Issue #64

<<Previous Issue | Next Issue>>

Issue 64—July 11, 1980 to November 3, 1980 


The Saanen and Brockwood Gatherings go well with their question-and-answer sessions at the end instead of the discussions which had been so disrupted in recent years. Krishnaji decides on a new direction for Brockwood, with which most people seem to be enthusiastic. In November we see Krishnaji and Mary arrive in India for the start of Krishnaji’s India tour, something Mary did not usually attend.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #64

Mary: Today we begin our recollections for July eleventh, 1980, and we’re in Gstaad for the Saanen talks. My diary reads:‘At 10 a.m., Mary Cadogan, Jane Hammond, and Scott came. Mary and I discussed Saanen matters. At 11 a.m., there was the annual meeting of the various international committees and foundations. Krishnaji had Sunanda describe the work in India. Then he called for greater communication between everyone and described the new Krishnaji Information Centers in the U.S. Out of this came a plan to have these international committees meet at Brockwood after the gatherings there. Mary, Jane, and Scott stayed to lunch. In the afternoon, the meeting of the international committees, minus Krishnaji, continued at the Sport Golf Hotel in Saanenmöser.’

Scott: Right, I remember that year. The Germans had rented the Sport Golf Hotel in Saanenmöser, and there was a continuation in the afternoon of the meeting in the morning.

M: Yes. Oh, that’s what it is. ‘I drove the Patwardhans and Parchure there, but I left at 5 p.m. to pick up Krishnaji, who had walked down the hill to have his hair cut by Monsieur Nicolas in Gstaad. The mad Spaniards came to the house.’ [Both laugh.] Oh, lord. ‘And after a long discussion on the doorstep, they shook hands, accepting that Krishnaji will not talk to them or come to Barcelona.’ [Both chuckle.] Oh dear.

Now we go to the July twelfth. ‘There was some sun that day. I went to Rougement to look at two Buddha statues at the antiquaire, Monsieur Rossier’s.’

S: Where is that?

M: That’s down on the left. [Chuckles.]

S: On the left on the main street?

M: On the main street.

S: I can’t picture it.

M: ‘I marketed, and then the Marogers came to lunch. They are here for the weekend, and afterward they took Krishnaji and me for a ride in their new Citroën. We stopped in Rougement to see the Buddhas, but Krishnaji didn’t like them. I didn’t much, either. We picked up Sunanda on the way back. Krishnaji talked to her and gave her a treatment. I drove her home, and then Krishnaji and I went for a walk.’

The thirteenth. ‘Rain. Krishnaji gave the fourth Saanen talk. At lunch were Kathy and Scott, and Natasha, invited by me; and invited by Vanda an R. Porchelli, and an American boy, David Eddie. Nadia Kossiakof came at 3:30 p.m. to talk to me and to Krishnaji at 4 p.m. Sunanda and Pama brought a Romanian lady, Magda Sichitiu, and her little girl, Rukmini, who share their chalet. Krishnaji talked to them. I took everyone home in relays and then Krishnaji and I walked in the rain to the Palace Hotel and back. Krishnaji, after his morning talk, had me write down, “The past is giving meaning to the present and therefore the present has no meaning.”’

S: Hm.

M: That’s interesting.

S: Just an aside on this, Magda was actually introduced to Krishnaji and his teachings by Silvius Russu, because Silvius Russu was a long-standing friend of her parents.

M: Oh, I didn’t know that.

S: And the first time I met Magda was with Silvius. I can’t remember what I said—but something like it was nice to meet some old family friend of his or something like that, and he looked a little distant, and said, “Never trust Romanians.” [Laughs.] And this is, you know, from a Romanian.

M: I don’t want to record the following, if you’ll turn it off.

S: Alright.

<Tape cuts out, then back on.>

S: We’re back recording again.

M: The fourteenth. ‘There was some sun today. I ran errands, and Asit telephoned from Singapore to say he is coming here from August ninth to the thirteenth. The Marogers came to lunch. Krishnaji talked alone with Marie-Bertrande and put his hands, as she had been sick last night. Sunanda, Pama, Mary Cadogan, and Dorothy came for coffee. Also at 2:30 p.m., a Madame Nefferts of Swiss German television came with Gisèle Balleys, Ulrich Bruger, and a Mr. Schneider to talk to me about a program on Krishnaji. I agreed to it, so they will videotape in the tent tomorrow and have a short video interview with Krishnaji here at Tannegg afterwards. I fell asleep for a short time, then took the Patwardhans home while Krishnaji went for a ride to Lauenen with the Marogers. They leave tomorrow. Krishnaji and I walked to the river. One of two non-rainy days we’ve had.’ [Both chuckle.]

July fifteenth. ‘The rain returned. Krishnaji gave his fifth Saanen talk. It was filmed unobtrusively by the German Swiss TV company. At lunch were Frances and an Italian woman, Anna someone, who has done a thesis on Krishnaji. At 3:30 p.m., the television crew set up in the living room at Tannegg, and at 4 p.m., Madame Nefferts did a fifteen-minute filmed interview with him, asking three questions.’ I should have written down what the three questions are.

S: That’s alright, we’ve got the interview.

M: Anyway, ‘it will be broadcast in September. Sunanda and Pama appeared and later I took them back. I joined Krishnaji on the walk to the Alpina Road’—that was sort of a loop for a short walk, it was peaceful—‘as it was too wet to walk in the woods. They are widening the road below the Meurice Hotel, destroying a stone wall, trees, and its narrowness, and with it the sense I get there of an old-fashioned middle-Europe look. The smallness of the road was its character.’

The next day. ‘Still another gray, wet morning. Vanda left on the 7 a.m. train for Florence. Fosca says the secretary telephoned her yesterday and that Vanda’s brother, who was in very poor health, wants to see her, but as she’s coming today not to tell her. She went off without breakfast, independent in a taxi, and Fosca wept. “La Signora,” she wept, “vive come una zingara.”’ [Both chuckle.] That means the signora lives like a gypsy.

‘It was quiet in the house. Krishnaji noticed it. No one came to lunch so he came to the table with Dr. Parchure and me. We spoke of Mark Lee. Krishnaji is also concerned about Vanda. At 4 p.m., Mr. Mirabet brought his annual donation of 8,000 Swiss francs’—he was a very nice old man. ‘At 4:30, both Siddoo sisters came for two hours. They asked Krishnaji if he had lost interest in their school. He said they must keep in closer contact with him. Sarjit tried to get him to make a tour of Canada. I reminded her that here, at Tannegg, it was agreed when they first spoke of their school that they undertook it knowing that Krishnaji couldn’t be there. Krishnaji said that he wants to live another ten or fifteen years, and if he travels more than now, that will not be possible. So no question of speaking across Canada. Sarjit, full of “yes, buts,” pointed to his going to Ceylon this year. Krishnaji said he last spoke there in the early ’50s. They have asked him back ever since, and so this year he will go. Sarjit then denied she had said Krishnaji should speak across Canada—only in Vancouver. Krishnaji left it open, but with no commitment. After two hours, they left in Jackie’s newly bought Mercedes. She has become a Swiss resident and bought a flat in Gstaad. There’s lesser Canadian income tax if you live abroad. Both sisters feel their school is now going well. They feel attached to the bone, and that David Bohm made the difference in the school improving. Sunanda had a treatment from Krishnaji, and then there was no time left for a walk. It rained, anyway.’

