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54

 

continued from page 5

 

the highest German war meetings and it was a miracle to them that they couldn't enter Switzerland. But it was Baba 's miracle . . . that's my story.

 

Kitty: Do you want to talk about Cannes?

 

In 1952 after Baba had been in the accident in America it was said He would like to come and have a rest in Switzerland. I was told to arrange things. Hedi arranged to have the house next to hers which belonged to a professor. She lived then at Solduno near Locarno. I told her we must have another house for the ladies, one house for Baba and a house further off for the mandali. I talked to Gisela Häfliger to see if she could come and cook for Baba and the ladies' group, and if Max could take his holiday and look after the men at the other house.

 

The point was how to meet Baba at the airport when He was so badly injured. We bought wheelchairs and we found two very nice men with huge cars, very nice cars. So we met Baba at the airport. The driver Baba chose to go in his car was like a bear, a big strong man but really he was like a child. We drove down — it is quite far if you look on the map from Kloten near Zurich over the Gotthard Pass. At that time you had to drive over the pass (now they have a road underneath).

 

We drove down to Hedi's place and Baba was very pleased because it had a lovely garden. I have quite a number of photos but I didn't bring any of my books. I left them at home. I thought if they got lost on the plane they are lost forever. I brought only a few photos of Baba in the garden. I was also obliged to take my two nephews from Germany with me. I put one in a pension because he was old enough; the smaller one I had to take with me; he was 12-13. Baba liked him so much, He said he should be His little night watch man. Of course I was very happy that he could be of some use, and he was happy with Baba. Baba had to learn to walk again. I also have photos where Don and Sarosh and Meherji are all helping Baba to begin walking again. He used to sit in that garden with all the lovely big trees; He didn't see many people in Solduno.

 

Also, for Mehera, who never before went out in public, we found a very excellent Dr. with the help of Hedi, who treated Mehera, because she still had that wound on her forehead. She was taken to the doctor by this "bear". We used to call him "bear". I think Rano went with them.

 

I don't know many details but these are some of the things Baba said: He wanted to go to the mountains in Switzerland near St. Moritz. It’s very difficult to go from Locarno to Maloya Pass, you have to cross the border at least twice; from Switzerland you go into Italy and again you switch over, you have to make such a big detour, you can't make it in a day.

 

The problem was how to get the visas, because at that time it was always very difficult to go to Italy except for us Swiss. We had to get visas for everybody, English, Indian, German, whoever was there. Friday night I called up the consulate in Locarno and said we must have visas immediately. They said Saturday no one works. I said never mind, you will have to work, we must have visas. They were the Italian consulate, I know those Italians. They fall on women, you know. So one must make use of them. So I open my hair and combed it nicely and I made myself look nice and I wore a dress which was a little bit open, a green dress, with apples on it! You know, I was sort of being a catchy female, which I wasn't otherwise. But you see Baba makes use of everything, everything is alright, it's not bad if you don't go too far!!

 

I went there and I said, Look here, I have the passports. I looked at him very sweetly and said, I have to have six entry and exit visas for each passport, but he said we can only one. I replied, Excuse me, it doesn't work, I have to have six. I don't remember now what all I said but anyhow I came home with six visas of entry and exit from Switzerland to Italy.

 

So we left. I had ordered special food in the hotel in the Maloya Pass (I also have a photo from there, even one with Mehera) because at that time Baba had great difficulty in eating. His jaw had been broken in the accident So we had to order food He could

 

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