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Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre Celebrating 50 years!
Beloved Baba's Birth Day Celebration at Pune Centre.
One of the important contributions of the Poona Centre to the Baba literature also involves the obituary books that it has published on giant Baba lovers, acknowledging their selfless life and work for Baba, such as Dr. Ghani, Sadashiv Shelke-Patil, Francis Brabazon and Mani.
The Poona Centre’s publications had become very popular amongst Baba lovers. Not only that they were being sold at reasonable price making them affordable to Indian Baba lovers but they were also particularly useful to the students of Baba literature as it categorized and brought all Baba’s clarifications and explanations given on one particular subject at one place. These books were in good demand even from the western Baba lovers. Many of them mentioned to KKR that they found the Poona publications useful while preparing for any talk to be delivered on Meher Baba. These publications also provided a source of income for Poona Centre for its sustenance. In some circles of Baba lovers, copyright issues were being raised but then, KKR had prepared himself to face any situation as he believed that whatever he was doing was extremely useful to spread Baba’s name and message.
In the following paragraphs, I would try to take a quick review of the important events that followed after the Centre’s inauguration at Baba’s hands.
After Baba had dropped his body, Madhusudan participated in the program as leader of the bhajan group for two more years. 25th February of 1970 was the last day of his participation in the Centre’s function. From that day onwards, for some reasons, he and his wife, Subhadra, discontinued their involvement with the Centre and with any Baba activity for a long time. They had completely withdrawn themselves.
There was another phenomenon that was taking shape and was very encouraging. The children of Poona Baba family started presenting dance and drama programs based on Baba’s teaching. The performance gained popularity and was soon being discussed at different Baba forums and Centres. The children’s group was invited to participate at various Baba functions. Young boys like Prashant, Mehernandan, and Nitin More picked up the reigns from the senior members and started writing, directing and acting in Baba plays. This was a big Baba family involving Thade, Ahir and Bundellu families with many participants from the Baba lovers’ families of Poona. All of them were pooling in their talents in Baba programs. Swaroop, Sanjay, Rajiv, Uday, Nitin, Deepak, Raja, Bhushan took up either acting, playing instrument or singing. It was a beautifully collaborative effort and it created a charged atmosphere during Amartithi and Birthday functions. The girls in the family - Alka, Jyoti Ahir, Jyoti Bundellu, kanti, Madhavi, Vaishali, Kalpana, Arpana, Smita, and Arti shared the responsibility of presenting various dance performances. Thereafter, the women members like Smt. Sunita Thade and Shobha, apart from their contribution in singing, picked up the back-stage activities of choreographing dances, making costumes and putting make-up on children. This was a self- sufficient team of artists who were in there teens. Later on Akshay, Amita and Hirabai from the Bundellu family also joined the bandwagon and increased the momentum of this work. Hence, though the exit of Madhusudan and Subhadra from the scene came as a dampener initially, it did not any way hamper the activities of the Centre. All the trustees and local Baba lovers encouraged the children. KKR and Homai Malati showed special affection towards the children. Some of the performances that were presented during those days were so inspiring, heart touching and thrilling that when I recall those days, I feel as if we were enjoying a dream - a long enchanting dream!
Today, there are many persons, including young boys on one end of the spectrum and the retired persons on the other end are aspiring to work together for the Centre’s and Baba’s cause. We all express our gratitude to our Beloved Father, Meher Baba, who has been walking with us in the journey of our Centre of 50 years! The journey of the Poona Centre will continue until every heart cries out to His Name.
(Abridged version of the ‘History Of Poona Centre’ that had appeared in the booklet published by the Centre in the Golden Jubilee Year of the Centre)