July seventeenth. ‘There was a little less rain today. Krishnaji gave his sixth talk. I fetched Anneke up to lunch. There was just Krishnaji, she, and I at the table. Anneke was full of talk about a Dutch psychiatrist, Jan Foudraine, a Rajneesh follower. Anneke kept saying “Bhagwan,” which tightened Krishnaji’s face fastidiously’ [both chuckle], ‘and Foudraine came at 4 p.m. for an interview with Krishnaji. A large, gray-haired man with a beard and the rusty costume with beads and locket. He was with Krishnaji until 5:30 p.m. Half an hour before he left, Sunanda and Pama came. After Foudraine left, Krishnaji, they, and I sat and talked till after 7 p.m. with much laughter, Krishnaji’s face alight with amusement. It was too late for a walk, so he sat on though it was late, after which he was essentially tired. I hoped the fun would take the place of the good of a walk.’

The eighteenth. ‘In the morning, I did errands. The Patwardhans came to lunch. A letter came to Krishnaji from Rajagopal, written July ninth in reply to Krishnaji’s from Ojai of May twenty-first, saying that he’—that means Rajagopal—‘had never violated the settlement agreement. That he had collected correspondence and other items for over sixty years as a personal project’—this is how he justified his actions, you know, he just stole all the archives and claimed they were his—‘and that “neither you nor any organization has any valid claim to them.”’ That’s Rajagopal’s letter. ‘Furthermore, he said that he’—Rajagopal—‘is willing to “join hands once again if you will ask your trustees to cease their harassment of the K and R Foundation.” There was also a two-page letter to Krishnaji dated June twenty-third and sent to Brockwood, signed by Austin Bee, Mima Porter, and Annie Vigeveno, obviously written by Rajagopal (his style is very evident), and it mentioned a stonewall on everything. It begins, “Dear Mr. Krishnamurti,” and is insulting. A copy came to me as a trustee. The Patwardhans lunched with Krishnaji and me and the letters were read to them. At 3:30 p.m. I drove them to Saanenmöser for another getting-together of the foreign committees. Mary Cadogan has left, but Dorothy was there. There was mostly talk about how Krishnaji Information Centers should work. Scott was there about the international endowment fund, which seems to elicit little interest. A Ms. Ruth Jacobs, who has got Krishnaji played on cable television in New York, was invited by me. Suzanne van der Straten came. It broke up at 6:30 p.m.’

The nineteenth. ‘The Patwardhans came by in the morning, but I did errands. Only Krishnaji, Parchure, and I were at lunch. At 4:30 p.m., an old Spaniard, Mr. Martinez, and wife came to give a donation’—that’s not the crazy Spaniards, they’re nice Spaniards. ‘At 4 p.m., the Siddoos saw Krishnaji briefly. Then he and I walked to the river.’

July twentieth. ‘It was clear early, then the clouds regrouped. Krishnaji gave his seventh Saanen talk to a packed tent on meditation, but it was an odd talk; a bit disconnected, pausing into three anecdotes and more, saying that what must be done before meditation can be done. “Don’t meditate,” he said referring to what most people do. Only when the mind has seen all its habits, shortcomings, etcetera, and is free, can meditation really begin. Rain began as he came out of the tent. The Patwardhans, Pascal, and Baboo Merali (that’s the nickname for Merali I’m supposed to call him, which I do with reluctance)’ [both chuckle] ‘his nephew Kaim, and niece Zubeda came to lunch. As today was the last of the talks, Krishnaji joined at the table. Merali had brought two Indian dishes. After they left, Sunanda had a healing, then I drove her and Pama to their chalet. I came back and took a nap. There was a windstorm that woke up both Krishnaji and me, but we were both tired, so we didn’t go for a walk. I am clamped into a thriller, The Bourne Identity by R. Ludlum.’ [Chuckles.]

S: Oh, yes, I remember it.

M: I remember nothing about it but the title, but it was a good one, apparently. [S chuckles.]

The next day. ‘There was rain and fog.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I worked at the desk all morning. There was just Krishnaji, Parchure, and I at lunch. There was talk of kundalini, and I recorded part of it. We were interrupted by Brian Jenkins wishing to mediate between the Bangalore school and KFI. Robin Chavreul, his wife, and baby came to greet Krishnaji. Sunanda came for healing. I took her home. There was no rest for Krishnaji.’

July twenty-second. ‘Sun! Naudé telephoned from somewhere in Switzerland. He’s coming here in August. I marketed early, and had lunch with the van der Stratens, Simmonses, and Patwardhans. Krishnaji had his lunch on a tray but came in afterwards. He slept all afternoon while Sunanda, Pama, Parchure, and I sorted written questions for tomorrow. It was a beautiful cloudless day spent, alas, indoors.’

The twenty-third. ‘It was a beautiful day. Krishnaji held the first of five question-and-answer sessions. He’s taking only written questions, and he answered three today, most marvelously.[1] At lunch were Jackie Siddoo, Kathy, and Scott. The later two stayed to discuss video matters with me. The Patwardhans came in later and we all sat with Krishnaji until almost 6 p.m.’

July twenty-fourth. ‘The weather is fine, and Krishnaji had the second, very good, question-and-answer meeting. [2] We had a quiet lunch with no guests. Sunanda and Pama came to see Krishnaji about India in the afternoon. I had Gisela Elmenhorst to tea with me. I took everyone home.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji held the third question-and-answer meeting. They go very well.[3] After it, Sunanda and Pama came to Tannegg to say goodbye, then left for Geneva and India. There was no one else at lunch. At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji saw a young German, Theo Metzinger, and had him see Dr. Parchure. Krishnaji and I walked to the river.’

July twenty-sixth. ‘Krishnaji held the fourth question meeting. Before it, I made an appeal for funds. What was needed for this year was Swiss francs 40,000, and we really need 6,000 more to make up that sum. Rita Zampese came to lunch with Krishnaji and me. After an nap and a walk with Krishnaji to the river, I sorted questions for tomorrow and Krishnaji dictated some.’

