Issue #72

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Issue 72—June 24, 1982 to September 19, 1982


Krishnaji’s health continues to seem precarious, and his reserves of energy, limited. With this as a background, Krishnaji questions whether it is worth the time and energy to continue the legal conflict especially as it keeps all of Mary and him in touch with people he feels are dirty and evil.

Krishnaji gives superb talks in Saanen and Brockwood, and has a rest in France before the rigors of India.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #72

Mary: We start today with June twenty-fourth, 1982, and we are at Brockwood. ‘Pupul left for London. Asit and his wife Minakshi and daughters Clea and Sonali came to lunch. Krishnaji talked to Asit afterward about computer research on thinking and intelligence, and I taped it on a cassette. Erna telephoned. The judge in California is unable to decide between Rajagopal’s and my affidavit about the five boxes of archives that Rajagopal had sent to Krishnaji and then claimed that they were stolen, so he ruled that they should be returned pending the case. Erna is to discuss what to do with Cohen on Tuesday. She suggested I call Rajagopal. Krishnaji talked to Harsh and Claire and another couple about a school for Anand and other small children. Krishnaji came to the school meeting.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji and I went to London in the rain, where Joe and Mary met us. Krishnaji had his first fitting on a new Huntsman suit. Mary had Pupul, Krishnaji, and me to lunch at Fortnum’s. Krishnaji and I went to Hatchards, then to Floris for a shaving brush and soap. Krishnaji is changing from an electric razor.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Then we went to Paxton for cheese and butter.’

S: Floris is a nice place on Jermyn Street, but I never knew Krishnaji to wet-shave.

M: Well, he did for a while. Paxton is just two doors down from Floris, so that was pleasant shopping. ‘We then met Mary and Joe at London library’—which is also right near there—’and they drove us to Waterloo. The Underground strike makes taxis few. Krishnaji was laughing in the train at The Spectator review of a book about Leadbeater.’ [Both chuckle.]

S: I wonder what book that was.

M: I can’t remember.

S: Before we go on, isn’t there also that little tidbit that came up in our conversation last night? Since there is nothing too trivial for us. [Laughs.]

M: Don’t push me too hard. [Both chuckle.]

S: Well, it appeared in our conversation last night that the eight-hour cream you mentioned before is not something that you introduced Krishnaji to.

M: No.

S: Which I always thought was the case.

M: Oh, no, no, no. I never used it. I don’t like Elizabeth Arden.

S: Right, and so you said last night that you thought it was Vanda who introduced him to that.

M: Well, it must’ve been. I mean, I’m deducing that—nobody told me.

S: I’m just trying to get all the details. [Both laugh.] Alright, we can continue now.

M: You brought the eight-hour cream into the conversation.

S: I know, I know. I plead guilty.

M: So the twenty-sixth of June ‘was a quiet day for Krishnaji. No exercises. He spoke very briefly to a Greek girl called Erieta Kokido.’

S: Oh, yes, I remember her.

M: Yes. We know her, but this is her first appearance in these diaries. ‘He spoke briefly to Erieta after lunch and to Shakuntala later, then walked with Dorothy and me. In the evening, I telephoned Rajagopal with Krishnaji beside me. I asked why he was claiming the files he sent should be returned. He said he never gave them, and that he couldn’t discuss it. He was “doing what I think is right”’—that’s Rajagopal. ‘Krishnaji had me say that he and Rajagopal could settle it. Rajagopal said to have Krishnaji write that in a letter. Krishnaji questioned me about whether it is worth going on with all this.’ Krishnaji got fed up with it.

June twenty-seven. ‘Krishnaji spoke to school, and he talked to Kathy Forbes at 4:15 p.m. There was a small walk and some rhododendron work in the grove with him, Dorothy, and me.’ We used to deadhead the rhododendrons. I liked doing that. ‘I telephoned Erna about the conversation yesterday with Rajagopal. Krishnaji dictated letters during supper. The school had a dance in the evening.’

The twenty-eighth of June. ‘It rained. I took bedspreads to be laundered.’ I’m sure posterity wants to know that.

S: [laughs] We do, we do.

M: [Chuckles.] ‘Lady Dufferin came to lunch. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I cleaned rhododendrons and took a small walk.’

S: Who is Lady Dufferin?

M: Lady Dufferin is a Lady called Eva Dufferin. I don’t know how she came to know of Brockwood. I knew her through other people.

S: So, she was a friend or an acquaintance of yours?

M: Well, not really. She was a friend of friends of mine. And I knew her. I mean, I’d met her. She wouldn’t have come for me, and I wouldn’t have asked her, so. I guess she must have had an interest in Krishnaji. ‘We cleaned rhododendrons, and took a small walk. A British rail strike tied up everything, but was called off in the evening.’

The twenty-ninth. ‘I went to Alresford on errands and then to lunch with Jane and Ian Hammond at their home in Camberley, where I saw Ian’s clocks.’ Have you ever seen Ian’s clocks?

S: I haven’t.

M: Well, they are quite something.

S: I know that he’s a clockmaker as a hobby.

M: Yes, and he makes copies of ancient clocks, and makes them the way they were made in past centuries. The house is filled with clocks. They’re beautiful and exquisitely made. ‘I came back and stopped at Chawton to see the Jane Austen house. I picked up the now-cleaned bedspreads in Petersfield, a nd came back to walk with Krishnaji and Dorothy.’

The next day, ‘the school term ends today. I worked at my desk. In the afternoon, Erna telephoned about Rajagopal’s lawyer, Avsham, who rang our lawyer, Cohen, on Monday. He apologized for a rude letter, and said he was seeing Rajagopal Thursday and would advise him to settle the case. He will ring Cohen Friday. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I deadheaded rhododendrons in the grove and walked back across the fields. There were few at dinner. Krishnaji has hay fever symptoms, or is it a possible cold? I talked to Mary L. She and Joe come here on the fifteenth.’

July first. ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed sleeping on and off. Dorothy and Montague left in the Land Rover for Saanen, and I packed all day while watching Wimbledon on television. Krishnaji is much better from resting indoors.’

The second of July. ‘We finished packing and had an early lunch at twelve. Ingrid drove us to Heathrow, where Rita Zampese met us and escorted Krishnaji and me onboard our Swiss Air flight, on which we left at 3:20 p.m. for Geneva. We arrived at the Hotel des Bergues just as Mar de Manziarly was also arriving there from Paris. She has come to lunch with Krishnaji tomorrow. It is hot in Geneva. Krishnaji and I dined in the Amphitryon Restaurant, and took a stroll across the river, and so back to bed.’

The third. ‘We went to Jacquet to order ties for Joe and Krishnaji, and to the Pharmacie Principal for two more towel bathrobes for Krishnaji. Then to Grand Passage, and back to the hotel, where Mar lunched with us. She rested in my room until she left for the airport and returned to Paris. We spoke on the phone to Vanda, who had arrived this morning in Gstaad with Fosca. Krishnaji and I took a stroll, and at 7 p.m., had dinner, as at lunch time, in the Pavillon because the Amphitryon is closed today. We went early to bed for a good night’s sleep.’

