The kitchen of Sabarmati Ashram was solely at Kasturba’s disposal. Bapu had a lot of visitors everyday. Enthusiast, as she was, Kasturba would welcome them all.
A lad from Travancore used to help her. One
afternoon, Ba finished her work, tidied the kitchen and went to take a nap.
Bapu was waiting for her to leave the kitchen. Now Bapu beckoned the boy and
whispered, “Listen carefully, so many guests are coming for lunch. Ba has
been working hard since morning. She must be tired. Let her rest for a
while. Don’t wake her up. Ask Kusum to help you. Both of you manage
everything. Get the stove ready. Also keep the dough ready and then call Ba,
if needed. Manage everything. Don’t irritate Ba. Keep everything in its
place after lunch is prepared. I would be happy if she wouldn’t have a row
The boy tiptoed to call Kusumben and started
making arrangements. Both of them were taking precautions not to wake up Ba.
Vegetables were cleaned and dough was prepared. Suddenly a plate slipped
down Kusum’s hands. The rattling sound woke up Ba who thought that a cat had
broken into kitchen. She went there to see what it was all about. They had
to tell her everything. She asked, “But why didn’t you wake me up? Wasn’t I
able to do it?”
When the guests left in the evening, Ba came
to Bapu to seek explanation as to why did he ask those children to cook? She
said, “Do you think that I am a lazy bone?”
Bapu realised that there was no escape.
Laughing, he said, “You know, I am so much afraid of you on such occasions
……… you may not know ……….” Unable to resist laughing Ba explained, “You?
Scared of me? Let it be!”