S: Yes, if he didn’t think the questions were good enough, he would dictate some.

M: Yes, well, or if he wanted to talk about something that wasn’t mentioned.

The twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji held the fifth and final question-and-answer meeting, which wound up this year’s Saanen Gathering. Krishnaji answered eight written questions. I brought Suad Al Radhi back for lunch. I slept in the afternoon, and Krishnaji slept till 7 p.m., so there was no walk. I spoke briefly to Vanda and Alain, who was with her in Florence. The Shah of Iran died in Egypt. It is no help in the hostage release.’

July twenty-eighth. ‘It was a sunny quiet day. Hilda and Herri Moorhead came to lunch. At 4 p.m., Dorothy, Harsh, and Claire came to discuss with Krishnaji and me the problem of Anand, their four-year-old son, and the need for a school at Brockwood for children of staff. It was more or less agreed that something must be done. Krishnaji and I went for a walk. Scott joined us to say goodbye. The tent is down. The donations reached 45,000 Swiss francs yesterday and people are leaving.’

The next day we were mostly just quiet, and on the thirtieth, ‘Dorothy came up in a taxi to say goodbye. She, Montague, and Doris leave in the Land Rover for Brockwood and are going quickly or slowly depending on Montague’s health and the weather. I had typewriter trouble, so I rented one from Madame Cadoneau.’ Remember Madame Cadoneau?

S: [laughs] Yes. The stationery store.

M: Yes, she ran the stationery store, that’s right. I typed letters that Krishnaji had dictated and sent Bamberger a check for my taxes. Ortolani and his wife came by. They are going to Brockwood. Krishnaji and I walked to the river.’

July thirty-first. ‘It was a hot day. I spend most of it doing desk work and running errands, while Krishnaji rested. It was too hot to walk, so we took a quiet ride to Gsteig.’

August first. ‘This is a Swiss national holiday. It was warm and clear. I did letters all day. Krishnaji slept two hours in the afternoon and didn’t feel like a walk.’

The second of August. ‘It was another hot day. Krishnaji began dictating Letters to the Schools again. Today’s was number thirty-eight, the first since before his going to India last year.’ Goodness. ‘After lunch, Krishnaji held another conversation with Dr. Parchure and me on kundalini, and I taped it on the little Sony. At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji came with me to the village to order’ [chuckles] ‘a new Philips razor and look at Omega watches. It is too hot for a walk, and Krishnaji is tired.’

The third. ‘Again, it was hot. I did letters all morning. At lunch, Krishnaji asked Dr. Parchure and me what is the right thing to do with those, as in India, who make sacrifices, give up jobs, etcetera and come to him. The conversation lasted three hours. It was exhausting. Krishnaji rejected all practical considerations and said I was not going with his thought. It was too late for a walk when we stopped talking, and too hot.’

August fourth. ‘It is slightly cooler today. I again spent the morning doing letters. We sat only one hour at lunch, timed by Krishnaji.’ [S chuckles.] I don’t understand.

S: He probably timed the lunch so that the conversation wouldn’t go on and you could get off for your walk in the afternoon.

M: Well, I guess so. ‘Krishnaji and I went for a walk in the woods.’ Yes, I think you’re right. ‘There was a letter from Sunanda saying that Radha gave a press conference in Madras on her becoming president and said the future of the Theosophical Society is to follow the teachings of Krishnamurti.’ Good for her.

The fifth. ‘It is a little cooler. I did letters all morning and went to Saanen for fruit in the afternoon. Krishnaji and I walked twice through the words in the late afternoon. He was tired but he had rested all day.’

August sixth. ‘I plowed through the letter pile, and the end is in sight!’ Exclamation point. ‘I ran errands in the late morning, and we had a quiet lunch; Krishnaji, Parchure, and me. Then a nap and reading. Krishnaji did three laps through the woods in the cool of the afternoon.’ That means going through the woods and turning around, just staying in the shade.

S: Yes. Right. [Chuckles.]

M: The seventh. ‘It was a cooler, beautiful morning. Krishnaji dictated letters to Erna about Rajagopal’s letter to him of July ninth, and the K and R trustees’ insulting letter of June twenty-third. Cohen has had no reply from Rajagopal’s lawyer, Christensen. Krishnaji did other letters, including replying to Radha’s letter of invitation to visit Adyar when he is in Madras. I typed most of the day. At 2 p.m., I went to the Cantonal Bank, for the annual review of the Alzina account with Mr. Liechti.’ That was that sum of money that was donated for Krishnaji’s use when Rajagopal had refused to give him money to live on, and they were investing it, and I was supposed to look after it. ‘At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji saw Frances McCann at her request. Krishnaji says she does not listen. He and I went for a walk to the river. Krishnaji twice said on the way back that it had tired him. “No more on the river road,” he says.’ I don’t know why, I suppose it was sunny, I don’t know.

S: Yes, when it was sunny, it was sunny on that road.

M: August eighth. ‘There was heavy rain, then it cleared. I finished typing and posting letters, then marketed and took Fosca down to the village. I also took Krishnaji to look at razors.’ [Chuckled.] ‘Then we walked only in the woods. I got two aerograms from Amanda.’

The ninth. ‘Asit and Minakshi telephoned from Geneva, and I arranged to meet them from the 2:30 p.m. train. I have rented a bedroom and bathroom in the downstairs east flat for them. Asit bought me a Nikon F3 camera body only in Singapore.’ He was forever talking about the latest Nikon, and Krishnaji was always cheering me on get one, and then objecting when I wanted to use it on him. [S laughs.] I would say, “My only interest is in photographing you, and I don’t need a new one to do it.” But, of course, that never worked. Anyway, Asit brought me that. ‘They have not been able to get these yet in Europe. I gave them a late lunch. Later, after 5 p.m., Krishnaji, Asit, and I walked just to the edge of the river and back, not up the road. Krishnaji said he was tired in the evening.’

S: Also, the walk up the road by the river was quite a steep climb.

M: Yes, it was uphill all the way. I think the sun was part of it.

August tenth. ‘Krishnaji slept well but didn’t feel like exercise. I took the Chandmals for a drive in the morning. We all napped in the afternoon, then had a walk in the woods. The Chandmals and I dined with Suzanne and Hugues van der Straten and went to a Menuhin concert. The students of Menuhin School played. Alain telephoned from Vanda’s in Florence, saying that he is arriving by train here tomorrow.’

The eleventh. ‘I took the Chandmals to the village shopping, and met Alain at 11:30 a.m. He has the little room off the dining room to stay in. All were at the lunch table. Much homeopathy talk. Krishnaji, Asit, Alain, and I went for a walk three times through the woods.’

