39701956 TRIP TO THE WEST1956
On another occasion regarding Baba's diet, on 4 June 1956, Mani wrote Ivy:
In response to loving queries regarding Baba's diet, I was sending Kitty some dal, et cetera by ship, but when talking about the itinerary this subject came up, and Baba definitely does not wish me to send it. He has dal and rice all the time here, and wants a complete change of diet when he is there in the West, and will eat Western food. Baba does not want anyone to worry about the diet, and does not wish Kitty (and others concerned in New York and elsewhere) to spend their time cooking for Baba, as he wishes you all to be with Baba as much as possible. Please pass this on to Energy — I shall also be repeating it in my next letter to the New York group ...
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India had accepted an invitation from President Dwight Eisenhower to visit America from the 6th of July until the 10th. Because Baba did not wish his visit to coincide with Nehru's, instead of leaving India during the first week of July as originally planned, he decided to leave in mid-July. (Later, due to Eisenhower's ill health, Nehru's visit was postponed until December.)
Accompanied by Eruch and Nilu, on 16 July 1956 Baba left Satara for Bombay, where he stayed for the day at Ashiana. Adi Sr. and Meherjee joined him there. Baba was still in seclusion and although there were hundreds of requests from all over India for permission to be present at the Bombay airport to give him a send-off, Baba did not allow it. He was breaking his seclusion for only one month, he indicated, to give his sahavas to his Western lovers.
That same night at midnight, Baba, with Eruch, Nilu, Adi Sr. and Meherjee, flew from Santa Cruz airport on Air India Flight 103 (economy class). On the way to London, the plane stopped for about an hour each at Damascus and Beirut. By the afternoon they arrived at Kloten Airport in Zurich, where Baba met about 35 Europeans. Close lovers such as Hedi Mertens, Irene Billo, Helen Dahm, Max and Gisela Haefliger and their three daughters watched from the balcony of the airport as Baba and the mandali disembarked from the plane and walked to the conference room that Irene had reserved. He embraced Hedi, Irene and Max and then the others one by one.