Issue 80—July 1, 1984 to September 15, 1984
Mary is so busy in the period covered by this issue, that she has little time to write her more lengthy thoughts in her big diary. Nonetheless, we see from her little daily diary this extraordinary period in her life with Krishnaji. The conflict at Brockwood escalates to what is probably Brockwood’s darkest hour: Krishnaji threatening to leave Brockwood. But it was also a period that saw further change in the Brockwood staff to a new era, and progress in the creation of the adult study center.
This issue also includes a discussion of Mary’s unique inclusiveness.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #80
Mary: We’re beginning our discussion today on July first, 1984, and my diary says, ‘Yesterday we left Geneva in a Hertz Ford Fiesta, drove along the lake to Mr. Grohe’s house in Buchillon, lunched with him, his son, and secretary, and then we continued on up the mountains to Schönried. Somehow, we found Chalet Horner, rented by Vanda and Gisèle in April when we learned that Chalet Tannegg had been sold. It is rather steeply up a small road and has the Tannegg view, but is higher up and taking in the whole valley. It belongs to an English woman. There are a lot of steep stairs, but all else is adequate. Krishnaji has the main room on the same floor as the living and dining rooms and kitchen. I am in the attic, and Vanda, Fosca, and Dr. Parchure, when he arrives tomorrow, share the ground floor. Fosca had her ninetieth birthday last December and is still her funny, dear self. Fosca is so pleased to see Krishnaji, to be with us all another summer. Vanda is looking well. I spent the day unpacking, and slept three hours in the afternoon.’ I, who goes around saying that I don’t know how to nap, am lying. I seem to take nothing but naps in these books.
Scott: [chuckles] No—you’ve just forgotten how to nap.
M: I’ve forgotten how to nap. I must resuscitate it.
The second of July. ‘I went to Gstaad on various errands. Krishnaji remained in bed, resting. I fetched Dr. Parchure at the Schönried station in the evening.’
July third. ‘I did errands in the morning, and at 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji and I drove to the road above Tannegg and took our accustomed path through the woods to the river. Everything is so dearly familiar. We are here another year. What a wondering luxury that is, to have come back again. Krishnaji is well, strong, and we are here once more. The familiar seems a space of sanity. Krishnaji likes this walk. There is nothing level for walking near Chalet Horner, but it is only a ten-minute drive to our Tannegg zone. The Tannegg was empty and mute as we drove past. We stopped by the tent on the way back. It is bigger and lengthwise, parallel to the river this year.’
There is not much on the next two days except that on the fifth, ‘Krishnaji spoke to Harsh, Ray McCoy, and Raman about the school.’
July sixth. ‘I met Friedrich Grohe at the station and brought him to the chalet. He is giving another large donation to the KFA and wants to buy the Zalk House in Ojai. I helped Grohe fill out bank forms, and we telephoned Erna in Ojai with the news. Krishnaji is moved by Grohe’s generosity, and disturbed by the lack of responsibility at Brockwood. In the afternoon, I drove the car to the tent, walked to Saanen station, took the train back to Schönried, and walked up the hill to the chalet. Then Krishnaji and I walked down the mountain, across the fields where there was too much sun for Krishnaji, but there was nothing to do but keep going. It was too severe a walk for both of us, and the lack of shade for Krishnaji rules it out as well.’
S: There was a funny thing that happened, and it might have been this year or the following year, because I can remember that the tent was lengthwise, parallel to the river. Anyway, Krishnaji had come down to the tent as he usually did every year, just to see the preparations. He and I were standing at the entry to the tent, and a woman came up with one of Krishnaji’s books in her hand and Krishnaji’s picture on the back. She just looked briefly at Krishnaji, and then looked right at me and asked me is this the place where Krishnamurti speaks? She didn’t recognize him. And, of course, Krishnaji just tried to be invisible. [Both laugh.] It was so funny, looking at him trying not to be there, [laughs] and so I just said yes, this is the place, etcetera. She was just turning and about to go when she recognized Krishnaji. [Both laugh.] I can still see him so clearly, though, trying to be invisible and not be there. [Both laugh.]
M: July seventh. ‘I changed the red Fiesta for a more discreet gray-green Opel. Bought Adidas shoes, and brought Natasha up to see Vanda. We had her stay to lunch. She will stay with Vanda in Florence. Krishnaji came to the table, but otherwise slept most of the day.’
The eighth. ‘Krishnaji gave his first Saanen talk, a strong talk, in the new expanded tent. It is much nicer than previous years. He now sits on the west side, and the tent is wider. A large crowd filled it. Grohe brought a friend from Austria to lunch, a Mr. Hammerli. I went with them and later with a friend of Vanda, Monica von Siebenthal, to see other walks for Krishnaji around Schönried, but they have too little shade, so it was back to Tannegg for the walk that he prefers when he woke up from his nap. It was a warm day. He was tired but after supper watched the film Great Escape in German on TV.’
July ninth. ‘Vanda left for Florence, independent as always, refusing to let me drive her to the station.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I marketed and saw Harsh and Stephen in the afternoon. Later we tried a drive to Lauenen and Turbach, but the sun was too strong. Scott arrived in Saanen and came up to see Krishnaji. Grohe has lent Kathy and Scott his VW. Scott doesn’t look healthy and had to take things slowly.’
S: I still had my burst appendix. So I guess my story of the woman was from the following year.
M: July tenth. ‘At 10:30 a.m., Krishnaji gave his second Saanen talk. At 4 p.m., Jane Hammond and Ingrid came to see Krishnaji and me.’ It doesn’t say what about. ‘Another hot day.’