July fourth. ‘I slept ten hours, and then had a lovely, lazy morning in bed. Krishnaji and I had lunch in the Amphitryon. I went to fetch a Ford Fiesta from Hertz, and then we drove slowly along the Route du Lac and up through Bulle to Gstaad, reaching Tannegg at 6:15 p.m. We haven’t got the downstairs apartment this year, so Parchure has to use the small one that Vanda usually takes for the few days she is here, and Vanda has taken a room nearby.’ We had the ground floor, and sometimes we had the lower floor, but not this year.

The next day. ‘I put things in order, and Krishnaji stayed in bed. In the afternoon, I went to the village on errands. Dr. Parchure arrived from Brockwood, having flown to Geneva, and been picked up and driven here by Gisèle Balleys.’

The sixth of July. ‘I did errands, and brought Frances and Nikki and David Mustart up for lunch. Vanda brought a letter to Krishnaji she had received from Rosalind and Rajagopal.’ I don’t go on about that, but he wouldn’t touch it, as if it was diseased.’ I had to tell him what was in it—when I tried to read it to him, he didn’t want to hear the words; he wanted to be told what was in it. He had a revulsion from everything about it. ‘I took Krishnaji to the barber for his haircut, and then we took a little drive to Gsteig.’

The seventh of July, and I finally am writing in the big diary again, so we’ll have longer entries. ‘Krishnaji and I came back here once again’—I sort of reprise what had happened—‘Krishnaji and I came back here once again to Chalet Tannegg last Sunday after flying on Friday afternoon to Geneva. It had seemed time to leave England. The Falklands War, which seemed to shock Krishnaji at every news bulletin, was replaced by the horror of fighting in Lebanon, and close by was the continuation of the railway and underground strikes in England. The fuss over the birth of a first baby son to the Prince and Princess of Wales only made Krishnaji spurn all the news as mad.’ [Both laugh.] ‘Our own contentions, the unending Rajagopal saga, reignited the week after we left Ojai with the demand by Rajagopal’s lawyer that the five cartons of papers and other material Rajagopal had sent via Austin Bee to Krishnaji on May fourteenth be returned immediately. Otherwise he would start proceedings “for the recovery of stolen property.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘I had left in Ojai a memorandum of my telephone conversation with Rajagopal, and based on this, Cohen’s office composed an affidavit, which I signed at the U.S. consulate in London and posted back. It arrived in time for a hearing in Ventura courts in which it was opposed by a statement of Rajagopal’s that he never gave the material but merely sent it for Krishnaji’s eyes as “production” of material called for by the court. The judge decided he could not decide between the two.’ [Chuckles.] He was a very fed-up judge, I think. ‘The judge was giving, this once, the benefit of the doubt to Rajagopal that he had sent the cartons as part of “producing” and, therefore, until a definitive court hearing and ruling, we should return them to Rajagopal. Cohen asked for thirty days to decide whether to appeal this to a higher court. Meanwhile, Rajagopal is to continue to “produce” further material for us to see at stated intervals. What he is supposed to “produce” is everything he claims is his property and we claim are Krishnaji’s archives. It is quite a list. Cohen told Erna that appealing to a higher court is usually as a result of a trial and a judgment, not a minor ruling like this one. He was to think it over and meet Erna a week ago. Erna asked me if I thought it would do any good to speak to Rajagopal. I was pessimistic, but said I would.’ We were still at Brockwood at this point. ‘I telephoned him in the evening, English time, on June twenty-sixth; as I have had to make sworn affidavits about my conversations with him, I asked Scott Forbes if there was some way to record the conversation. Scott rigged a small mic to the telephone earpiece and a cassette recording resulted.’ Do you remember any of that?

S: No. I don’t remember it at all.

M: ‘Rajagopal, as usual, began by saying he must go to another phone, which means to us, that he is recording it. For once he was not the only one.’ [Both laugh.] ‘I said how surprised…’

S: What date was this?

M: Well, I’m writing this on July seventh.

S: So you’re just recounting this.

M: Yes, I’m recounting as I’m trying to make up for the fact that I haven’t written in my big diary all this time. So, it’s a review of recent news. ‘I said how surprised Krishnaji and I were that after he had made what seemed like a friendly gesture and sent over the cartons, and when he sent them, there was never any mention of our returning them to him—and his lawyer now talks about stolen property? I said one wondered if he hadn’t intended to do something right and friendly, and now his lawyer was trying to undo it.’ [Both chuckle.] I was blaming the lawyer. ‘He said I could interpret it as I liked. I asked why he hadn’t mentioned sending it all back at the beginning. I went on to say that the thanks that Krishnaji had expressed via me twice on the telephone were obviously made for something sent to him to keep, and that I had asked him then if they were for Krishnaji, and he had said yes. I reminded him that Krishnaji had, in thanking him, said that if he would continue to send material there would be no need for a court action. Krishnaji was sitting beside me through all this, and wrote on a piece of paper for me to say that he and Rajagopal could settle the whole thing if all the archives material was turned over. Rajagopal said, “have him write that in a letter.” Rajagopal went on to say that he couldn’t do anything. I said his lawyers obviously had to follow his decisions, and it was sad if he could do nothing. He said that was my interpretation, and to tell Krishnaji that he had always done “what I think is the right thing.” He repeated this in a vociferous voice. I later telephoned Erna about this and she was not surprised. She is photocopying as much of the material as she can. She was still to see Cohen on the twenty-ninth to discuss where we are. Krishnaji wondered if all this was worth it, “for a lot of papers.” I reminded him that part of the agreement Rajagopal has broken has to do with republishing Krishnaji’s books incorrectly, as he tried to do with the first collected edition volume of the poems. “We mustn’t let him do that,” said Krishnaji. Erna then telephoned us on the thirtieth about what was then a new development. On Monday, the twenty-eighth, Avsham, Rajagopal’s lawyer who had written the insulting letter to Cohen about the stolen property after which Cohen informed Rajagopal’s Ventura lawyer’—he had two lawyers, one in Los Angeles and one in Ventura—‘that he would henceforth deal only with him.’ I’m reading this badly because Avsham rang Cohen and apologized, and was very polite, and asked Cohen if he would discuss with him a basis for a settlement of the case. ‘He said he was seeing Rajagopal on Thursday, July the first, and though Rajagopal didn’t know it, he was going to recommend settlement. Avsham said he would telephone Cohen Friday. Erna is to telephone Krishnaji and me as soon as she hears what happened. That is where we are right now.’

‘In allied matters, Vanda yesterday gave Krishnaji a letter from Rosalind and Rajagopal, which was to be read by Krishnaji in front of Vanda and then destroyed. Krishnaji refused to touch it. He had me open and tell him what it was. It was a six-page handwritten account entitled “A Sad, Sad Story” of Rosalind’s life in relation to Krishnaji, Nitya, and Rajagopal. The point of it—if there was one—was the justification of anything Rajagopal may be “driven in his desperation to do in court.”’ Those are her words. ‘It was defamatory of Krishnaji and utterly self-serving. The clear implication is of her aiding Rajagopal. Krishnaji felt a revulsion at listening to any part of it.’

