1960s Films and India Translations




Does anything seem more appropriate than that films planned and directed and
even acted by Meher Baba, Mehera and Mani will doubtless play an important
part in the major project of translating Baba's principal words into the
four major tongues of Hindi, Marathi, Telegu and Gujerati? Chalk this one up
to another of those incredible instances of Baba's foresight very long-term
to provide the necessary for those he has guided and loved and continues for
the duration of his advent.
Almost everyone by now is familiar with the fact that during the 1960s Baba,
Mehera and Mani planned carefully two films in 1960 and 1962 in which all
the scenes were orchestrated weeks in advance by Mehera and Mani with Baba's
consent, with Baba then adding his own list of "musts" to their agreed list.
Then in 1969 when Baba dropped his body and orchestrated his own entombment
with Mehera, Mani and Eruch providing all the technical help, a third film
was added to the small and vital family of Irani generated gems.
The one major draw-back for some years has been that there was no sound
track giving either identifications of important scenes, or consoling music
to temper the poignancy of many of the shots the Irani triumvirate had
planned. When Neale Lundgren came across this situation perhaps three years
ago, he insisted that it was high time for the matter to be corrected, so he
extracted a promise from the amateur cameraman who had pressed the camera
button for Mani as she directed the actual shots in many instances. This was
Don, who went to work last year in London with John Barker with his new
digital camera, and with Bruce Milburn acting as the foil to Don's
recollections, of which there turned out to be quite a large harvest.
For well over a year, now, Philippe Joucla in Vannes and Don on his monthly
visits there worked diligently to select music that seemed fitting to the
subject material, and pinned this into place with the voice recordings and
original films. Two weeks ago, after three long days and nights in Vannes,
Philippe and Don completed the last of the approximate pinning to be done.
This in turn now goes to India for review at Meherazad, and then to Rafael
Villafañe of Mexico City, who will use his long expertise in singing and
recording to do the final precision judging of timing and sound levels.
Meanwhile, as you all know as well, there have been a series of God Speaks
seminars going on a bit all over the world, with three in India in February
due to the hard-headed but infinitely tender pushing of Balaji of Hyderabad.
These woke up a lot of things to do with Baba's words, spearheaded again by
the inimitable Balaji's editing of the first Indian edition in English of
God Speaks, which was in itself a marvel. But it also awakened murmurs of
how wonderful it would be one day to have Baba's principal words translated
for the thousands of Indian Baba devotees who cannot read nor speak English.
This fell on Bhau's sensitive ears, and despite his recent major heart
surgery, Bhau listened carefully to and approved a project to sponsor
translation and publishing of Baba's major works into Hindi, Marathi, Telegu
and Gujerati. At that point Don proposed that the expected new release of
the 1960s films be dedicated financially to the translation and publication
project. Again Bhau approved and the stage was set.
Now, the provisionally coordinated films are going to India for a last
review and then into the hands of Rafael. And next? Well, the incomparable
live wire in Los Angeles, Dina Snow says she will head the production,
dissemination and sales of the films in America. Maybe she doesn't even know
it yet, but do you think that Mary Turner who is a quiet genius for getting
things quietly and efficiently done, will be our key on the European side?
If Richard can take time off from reporting Bhau's international stands, it
should be an unbeatable team.
Then, all we need to do is to convince each Baba devotee that he needs at
least one set of these films in his home library, and two or three others as
Christmas presents for close family and friends. Then no doubt Baba will be
smiling with another well laid out and Mehera/Mani masterminded program
bearing Avataric fruit of a delicious variety. Appropriate, no, that the
Avatar himself should provide a principal means of financing the translation
of his own words into the principal tongues of his birthplace?