August twelfth. ‘It rained on and off. I took the Chandmals and Alain to the village for shopping in the morning, and in the afternoon, I took Alain so he could have tea with Frances. I fetched him later, and walked with Krishnaji and Asit in the woods. Alain had dinner with the van der Stratens, and Dr. Parchure and I dined with Asit and Minakshi at the Olden Hotel.’

August thirteenth. ‘I took the Chandmals to the 7:45 a.m. train; they fly to London, New York, San Francisco, and then come back to Brockwood on September fifth. I went with Alain as he shopped in the village. Krishnaji, Alain, Dr. Parchure, and I lunched in. Jackie Siddoo presented financial accounts of the Wolf Lake School at 4:30 p.m., and I had supper at Jackie’s. Alain left on the 8:50 p.m. train for London.’

The next day was ‘a clear, cloudless day, so after breakfast, Dr. Parchure and I went up the Diablerets. This was his first touch of snow.’

S: I thought he’d been in the Himalayas.

M: Maybe it was just for Switzerland. ‘We got back in time for lunch. I marketed, then walked with Krishnaji through the woods.’

The fifteenth. ‘I ran errands in the morning, and in the afternoon went with Krishnaji to the village for a new razor and to have his hair cut. At 5 p.m., Suzanne and Hugues came and, in spite of the rain, we all went for a walk through the woods.’

August sixteenth. ‘I left at 9:40 a.m. for the Geneva airport. There was a delay at Hertz that prevented my telephoning Tannegg to tell Krishnaji I had reached the airport safely, so I was in despair on my flight to Rome.’ I was supposed to call and let him know I was alright, but I didn’t have time. ‘There was a huge crowd there, and it took one hour to go through passport control. Filomena and Mario, her son, met me. As I reached Filomena’s, the phone was ringing. It was Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and Vanda, who had arrived at Tannegg in the afternoon. Krishnaji was worried. I felt sick at having worried him. I had the usual time with Filomena’s family. She and I had supper alone and talked.’

The next day is just a quiet day with Filomena, then on the eighteenth, ‘Filomena and Mario took me back to the airport where I took the Alitalia 11:30 a.m. plane back to Geneva. I picked up a Ford station wagon from Hertz, and drove to Gstaad, getting there after 3 p.m. I am unutterably glad to be back. Krishnaji, Vanda, Dr. Parchure, and I talked. Later, Krishnaji and I did our three laps through the woods.’

The nineteenth, ‘I slept well. I spoke to my brother, then packed all day and did last-minute errands.’

August twentieth. ‘Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I left Vanda, Fosca, and Tannegg at 7:50 a.m. and drove via Pillon and Aigle to the Geneva airport. We flew on Swiss Air at 1:20 p.m. to Heathrow, arriving at 3 p.m. Dorothy in the Cortina and others met us, and by 5 p.m., we were back at Brockwood. We went for a short walk in the grove and had supper at 6 p.m. Krishnaji ate downstairs in the school dining room again.’

August twenty-first. ‘I spent most of the day unpacking and putting things in order. Instead of a walk, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I worked in the grove pulling brambles, nettles, and dead rhododendron blossoms. Krishnaji had supper downstairs.’

The twenty-second. ‘Krishnaji rested, and lunched in bed. I went to Alresford and Winchester in the afternoon. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I worked again in the grove and Krishnaji had supper in the dining room.’

Then for the next three days, Krishnaji mostly rested.

On August twenty-sixth, ‘Krishnaji and I went to London on the 10:23 a.m. train. Joe Links met us.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji gave him the Jacquet ties he had had made for him. Krishnaji went to Huntsman and I to Wallace Heaton.’ That’s a place that sells photographic equipment. ‘I purchased lenses for the Nikon F3. Then I met Krishnaji at Huntsman and we walked to Fortnum, where Mary lunched with us. Krishnaji and I walked back to Wallace Heaton, where I paid for equipment after trading in my Leicaflex, and we then took a taxi to Waterloo, so back to Brockwood by 6 p.m.’

Then more rest for Krishnaji and desk work for me.

On the twenty-eighth, ‘I went back to London for a haircut, to Heaton for other Nikon lenses, then bought cheese for Krishnaji, and had lunch with Betsy at her Cheyne Gardens flat. I caught the 4:30 p.m. back to Petersfield.’

The next day. ‘It rained most of the day. I fetched Mary Cadogan from the Petersfield station, also Danah Zohar Marshall and husband. She interviewed Krishnaji in the afternoon for the Sunday Times. It was too wet to walk. People are arriving for the Brockwood Gathering.’

August thirtieth. ‘It was cloudy, then clear. Krishnaji gave his first Brockwood talk at 11:30 a.m. We had fruit and salad upstairs, and then went to the tent briefly for the hot course. Both took naps, then we took a short walk. I invited Margaret Dodd to spend the night in the West Wing guest room. She came to talk and to show a proposal for photos and text for a Krishnaji book to the publication committee.’

The thirty-first. ‘Perfect weather. Krishnaji gave the second Brockwood talk, a very fine one.[4] Mary and Joe came, and they had fruit and salad with Krishnaji and me upstairs. Margaret Dodd presented her book proposal to Krishnaji and the publication committee. Mary and I had coffee and talked before she and Joe left.’

September first. ‘I sorted questions that had been handed in, and Krishnaji chose ones for tomorrow. We walked in the grove and did some work there.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji held the first question-and-answer meeting[5] in the tent. We lunched upstairs and then he returned to the tent briefly for the hot food, as usual. We walked in the afternoon.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji dictated letters, rested, and chose questions for tomorrow’s question-and-answer meeting. And the day after, he held that meeting, and answered nine questions.’

Then there’s really nothing the next day, but on September sixth, ‘I went to fetch Asit and Minakshi Chandmal at the Petersfield train station. They came from California and leave tomorrow for Bombay. Krishnaji gave talk number three. Very fine,’[6] (underlined).

The seventh. ‘Krishnaji gave the fourth Brockwood talk, and afterward he gave an interview to Richard Henwood. The walk was just with Krishnaji, Dorothy, and me. At 6 p.m., Asit and Minakshi left for the airport and Bombay.’

September eighth. ‘The Gathering is over, so the house is beginning to empty. I did desk work, laundry, etcetera. Dorothy, who was stung in the mouth by a wasp, didn’t come on the walk, so Krishnaji and I, with the dog Whisper, went across the fields. It was a wonder of beauty.’

The ninth. ‘Krishnaji did exercises as usual with Dr. Parchure in the morning, but then spent the rest of the day in bed. I went to a three-hour staff meeting beginning at 3 p.m.’ [S chuckles.]