The eleventh. ‘It was hot again. Scott brought the initial floor plans for the proposed Brockwood Study Center. I went down and invited Dorothy and Montague to lunch tomorrow. At 4 p.m., Christina, Gary, Harsh, Wendy, Scott, Ingrid, Ramon, and Ray McCoy came to talk about Brockwood. They seem determined to make things right.’
S: I have to say that, at this point, I no longer had anything much to do with the school.
S: Yes, when Krishnaji asked me to look after the creation of the study center—and I can remember—it was a great relief…
M: Because it sprang you out of the school.
S: Exactly, it sprang me from the school, which was in such turmoil. So, for some reason, I was asked to come to some of these meetings, but I wasn’t really involved in the school.
M: Yes, well, you are part of the Brockwood totality.
S: Yes, I was.
M: July twelfth. ‘It is a little cooler, and Krishnaji gave his third Saanen talk. I fetched Dorothy and Montague up to lunch. Dorothy is pleased to have driven her Land Rover once again to Saanen after not being able to come last year. To her it is an affirmation that she is well again. I met Guido Franco at the Ermitage Hotel, where I stayed my first summer in Saanen. He wishes to do an article on Krishnaji for a Swiss magazine L’Illustré. When I came back, Krishnaji and I went to the Tannegg hill for a walk in the woods. After supper, Scott and Kathy and Mary Cadogan (who had just arrived) came by.’
The next day was the meeting of the international committees, and on July fourteenth, ‘Princess Gabrielle of Liechtenstein came to lunch. She was at the committee meeting yesterday, lives in Geneva, but is staying now in Rougement. She very tentatively spoke of Merali, who has tried to involve her in Palamaner. But, as she saw I had reservations about him, her own began to come out. She said a man in Geneva “who should know” told her that the source of Merali’s money is from doing things for the dictatorship of Zaire. When she left, I went to see Mary Cadogan and Jane to discuss this.’
S: I don’t know. A great deal of his money came from his contact with Mobutu Sese Seko, who was forever the dictator of Zaire.
S: And while it’s not something I would want to do, what about someone who owns stock in Boeing? Which I also wouldn’t want to do. I mean, I don’t know, but it might be morally similar. I don’t think Merali ever did anything like stealing or anything like that. But if a government like Zaire wants to buy things and there are businesses in other countries like the United States and Belgium—which actually put Seko in power—which want to sell them those things, and Merali acts as the middleman, again, it’s not what I would want to do…but there’s a lot of things I wouldn’t do. [Both chuckle.]
M: I hope so. Well, anyway, after discussing this with Mary and Jane, I later picked them up as well as Dorothy, and drove up to the top of the Hornberg for a supper of fondue. All went pleasantly until Brockwood was broached, then Dorothy immediately cut in, saying she was leaving Brockwood. A long, difficult conversation ensued, trying to get her to see the need for cooperation. She is tight, angry, and suspicious.’ That was her flaw. She remained that way, really.
S: Yes. There is something unrelated I want to talk about, just briefly, because I don’t think we’ve mentioned it. It is just something I was thinking about after the last discussion we had, and it’s something that I want to go on the record about you [chuckles]. Most of the people who were around Krishnaji were very jealous of contact with him, and wanted to restrict the access that other people had. Dorothy was certainly like that. Very strongly. No one was to go on a walk in the afternoon with Krishnaji but you and her and some other visiting dignitaries.
India was an absolute festering little cesspit of this kind of thing, where people were always keeping score of who Krishnaji asked to go on the walk, or whether he asked them to go in his car, or…It was just—it was just awful. It was just awful.
M: I felt that the Indians tolerated me because I didn’t go there very much.
S: Perhaps, but it was also because you rose above it somehow, and Krishnaji kept you above it. You were in a different category altogether.
M: I knew when I started doing anything for him that this would happen.
S: Yes, absolutely.
M: And it would be… I thought, well, if I can’t do it, well, you know, I just shouldn’t get involved in it.
S: Exactly. So, one of the things that happened as a consequence of this, is that as I began to have increasing contact with Krishnaji, and I had more and more contact with him, was that this rankled Dorothy a great deal.
M: Yes. I’m sure.
S: Dorothy had said to both Krishnaji and to Mary Cadogan (and they both told me this) that when asked some years before, or at some point, who should look after Brockwood after her, she had said me. But when I began to have this increased contact with Krishnaji, my relationship with Dorothy began to be really difficult.
M: Yes, she was very pro your doing things, initially.
S: Yes, very pro, and very supportive of me, etcetera. But as my contact with Krishnaji increased, that went down. That previous summer—I guess it was 1983—when I stayed at Tannegg, that was just terrible. She seemed terribly afraid of losing power at Brockwood, and terribly afraid of losing the special contact she felt she had with Krishnaji, so that I would go out for walks with Krishnaji, or I would just go up to his room, was threatening. No one else would just go up to his room to listen to his music with him or watch television with him. Dorothy went up with trepidation.
What I really want to say is that you stand out in absolute contrast to all of that. And I remember being astonished at the time, and grateful—and I still am—that you always welcomed me. [M chuckles] Whatever Krishnaji wanted, you had no kind of egotism standing in the way, that you weren’t think, “Oh, that other person is there, he’s taking time away from me…
M: No, I was delighted that you were there.
S: Yes, but that was yet another thing that made you absolutely unique in Krishnaji’s circles. Because, well, as I mentioned, India was ridiculous, but Erna also was jealous of who had contact with him.
S: So you see, it really made you unique in Krishnaji’s entire circle that you didn’t have that selfishness, or that possessiveness of wanting to keep other people away…You didn’t have any of that. And I think that that needs to be put on the record somewhere, because…well, it was a gift to me; but it must also have been a gift to Krishnaji, not to have that terrible selfishness surrounding him.