‘We drove to Gsteig in the rain and spoke of it. Rosalind had called Krishnaji a congenital liar. And he asked, “Do you consider me that?” He said, “I have lied when they attacked me, brutalized me. I’m not a violent man, and they were. I tried to avoid that.” He appeared shocked by the letter, but more concerned that I might be upset by it. I said I wasn’t. But one thing was firm:That when all this is over, the case or whatever happens, I will never have anything to do with either of those two people. Krishnaji said he felt the same. But I pointed out that he was forgiving, capable of forgetting. My feelings would not alter. This morning, he again asked if the letter had upset me. I didn’t tell him that it sickened me, for him, that he should have fallen into the hands of such people. But that is an old feeling of mine, an old question. He said that he had awakened thinking of the meaning of humility, to examine what one is or has done without a center.’

S: That’s extraordinary, Krishnaji’s response. My response to this would have been homicidal, and his response was humility.

M: Yes. Well, mine was iron…I would never, never have countenanced…because it was done to him. He was defenseless.

S: I know. I know. I know.

M: These awful, exploiting, vulgar people. ‘The Siddoo sisters came at 4 p.m. to see Krishnaji and recount what happened with Reeta Sanatani and the events that led up to the decision not to have a school at Wolf Lake.’

The eighth of July. ‘We have heard nothing yet from Erna. The weather is beautiful. The mountains sleep in their shawls of snow with a summer languor that fills me as well. Krishnaji does breathing exercises with Dr. Parchure in the early mornings, and has a massage before lunch. Dr. Parchure has given both Krishnaji and me some good exercises to strengthen the back muscles, good especially for perennial lower back aches. Krishnaji gave a half hour interview at 4 p.m. to Al Blackburn, who left the text of a book he has written. Krishnaji will not read it and neither, I think, will I. Blackburn is here with his wife, Gaby, but she didn’t come. At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji also gave a few minutes to a Brockwood student, Jean-Marie Baud. It was too hot to walk up the hill, so Krishnaji and I did twenty laps in the shade on the driveway.’ [Both chuckle.]

July ninth, ‘It is another hot day. Krishnaji dictated letters. I went to the village in the afternoon and met Krishnaji at the station. He had walked down with Dr. Parchure. The heat had affected him. Erna finally telephoned in the evening. Cohen has written her a letter so that she can send it on to us. His conversation with Avsham has been cool and unproductive. No answers on what happens to the archives material after Rajagopal’s death. Avsham said he believes a settlement is possible if an apology is made. Erna asked what I thought. I said that if a proper settlement is arrived at, it should be possible to make some sort of statement of regret that litigation had been necessary, but what is meant by an apology? I suspect Rajagopal wants some sort of groveling admission that he was right all along. A lot of lies. The “production of documents” and miscellaneous that took place at Rajagopal’s Ventura lawyer’s office was meaningless; it was only a carton of miscellaneous, meaningless letters to Krishnaji and to Rajagopal, i.e., nothing from our list of documents. When Rajagopal was asked for the date of his next operation—his excuse for stalling—there was no response. Cohen is considering taking Mrs. Vigeveno’s deposition. Erna feels we should continue to demand further production of documents. The present pressure on Rajagopal is positive and she says that he will, at all costs, avoid going personally to court.’ Erna felt that he couldn’t stand up in court and behave in this ridiculous way; and that he would, if forced to go to court, cave in. I sort of agreed with her. ‘The return of the five cartons is due on the twenty-first. We have until then to decide. I reported all this to Krishnaji, who listened normally, and we didn’t discuss it further.’

July tenth. ‘Krishnaji slept poorly. He said that the walk in the heat affected him, and he must not go out in the sun anymore. This morning, Krishnaji asked me what actually are we fighting Rajagopal for. I replied, the access to the archives and the prevention of their being given away, and the protection against Rajagopal’s publishing anything hitherto unpublished, and the republication of anything already published only in its original form. Krishnaji asked, “Are we to go on fighting for years?” He says Rajagopal will never give in. “Are we to spend all this energy, time, and money on this? It keeps us in constant contract with these dirty people. They are dirty. That’s why I didn’t want to read or touch that letter from Rosalind. I never want to see or speak to those people ever. They are evil, dirty.” I asked if we then let them do what they want. Krishnaji replied, “No. Rajagopal won’t publish anything. He’s too far gone.” I said we had no protection if he did, unless it is in an agreement. That, to me, the first responsibility is to protect the teachings, their record. Krishnaji asked, “Is it worth all this? Think of it afresh.” He puts aside my pointing to the possible consequences of giving up the legal rein. “Don’t keep looking ahead,” he said. But isn’t that essential? If this thing is a burden to Krishnaji, then it can be said that it should be abandoned. His saying that this keeps us in contact with evil is so; but then it has been so through all of this. Why did we do it? Krishnaji dismissed that as the past. Am I too stuck in revulsion at wrongdoing to Krishnaji, in a deep indignation that says no such behavior should happen? And would it really wipe these dirty people out of our lives? Rajagopal wants contact with Krishnaji, by foul means, if necessary. What next? Or would it fade away to be obscured by, “Oh, poor Rajagopal, he is getting old and is unwell,” and he will regain his status as a decent human being in the fog of a cover-up. Villainy successful?’ That’s me talking to myself.

S: Yes.

M: ‘Late in midmorning, Krishnaji came in to talk to me and to make me see, and therefore feel, as he does, that our going on further in this is to touch dirt. He is revolted by them and wants to have nothing further or ever to do with them. What are we fighting for? Are we to go on and on until Rajagopal dies with this? He said, “I am disgusted. Like that tennis court yesterday.” The Gstaad tennis tournament is on in the village, and was crowded with “meat-eating, vulgar people.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘“I would do anything to get away from them”’—the two Rajagopals. ‘“I cannot be with having anything to do with them, and we are connected through this case. We were right in the beginning. I felt responsible to those who had given money, and it was right that we get the land and all that. But now it goes on and on. Don’t you want to be free of it?” I said I had one motive from the very beginning: to protect him and his teachings. To see that what he wants is done, that it occurs. He said that wasn’t enough. “You are part of me. You must see and feel this in the same way. You must feel it is right.” He was making it clear that he wants to end the dispute, and that in itself counts totally for me, but I said I hope that he was also looking at the implications of the next actions. What if Rajagopal publishes without permission? Krishnaji said he couldn’t do that under the old agreement. I reminded him of Cohen’s statement that began the present litigation: that unless we defend our rights under an agreement, they go by default. I said it was far less important, perhaps, but would apply also for the events required in the agreement at Rajagopal’s death. Krishnaji assumes they were all binding, which they may not be. Cohen must be asked what protection those rights have. Krishnaji agreed to ask Cohen and also have him settle the case on the best terms, and wants to protect the latter rights. I suggested Rajagopal might demand a whitewash. “He won’t do that,” said Krishnaji. I pointed out that he already had, in the note that Austin Bee handed Krishnaji before the last Ojai talk, and in a message this week via Cohen that Rajagopal wanted an apology. At one point, Krishnaji said, “I would grovel to end this.” I said I could not. It would be a falsehood, and he agreed that he would not say something false. I said something of which I wrote earlier this morning—my revulsion at evil getting its ends; that one day, Krishnaji would forget what had happened and obscure what those people are. He said he wanted never to have anything to do with either of them again.’