September tenth. ‘Krishnaji and I took the train to London. Mary and Joe met us at Waterloo. Krishnaji had a Huntsman fitting, then I had a Hilliers fitting on two pair of slacks, with Krishnaji overseeing it.’ He had to see how long the slacks were; it should break at the instep.

S: Exactly, yes. [Both chuckle.]

M: ‘We lunched with Mary at Fortnum, then I went at three with Rita Zampese to Qantas about our tickets to India. I rejoined Krishnaji at Hatchards, and we went by taxi to Waterloo and so home.’

The next two days are desk work for me, errands to Alresford and Winchester, and, of course, walks in the afternoon.

September thirteenth. ‘I worked mostly at my desk, but in the afternoon, international committee members arrived for a weeklong series of meetings with Krishnaji and David Bohm.’

The fourteenth. ‘Krishnaji and David Bohm held a videotaped conversation with committee members; the Brockwood staff were present, but not participating. In the afternoon, there was a tea for everyone. Krishnaji came in for a little while and then we walked.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji talked to the guests and staff in the morning. In the afternoon, Mary Cadogan and I held a meeting for committee members about Krishnamurti Information Centers. I walked with Krishnaji and Dorothy across the fields.’

September sixteenth. ‘The Marogers arrived for breakfast and are staying in the West Wing. At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji and David held another videotaped conversation with others listening. In the afternoon, Krishnaji talked to the staff only about a kindergarten for Harsh’s and Claire’s son Anand. Krishnaji is disgusted at the staff’s reactions.’ [Both chuckle.]

The seventeenth. ‘Krishnaji spent all day in bed resting, with lunch on a tray. David Bohm held a discussion at 11:30 a.m. In the afternoon, Mary Cadogan and I met with a French-language group consisting of Jean-Michel Maroger, Pascaline Mallet, and Betsy Debass, all from France; Gisèle Balleys for the French-speaking Swiss; and Robert Linssen for the French-speaking Belgians. We talked about French books and the need for more translations. Then, Mary and I met the Spaniards, Juan and Ramon Collell about the Fundación. Alfonso Colon has resigned as its president, and Raul Davila, the vice person, is the acting president.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji held another videotaped conversation with Dave Bohm. I talked to Mary Cadogan after lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji talked to the staff. He said he would talk to them every day, or as often as they wished. There was a discussion on “thinking together.”’ [Both chuckle.]

S: After all the talks on that, I don’t know why we weren’t able to do more of it—we were only able to talk about it.

M: Yes, we could only talk about thinking together, not actually do it.

September nineteenth. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji talked to everybody, and in the afternoon he talked to the Marogers.’

The next day, ‘Again at 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji talked to David and everyone else present. After lunch, all the international committee members left. The Marogers left after supper, but in the afternoon, Krishnaji, the Marogers, Dorothy, David Bohm, Dr. Parchure, and I met in the dining room and the Marogers spoke of wanting to do something with either La Mahaudière’—that’s their place—‘or another place if they move, that will benefit or be allied with Brockwood. They are separating from the farming project of Jean-Michel’s mother and brother.’ That property was co-owned by the brother and the mother. Nothing came of that, as I recall.

The twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji talked to staff in the morning, and was deeply exasperated. He talked to me about it after lunch. There was a staff meeting on school matters in the afternoon and a walk.’

The twenty-second. ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed. Everyone had a day off. I cooked lunch upstairs for Krishnaji, Dorothy, and Dr. Parchure; then I went to get the inspection certificate for the Mercedes in Alresford. After supper, Dr. Parchure and I talked at length in the kitchen. Krishnaji came in and asked what we were discussing. Out of this came a long talk between the three of us on Krishnaji’s feelings about Brockwood, a need for people he can explore with, etcetera. Dr. Parchure gave Krishnaji and me flu shots.’

September twenty-third. ‘Krishnaji was awake from midnight on. Nevertheless, he held a discussion with the staff at 11:30 a.m., then he slept in the afternoon, and then walked.’

The twenty-fourth. ‘It was a lovely day. Krishnaji and I took the 10:23 a.m. train to London. Joe Links met us at Waterloo. He dropped me at American Express so I could get travelers’ checks, then I walked to Huntsman, where Krishnaji chose a brown tweed for a jacket and a light gray flannel for two pairs of trousers. Mary Links met us at Fortnum’s and gave Krishnaji her just-published book about her father. Krishnaji and I bought cheeses on the way back. He had a haircut at Truefitt. And so to Waterloo and back to Brockwood.’

September twenty-fifth. ‘Dr. Parchure left at 6:45 a.m. for Heathrow and India. I did desk work all morning. In the afternoon, I went to meet Radhika and Hans Herzberger and their daughters, Sunanda, age 14, and Maya, age 10, at the Winchester bus station. They are at Oxford for a year while Hans is at All Souls. Sunanda is a new student at Brockwood. Radhika and Hans were in the West Wing for the weekend. Other new students all arrived today for the start of the school year. There were two from Oak Grove, Kate Hidley and Vicky Zudavern. Krishnaji, Dorothy, the Herzbergers, and I were on the walk.’

The next day. ‘I again spent most of the day working at the desk. Krishnaji held a staff meeting at 11:30 a.m., which the Herzbergers attended, and in the afternoon, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked. Krishnaji put his hands on the Herzberger child.’

September twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji rested. He did no exercise, but was up for lunch. Krishnaji put his hands on.’ I don’t know who. ‘At 4 p.m., Krishnaji and David had another videotaped discussion with only Dorothy, Saral, the Herzbergers, and I present. In the evening, I had a talk with Dave and Saral about people to talk to Krishnaji in Ojai next spring.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji talked to the entire school. I took Radha, Hans, and Maya to the Winchester coach station, where they went by bus to Oxford. I got back in time for lunch. We walked briefly in the afternoon.’

The next day was just my doing desk work and Krishnaji resting. But on the thirtieth, ‘I went on the 9:30 a.m. train to London, where I applied for an absentee ballot at the U.S. embassy, and got visas for Krishnaji and me for Sri Lanka from the high commission. Then I went to John Bell and Croyden for a new electric under-blanket for Krishnaji, and got the 3:50 p.m. train back to Petersfield.’

October first. ‘Thames Television came to do an interview with Krishnaji. They also interviewed some students and two staff in the morning, and Krishnaji answering questions in the afternoon. The interviewer’s name was Elaine Grand.’

The second. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji talked to staff. Dorothy was not well before lunch, and went to lie down. I went to talk to her afterward at Krishnaji’s suggestion. She is deeply discouraged and upset, feeling that she has lost Krishnaji’s confidence. Krishnaji and I went together to talk to her, and out of it came a largely new direction for Brockwood: no younger students[7]; more older ones; and the inclusion of any-age serious people. The primary purpose of Brockwood must be the exploration of Krishnaji’s teachings. Dorothy changed visibly and came on the walk. Krishnaji is enthused, and me too. He wanted to talk to the staff immediately, but will wait until Saturday.’ That was a Thursday.