M: Yes, yes. Yes. Well, I don’t know I…I didn’t want to do anything else…
S: Well, I know, but that [chuckles] was very unique.
M: Well…for instance, I was very aware that I was supplanting Vanda in a way, and in Gstaad…I didn’t…I mean, I at first rented my own place and let Naudé stay down there. But gradually, as she always used to like to go back to Florence, because Paolo and Jon, her daughter and son-in-law, who lived in Canada, always came back to Florence, home—obviously, from Paolo’s point of view—in July. So, Vanda would come and open the chalet, and put Fosca there or someone to cook for him, and then go back. They she came back after.
M: So she gradually—I forget when or how gradual it was—but anyway, she asked me to run the chalet while she was away. And then, eventually, we shared the rent. But when she was there, she was maîtress de maison and, when she wasn’t there, I ran the place. It was all amicable.
S: Yes, it was. It was.
M: But, I was conscious that I was intruding on what had been her territory, as it were. I only did it when she asked me to.
S: Yes, yes. From the point of view of a visitor, like myself, it was always obvious that there was a balance, a give-and-take between the two of you, which was very nice.
M: Yes. I had a little bit of trouble getting her to let me share the cost of therent. Because otherwise she was supporting me, and I said, well, you’re kind enough to want me to be here, and let me stay here, but I must share the cost of it. I didn’t interfere with Fosca…
S: Of course.
M: …because Fosca was her employee. But the rent of the place, I could be part of. She demurred a bit, but then finally it…anyway.
S: Well, it’s just worth noting.
M: Yes, but I was quite aware that the less I went to India, the better.
S: India was terrible. And the final year in India, which—well, you weren’t there, so we probably won’t talk about it, but that final year especially…Because Krishnaji had me put in the upstairs bedroom next to him at Vasanta Vihar, and he said to me, “You must just come in whenever you want to. Just walk in no matter who’s here,” and I said, “Krishnaji I can’t”—he said “No, you must do that, no matter who’s here. And, if I want private time with that person, I’ll just say it to you.” Well, this was just terrible for the Indians, but I could tell that’s what Krishnaji wanted. This was terrible for them. And there was only once that Krishnaji said that he was talking privately—and I can’t remember who it was to, it might have been Nandini—but my doing this was terrible for the Indians. But, I guess, Krishnaji was saying something with all of this. But, of course, to them, I was just being brash and rude and awful and usurping of their rightful place.
S: And it was just very difficult.
M: Yes, and of course you did the ultimate thing they hated by getting him out of there.
S: I know. That was also just terrible.
M: Mm. Yes. Thank god. Well, where were we?
S: We were about to begin the fifteenth.
M: Right, the fifteenth of July: ‘It rained.Krishnaji gave his fourth Saanen talk. A strong, clear one. Grohe brought the same man to lunch as last Sunday and they both ran down the mountain to catch the train, faster than if I had driven them.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Having lent his car to the Forbeses, Grohe is content to go everywhere on foot, an impassioned walker. I walked with Krishnaji on the Tannegg walk. Mary Cadogan had a difficult talk with Dorothy, and Jane was there, too. Scott came by briefly in the evening.’
S: I should say that when I came by a lot of these times, it was because Krishnaji was putting his hands on me.
M: Oh, was he?
S: That’s often what it was, yes, because I was still ill.
M: The sixteenth. ‘At 9:30, Krishnaji spoke to Dorothy, Mary Cadogan, Jane, and me. Dorothy, half in tears, asked to retire. Krishnaji said she cannot’ (underlined) ‘retire. He spoke with tremendous force and then left the room. Dorothy and the rest of us agreed to start afresh at Brockwood without the record of the past troubles. Ingrid, Harsh, and Stephen were waiting below, and they joined us and we all talked until 1 p.m. about a new organization of the school. Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I lunched alone. I rushed to do the marketing and got back by 4 p.m. for a KFT trustee meeting. It was an exhausting but accomplishing day.’
S: Krishnaji was right in preventing Dorothy from leaving at that time, because if Dorothy had left tehn, she would have left in a huff, and the staff were divided between the Dorothy supporters and those who saw the need for change; and it would have been so very hard for whoever was running the school, who at this point were Ingrid, Harsh, and Stephen. It was important to try to avoid this. It just wasn’t time.
M: Yes. Well, she never was her old self again.
S: And she was never reconciled with the fact that Krishnaji had for years been criticizing her because she saw herself as doing what he had talked about for education.
M: Yes, yes, he had.
July seventeenth. ‘At 10:30 a.m., Krishnaji gave his fifth Saanen talk. Dagmar Lichti and Rita Zampese came to lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji was interviewed by Heinrich Jaenecke of the Stern Magazine.’ I think that’s a German magazine.
S: Yes, yes.
M: ‘After that, we went for the Tannegg walk. Krishnaji went to sleep early and slept well.’
The eighteenth. ‘I marketed, fetched Krishnaji’s prescription from Dagmar Lichti, and did other errands. The Marogers came to lunch. At 2 p.m. Dr. Parchure and I went to the Brockwood meeting at which it was explained to all staff members present what had been agreed about a new start. Dorothy was there and agreed. Christine and Gary came back to the chalet and talked about their responsibilities given them by Krishnaji, which was to study the teachings and discuss them with students.’ They never really did that.
S: Hm, I don’t remember their doing it.
M: The nineteenth. ‘Krishnaji gave talk number six. We had a quiet lunch with just Krishnaji, Parchure, and me. At 4 p.m., Guido Franco interviewed Krishnaji for L’Illustré the Swiss magazine. Then we went for the Tannegg walk.’
