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22

 

is a delight — nevertheless she feels Baba often used her as a "link" with outer events, perhaps just because she wasn't into the occult, and perhaps, too, because she was English.

 

For example, one rainy day in June 1944, Baba asked her to "throw the cat out" — a feline she had been taking care of. But she couldn't bring herself to do it. Again, Baba asked. Again, she couldn't do it. Then Baba threatened that if she didn't do as He asked, she would have to leave, and never see Him again. She threw the cat out into the pouring rain. That was "D-day", when the Allied forces made their Normandy landing in horrendous wet weather.*

 

Again, late in 1941 He dictated many cables for her to send to Elizabeth, stating His wish to visit "Honolulu, the Philippines, or any place in the Pacific." After December 7, 1941 and the sack of Pearl Harbor there was no more mention of the Pacific. Most of the places mentioned by Baba were later seized by the Japanese.

 

The seven years of life with Baba in India had many phases. She was one of the few Western women allowed to live intimately with the close Eastern disciples, Mehera, Mani, Dr. Goher, Naja, Mehru. Ostensibly she joined them because of an illness that needed special care. How kindly Baba circumvented the jealousy of the other Western women! But there were also trying times; for example, when Baba ordered her to "disappear" whenever He came to visit the Eastern women — and without explanation. Surely a most humbling experience.

 

Another way Baba "peeled" her ego was to ask her to dance for Him, often in the strangest places and ludicrous circumstances! When the famous film project was being worked on, she was asked to devise a "Dance of the Spirits" — with two "dancers" only, Delia and Rano, each representing 60 dancers, while Kitty played the piano! Another task Margaret had was to read aloud to Him, especially His favorite detective stories by Wolfe or Edgar Wallace. Zuleika was the Persian name given her by Baba.

 

But Baba had, in a playful moment, under the name of "Mr. Thomas", taken a dancing lesson from her (Santa Margherita, 1932) and acquitted Himself as gracefully as ever. "He had a perfect spine,” she says, "And I know what a perfect spine is!"

 

One test for all the Western women was the presence of His beloved Mehera. Every Avatar has His "feminine counterpart" as part of His innermost Circle. Ram had His Sita, Krishna His Radha, Buddha, His loyal wife, Mohammed His Khadijah and Jesus, Mary. Avatar, of course, is the true Beloved of us all, man or woman. But for some of the Western women, the privileged position of Mehera in His Circle evoked real jealousy, at times concealed as derogatory indifference, sometimes flaring in bad moods. It was a blow to your female vanity to find yourself "in second place" and some never got over it. It is to Margaret's credit that she saw through Baba's game, and harmonized with His chief woman disciple so well that Mehera was often in Margaret's care. Baba used to take Margaret's palm and trace an "M" on it, meaning "How is Mehera?"

 

When Baba, very abruptly in Dehra Dhun in 1946, sent her back home, and she began her career with Ballet Theatre, His significant words "Your dancing is Mine" came true. Gradually a small group of dancers came to hear of Him through contact with her, and came to meet Him in 1952 in Myrtle Beach. She never "pushed" Baba on anyone, but let them seek her out. "I let them knock hard on my door,” she says. Some well-known ballet stars have become close Baba lovers, such a Tex Hightower (featured in the movie, Carousel); Don Mahler, now in charge of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company; Bunty Kelly, top dancer in the musical Brigadoon, now teaching at Adelphi College; Peter Saul, in charge of dance at Cornell U.; Marie Adair, in charge of ballet at Sarah Lawrence, and others. In 1956, they gave a special ballet performance for Baba in the Barn at Myrtle Beach; and you can see them in the old 1958 movies carrying Baba about in His special chair.

 

After the stint with Ballet Theatre, Margaret was a moving force behind the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for nearly 20 years. At 90 years of age she is still teaching — at the Manhattan School of Ballet. It is still the aim of an aspiring dancer to "study with

 

*The code words for invasion were: "Throw the cat out in the rain." Lord Meher, vol 8, p. 2949.-webmaster.

 

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