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STUDENTS' PROJECTS > BA AND BAPU > Bapu's service of Ba
106. Bapu's service of Ba
During Ba's last illness Bapu would frequently sit by the bedside of Ba, at night as well as during the day, though she would not let him sit there for long. Seeing this, one day Dr. Gilder told Dr. Sushilabehn, that it would be better if Bapu refrained, because, he added, the pneumonia germ is very poisonous and contagious. But who could muster up courage to convey all this to Bapu? So Dr. Nayar thought that to keep silent in the matter would be the better part of discretion. Dr. Gilder also later realized the delicacy of the situation, specially when the moment of Bapu's separation from his sixty-two-year-long life-companion seemed to be drawing near. As he said all this, tears welled up in his eyes.
Owing to increasing weakness, Ba spat out now and again. Her lips were, therefore, wiped with small pieces of cloth. One night when Bapu visited Ba, he suggested to Dr. Sushilabehn to have a few kerchiefs prepared for the purpose. Accordingly, this was done. Subsequently, whenever Bapu saw the used- up kerchiefs he would pick them up and take them to his room to wash. Dr. Nayar once chanced to see this and said, "Bapuji, we shall wash them. So please leave them there." Bapu answered, "No, I like to do the job."
On another day, after his midday meal, Bapu went to see Ba and sat by her bedside. Now if he sat there and Ba rested her head on his shoulder and went to sleep, he would not be able to get up till Ba woke up. Thus, Bapu would miss his midday hour of rest. Dr. Nayar, therefore, suggested that, instead, she would sit near Ba. Later on, after he has had his siesta, he could take her place. To this Bapu agreed, but as he lay down on his mattress he exclaimed, "How I wish I had been allowed to sit for some time longer near Ba's bedside!"
In the course of her prolonged illness, Ba was treated for her acute kidney complaint according to hydropathy. For this purpose Bapu had to spend daily nearly an hour on the treatment. This tired him out. Ba noticed this and so suggested to Bapu that, instead, Dr. Sushilabehn should do the needful. Dr. Sushilabehn reinforced the suggestion by saying that as it was, Bapu was already hard pressed for time. Therefore, if he agreed he could save one hour of his precious time. Whereupon Bapu said, "God has given me this invaluable opportunity to serve Ba, so I would not like to let it go. I can gladly spare one hour for her."