Captain William Donkin, I.M.S., continued from page 22.
As for Meherabad, the track which goes up the hill from the railway has now got young trees on either side, which in thirty years' time will be very pleasant indeed. Down the hill is much the same as before, very pleasant these months (I saw it last in August), with the crops growing up. The monthly "dhuni" or sacred fire is still lit monthly, as when started last December by B's orders. It is lit just at that wooden hutch by the roadside, in which Baba wrote his book years ago. In those days, there was a fire there, constantly burning . . . the "neem" tree by the hutch has been struck by lightening, but is still living well. The garden up the hill is really very good now, with plenty off flowers and young trees growing well.
Nasik, which I saw last in August too on my way back from Dehra Dun, is in good form — the Meher Retreat is rather vacant with Rustom gone, and only the old lady in the main bungalow. Occasionally people use those rooms, but they are getting rather out of repair. The garden on the other hand, has got very good in the last two years. Ramju and Dr. Ghani, whom I saw are in good form. Ramju’s son is to marry Ghani's daughter soon. Padri is now in Deolali, near Nasik, doing some motor business on B’s orders. He wants to go back to Meherabad.
I am still in Bangalore, but now Adi and Ghani have gone from here, so I miss their company. Byramangala Centre is still as it was but the big lake behind, which is being made by the construction of a huge dam, is filling up with water...and the place will be very beautiful later on with this lake there. I go out there about once a month, just to see all is O.K. A Mohammedan caretaker is looking after it.
Please thank Joffre for his letter. I sympathize with him in the army. I shall be writing him soon when I feel the urge. I have now risen to the dignity of Capt. in the I.M.S. but always itch for the time when I can join B again, as soon as the war is over. Well, a very Merry Christmas and New Year to you both, Delia, Tom Joffre, Norman Franklin, Mrs. Rand and Miss Baker, and all the old stagers, and here's to B's day, when peace and genuine friendship and understanding are paramount again in a new and as we feel, a better world.
Letters From India, continued from page 29.
photos within an inch of our lives and can just get out of there in time without further complications.
Now I am sitting in the train to Jubbalpore. I have to go second class, Pleader, Chanji and the good Mad-man Mahomed with two female servants and Walu, the woman with the stern Beethoven countenance, went third class. A night is gone, the grey-yellow-green fields lie there in the sun, tomorrow morning at two in the morning we are supposed to arrive. I hope Hedi survives the three-day drive in the bus.
The vehicle has much too weak springs considering the overload; one feels every bump in the poor Indian roads.
I say to Baba he should have double the springs put in Jubbalpore. Hedi has in the short time since I've been here further convalesced very well. Concerning all the inner happenings, which around Baba are constantly in motion and oscillation, and which mean a continuous striving forward toward spiritual understanding and strength. I cannot very well give details here since of course they reach into the deepest personal inner being.
Letter III - Jubbalpore, Dec. 17, 1938
Here in Jubbalpore so far it's been a sort of vacation. I had to draw yet another variation of the diagram for the "Spiritual Ashram". Then we went for two days (over Christmas) to Marble Rocks. This is a village wonderfully situated over the river Nurbudda. The river flows slowly, in many twists and turns, through rocky cliffs of white marble.
The bizarre form of these marble walls, the lighting and the plays of shadow are all of fantastic beauty. One can not bathe here, because there are alligators in the water. On a flat area the native women haul water in round brass containers, which they then carry with raised arms on their heads, looking themselves like vases. And when they stand in the river to bathe, all of the