October third: ‘I met Mary Links at the Petersfield train station. She came to talk to Krishnaji about the second volume of the biography, and to spend the night. Krishnaji told her of the new plan for Brockwood. We talked all afternoon, and with Dorothy we walked. I called Mary Cadogan about the new plan, and she is enthused, too.’

The fourth of October. ‘Krishnaji, Mary, and I talked all morning about the biography, until Joe arrived for lunch. Krishnaji, Mary, Joe, and I had coffee upstairs, and Krishnaji asked Joe’s opinion of the proposed change at Brockwood. Joe suggested Dorothy have sole decision-making in running it. The Linkses left, and on the walk, Krishnaji told Dorothy he delegates decisions to her under the new plan. He also held a staff meeting at 4 p.m., and told them of the plan, and most are enthusiastic.’

The fifth. ‘Krishnaji talked to the school. After the walk in the afternoon, Krishnaji was tired.’

October sixth. ‘Krishnaji slept very well: nine hours. Jean-Michel Maroger arrived. At lunch, Krishnaji invited him to be a trustee of the KFT, and Jean-Michel accepted. At 3:45 p.m., Krishnaji held a videotaped discussion with Jean-Louis Dewez. The latter asked questions in French and Krishnaji answered in English. There was a school meeting at 5 p.m., which I felt I needed to attend, so Krishnaji went alone with Whisper for his walk. Gale winds are blowing.’

The seventh. ‘It is cold and the wind is continuing. Krishnaji rested in the morning, but dictated letters. In the afternoon, he did another videotaped discussion for France with Jean-Louis Dewez, and also included Jean-Michel and Daphne Maroger, Stephen Smith’—Brockwood’s French teacher—’and Didier Bertrande’—a French student. ‘Then Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I went for a walk. Jean-Michel and Jean-Louis left for France. A Moroccan-French man doing a thesis on Krishnaji arrived.’

October eighth. ‘I took the 9:30 a.m. train to London to get our Indian visas, then did various errands, and was back by 5 p.m. Krishnaji had talked with Harsh and later with the Moroccan.’

October ninth. ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, the Moroccan man, and I took the 10:23 a.m. train to London. Joe met us and drove Krishnaji, Dorothy, and me to Huntsman. Dorothy went elsewhere and, after Krishnaji’s fitting, Krishnaji and I went on with Joe to his apartment, where he, Mary, Amanda, Krishnaji, and I had lunch. Joe drove Krishnaji to his dentist appointment with Mr. Thomson at 3:30 p.m. I shopped for fruit and cheese on the Marylebone High Street, and got a Braun shaver for Krishnaji. He didn’t like it, so it had to be returned. Krishnaji had one small filling. Joe drove us back to Waterloo, where Dorothy met us, and so, back to Brockwood by 6 p.m.’

The tenth. ‘In the morning, I went to Alresford on errands. Krishnaji lunched on a tray in bed, resting. It was raining, but we still went for the walk. There was a staff meeting at 5 p.m., but before that, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I talked with Harsh and Claire Tankha about their difficulties for an hour, and Krishnaji went on talking for another hour with them after Dorothy and I had to go to the staff meeting.’

October eleventh. ‘Krishnaji rested but came down for a walk and then for a special supper in honor of a young Chinese pianist who played at Brockwood Park eight years ago, and is now a concert pianist. He played for the school in the evening and Krishnaji stayed for the first half. The new electric under-blanket came for Krishnaji’s bed.’

S: Yes, perhaps we should just say for the record that the Yehudi Menuhin Music School was not that far from Brockwood. We always had very good relations with them, and often their brilliantly gifted students would come and play at Brockwood.

M: Yes. And eventually, Peter, the man who ran it, came a lot to Brockwood, helping the students with music.

S: He didn’t run the school; he ran something like the piano department, and he would come on weekends and teach piano at Brockwood.

M: That’s right. And still is doing it to this day.

S: Oh, how wonderful.

M: Yes, at least I saw him here last October.[8]

S: Oh, good. He is a nice man.

M: A very nice man.

October twelfth. ‘Krishnaji got up for lunch with the school. There was a conversation at the table after reading a newspaper article on the effects of the A-bomb. “Dreadful,” said Krishnaji. The Bohms, Dorothy, and me were half-joking as there seems to be no adequate serious response to such horror. Krishnaji said if he discussed it with a head of government, they would say, “But our neighbor has it.” He would say, “Get together and agree.” We went for a walk, Krishnaji, Dorothy, the dogs, and me at 4:30 p.m., as it is beginning to get dark early.’

The thirteenth. ‘I went early for my typhoid, paratyphoid, and cholera shots at the Alresford Surgery. Krishnaji spent the day in bed until walk time. The Digbys came for lunch, and George gave a talk to the school on silks and rugs.[9] There was a school meeting at 5 p.m. I felt feverish and sore from the shots.’

There was nothing much the next day, just Krishnaji resting and I was working at the desk.

On the fifteenth, ‘I went by the 9:23 a.m. train to London, where I went first to fetch my passport and visa from the Indian high commission, then to American Express for more travelers’ checks, and bought myself sports shoes for walking in India, and a Water Pik.  Fleur lunched with me at Claridge’s, and Betsy joined us for coffee. I then did more errands, including picking up the Hillier trousers. I caught the 3:50 p.m. train from Waterloo.’

October sixteenth. ‘In the morning, Krishnaji, while remaining in bed, did audiotaped replies to questions submitted by Gary Null of station WBAI in New York for broadcast there. He got up for lunch and later walked with Dorothy and me and the dogs. Krishnaji woke up in the night with some extraordinary feeling in his head, something he said was ecstatic.’

The seventeenth. ‘It was rainy and cold. Krishnaji again had strange feelings in the night. In the morning he replied to the rest of the questions on tape for WBAI in New York. He had lunch in bed, but got out for a walk with Dorothy and me. There was a staff meeting.’

October eighteenth. ‘It was a cold, clear day. Krishnaji hadn’t slept too well, so he stayed in bed until it was time for the walk. He, Dorothy, the dogs, and I went across the fields and up the drive. The dogs found a fox in the wood caught in a wire trap.’ Oh, that’s that awful thing. ‘Dorothy and I rushed back to get Gary or John King. John King came back and released the fox.’ I remember that so well. It was a beautiful, beautiful, big, red dog fox and he was being strangled in this awful wire. Krishnaji kept the dogs away, and then when John King came, he sort of straddled the fox and with the wire clipper cut the thing that was strangling it. And then he pulled his hands apart, and the fox was a streak of red and gone. [S laughs.] It was most extraordinary. A beautiful animal. How can they be so brutal?