‘Later in the afternoon, I telephoned Erna. It was early morning in Ojai. I tried to put in words Krishnaji’s feelings and wish to settle the case quickly. Erna sounded disturbed. She warned that if we dropped the case, Rajagopal can countersue for false accusations and for his expenses. I did find out that Cohen says our rights over publications and eventual succession to the K and R Foundation remain in effect under the old agreement. Krishnaji is intent on saying that it was not the effect of the ugly Rosalind and Rajagopal letters that impels him now, but simply wanting to be free of any contact, or “anything to do with them.” Erna pointed out that Rajagopal will find new ways of harassment. She is to see Cohen at 9 a.m. on Monday, and will explore the possibilities of a settlement. Afterward, Krishnaji felt I had not put it vividly. He sat beside me as I talked, and finally was willing to speak directly to her.’

July eleventh. ‘Krishnaji again asked me if I’d been upset by Rosalind’s letter. He said he felt I was, and that I had not put things clearly enough to Erna. I told him nothing about the letter surprised me, but it was uglier than he realized. The hate, both large and petty, filled it. He said, “That is why I didn’t want to touch it.”…“I wish I had never met those two people.” I said again that all I care about is what is my responsibility, as it is Erna’s, too, to protect and care for him; and that one has to look at what can happen as a result of decisions made now. He seemed worried that it was all a shock to me. But nothing shocks me about those wretched people. I said that, for the moment, the only important thing was that he was speaking this morning, and so it was. I had gone up the mountain and walked to the end of the wood before the sun touched it. It was cool and beautiful. The earth smelled of grasses and flowers, and the brook was still rushing down in the woods. I came back feeling full of cleanness and the morning mountain.’

‘We arrived a little early at the tent, which was full, for the first Saanen talk of the year, which was to start at 10:30 a.m. It was very hot in the tent. Old faces. New faces. Krishnaji spoke strongly. Something new. “Living without a cause.” Toward the end, a tall, drugged-looking young man came into the tent, climbed over people until, grimacing, he reached the edge of the platform. Various people came quietly to prevent his climbing up, but Krishnaji said, “Don’t touch him.” The man echoed those words in a loud voice, and began an incoherent speech in German. A few in the audience yelled, “Be quiet!” but Krishnaji sat quietly. Then he said, “Shall we end the meeting?” But when the man ran out of words, he wandered out, and Krishnaji picked up exactly where he left off and spoke another eight to ten minutes. The heat in the tent had been considerable. Both Krishnaji and I slept all afternoon. A bottomless sleep for me. Krishnaji walked in the shadow of the chalet, and went without supper. At 7:30 p.m., I took Dr. Parchure to the tent to see the first video of “The Nature of the Mind,” the Krishnaji-Bohm-Sheldrake-Hidley series. It looked good.’

There’s little the next day. And on the thirteenth, ‘I had another early walk. I took Dr. Parchure to the tent, then came back for Krishnaji, who gave the second Saanen talk. He slept afterward, but came to the lunch table with Vanda and me. At 3 p.m., Mary Cadogan and Dorothy came to discuss various things. Krishnaji joined us later, and looked at the biography of Leadbeater, The Elder Brother, which we had.’

S: That must’ve been the book that he had read the review of.

M: Yes [chuckles]. ‘In the evening, I took Vanda and Dr. Parchure to the video showing in the tent.’

July fourteenth. ‘Again, I had an early walk. I purchased and put food and supplies in the Saanen apartment for Pupul, Radhika, and her children. They arrived by car around five. They came first to see Krishnaji, then I guided them to their place.’ It was a rented apartment in the village of Saanen somewhere. ‘I came back to bring them up to supper. Dr. Parchure learned that his eldest son, Vikram, had a baby girl; Parchure’s first grandchild. Erna telephoned to report the meeting with Cohen. She will continue to press, but listened to settlement suggestions from the other side.’

The fifteenth. ‘I took an early walk again, and it was another hot day. Krishnaji gave his third Saanen talk; a very deep one.[1] Lunch was with Krishnaji, Vanda, Pupul, Radhika, and her children, and David and Nikki Mustart. I took Parchure back to Saanen and went looking for a place to buy towels for Pupul. Vanda and I signed the lease for Tannegg for next year. Krishnaji in the talk said, “Movement from cause to effect is time and thought.”

Krishnaji at the Marojers. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at the Marojers. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

July sixteenth. ‘Eleven international Krishnaji committees met here with Krishnaji in the morning. Then all but he, Vanda, and Pupul went down to Chalet Firo for lunch, and a further meeting all afternoon. A letter from Erna came about the meeting with Cohen. I had supper with Jean-Michel, Marie-Bertrande, and Diane Maroger at the Hotel Saanerhof. A rain came and it cooled the air.’

The seventeenth of July. ‘The weather is slightly cooler. I fetched Pupul to Tannegg at 11 a.m. She and Vanda talked about Pupul’s book. Simonetta di Cesaro, Frances, and a friend of Vanda’s, Tom Carini, here from Rome to hear Krishnaji for the first time, were at lunch. I took Pupul home later, and did errands. Vanda was to have left, but is staying on until Monday. The rain came again in the late afternoon. Marie-Bertrande and Diane came to see Krishnaji at 6 p.m. They leave tomorrow.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji gave the fourth Saanen talk. At lunch with Krishnaji were Vanda, Topazia, Carini, and me. Pupul and Radhika came to tea. Asit and his family arrived at the Palace Hotel.’

July nineteenth. ‘Vanda left for Florence. Krishnaji and I lunched with Pupul, Radhika, and her children. Then he and I went for a short drive to Saanenmöser and arrived back in Gstaad for a 4 o’clock appointment with Dr. Steiger, who did a blood sugar test. I telephoned Filomena in Rome.’

July twentieth. ‘Krishnaji’s fifth Saanen talk. Dr. Lichti came after the talk to Tannegg and discussed Krishnaji’s blood sugar with Dr. Parchure and me. She suggested herbal teas to lower it and diet. She lunched here and said she will come to Brockwood for the gathering. Asit and Pupul came to tea after which Asit walked with Krishnaji. I dined with Suzanne and Hugues van der Straten.’