The next day, ‘At 10 a.m. I went to the second meeting of the international Krishnamurti committees. At lunch were Krishnaji, Grohe and his older son, and Parchure. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji had a haircut by Mr. Nicolas. Mrs. Sherman and son David came about her son going to one of the schools. She had given us two earlier children, Isaac and Rachel.’ Do you remember them?
S: Ah, yes.
M: ‘Krishnaji and I walked above Tannegg.’
July twenty-first. ‘Mary L. rang from England. I worked on questions handed in for Krishnaji’s question-and-answer meetings. I dined with Mary Cadogan, Kathy, and Scott at Turbach. Krishnaji spent the whole day in bed.’
The next day, there is only that Krishnaji had the first question-and-answer meeting of the Saanen season, and there’s even less for the day after.
On July twenty-fourth, ‘Asit arrived in Gstaad last night from Paris. I fetched him at the Palace Hotel and drove him and Dr. Parchure to the tent for Krishnaji’s second question-and-answer meeting. Krishnaji, Asit, and I were at lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview to a Mr. Eiseury and six other psychotherapists. At 5:30 p.m., Krishnaji, Asit, and I walked above Tannegg. Dorothy and Montague came to say goodbye. They have to get back to Brockwood as their son Guy, for some reason, cannot keep his dog Kip any longer, and Dorothy wants to look after him.’
July twenty-fifth. ‘I met Nicole Philippeau and her daughter Christelle at the Ermitage for coffee. Asit and Princess Gabrielle came to lunch with Krishnaji and me. At 4 p.m., I went with Scott and Catherine de Maurex to look at chalets for next year. There are all too few, and the ones that are available are too large, ornate, expensive, and unappealing. At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji talked with Stephen, then walked with Asit and me in the Tannegg woods. I dined at the chalet of the audio group.’
The twenty-sixth. ‘Krishnaji held his third question-and-answer meeting in the tent. I brought Asit back and fetched Mary Cadogan also to lunch. At 3 p.m., the Saanen Gathering Committee, consisting of Gisèle, Mary Cadogan, and me, met. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji held a meeting with Mary Cadogan, Ingrid, Scott, Kathy, Harsh, Steven, Wendy, Ray McCoy, and me. I dined with Jackie Siddoo. And I had letters from Amanda and Phil.’
There isn’t anything of significance the next day, and on the twenty-eighth, ‘At 7:30 a.m., I drove Dr. Parchure to the train to Geneva. He goes to Brockwood and then on Monday he flies to India. I brought Asit from the Palace Hotel to go over with him the text of his photo book. Asit, Krishnaji, and I lunched with Grohe in Rougement. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview to a Dutch man, Peter Rampschum, for the magazine De Ronde Tafel. Krishnaji, Asit, and I walked in the Tannegg wood.’
July twenty-ninth. ‘It was a marvelous, clear day. I fetched Asit to the chalet to talk with Krishnaji. Scott and Kathy joined us for lunch, after which we watched the opening of the Olympics in Los Angeles on television. Krishnaji saw Donald Hoppen about a book he is writing on architecture in which he quotes Krishnaji. Krishnaji, Asit, and I to the Tannegg walk.’
July thirtieth. ‘Krishnaji, Asit, and I did a taped conversation on meditation. Kathy and Scott came and we all five lunched at the Chlösterli restaurant. Krishnaji liked it, and the big, woolly Bernese Mountain Dog lay under his seat all through the meal again. It was too hot to walk. Radha Burnier rang from London. She will come here on August eleventh. Kathy and Scott left for Buchillon.’
The next day. ‘Krishnaji dictated letters. Asit came to say goodbye, but stayed for lunch. I ran errands, and Krishnaji saw the Siddoo sisters at 4:30 p.m. They want to restart the school again in 1985, but it was understood that it should not use Krishnaji’s name. Krishnaji and I went on the Tannegg walk. Guido Franco and his son Rafael photographed him for a Swiss magazine.’
August first. ‘I worked at the desk all morning. We lunched quietly and took naps, then we went to the Tannegg wood for our walk. As we come to the trees, Krishnaji says, “May we come in? You don’t mind?” He is also watching cars for the color of a possible 190 Mercedes he increasingly thinks we should have in place of my old gray diesel in Ojai.’ [Chuckles.]
S: Oh, yes. I remember that.
M: ‘He said, “I will live at least another five years,” but next year he wants to come here earlier and rest more before the talks.’
There’s nothing much the next day except that, ‘F. Grohe came to lunch and he suggested Rougement as a place for us to stay next year.’ And the next day I, indeed, went to look there for a chalet for next year.
August third. ‘I spent most of the day working at my desk. It was a hot day and we lunched alone. Krishnaji made a dictation into the Sony on his responsibility to the schools, and his plans for a “nucleus” to study the teachings with him. We walked in the Tannegg wood.’
There is nothing much the next day, but on August fifth, ‘I worked at the desk all morning, then Mr. Grohe came to lunch. Afterward, we went to look at his Rougement flat and an adjoining larger one for next summer’s rental. The larger one would be for Dr. Parchure, Vanda, whoever cooks, and me, and Mr. Grohe would lend his small one to Krishnaji. Krishnaji liked it. I telephoned Erna as she and Theo go on to Arosa after landing in England on the seventeenth, and come to Brockwood for the talks.’ They had a friend in Arosa they went to visit.
The next day, ‘I again spent all morning working at the desk. Patricia Hunt-Perry writes that the UN wants Krishnaji to speak again next year. We lunched quietly. I went to look at the Cabana Apartments, which were not suitable. Krishnaji had photos taken by Guido Franco, again. Krishnaji and I walked above Tannegg.’
August seventh. ‘I went to the station to meet Friedrich Grohe and Scott, who has been staying with him in Buchillon. Krishnaji, they, and I did a taped discussion on The Study, as the adult study center is now called, all morning. I then took them to lunch at Chlösterli and continued the conversation all afternoon.’ This was all about what The Study should be, what should occur in it, and all that.