S: Yes. Oh, they can be.

M: ‘My cold is fairly heavy,’ it says here. ‘Krishnaji and I watched a film on TV of the hijacking of a subway train until almost 11 p.m.’

For the next two days there is really nothing as Krishnaji was mostly resting.

October twenty-first. ‘My brother telephoned from New York. He and Lisa go to Bonn Thursday; then he will fly here Sunday, spend the day with me, but go on to Paris in the evening while Lisa goes to Munich and then meets him in Paris. Mary Links sent a draft of a statement on Krishnaji’s teaching to me to use in the biography. Krishnaji dictated a different one to me. Krishnaji was up for lunch and talked briefly afterward to an Italian, Mr. Stasi, who lives in South Africa and wants to start a school there. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with the dogs as usual.’

Again, nothing of note the next day, but on the twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji and I to London. Joe met us at Waterloo and dropped us at Huntsman. We chose two tweeds for skirts for me, then we met Mary Links at Fortnum. I gave her the notes for the biography. After lunch, I went for a haircut while Mary walked Krishnaji to Truefitt for his haircut. I went to Culpeper’s for more herbs prescribed by Amanda Pallant, and then met Krishnaji at Huntsman and from there we took a taxi back to Waterloo.’

October twenty-fourth. ‘Krishnaji rested in the morning. I met Mary Cadogan at 10 a.m. at Petersfield. We went over Foundation matters, then the Digbys, the Hammonds, the Linkses, and Sybil Dobinson came at noon. While Joe worked on his own things in the dining room, the rest of us held publication committee meetings both before and after lunch. Krishnaji joined everyone at lunch, and afterward he went for a drive with Joe’ [chuckles]. ‘It was a lovely autumn day. The Linkses and the rest left, then Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I went for a short walk. At 6 p.m., I met at Petersfield a Madame Nicole Phillipeau from Grenoble who wrote an excellent letter to Krishnaji, and came to meet him.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘At 12 p.m., Krishnaji saw Nicole Phillipeau, and at 4 p.m., he talked to the staff about the new plan to have older students. Radhi and Hans Herzberger are here for the weekend, and they came on the walk.’

The twenty-sixth. ‘Summertime ends, so the clock goes back one hour. I left at 7 a.m. and drove to Heathrow. Bud arrived from Bonn at 9 a.m., and we drove back through the rain to Brockwood. We talked on our lunch together, then continued to talk. At 3:30 p.m., I drove him back to Heathrow for a 4:45 p.m. flight to Paris, where he will meet Lisa, who will join him there tomorrow from Germany. I got back to Brockwood after 6 p.m.’

The next three days is more shots for me, packing, telephoning, etcetera.

On the thirtieth, ‘I packed and packed. I arranged for Bud’s camera, which he accidentally left here, to go to Paris with Pauline d’ Egrémont and telephoned him there about it. He and Lisa go back to New York on Sunday. I got everything done before going to bed.’

Now the big diary resumes, so we’ll have more details. October thirty-first. ‘Krishnaji woke me at 5 a.m. I made our nettle tea, but neither of us felt like food. The bags were all ready by 7 a.m., and the school had formed a circle in the West Wing hall to see Krishnaji off. We left shortly after 7 a.m. with Dorothy; Ingrid and Doris took our seven bags in another car. Krishnaji said, “I got up at 4:30 a.m. and I’m still not ready.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘All was with a flurry getting off. It was a clear morning with marvelous hoarfrost on the fields and trees. The beauty of this land, the seasons, the northern air was a gift before the heat of India.’ I remember that so well because I knew I was going where it would be very hot, and to see the hoarfrost on every little twig and blade of grass made me say to myself, “Remember this when you get where you’re going.” [S chuckles.]

‘We had egg sandwiches while driving and a Cox apple, but after we were in the airport, Krishnaji felt ill with stomach pains. Our flight was delayed, so we sat quietly until he felt better, and was able to get a cart for all of our hand luggage and ride up in a lift with it all. He again sat quietly while I fetched magazines and gradually the pain subsided. We telephoned Mary Links, and Krishnaji said goodbye to her. Our Qantas flight left at 12:30 p.m. instead of 9:30 a.m. We had the forward seats and lots of room with the new “sleeper” seats that pull out. Krishnaji said he woke up at 12:30 a.m., couldn’t sleep, got up, looked around, and picked up flies (we’ve had swarms), got back in bed, and was awake till 2:30 a.m. He had the most extraordinary feelings of “great clarity and don’t measure with words.” I write this page in the aircraft in Bahrain, where we have had to land. The flight was supposed to be nonstop, but because the flying space is congested due to the Iran-Iraq war, extra fuel was used so we had to stop in Bahrain for fuel. We are due in Bombay at 11:30 p.m., but will be hours late.’

Krishnaji at the gate of the Theosophical Society. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at the gate of the Theosophical Society. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

November first. ‘We landed at 4:30 a.m. Asit and Pama had a car right up to the plane. A government man was there to expedite us through the formalities, but only two of our seven bags appeared. There is a strike of luggage handlers, so the other five bags, with everything we need, were not unloaded and went on to Perth, Australia.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Asit tried to take Krishnaji to the nearby Centaur Hotel where we had rooms, but Krishnaji insisted on returning to the airport until I was through with the luggage formalities. It took two hours to find someone, fill out forms, etc. We all finally went to the hotel. The one bag of mine had an old pajama suit so I showered and put that on.’ You know, pants and kurta.

S: Yes, that’s the Indian pajamas, which are actually outdoor clothing.

M: Yes. ‘Luckily sandals, too.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji’s only bag had a Water Pik, cheese, and herbs in it,’

Krishnaji at the Theosophical Headquarters. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at the Theosophical Headquarters. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

[both chuckle] ‘but Pama had brought Krishnaji’s Indian clothes. Nandini came at 7 a.m., bringing breakfast. Balasundaram turned up unexpectedly. All had breakfast and sat about until 9:30 a.m., when the Indian Airline left at 10:30 a.m. for Madras. Nandini, Krishnaji, Pama, and I flew on. Pupul, Achyut, Radha Burnier, Padma Santhanam, and Jayalakshmi were all at the Madras airport to greet Krishnaji. Sunanda, Prema, and Malini were at Vasanta Vihar. I have my old room, but enter it from the back, as the sitting room is now a separate room and has a bath addition. Pupul and Nandini have that.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Lunch was in the new dining room built with screens off the kitchen.’ Remember that?

S: I remember it well.