July twenty-first. ‘Jean-Michel Maroger came to lunch with Krishnaji and me. We discussed where Krishnaji might go in September for a holiday in the Dordogne. I had a haircut. Pupul and Asit came to tea, and I taped a discussion they had with Krishnaji. Mary Cadogan, Dorothy, Kathy, and Scott came to fetch me at 7 p.m. and we went up the Hornberg for a dinner of raclette.’ I remember that.

The next day, ‘Krishnaji gave the sixth talk in Saanen. Afterwards, we had a quiet lunch with just Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and me. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji saw Mr. Mirabet and at 4:30 p.m., Marie-Bertrande had an interview with Krishnaji.’

July twenty-third. ‘There was the second meeting of the foreign committees here at Tannegg. Krishnaji spoke most eloquently to them. Krishnaji and I lunched with Asit, Minakshi and Pupul at the Palace Hotel. Scott and Kathy came to supper and then the three of us went to the film The French Lieutenant’s Woman.’ Do you remember that movie?

S: I don’t, but it sounds like the kind of movie I probably wouldn’t remember.

M: Kathy and I liked it.

S: I’m sure you both did. [Both chuckle.]

M: Anyway, it was a very good movie, according to Kathy and me. You have an overly male point of view. [Chuckles.]

The twenty-fourth of July. ‘I fetched Pupul at 10 a.m. to talk about her book to Krishnaji. She stayed to lunch. Asit came in to say goodbye before driving to Lugano with his family. At 4 p.m., I fetched the Fouérés. Do you remember the Fouérés, the Frenchman and his wife? They came every year and lived down in the village. He was tiresome.

S: Yes, I think I can remember Fouérés.

M: He was always writing pompous things about Krishnaji and the teachings.

S: Oh yes, now I remember. [Both laugh.] That describes him.

M: Anyway, they ‘came to see Krishnaji briefly, and at 4:30 p.m., an elderly Spanish couple brought a donation. I worked on preparing questions for tomorrow’s question-and-answer meeting.’

Sunday, the twenty-fifth. ‘I have been walking early every morning, but today’s walk was in the rain. Krishnaji held this year’s first question-and-answer session in the tent. I gave him five written questions, of which he answered only two, but marvelously.’[2] I have that underlined. ‘He and I lunched alone. I drove Radhika and children up to Tannegg for tea. Scott came by. I walked with Krishnaji and the children and then drove all of them back to Saanen.’

The next day was the second question-and-answer meeting, then on July twenty-seventh, ‘Krishnaji held his third question-and-answer meeting for the year, and the last event for this summer in Saanen. Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I lunched alone. Krishnaji gave an interview to a former Rajneesh follower, Mrs. Morris. I fetched Pupul, Radhika, and children to tea. They leave tomorrow. I spoke to Filomena. Dorothy came by.’

July twenty-eighth. ‘Pupul, Radhika, and children came to say goodbye. Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I lunched quietly. Krishnaji saw a German woman at 4 p.m. I had Nicole Philippeau and children to tea. Krishnaji was tired and slept poorly. Dorothy came by after seeing an eye doctor in Thun.’

July twenty-ninth. ‘I had a long talk with Dr. Parchure about Krishnaji’s health. It worries both of us. I fetched Dorothy and Montague to lunch, and I suggested to them that we cancel the Brockwood seminar this year. They agreed and so did Krishnaji. For his sake, we need to space Krishnaji’s activities better. They leave for Brockwood tomorrow. In the evening, I went to the movie with Scott, Evil Under the Sun.’ You don’t remember that?

S: I don’t remember that one, either.

M: It wasn’t a woman’s picture, I don’t think. [S laughs.] Peter Ustinov was in it.

S: Oh, that’s right. It was an Agatha Christie thing. He was Poirot.

M: Poirot. Yes. Oh, well, then I put, ‘Not very good.’ [Both chuckle.]

There is nothing of significance for the next two days, but on August first, ‘Krishnaji began a new series of Letters to the Schools in the morning. I typed it by lunchtime. We both read all afternoon. Asit rang from New York. He is arriving in Geneva tomorrow en route to Singapore, and may drive here to lunch. Lou and Evelyne Blau telephoned from California. Lou is not very clear about my donating the McAndrew Road property to the Foundation. I said we will go into it on my return.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji dictated another Letters to the Schools. Asit rang from Geneva. His flight was late, so he’s not coming here. Jackie Siddoo came with mangoes and to say goodbye to Krishnaji. Krishnaji and I walked to the river.’

August third. ‘For the first time in weeks, I didn’t go for an early walk. Krishnaji dictated another Letters to the Schools.Frances came to lunch with Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and me. Bruno Ortolani came at 4 p.m. to tell me about a book he has put together reporting Krishnaji’s talks. Krishnaji saw him afterward and declined to write a brief foreword. The Marogers rang.’

The fourth of August. ‘Krishnaji dictated another Letters to the Schools. Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I gave Fosca a Tissot wristwatch. She went with Ortolani in the afternoon for a ride.’ Fosca was indomitable. She cooked away and did the laundry, ironed. She liked it—she always said, “I’m not a cook, I’m a laundress.” She cooked beautifully, but she took pride in her skill as a laundress, and she ironed to perfection. She liked to iron Krishnaji’s shirts and they were beautiful. ‘Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I lunched at the Hotel Bel Air. Not bad.’ [Chuckles.] ‘After naps, Krishnaji and I walked to the river. He said he had felt something threatening in the wood when he walked there alone, but didn’t feel it with me there.’ He had a very strange thing about…

S: Yes. Sensing the woods at night.

M: Yes. He said that he would never walk in a wood at night because of something threatening.

S: Yes. I remember that.

M: And he also said how he wouldn’t go out at night alone. And I said, well, if I were with him, “Would you go?” Yes, he would. It was his being alone that…I don’t know. Don’t ask me to explain.

S: Yes, I understand. We don’t have to understand, we just have to record.

M: That’s right. Thank god. [S chuckles.]

On the next three days, Krishnaji dictated three more Letters to the Schools. Also on August seventh, ‘at lunch, Krishnaji began to speak of places where adults could come and study the teachings—maybe one at Rajghat and one at Ojai. There was an implication that I should bring about the Ojai one. At 4:30, he had his hair cut and then we walked to the river.’

The eighth of August. ‘Krishnaji dictated the eighth Letters to the Schools, and I typed it before lunch. Krishnaji and I walked to the river and up a bit, talking more of what he was calling “an ashram” in Ojai. I spoke to Dorothy at Brockwood by telephone. She and Montague reached there yesterday.’

August ninth. ‘It was foggy in the early morning, so I didn’t have an early walk. Krishnaji dictated the ninth Letters to the Schools. I marketed. Nadia Kossiakof came to tea. Krishnaji and I walked to the river. I telephoned the Marogers about the dates of a stay in France.’

The tenth of August. ‘Krishnaji and I went at 8:15 a.m. to Dr. Steiger, where Krishnaji had a fasting blood sugar test. It was 100. We came back to breakfast, and then Krishnaji dictated the tenth Letters to the Schools. At 4 p.m., we went back for a post-prandial blood sugar count, which was 140. In consulting with the doctor, we decided that, though readings were within the normal range, Krishnaji will stay on a low-sugar diet. We walked to the river. Vanda telephoned. She will arrive late in two days’ time.’

