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Ba, An Ideal Helpmate
In 1913, one day, Shri Kalidasbhai Gandhi an esteemed elder of the family, who lived in Tongat, came to the Phoenix Ashram in Johannesburg to stay there for a few days. At 11 a.m. Bapu had just sat down to his meals, after serving all the other inmates. Ba was engaged at the time in cleaning up the kitchen. Now Kalidasbhai observed this and was rather surprised. For, in the city even an ordinary businessman had a servant in his house to do such job. So he said to Bapu, "You have made such a radical change in your life and introduced such austere simplicity, too, that poor Kasturbai never seems to have got any chance to enjoy life."
Bapu replied, interrupting his eating, "But I have never prevented her from doing so."
Thereupon Ba chimed in somewhat teasingly, "But tell me, have I ever had any luxury or pleasures in your home?"
Bapu responded in the same strain, "But have I even once dissuaded you from wearing silk and ornaments? And when you wanted to wear golden bangles, did I not get these made for you?" Ba replied, "Of course, you gave me all those things. But how could I use them when I saw you leading a life of self- abnegation? I had, therefore, no other alternative but to fall into line with you."