S: Right. Yes. I remember those conversations.
M: Yes. Krishnaji and I dropped them at the Gstaad station and then went on our walk in the woods. I got a long telephone report from Mary Cadogan on her and Jane’s meeting yesterday with Dorothy at Brockwood. Krishnaji talked to me about his ideas for a very special “quiet room” in The Study.’ [S chuckles.] What are you chuckling about?
S: Well, I can remember that as Krishnaji refined his ideas about the quiet room, he first gave them to the architects I eventually fired, but by the time we had Keith Critchlow as our architect, these ideas of Krishnaji’s had matured, and he gave them to Critchlow. And Krishnaji’s wishes were essentially thiS: The quiet room wasn’t to have anything above it, or beneath it, or next to it, but it mustn’t be apart. [Laughs.]
M: I told him it had to be a balloon. [Both chuckle.]
S: And then, also, a person mustn’t be able to walk directly…
M: Into it.
S: …into it, but had to walk around it to get into it, and also a person should have to step up to go into it. Also, it should have natural light, but it shouldn’t have any windows that anyone can look out of. [Both laugh.] And this was just an impossible…
M: I know.
S: And it was really to Critchlow’s credit and genius…
M: He did it, everything he did.
S: …that he did it! Yes.
M: Yes. [Both chuckle.] Was he rather staggered by it?
S: He was absolutely stunned. [Both laugh.]
M: And it had to be in the northeast corner of the building. But he did it!
S: Yes, he did, but part of the idea for the solution to this puzzle came from the previous architect, before we got Critchlow, but I can’t remember how much. Anyway, I can remember thinking that the demands for this room were just impossible. [Both chuckle.]
M: August eighth. ‘I ran errands, including to the Jérack’s agent.’ That’s a real estate place. ‘There are no suitable chalets available for next year. Vanda, who is due today, is coming Friday instead.’ This was on a Wednesday. ‘We lunched quietly. Krishnaji is intent on making Brockwood excellent. I telephoned Filomena and the Dunnes. Krishnaji and I walked in the rain.’
August ninth. ‘I began organizing and packing things we will store during the winter for next summer, and will put them in the Rougement chalet. Friedrich Grohe and his older son Christoph came and took us to lunch at Chlösterli. We came back and took a nap. We did the Tannegg walk at 6 p.m.’ One of the luxuries of having rented Tannegg all those years was that we could store a lot of our things in the basement from one year to the next.
August tenth. ‘There was rain and fog. At 10 a.m., I went to the Cantonal Bank about the Alzina investments, then marketed. We lunched quietly watching the LA Olympics on television. On the way to Krishnaji’s haircut, we saw Vanda arriving on foot from the Schönried station.’ [Chuckles.] ‘We took her up the hill, and then went on to the haircut. We stopped for things ordered at a pharmacy, fetched laundry, then went in the rain for our usual Tannegg walk.’ [Chuckles.] Rain never stopped Krishnaji walking.
S: Oh, no.
M: August eleventh. ‘A rainy day, which I spent mostly at my desk. Mrs. Ratzberg, agent for Chalet Horner, came about the final bill, and took away two cartons of accumulated books that had grown at Tannegg all these years.’ I don’t know what she was going to do with all those books. ‘Krishnaji and I walked earlier than usual in the Tannegg wood and then met Radha Burnier at Schönried station. She stays here in the room that Dr. Parchure had until we leave on Tuesday.’ This was written on a Saturday.
August twelfth. ‘In the morning Krishnaji and Radha did a taped conversation beginning with the question, “What is silence?” In the afternoon, Vanda had a Scandinavian boy to see Krishnaji, and then Krishnaji, Radha, and I walked at Tannegg.’
The next day, ‘I spent most of the day packing. I went to the Cantonal Bank again about the Alzina investments; and in the afternoon, and with the help of Ortolani, and the Scandinavian boy Vanda produced yesterday, Jeff, we took a trunk, and various things to store in the Rougement basement for next summer. I signed the lease for the four-bedroom apartment. Krishnaji, Radha, and I walked in the Tannegg wood. “Au revoir. À l’année prochaine,” said Krishnaji to the trees. Krishnaji watched the final Olympics broadcast, and I finished packing.’
August fourteenth. ‘I finished the packing before breakfast. Ortolani came to help carry the bags to the car, and to take Radha to her train. It is understood that Fosca is now too old to come and be with us for another summer. The dear soul is as young as ever in her spirit, but it’s physically too much for her. Krishnaji and I said goodbye to her and Vanda, and drove to Geneva airport. Krishnaji allowed me to get a wheelchair, and the Swiss man who brought it and pushed again was one who had been to the Saanen talks and Brockwood, and to Gisèle’s video showings at Buchillon.’ [Chuckles.] ‘We flew on Swissair 832 to Heathrow. Rita met us, as did Dorothy and Scott. It was a warm day at Brockwood. The country is in drought. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with Kip.’
August fifteenth. ‘Krishnaji held a meeting with the staff at 11:30 a.m. Those who were not in Saanen apparently feel none of the starting afresh that had united us at Saanen. Brian Jenkins, who was there, is caught up in resentment over the Brockwood staff not wanting his marriage to the Dutch student to be held at Brockwood.’ [Chuckles.] ‘It was clear that there was division and anger again, and the resentful ones have coalesced around Dorothy, who permits, even encourages, it. Krishnaji, Mary Cadogan, Jane Hammond, Dorothy, Scott, Ingrid, Stephen, Harsh, Ray McCoy, and I met all afternoon. Krishnaji said he could not live with the discord. Unless agreement comes about, he will close the door between the school and the West Wing. It ended on that note. He and I walked around the fields alone.’
