It is now almost Beloved Baba's 41st Amartithi. Standing in the queue for Darshan this morning (a longish queue) I was thinking of the first time I came here for Darshan. Baba was in the crypt, and I spent the 7 days He was lying there in a daze of happiness. I recall Mehera's pain and tears, vividly. But I felt only joy. Anyway, that is another story. Those days there was no pandal (marquee) or arrangements or anything, just around 600 or so gathered for His last darshan.
Today there was the queue, already mentioned. From time to time Anna Khandale would announce that people should:
A) Not sing too long because others also were waiting to sing for Baba
B) Not take too long in the Tomb, others were waiting & they may miss
Now, breakfast is the least of your thoughts when you stand in the queue at Amartithi. However, Anna might have been thinking about his own breakfast. What a contrast to that first time, when no one hurried you and when they had to search for someone to sing for Baba, and we ended up with Yadav from the village singing the most lovely songs in His praise, with a chorus of young men from Arangaon providing the backing vocals. Later we did have the Poona and Nagar centre singers, but initially it was Yadav, almost all the time. Also, there was no breakfast, because unless you had your own, there was nothing to eat or drink except water.
Anyway, the slippers.. just as I got to the last part of the queue to go into the Samadhi enclosure, I noticed an Iranian lady take off her slippers and carefully put them into a plastic bag which she then put into her handbag, presumably to take it in with her for Darshan. I went up to her and requested her to please take the slippers out and put them with the others, mentioning that since Baba was looking after the Universe, I was sure He'd keep an eye on her slippers for her too! She took it well, and left her slippers outside, and even thanked me for telling her, later. The slippers reminded me of the following story.
It was Darshan time in Guruprasad. Not one of the big Darshans, one of the smaller gatherings that Baba would allow in summer when He was in residence there. There was a group of lovers from Mumbai, Pune and Nagar, there may have been others, I don't recall. Anyway, Dara and Homa Dadachanji were there with the rest of the clan. They were mischief makers, both of them, and they persuaded their nephews Meherwan, Sarosh and Falu, Rusi Bastani and the twins (I think) to take the right shoe or slipper of each pair left outside the big hall in Guruprasad and put them all into the pool around the water fountain in the garden! When people got up to leave, they found only their left slipper or shoe, and there was pandemonium. Baba heard of this, and I don't know what happened, but I'm sure the culprits were well scolded for their efforts! However, afterwards this episode became a source of great laughter for all. Fortunately, no one has tried repeat this prank at Amartithi, for one thing there's not a pond, and for another both Dara and Homa are with Baba, entertaining Him, I am sure.
I shall go back later to see if I can get a chance to sneak in when the crowds are a bit less, mid afternoon perhaps. That way I won't be serenaded by the various ringtones of mobile phones that people don't switch off, no matter how many times they are told! Today is the 29th, here in Meherabad, but still 28th night in the US, I guess. Jai Baba.