The eleventh. ‘Krishnaji dictated the eleventh Letters to the Schools. It was a warm day. At 4 p.m., I went to Bank Cantonal for the annual review of the Alzina account with Mr. Liechti, the bank manager. I came back and walked to the river with Krishnaji and Dr. Parchure.’

August twelfth. ‘Krishnaji dictated the twelfth Letters to the Schools. I marketed, sent a wedding present to Ariane Maroger, the Marogers’ eldest daughter, and then brought Nadia Kossiakof up to lunch. It was a hot day. Krishnaji and I walked in the woods, and he talked more of a study center. Coming back, we met Vanda, who has arrived from Florence with a young Canadian, Susan Howard.’

There isn’t anything very notable for the next two days, but on August fifteenth, ‘We said goodbye to Vanda and Fosca, and Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I drove via the Col du Pillon to Aigle, the autoroute, then getting off at Morges, went along the Route du Lac to the Geneva airport. Krishnaji and I took Swiss Air at 13:55 p.m. to Heathrow. Dr. Parchure was on a later flight. Dorothy brought us back to Brockwood. John King waited for Dr. Parchure. Brockwood is beautiful. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with the dogs in the grove. I spoke to Mary Links.’

The sixteenth. ‘I spent much of the day unpacking, and settling us back into Brockwood. Jean-Michel telephoned about a likely place for Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I to stay near Blois. We will go there on September twentieth. We had a good walk in the afternoon around the fields. We both slept well, and I feel very well here.’

The next few days are quiet—the Bohms come to lunch, on one of our walks we inspected the flourishing vegetable garden and on another, the marquee that was put up for the upcoming Brockwood talks. I’m also, as usual, doing errands and Krishnaji is resting.

The twentieth of August. ‘Another day of rest for Krishnaji, but a day of desk work for me. Krishnaji is reading The Elder Brother, the biography of Leadbeater, and is appalled at what went on.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Anneke, Frances arrived in the afternoon.’

Again, it is quiet for several days, but on the twenty-fourth, Krishnaji and I took the 9:46 a.m. train to London. Joe met us and drove us to the eye doctor, Mr. P.D. Trevor Roper, where Krishnaji had a glaucoma and field of vision test. There is no glaucoma, but there is the beginning of cataracts. Joe had fetched Mary, and then they came for us and Mary lunched with Krishnaji and me at Fortnum’s. We talked about the Leadbeater book. After lunch, Krishnaji and I went to Hatchards, then to Huntsman, where Krishnaji had a fitting and ordered material for Dorothy. We caught a taxi and got to Waterloo and back to Brockwood by 6:30 p.m.’

The next day, ‘I took the 9:03 a.m. back to London, went to Harrods for a duvet, and then to Hermès, and to the hairdresser for a haircut. I took the 3:18 p.m. back.’

The next day, I seem to mostly be getting the guest rooms ready, then, on the twenty-seventh, ‘I went to meet the Herzbergers at the Petersfield bus stop. Hans is here for a day before going to Canada. Radhika, and their two daughters, Sunanda and Maya, are to stay here till September ninth. They are all four in the West Wing dining room. People are arriving for the talks, including Dr. Lichti, who came in the evening and is in the West Wing guest room.’

August twenty-eighth. ‘It was a clear, lovely day. Krishnaji gave his first Brockwood talk at 11:30 a.m. in the tent. It was a very fine one.[3] We had fruit and salad in our kitchen, and then finished lunch in the food tent. I sat with Pascaline, and Madrisa Samuel, and Magdalina, the Polish woman who arrived in the night from Poland after getting a permit to come.’

S: She was an academic, wasn’t she?

M: Yes.

S: Which is how she could get permits to leave the country. She would say there was a conference, she needed to attend, yes.

M: Yes. That’s right. ‘After a nap. Krishnaji, Dorothy and I walked.’

August twenty-ninth. ‘Krishnaji slept well, nine hours. He gave his second Brockwood talk. Mary and Joe were there and came up afterward for food and salad in the West Wing kitchen. Then we all went to the tent to eat the next course. While Krishnaji took a nap, Mary, Joe, Scott, and I ran a videotape of old films that were found in the Pine Cottage go-down cellar.’

S: Oh, yes, I remember those.

M: ‘They were from the 1924 and 1926 Ommen and Adyar meetings. Mary’s mother was in them and Mary herself as a young girl. We had tea back in the kitchen. Then the Linkses left and Krishnaji, Dorothy, Radhika, and I went for a walk.’

S: Before you go on, it’s worth mentioning these if you don’t remember them. In the go-down, under here where we’re now sitting, when the Foundation got possession of Pine Cottage, someone discovered these old canisters of film, and it was that terribly combustible film. What was that film called?

M: Yes. You’re not allowed to keep them anymore.

S: Exactly!

M: Nitrate film.

S: Nitrate film. It’s highly combustible; I mean, it spontaneously combusts.

M: It used to be the old way—all movies were made of that. And they are so dangerous that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts can’t keep any of the early films they have in their Beverly Hills offices because Beverly Hills has an ordinance against keeping any nitrate films in Beverly Hills. It’s that dangerous.

S: Yes, they’re really explosive, and all these early films are now kept in some munitions place. So these fire bombs, really, had spent all those decades in the hot cellar underneath this wooden building. Why they didn’t go up is a miracle. And when they were found, they were immediately transferred onto modern film stock and also onto video. But it’s just a miracle that they didn’t burst into flame. Included in that footage, there’s the 1925 Jubilee of the Theosophical Society, and there is also Krishnaji reading the “Dissolution of the Order of the Star” in 1929.

M: Yes. And there are lots of pictures of people coming out of castle Eerde, crossing the moat.

S: Yes. Yes. And Mary Links was thrilled to see it again because she had been there. [Both chuckle.]

M: The next day. ‘I typed questions for Krishnaji’s question-and-answer meeting tomorrow. There were heavy showers, but Krishnaji, Dr. Lichti, Dorothy, and I walked anyway, pausing under trees when it was at its worst. Krishnaji put his hands on Felix Greene.’ Felix Greene, has he appeared before?

S: Yes. He was the filmmaker who specialized in China.

M: Yes. He lived in China. And…

S: He was a great apologist for Mao. We have talked about him.

M: Yes. And his wife, Elena Greene, was at Brockwood for quite a while, do you remember? She worked in the garden and did things. But he had something awfully wrong with him, I’ve forgotten what.

August thirty-first. ‘Krishnaji held the first question-and-answer session, and answered four questions. As usual, we had fruit and salad upstairs, and then went back to the tent for the hot food. We walked in the afternoon with Dorothy.’

