I was not in Meherazad when Arnavaz died, 18 February this year. I felt very close to Arnavaz, as did so many who came into her orbit and felt her love and concern for them as Baba's children.
I used to get daily and sometimes more than daily updates on her via Shelley's emails. Arnavaz, in common with other Mandali and close ones, defied medical facts and pulled through when by rights she should have long gone to Beloved Baba. It was not easy for her, she suffered. But what I got from Arnavaz were repeated lessons in totally surrendering to His Will. She always took everything as His gift. It is no co-incidence that her book is called 'Gift of God' which is also what her name meant. Through her example and talking with her, I learned how to surrender to Baba's Will. Learning didn't mean I actually could do it, but at least I'd seen first hand how it's done. I do try and act on what I've learned, but have a long way to go before I can even approach the shadow of her surrendrance. So I was really sorry to not be there when she finally went to Baba.
Today, Baba allowed me the privilege of being present when her ashes were interred in Meherazad garden, just outside the window of the room where she spent her last years, months, days..and where she died. It was her favourite space, I guess. A deep hole similar to the ones dug for the women Mandali on the Hill, by Baba's Samadhi, was made. Her neice Meherrukh and Meheru jointly put the stainless box containing her ashes into the hole, then a big garland was placed around the top, and flowers offered. As I bowed down to her I took a flower, kissed it and thanked Arnavaz for being there in my life and for everything she had shared with me. Then I dropped it in, to rest with all the others offered to this gentle stalwart, whose beauty both physical and spiritual, will brighten our memories always. We all sang, and Manu's voice could be heard singing Satchitananda Parmananda and Hari Paramatma. Arnavaz's great neice Meher has a nightingale's clear song, and she and Ted led the group in a couple of hymns.
After the Interment Manu was talking about how one by one, all her companions had gone. She's currently being treated for suspected TB which caused her chest to fill with fluid. Gus and Rada came visiting, and we were teasing her about having to go on for at least nine more years, until she was 100. She said, "No, never." But we told her she had to be prepared, as Baba could keep her that long. Gus said that it was all about making sure she was comfortable, and Rada chimed in to say, yes - whether it was 9 years or 20!! At this she started to laugh, knowing we were teasing. The interment was followed by snacks and cold drinks, a party for a true princess. Love you, Arnavaz. Jai Baba!!!