Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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40011956 TRIP TO THE WEST1956

I tell you all with authority, as I have been telling others at other places, I am the Ancient One. When I break my silence, the world will know who I am.

Let us play now.

Baba began to pick the grapes one by one from the bowl beside him and toss them into the crowd, looking in one direction and throwing them in another. After two messages were read out, again Baba's gaze turned inward, and his fingers danced to the tune only he could hear. Suddenly, he got up and left the room. After a few minutes, Baba returned and seated himself on the divan. A professional cameraman took some film of Baba gesturing, "I am God, the Ancient One; I am the Avatar."

After Baba left the reception room, most of the people dispersed. A few lucky ones waited, and it turned out Baba called them upstairs to his room. He gave each a cookie from a box that had been given him.

In the evening Baba and the mandali were taken to the Imperial Theater to see a new musical comedy by Frank Loesser named The Most Happy Fella. His lovers had also purchased tickets and were waiting in the lobby when Baba entered, wearing a dark-red wool jacket with his hair tucked inside his collar. Baba's seat was in the first row of the balcony, to the left. Elizabeth sat beside him, then Ivy and Margaret. Eruch, Nilu and Adi were on the other side, and Darwin and Jeanne Shaw, and Ben Hayman in the row behind. Everyone else sat in other seats nearby. A young usher unknowingly got darshan when he offered Baba a program. During the play, Baba was withdrawn and doing his inner work. It was cold in the theater and Darwin put his coat on Baba's shoulders. Baba looked very tired. He left with the mandali at intermission and returned to the hotel.

Baba was again photographed and filmed, alone and in groups, in his room and the large hall early Sunday morning, 22 July 1956. One press photographer, K. Iyyar, was from Andhra and wished to publicize Baba's visit in India, showing an Indian Master who had so many devotees in America.

Baba came down at 10:30 A.M. He was filmed while three Spanish sisters, a young black youth and a tall Irishman approached him. Baba embraced each one and gave each a grape.

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