S: Yes. That was the worst moment at Brockwood that I can remember. “Closing the door” really meant that Krishnaji would have nothing more to do with the school. Because your living quarters were separate.
M: Separate, yes.
S: So he would just…
M: Just live there. I had always wanted a kitchen so that if for any reason—I didn’t think of this—but I thought if somehow the school weren’t there, and he had to stay there, I could function with my own kitchen.
S: Yes, he would just live there when he was in England, but have nothing more to do with the school. What could be more awful?
M: August sixteenth. ‘The Mercedes battery is too low to start the car. The architects, Mr. Jack and his colleague, came in the afternoon with the latest plans for The Study. Krishnaji explained to them what is needed for a quiet room, and they seemed intrigued.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Dorothy and others have got all the marquee chairs and tables put up, and then she came on the walk with Krishnaji and me. She tripped going out of the grove and fell heavily on her chest, but said it was only a bruise. I fetched petrol after the Mercedes battery was recharged. I fixed flowers for the West Wing, and put things in order for the guest rooms.’
The next day. ‘I got up at 4 a.m., and at 5 a.m., I drove with Scott to Gatwick to meet Erna and Theo on a charter flight from Los Angeles. They are staying in the West Wing double spare room. It is good to see them. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with Kip in the late afternoon.’
August eighteenth. ‘I took Erna and Theo to Alresford, where I bought two pillows for the sitting room. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and I walked around the fields. At 7 p.m., there was a channel 4 broadcast of the Krishnaji interview done in June by Border Television for a series called Revelation.’
The nineteenth. ‘It was a warm day. I went to Brian Jenkins’s and the Dutch student’s wedding in the Morton woods.’ [Chuckles.] I did it to placate him. [S chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji didn’t go. I came back for lunch, and slept in the afternoon. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked down and looked at the tent.’
S: This was another very weird thing. When Dorothy found out the relationship between Brian Jenkins, a teacher, and this Dutch student, she didn’t do anything to discourage it. She, in fact, encouraged it. Brian was one of her pet projects; and Dorothy herself had been a student of Montague’s when their relationship started, and then they married. So, she didn’t think there was anything wrong in such relationships. There were several cases where she should have acted about these unprofessional relationships, because they’re just not correct, but she didn’t.
M: No, they’re not. They’re really not correct at all.
S: This was always a problem when she was principal, and, of course, when Brian and this student finally got married, it was just the source of even more resentment because the group of four who were running the school, supposedly with Dorothy, at that time (Stephen, Harsh, Ingrid, and Ray) would not let the Dutch student remain part of the school. And, of course, she and Brian thought that she was just going to continue in the school as both a student and the wife of a staff member, having a foot in both camps. Well, that’s…
S: And so, it was a source of tremendous resentment by Brian and by the student and her friends, and her parents, who also didn’t take it well.
M: Her parents, I remember dimly that the parents…
S: The parents were part of the Dutch committee and they…
M: Did they want this marriage?
S: Well, it was there, and being Dutch, and therefore liberal and accepting, they just accepted it. But I thought it was very wrong and, of course, it ended badly, etcetera. But it was a point of real resentment that she couldn’t continue in the school as a student married to a staff member and it was just all very…It was just a mess.
M: Exactly. Yes. Yes, I remember that. Yes.
S: And it increased resentment by Dorothy’s coterie against the four who were running the school.
M: Yes. Yes, that’s messy.
S: And, of course, the resentment spread more to the students because this Dutch girl had many friends—she was really a very nice person—so they also were against the four, thinking that this student was being treated badly when she had this wonderful fairytale marriage to a Brockwood staff member…and it was just, it was just a mess.
M: Yes, I remember it.
There is really nothing the next day, and on the twenty-first, my diary reads, ‘I took Erna and Theo to the Petersfield train, then I went on to Chichester to have the Mercedes serviced. Kathy brought me back. In the afternoon, using the school car, I went to Alresford to the bank and to do other errands. When I came back, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked only in the shade of the grove. It was very hot.’
August twenty-second. ‘There was some rain. I took a school car to meet Sunanda and Pama Patwardhan at Petersfield. They talked with Krishnaji before and after lunch, then Kathy and I took them back to the train, and Kathy drove me to Chichester, where I retrieved the Mercedes.’
The twenty-third. ‘Krishnaji and I took the 10:45 a.m. train to London. I went to the U.S. embassy for my absentee ballot form. Krishnaji went to the dentist, Mr. Thompson. Then we had a late lunch at Fortnum’s. We walked from there to Burberry and got a raincoat for Krishnaji, then got the 4:20 p.m. back to Petersfield. It was hot in London. Friedrich Grohe had arrived while we were in London and is in the little West Wing guest room, my ex-office. Scott brought a fresh version of the architects’ floor plan for The Study.’
August twenty-fourth. ‘I went to Alresford and bought two antique mirrors for the bird wallpaper West Wing guest room. It is no longer a dining room, and with the wardrobe and chest of drawers I bought in London in June, it is now a nice single guest room, reminiscent of such rooms in my East Coast youth.’ [Chuckles.] I’m trying to remember what such a reminiscence was. I think perhaps it was the chest of drawers and the wardrobe because, as you know, old houses in the East didn’t have closets.
S: Yes, yes. That’s right.
M: I don’t remember. Anyway, that’s what it says. ‘I wanted to get it ready for Pupul’s use in September. People are arriving for the Brockwood Gathering. Krishnaji talked for two hours with Shakuntala, and later with Scott and me about getting those staff who are united to back the running of the school in a strong way.’ Shakuntala was on Dorothy’s side, and antagonistic to the other four.
