In 1924, in the Satyagraha Ashram, at Sabarmati, one night Ba was rather late in reaching Bapu's room to massage his head with oil. For, she had been delayed in the kitchen after the usual hour by her preparing some food for the journey for her son, Ramadasbhai, who was going away that night. When asked the reason for her being late, she told Bapu all this, adding that she could not depute anyone else to do the job as none was nearby at the time. Bapu, then said to her, "You are already so much overworked, because you take on too many things,—preparing food in the kitchen, looking after the visitors, spinning cloth for yourself, etc. Over and above all this, you must now also prepare special food for Ramadas to take on the journey. But should you do all that ? I ask. For, if you go on doing such things, there will be no end to them at all. For example, tomorrow you may find that someone else is going out on a journey, like Tulasi going to Nepal, Surendra going to Delhi, then you will do likewise for them, too."
Ba replied, "Of course not. But Ramadas is my son, that is why I did not mind even
being late for massaging your head. Further, it will not be possible for me to
cater to every one's special requirements. But you are no doubt a Mahatma
and all here are like your own sons to you. However, I am not as yet a
Mahatma. This does not mean that I love the others any less. But truth to
tell, they are not to me like Ramadas. So can I not occasionally prepare some
special food for him? You are, indeed, very hard on me, even in such small
Bapu rejoined, "Well, all this is worth thinking about. However, will you please tell
me where we are sitting at present?"
Ba: "In the Satyagraha Ashram."
Bapu: "But why are we here? Why did we sell our house in Rajkot and come away to this
Ba: "So that we all, brothers and sisters, may together serve our country."
Bapu: "Then do those who have come here from distant places, look upon us as less than
their own parents?"
Ba: "Certainly not. They love you and me devotedly, indeed, and for you particularly
they have abounding affection. They have given up their all, in order that under
your inspiration and guidance, they may learn how to serve India wisely and
well, according to their capacity."
Bapu: "Then just think, under these circumstances what our duty towards them is. It
is quite natural for a mother to love her own child more than others. So in a
way there is nothing wrong in your loving Ramadas more. But all that would have
held good if we were still living in Rajkot and Ramadas, Devadas and others were
entitled to a share in the paternal property. But this Ashram is for Satyagrahi
workers. Therefore, Ramadas, too, should live like others. Then how is it that
you consider those, who look upon you as more than their own mother, less than
Ramadas ? Remember, the whole world is watching us and is expecting great things
Ba listened to all this calmly and with great attention, and remained quiet.