After Ba had been cremated all the mourners returned to their respective lodgings. But Bapu was still experiencing heart-rending pain. No doubt, he was a man of great soul and great knowledge and wisdom. But, he was so human as well. How could he not, then, feel his separation from Ba, who had been his companion, like his own shadow, so long?
That night he said in anguish, just as he was getting ready to go to bed: "It is true
I had wished all along that she would precede me in departing from this earth.
For, in that case, I thought, I would be free from all anxiety on her account,
as to what would happen to her if she survived me. But she was an indivisible
part of my being. Her death has, indeed, created a gap, which will never be
After a brief pause he continued, "But to what a severe test did God put me! Even if I
had let penicillin be administered to Ba, she would have still died. But in
doing so I would have betrayed lack of faith in God. I had hardly prevailed
upon Devadas not to have penicillin injected into Ba's body, when she seemed to
be breathing her last. What a conjunction of circumstances! But inasmuch as she
died in my lap, I feel very happy, indeed."
On another occasion a little later, he said, "While I am happy at the thought that
Ba went away from this world before me, yet I must confess that the departure of
my more than sixty-two-year-long-life companion has left me almost bewildered
After four days, again, when a reference to Ba was made in the course of a
conversation, he remarked, "Ba's end was glorious. And yet if I feel so
sorrow-stricken it is for a purely personal reason. I cannot as yet help
recalling her memory over and over again."
Again after some time he observed, "Ba's death appears to be like a dream. Of course,
I was prepared for it. But when she actually went away I was rather surprised!
It seems without her I cannot attend to my personal affairs adequately."
On another occasion, once, talking of Ba, Bapu said, "Ba was completely wrapped up
in me. She died in my lap. Which other woman has ever been so fortunate? Just
before she passed away, she called me. I did not realize then that her end was
near. What a happy coincidence that at that time I was not out on my usual
evening walk! In this, too, I see God's grace."
A month after Ba had departed, one evening while walking about, Bapu said, "My sorrow at
any separation from Ba is still not healed, even though my mind tells me that
she could not have passed away under better circumstances. I was always fearful
about her lest she survived me. So I wished that she would precede me to the
cremation-ground. And yet I feel so sorrow-stricken. Maybe, I continue to think
of Ba constantly, but this, too, is not quite true. In a word, 1 really cannot
describe what I am feeling inwardly."