There wasn’t much the next day, but on September second, ‘Krishnaji held the second question-and-answer meeting, answering six of the questions handed to him. As usual, we had fruit and salad upstairs, then returned to the tent for the hot food. After lunch, Krishnaji told David Bohm about the study center plan, and I telephoned Erna in Ojai about it. She thinks we could start it at Arya Vihara. It was a lovely day. I spoke to Betsy in the evening. She is sad about Ingrid Bergman, who died last night.’ They were friends, and she lived next door to Betsy.

Krishnaji rested on the third, but on the fourth, ‘Krishnaji gave the third Brockwood talk; a deeply moving one.[4] At 4 p.m., I talked to Mr. and Mrs. Minke from Australia, who want to show Krishnaji tapes, but are not connected with the Australian committee. Krishnaji, as he has each day, put his hands on Felix Greene. We went with Dorothy for a short walk as Krishnaji was tired. I talked to Sofia Sanguinetti after supper, and went briefly to the campers’ meeting in the food tent at which Felix Greene spoke on “What’s to prevent war?” Krishnaji watched the Jaws film on television.’

Krishnaji in France. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji in France. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The fifth of September. ‘The weather stayed good. Krishnaji gave his fourth talk. He spoke in deep, quiet, remote, and immensely moving [5]way. It again gave me the feeling of “listening to the voice of God.” When I told him that afterward in our kitchen where we have fruit and salad before returning to the tent, in answering why I was half in tears, he patted my shoulder and dismissed it.’ [Both chuckle.] Oh goodness. ‘Varajum brought Krishnaji’s passport with the French visa.’ He was an Indian who worked in the Indian embassy. And he nicely offered to get the French visa for me. ‘Krishnaji put his hands on Felix Greene. He gave interviews to an Italian psychiatrist, Dr. Manfredini. I talked to Nicole Philippeau after supper. The gathering went well. Krishnaji’s health was good throughout the talks, but he became hoarse afterward. Dr. Parchure thought it was fatigue and gave him Ayurvedic pills against throat symptoms. Dr. Lichti had been our guest in the West Wing and she and Parchure conferred medically and at length.’

The next day. ‘People are leaving. Krishnaji is tired, slightly hoarse, but was up for lunch and talked briefly to an Egyptian couple. He didn’t go for a walk. I cleaned the spare room so Radhika could move in there until she and the children leave on Thursday. In the evening, I talked to Magdalina Jasciuska.’

The seventh. ‘Krishnaji is a bit hoarse, but wanted to go to London anyway. Mary and Joe met us and took us to Huntsman, where Krishnaji had a fitting on the new suit and ordered a pair of beige corduroy trousers. I walked to fetch an Hermès skirt, then we walked to Fortnum, where we lunched with Mary. At 3 p.m., Krishnaji had his hair cut at Truefitt and I bought two pair of shoes at Ferragamo and picked up a package from Rita Zampese at the Lufthansa office. Joe and Mary met us at Truefitt and drove us to Waterloo. Joe gave Krishnaji a copy of his book on Canaletto.’ He was a big expert on Canaletto. ‘We caught the 3:50 p.m. train, changed at Haslemere, and were back at Brockwood by 5:30 p.m. Krishnaji was none the worse from the trip.’

The next two days for me are errands, desk work, and packing; and for Krishnaji they are seeing people.

The tenth of September. ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, Anneke, and I went to Heathrow. Anneke waited for her flight to Holland. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I were flying to France for a holiday. Krishnaji, in the crowded waiting room, stood apart as much as he could, looking elegant, superb, everything rare and aristocratic. He sat between Dorothy and me, and we ate careful sandwiches from Brockwood. Then, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I flew on British Air to Paris, arriving at 2:30 p.m. Jean-Michel met us at Charles de Gaulle in his Citroën and drove us to where we were staying near Blois and not far from his home, La Mahaudière. He kindly found and negotiated this place for us after discovering that the Dordogne, our original objective, was booked in all the suggested places.’ He chose this place for us. ‘The proprietor here, a Monsieur Chevigné, normally gives only breakfast with the rooms, but agreed to give us all meals. Tina, who formerly worked for the Marogers, and is used to vegetarians, has come to cook until the fifteenth. Krishnaji and I have rooms on the ground floor done in le style Ancien, and we share a rather dank bathroom. Dorothy is above us in a redone room with a better bath. After initial squeamishness, we decided to keep these rooms. The Marogers have gone to endless effort to arrange everything. Marie-Bertrande and Daphne came over while we were having supper. Marie-Bertrande looks under pressure from the wedding of Ariane, a week from today. Daphne is working in a hospital in Blois and looks blooming. Jean-Michel has kindly lent us his Citroën while we are here. The château looks not unlike a French version of Brockwood. A cedar stands on the lawn. But the parkland is straw-colored from a drought.’

So for September eleventh we have the big diary again. ‘We slept well, and Krishnaji rested in bed until lunchtime. It is totally quiet, and the prospect that nothing has to be done is blissful. I hold to the hope that Krishnaji will like it, though it is not the Dordogne, his choice; and that this will give him a deep store of rest from this summer’s talks and before the rigors of India.’ Marie-Bertrande and Jean-Michel came over and we walked in the Forêt de Russy, which adjoins this property. It was hot and dry as there has been a long drought this summer. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I dined in the dining room. And so to bed after watching news on television.’

The twelfth of September. ‘We have struck a dry year here, which has meant, so far, that the forest seems unalive. There is no blossoming smells of leaves, of forest earth, no moving from the coolness of shade to a mellow sun. It is all one day—hot and motionless. It was too hot in the sun for Krishnaji to reach the woods, and the shade was only a small improvement. Krishnaji walked ahead and took up a branch to clear spider webs, which were everywhere, but the walking was rather a chore instead of a pleasure. The Marogers are proud of the weather, “so warm and clear” and “good weather for guests and also for Ariane’s wedding next weekend.” Our more northern blood remembers the cool, damp aliveness of Brockwood walking. I seem to have lost all tolerance for heat. It exhausts me and makes me very uncomfortable. But Krishnaji is sleeping well here, and relaxes in a way he finds difficult at Brockwood. This place is almost very nice—our shared bathroom is rather dank and needs redoing, but the rooms are comfortable, and, so far, Tina has cooked excellent meals. The proprietors, Monsieur Chevignè and Madame Duflot, have taken on quite a task of running a large place without help. It must be a struggle, but so far, all is well for us. I can clean and launder, and get Krishnaji’s breakfast tray, etcetera—i.e., function, which is my first concern. He said this morning, “What would I do without you? I couldn’t,” which made a warm glow in the middle of my chest, though I know it has small significance. Dorothy must be getting some much-needed rest. Krishnaji had slept well, and Dorothy and I had a leisurely breakfast in the dining room. There is one other table for guests, a young couple who murmur to each other so low that one cannot tell if it is in German or English. We didn’t see the Marogers today as they are in wedding preparation, and it was too warm for more than a walk twice around the drive.’