S: Oh, absolutely.
M: With, what’s his name?
M: Oh, yes.
August twenty-fifth. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji gave the first Brockwood talk. Afterward, we had fruit and salad upstairs, and then returned to the marquee for the other food. Krishnaji was busy all afternoon meeting various people. After supper, at Krishnaji’s urging, I held a meeting of the members of staff who are united, and Dorothy, who sat without participating.’
The next day. ‘Krishnaji gave his second Brockwood talk. A very fine one. Again, we had fruit salad in our kitchen afterward, and then went back to the tent. Topazia is here for the talks. An unbalanced man attacked Krishnaji verbally.’ Do you remember that?
M: I don’t either. ‘At 3 p.m., Scott, Grohe, and I met Shakuntala and Baruch about their staying at the school. They are leaving.’ Were we trying to encourage them to leave or to stay?
S: I can’t remember. Baruch ended up going, and Shakuntala staying, and that created a big problem because…well, we’ll come across it, because it was a huge incident.
M: Yes, I know what we’re heading for. Anyway, on this date, they are leaving. ‘Then, at Doris’s request, she met Scott and me and protested “the treatment” of Shakuntala, Brian Jenkins, and Eleanor, but this was interrupted by the entrance into the West Wing of a mad woman brought by Montague who was insisting on seeing Krishnaji. Doris fled, and I somehow got through the woman’s obsession by asking her name and telling her mine. She came to, as though from a fit, and was quiet.’ Never a dull moment. [Both chuckle.] ‘The walk with Krishnaji, included Grohe, Dorothy, Erna, and Theo.’ There’s always a mad woman surfacing here and there.
The twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji saw Doris at length and then added Shakuntala, Baruch, and me to the meeting. Baruch is leaving, but now Shakuntala says that she wants to stay. All this lasted all morning and Krishnaji had no rest. He had lunch in bed and got up only to walk with Dorothy, Friedrich, Erna, Theo, and me. I worked on questions for tomorrow.’
August twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji held a question-and-answer meeting in the marquee. Afterward, Krishnaji and I had fruit salad upstairs with Friedrich and Scott present, then back to the tent for food. At 4:30 p.m., in drawing room, Krishnaji spoke to all the staff who are staying, plus Jane Hammond, Friedrich, Erna, and Theo. Doris and Dorothy were aggressively critical. Krishnaji passionately was trying to get everyone together. He will close the door to the school if it does not happen. In spite of it being late, etcetera, he, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, Friedrich, and I went for a short walk. I ate upstairs,’ it says.
The twenty-ninth. ‘I went to Alresford for cheese. Erna spent the morning talking with Dorothy, and told Erna she wants to retire. I spent time after lunch with Princess Gabrielle of Liechtenstein and took her back to Mrs. Morton’s where she is staying. Krishnaji, Theo, and I walked.’
August thirtieth. ‘Krishnaji held the second question-and-answer meeting, and it was very fine. Erna got a letter from Cohen about Rajagopal saying he wants to make peace, settle differences with Krishnaji before he, Rajagopal, dies. Erna telephoned Cohen, who will make inquiries. Mary Cadogan and I spoke with Doris about her coming to the International Trustees Meetings, which she wants to attend, and we talked to her about not being aggressive. She wants intensely to be at them and agreed. Krishnaji talked alone with Dorothy at 3 p.m., which apparently went well, and was followed by a meeting of all staff who are staying. Dorothy is more relaxed and responsive. Only Brian Jenkins remains disgruntled. The walk later with Krishnaji included Dorothy, Erna, Theo, Friedrich, and Magda Sichitiu. Later Mary Cadogan, Scott, Ray McCoy, and I spoke with Brian Jenkins. Any memoirs of that?
S: No, no. I think I’ve just pushed it into my subconscious.
M: Yes, well…Leave it there. [S chuckles.]
August thirty-first. ‘Krishnaji’s voice is hoarse from fatigue and too much use. He stayed in bed. I met Sunanda and Pama in Petersfield. They are staying until the end of the International Trustee Meetings. Krishnaji saw Dorothy in the morning, and she seems relaxed and her best self. Erna and Theo went with Friedrich and Magda to the Isle of Wight.’
September first. ‘Krishnaji gave his third Brockwood talk. Mary and Joe with their granddaughter, Anna, were here, and had fruit and salad and later coffee with us in the kitchen. Krishnaji talked briefly with a Czech publisher of his books in Germany. The walk was with Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, Magda, and me. Krishnaji’s voice was hoarse in the morning but better by evening.’
September second. ‘Krishnaji gave his fourth Brockwood talk, which was very fine. His voice was still hoarse but improved as he went along. Dr. Chandnani gave both Krishnaji and me cholera shots for India. Grohe left for Switzerland. Mark Edwards took photos needed by KFA. The Gathering ended, and people began to leave. There was a short walk of Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, and Theo. In the evening Krishnaji, Scott, and I watched a movie on video. The weather stayed dry throughout the talks.’
The third. ‘Krishnaji rested in bed till the afternoon. I spent the morning on laundry and arranging for guests. The Gathering people left, but Radhika Herzberger and her daughter, Maya, arrived. Krishnaji spoke to Polish Magdalina Jasciuska before she left. The walk was with Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, and Theo. The Mercedes battery was dead again, and had to be taken for recharging.’
September fourth. ‘The Mercedes battery was returned early, and Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I caught the 10:45 a.m. train to London. Joe met us, and drove us to Huntsman where Krishnaji helped Theo buy a jacket. We walked to Fortnum’s where Mary Links joined us for lunch. At Hatchards, I got the Oxford Book of English Verse and Golden Treasury.’ That was for Krishnaji. ‘Back at Brockwood, Evelyne Blau and Alan Kishbaugh had arrived for the International Trustee Meetings. Erna spoke to Merali in Belgium, who says the San Diego sale of his property fell through, so he can make no payment towards the donation he pledged KFA since 1982.’
