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6

 

swanky, traveling by Baba's order in 2nd class, Chanji in 3rd class, coming along to see if I was O.K. at each station. The Ghats very green and striking.

 

Adi Jr. met us at Poona, and we slept in the 2nd class waiting room at the station. Next morning, Adi took us to see his and Baba's mother, and the house where Baba spent his youth; also Babajan's Tomb. I had always visualized this latter as being at the edge of the town and not in the centre, as it, in fact, is. Shivaji's fortress at Poona is impressive, and gives the city a feeling of historical importance. They took me also to Parvati's temple on hill, and the weir on the river, where Babajan used often to come and sit, under a tree at its side. Adi Sr. met us at Ahmednagar, and soon after arriving at the ashram, I went in to Baba. It was good to see him again after so long. He certainly looks better here then he did in Cannes when I saw him last.

 

Baba ordered me to take care of my health, and incur no hardships, physical or mental, not to worry, and to tell him of anything which is on my mind or worrying me. Secondly, I am not to worry about thoughts, good or bad, but am not to put the bad ones into action. I am sleeping in Baba's little house, a feeling of him there, and really everywhere here; especially, perhaps, on the hill, a lovely place, all of it.

 

Baba orders Nilu, myself, and Ramju to go by car to Nasik to see the retreat there, stopping at one or two places on the way; from Nasik, Nilu and I go by rail to Sholapur, where Baba will stay for a week or two before going on to Mysore.

 

I went up the hill yesterday. Baba showed me all over it; the Westerners' dormitory is (interesting).

 

Have you ever slept with baby pigs in a pen in your bedroom? Well, there are two up there — very clean, of course, cleaned twice a day; and, as well, there are 3 monkeys, 3 dogs, and some birds! All Elizabeth's pets — Baba says she likes looking after them; she may soon have a baby camel!

 

The place where Baba meditated for one year in 1929 is covered over with a dome and painted inside by the Merten's painter friend, Helen Dahm, quite effective.

 

Baba orders me to eat 3 peaches a day for my health; they spoil me rather with special foods, although the Indian foods suit me well and I like them.

 

We have been checking up on the instruments and drugs in the hospital on the hill prior to sending them all to Mysore.

 

1/8/39: Last night, Baba came down to the men's ashram and played the Chinese card game with all of us: the losers get a little tap with a cane from Baba on the backside; all very good fun.

 

Baba pulls everyone's leg and he gives many nicknames: for example, "bigheaded pig". Padri is the "lamppost"; Kaka is "Popeye"; Chanji, the "monkey", with tail and all. I haven't yet got an undignified name from Baba, but no doubt it will come someday; at least I hope so.

 

4/8/39: The last day at Meherabad was a bit of a rush, with the new deed for settling Baba’s attorneys, etc. being signed.

 

In the evening, we all played ping-pong with Baba. He plays very fast, hitting the ball hard. No rules, no scoring: he says the ball, racquets, talk and play are all "Chanji", which means higgledy-piggledy, and all in a mess — poor Chanji! Later we were all given peaches by Baba.

 

A letter from Mr. Workingboxwala of Nasik was read to Baba describing a sannyasin who seemed a bit hazy in the head and who, on being shown Baba’s photo and asked

 

 

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