September thirteenth. ‘We had a quiet, lazy morning. Krishnaji spoke briefly to the paraplegic daughter of Madame Duflot, Valerie Lammouy. Jean-Michel came by in their Opel and I asked him to exchange it for their fine and more complicated Citroën. We drove it to a part of the Forêt de Russy for a walk in a shady allée. It is still very hot, but it cools at night and we sleep well.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji slept well. Me too. It is another warm day. After lunch, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I in the Marogers’ Opel went to Blois for Dorothy’s train ticket to Paris and Krishnaji’s and my air reservations to London on October first. Dorothy telephoned Brockwood to see if all was well. I cashed travel checks. We did small errands in the heat, then came back, hot and tired. We didn’t walk. Early to bed.’

The fifteenth. ‘Krishnaji slept very well. Dorothy says she slept ten hours. I sleep and wake and sleep. I seem to have long hours of sleep, but I am not totally relaxed because there is a lurking “on guard” feeling, a sense of responsibility for the way things work out. In the late afternoon, Jean-Michel came and drove us to their home, La Mahaudière, where, with Marie-Bertrande, Daphne, Diane, and Saturday’s bride, Ariane, we had sorbet made from homegrown strawberries, and then went for a walk in the shade of their woods. Dorothy and I saw Ariane’s wedding dress, which is very pretty. Krishnaji had sat on the floor with his sorbet, quietly observing, aware of the characters of the family. Jean-Michel drove us back and we found Patrice Ferrand, Suzanne van der Straten’s nephew and a former Brockwood Park student, with his young wife. They had just arrived to spend the night.’

September sixteenth. ‘Krishnaji had indigestion in the night. Also, he had cramps in his feet around 6 a.m., got up, fainted, and somehow hit his left forehead, left shoulder and hip. There is a bump the size of a nickel an inch above his left eyebrow. At first he said he was quite alright and we should go ahead with the plan we had to take Dorothy to see châteaux, and that I mustn’t tell her what had happened. I gave him arnica, but he eventually canceled our plans, and is staying in bed. He later admitted it was a good idea to rest. He is all right now, but what worries me is his fainting when all alone. Why? And the fact that he didn’t call me. “Of course not,” he said—his inevitable comment, which makes me uneasy. I was only about three yards away, but the door was closed and he made no sound. Now the door stays open and I must figure out a way at Brockwood to not be cut off. Anyway, he stayed in bed, reading, and it was just as well that we were not on the road to châteaux anyway, as it was very hot. I drove in to Blois to get him the Herald Tribune, Time, and Newsweek, and to locate the train station so I could get Dorothy there on Sunday morning. When I got back, she and I went over to the farmhouse to talk to Madame Duflot’s paraplegic daughter, Valerie Lammouy. She has read Krishnaji books and would like to come to visit Brockwood. Krishnaji is better and looks all right.’

S: Do you remember how anxious you felt when Krishnaji would faint and not bother to tell you about it and not feel he had to…?

M: Yes. “Don’t make a fuss about it,” was his attitude.

S: Yes, and what did you feel about that?

M: It worried me.

S: I want you to remember this for when…

M: When what?

S: When you sometimes fall and don’t bother telling anybody to call me and don’t feel you need to tell me, until the next time we speak. I don’t hear about it, sometimes for days.

M: Well, the only time I fell recently was on that—over there and you were in…I thought what can you do about it, and…

S: I know. But I can phone somebody, I can make sure things happen, that’s what I do. Or when you faint out in front of the school and I don’t hear about it till days afterwards.

M: Well, I fainted not near the school—well, yes, in front of the school. There were only, uh…it was a weekend of…

S: I know, but I didn’t hear about it for days. [Both chuckle.] I’m just making a point.

M: I came to with about eight people around me who had sent for the, what do you call them?

S: …paramedics. Yes.

M: The paramedics, who came and took my blood pressure right away.

S: I know. I’m just making a point about how terrible it feels not to be contacted. [Gently laughs.]

M: I was there and in charge and it was my responsibility. You are in Portland, and though you are dear and a concerned friend…

S: I know, I know. But that doesn’t make me feel any less badly—I’m just making a point. [Both chuckle.] Alright, we can go on with the seventeenth.

M: Alright. Now, the seventeenth of September. ‘Krishnaji slept well, and was feeling well. He wanted to go on with our châteaux tour, and as it was a little cooler, we set off in the Maroger’s Opel for Chaumont, which regrettably closed its gates at 11:30 a.m.,’ [both laugh] ‘so we had only a glance at its battlements from the road and went on to Amboise. An old Michelin guide suggested that the Auberge du Mail which has one star, and, though it was nothing remarkable, we lunched pleasantly and at leisure with a bottle of Pouilly-Fumé of which Krishnaji had a little in his Perrier.’

S: [laughs] I know.

M: ‘I felt very relaxed and in France. There was the ease, too, of shepherding Krishnaji and Dorothy on a pleasant outing. We went up to Amboise and looked at the outside of the château. We had read the guidebook of the who and when of life in these houses, and we drove on to Chenonceau—which is the loveliest one. In spite of the warmth of the day and a fair number of tourists, Krishnaji not only wanted to walk to the Château but to go inside the ground floor. When we were here years ago, he had no interest in going in.’ Oh, that’s right. We had been there before. ‘But whether to give Dorothy a look at it or because of all the reading out loud we have done getting here, he said, “Let’s look,” and we did. There were too many people to stay very long, so we drove back via Montrichard, Pont Levoy, etcetera and got back by 5 p.m, tired but relaxed. We were all glad we went, and Krishnaji is none the worse for it.’

September eighteen. ‘It was a quiet day for us. The marriage of Ariane Maroger was today, but we didn’t go. We had a quiet day of rest, and in late afternoon, walked in a shady allèe in the woods beside the house.’

The next day. ‘I took Dorothy to the Blois train station, and persuaded a porter to carry her suitcase to the second quay. I stayed with her until her 12:45 p.m. train came, and she went off to Paris, where Gisela Elmenhorst was to meet her and get her to Roissy and her flight to Heathrow. I think these nine days of holiday and rest have done her good. Krishnaji wants her to trade in her Cortina and, with another car she got from her brother, and with our adding something, have Dorothy get a good new car. We said we would have further discussion of this when we get back to Brockwood. In the afternoon clouds formed. Thunder growled. There was lightning and then rain came at last. A heavy showering. After a while, it eased and we went for a walk around the large lawn and driveway. The air is clear and alive again.’

S: Alright. We’ve run out of tape, so this is a good time for us to end. But it’s interesting to note that in 1982, Krishnaji was seriously thinking about an adult center, and that he didn’t think of Brockwood as the first place for it. He thought of Ojai and Rajghat as the first places for it; but, in fact, it was Brockwood that first did it.

M: Yes. It was Brockwood.

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[1] For a link to the video of the third Saanen talk of 1982. Back to text.

[2] For the video of the first question and answer meeting of Saanen 1982. Back to text.

[3] For the video of the first Brockwood talk of 1982. Back to text.

[4] For the video of the third Brockwood talk of 1982. Back to text.

[5] For the video of the fourth Brockwood talk of 1982. Back to text.