September fifth. ‘Mr. Grohe returned. Jean-Michel and the van der Stratens arrived. After lunch, all trustees met with Krishnaji in the assembly room for the first of our meetings. There was a walk with Krishnaji, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and Alan Kishbaugh. Most met in the evening to talk.’
The sixth. ‘The trustee meetings began at 10 a.m. Krishnaji joined in a bit later. After lunch he talked to Sarjit Siddoo with Erna and me there about their school, if they revive it in 1985. At 3 p.m., the meetings resumed till 5 p.m. On the walk was Krishnaji, Dorothy, Grohe, Erna, Theo, Radhika, and me. At 7:30 p.m., there was another meeting where Harsh showed how indexing can be done on computers. To bed wearily.’
September seventh. ‘Most of the trustees went to lunch with the Digbys at their family castle in Sherborne, Dorset. Krishnaji, Radhika, Sunanda, Dorothy, and I stayed at Brockwood. Pupul arrived from New York in the morning. She chose to share the room with Radhika instead of having the West Wing Bird Room, so Asit will have it and share the bath with Grohe.’ [Chuckles.] ‘It was a quieter day. I went to Alresford on errands.’
September eighth. ‘Asit arrived from Singapore. At 10 a.m., the trustee meetings resumed, and dealt all day with publications matters. Mary and Joe came down, and Mary presided at the meeting as head of the publication committee. India again wants the copyright shared, this time between the three English-speaking Foundations. Agreement was made to form an international publication committee with two members from each of the English-speaking Foundations—Mary Links and Mary Cadogan for England, Sunanda and Asit for India, and Alan Kishbaugh and I were nominated for the U.S. Alfonso Colon and Riesco from the Fundaciόn are included as “consultants.” This committee of six met after lunch, and it went easily. At 3 p.m., the full trustee meetings resumed, and it was more difficult. We agreed to inquire about the legal implications of shared copyright. Mary Cadogan will consult our copyright lawyer, Rubinstein.’
The ninth. ‘At 9 a.m., there was a meeting with the KF Trust members about the plans for The Study. At 10 a.m., the International Trustees Meetings resumed and continued all day till 6 p.m. Merali arrived. While Krishnaji finished his supper, Pupul, Asit, Scott, Sunanda, Grohe, and I sat with him and chatted. It was a looonnnng day,’ it says.
September tenth: ‘At 10 a.m., there was a meeting with Merali of Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, Evelyne, Alan Kishbaugh, Pupul, Asit, Sunanda, Pama, Radhika, and me about his nonpayment of the pledged donation to the KFA—it had been the basis for a matching fund drive. He had asked that Indian members be present. Asit, as a businessman, asked many questions that were totally to the point, and Merali squirmed and got emotional. It broke up, and then there was a meeting of Mary Cadogan, Jane Hammond, Pupul, Radhika, Sunanda, Pama, Asit, and me. At 3 p.m., all the Foundations resumed the meetings, with Krishnaji speaking about the schools, a school journal, and since one of us (himself) had been free of conditioning, what could help other children to be that way? In evening we saw a shortened version (to fifty-eight minutes) of The Challenge of Change film.’
September eleventh. ‘At 11 a.m., Krishnaji spoke in the Assembly Hall to all trustees and the Brockwood staff. In the afternoon, there was a meeting without Krishnaji of trustees to review what had been accomplished during the week. It was Pupul’s sixty-ninth birthday. During Krishnaji’s breakfast, she, Asit, Sunanda, and I taped Asit’s questions of Krishnaji about what kept him untouched by all his surroundings when he was young. Eventually, there was a walk around the block of Krishnaji, Asit, Dorothy, Erna, Theo, Grohe, Merali, Kishbaugh, and me.’
September twelfth. ‘At 10 a.m., Krishnaji spoke to Merali alone. Then he told Erna and me, Pupul, Radhika, and Asit what Merali had said. Pupul, Radhika, Mary, and Asit left by car for London. Alan Kishbaugh left. Krishnaji rested after lunch, but then spent two more hours with Merali, at first with Sunanda and Pama present, and then with Erna and Theo. Merali finally promised to pay the KFA half of what he had pledged by the end of the year and the balance owing to be paid on the sale of his San Diego property. After his supper, Krishnaji watched a video of a Clint Eastwood movie and finally slept.’
The thirteenth. ‘Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went by train to London where we met Asit at Huntsman so that Krishnaji could supervise Asit’s fitting. The Lilliefelts went off shopping. I took my dear brown tweed coat to be copied at Hilliard’s on Cork Street in a tweed I found at Huntsman. Krishnaji, Asit, Mary Links, and I lunched at Fortnum’s. Mary spoke frankly about the reactions of KF India to the second volume of her biography of Krishnaji. Asit listened sympathetically. Krishnaji and I bought books at Hatchards and came home.’
The next day. ‘The house is quieter. Krishnaji rested all morning but got up for lunch. I worked at the desk. The walk with Krishnaji included Dorothy, Erna, Theo, and me. I got Krishnaji’s supper tray. Then Erna, Theo, Dorothy, Kathy, and Scott dined with me at the Old House in Wickham. We went in the school van.’
September fifteenth. ‘I worked at the desk almost all day. I spoke to Ginny Travers in Stratford, and will go to see her on the twenty-seventh. Walk. Telephoned Filomena to say I will go to see her October second.’
S: Alright well, we should probably end it there.
 A project of the Krishnamurti Foundation of India in rural India. Back to text.