkness at 12 noon for 15 minutes and a very loud noise was heard. Also one of the English group stopped at Cairo, on his way to India, to the Darshan, and at night he saw a tremendous, brilliant star, in the southeasterly part of the sky (in the direction of India). This star was seen by others. Another phenomenon was the crescent moon which was seen — again in Africa — with a star stuck on its tip (Mehera holds her fingers out to illustrate the crescent and the star) with a bright pink halo around it: and — star and moon set together!
Then she got up and went over to her treasure-box and showed us a lock of Baba's hair, a reddish curl, from his younger days; also some special photos of Baba and some photos of Naja dressed in improvised, hilarious costumes. She explained how Baba used to ask Naja to dress up every day in a different costume to make him laugh. You wouldn't believe they all were Naja!
Diane Cobb and a few others came in to greet Mehera. Mehera told us how, after she had combed his hair, Baba sat on her bed. So then she asked Baba to sit also on the other side of the bed and he did so. "He was so kind!" She showed us exactly how Baba sat first on this side, then on the other.
Adi gave me a lift home. Some of the boys had gone to Babajan's tomb in Poona and gotten 'over-ceremonialized' by some strangers there; and also met Najoo Kotwala, who had known Baba when she was a little girl. She used to write 'Baba, Baba, I don't know about your being God and all that but I call you Big Daddy' She used to say "Take me to see my Big Daddy. "
Some of the boys visited Don (Dr. Donkin) and he told them how he first met Baba in 1932 in London. He recalled it "was just a polite interview," until he turned to leave. He had his hand on the door knob, when Baba struck him with his divine Love, like a shock. "Why else would I stay in India 30 years?' Don smiled.
I also had a chance to meet Stan Alapa, the Hawaiian who first heard of Baba from those returning from the first Darshan, as they took a respite on Hawaii; also Kari and Joseph Harb, "holdovers" from the first Darshan.
Wednesday June 4th: The First Day of Darshan.
8:30 a.m. We bussed to Guruprasad, chanting 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!'; took off our shoes by the portico steps, left our passports and tickets with Meherwan Jessawala, and filed into dear, familiar Guruprasad Hall. Quietly we seated ourselves facing "the chair, " in which was propped a large photo of Baba. After coming halfway around the world . . . we are here, in His Presence! Mehera, in a fragile blue sari, opens the darshan by garlanding the photo with jasmine, small pink roses and tinsel. In a low voice she says 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!' Two hundred-fifty strong we reply 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!' A clock in the hall chimes nine as Eruch says "You have kept an appointment with God."
Eruch: "We begin the program at 9 o'clock. Beloved Baba has arranged the program for the Westerners from 9 to 11. Today is the 4th of June '69 — and we have the last group — mostly from the United States. We begin. . .by invoking Meher Baba's blessing: 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! "'
"Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!"
"Baba was very particular that we should recite the Master's Prayer in his presence. So we've asked Don Sprinkle to begin the program with His favorite prayer. "
Don recites the Prayer and we respond line by line. Then Mehera greeted us with her soft 'Jai Baba,' hands folded in Namaskar, Mani greets us next: "Mehera and all of us are so very happy to see