M: ‘Dr. Parchure was here. Also Rajesh. Parameshwaram was there for cooking. Krishnaji and I had been up for thirty-one hours straight by the end of lunch. But Krishnaji in his Indian clothes, that Pama had brought to the airport, looked young and radiant.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘He said to me on the plane that when he closes his eyes, the thing he spoke of yesterday, the clarity, is still going on. I bathed then slept in the afternoon. It is hot and moist. The crows and the koels were noisy.’ [S chuckles.]

At Radha's house with Radha. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji with Radha at her house. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Sunday the second. ‘Everyone breakfasted in the dining room at 8 a.m. Krishnaji put the question: Has the religious mind of India, which is centered in doubt, as different from that of the West, which is founded on faith, been influenced and taken over by the West and hence is disappearing? He strongly said that if it is dead, then something new can be born. In death there is beginning. The evidence of decay is the rising preoccupation with astrology, magic, gurus, etcetera. This went on for two-and-a-half hours. I felt dissolved with the need for more sleep, the heat, and the travel wear and tear. I slept one-and-a-half hours till lunch and again afterward. Radha Burnier and her aunt, Dr. Sivakamu, came in the afternoon, and Krishnaji asked when he should make his walk through the Theosophical Society grounds. Radha said whenever he chose. Krishnaji said tomorrow afternoon and jokingly crossed himself several times.’ [Both laugh.] ‘It was almost put off, but Pupul wants to be present and she goes back to Delhi after Colombo. Asit telephoned twice during the day but has no news of the missing luggage. Then he rang that it has been found in Perth, but it may not get back to Bombay till Tuesday, in which case I would not leave for Colombo till it arrives. But at 9 p.m., he rang and Pupul came to tell me that the bags are in Bombay and will arrive here tomorrow. Asit must have pulled all strings to get them to return to Bombay on some other airline. Krishnaji has said all along they would be returned. He had sent an angel.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘The angel must’ve worked closely with Asit.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Pupul talked with Sunanda, Nandini, Ahalya, and me about the book she is doing on Krishnaji in India, and told of an incident when Shiva Rao was declared dying by doctors some years ago while Krishnaji was staying in their house. Pupul and others were concerned that Krishnaji should be there, but Krishnaji told her, ‘Death will not come while I am in the house.’

At Radha's house on beach. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at Radha’s house on beach. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

November third. ‘There was another long talk at breakfast about a possible conference next year in Delhi on the crisis in the human condition. Values were discussed, and Krishnaji said, “I have no values.” I see immediately what he means but others argued. At 10 a.m., I went with Prema to try to find a cotton kaftan. Everything was shoddy, but I found one long blouse I can wear with pants. Prema was as kind as ever. She has had a bad year with two deaths in her life. Narayan, whose mother was operated on this morning for a burst appendix, was at lunch, and got a quizzing from Krishnaji and Pupul about the school. At 5 p.m., Radha came with her aunt, Dr. Sivakamu, and Dr. Sivakamu’s brother, who wanted to see Krishnaji. Then, we all went to the gates of the TS, where we all got out. A crowd of TS members were waiting, and Krishnaji greeted them with the gesture of namaste. Everyone was smiling. Radha looked very happy. Krishnaji was at his shining handsomest; charming as no one else can be. And so, this first step into the TS for Krishnaji in forty-six years began.’ You were there, weren’t you?

S: I remember being on what was billed as Krishnaji’s first walk through the TS, but I wasn’t on this, I don’t think, so this is all very confusing for me. You and Krishnaji went onto Colombo, but I didn’t go to Colombo, and your diaries haven’t mentioned me as being there, so I don’t think I was there yet. So, what I’m thinking of must be some other walk.

Krishnaji at the Theosophical Headquarters. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at the Theosophical Headquarters. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: No. You didn’t go on to Colombo.

S: But I was there for what I though was the first walk.

M: I know. I remember you and what’s his name…on his bicycle.

S: Dick Clarke.

M: Dick Clarke. And it was dark when we got there. We walked in the dark. I remember that.

S: I don’t remember the first walk in the TS being in the dark. I guess we’ll see, but it’s  confusing.

M: Alright. ‘Krishnaji and Radha strode off at a good clip for this walk through the grounds that he had said he would make if she became president. Dick Clarke, in his nineties, peddled his bicycle behind them with the studious walkers following. Radha pointed out various places as we went along. At her house by the beach, Achyut, Sunanda, Pupul, and Nandini, who went by car, all had fruit juice, and Krishnaji, Radha, Pama, and I walked back to the gate going along the river. Krishnaji told me he recognized nothing, but thought he might recognize the river path where he used to walk as a boy. But when he came to it, he didn’t. We stopped by the place where Mrs. Besant was cremated, and then came to what used to be a water tank and has since been embellished. This he remembered a little bit. As we walked by the elephant heads on the main building, he remembered they impressed him when he was very young.’ And they would, you know. The very large elephant heads on the outside of the building would be fascinating to any

Krishnaji at the gate of the Theosophical Society. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at the gate of the Theosophical Society. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

body, but to a little boy, especially.

‘Looking up at his old rooms he said he didn’t really remember them. We went into the main hall and he looked about without saying anything. We walked on to the gate. By now it was dark and we waited on a bench for the car to come and take us back to Vasanta Vihar. Krishnaji told me he remembers virtually nothing of it. “It is a dead place,” he said. At 9 p.m., Pama and I went with a Qantas man to the Madras airport to retrieve the missing luggage, which Asit had seen to in Bombay. He and Devi Mangaldas’—that’s the daughter of Nandini—‘arrived on the same plane. Asit had spent six hours in Bombay yesterday getting it unloaded or they might have gone on to London.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I at last saw the bags, but there was no custom man on duty to clear them, so I couldn’t get them. Unless they can be cleared tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., all will be in vain, as I need Krishnaji’s passport to clear them, and he needs his passport to go to Colombo on the 9:30 a.m. plane.’ [Both chuckle.]

S: A typical Indian situation.

M: [laughs] So that was the third.

S: So we’ll stop as we’ve run out of tape.

<<Previous Issue | Next Issue>>



[1] For the video tape of this first question-and-answer meeting. Back to text.

[2] For the video tape of this second question-and-answer meeting. Back to text.

[3] For the video tape of this third question-and-answer meeting. Back to text.

[4] For the video tape of the second Brockwood talk of that year. Back to text.

[5] These had previously been called “discussions.” Back to text.

[6] For the video tape of the third Brockwood talk of that year. Back to text.

[7] For the first five or ten years of Brockwood, students as young as ten years of age were accepted. Back to text.

[8] This discussion took place in April of 2005. Back to text.

[9] He was the curator for textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and had a fabulous collection. Back to text.