The announcement by Gandhiji in May 1933 of a 21 days' fast "for the purification of himself and his associates" came like a thunderbolt to Kasturba and Mirabahen. The latter on behalf of Ba and herself sent the following message to Gandhiji on hearing the news:
"Got news of fast only today. Ba wishes me say she is greatly shocked and feels decision very wrong but you have not listened to any others, so you will not hear her. She sends her heartfelt prayers. I am stunned but know it is the voice of God and in that sense rejoice even in the midst of anguish. Deepest prayers. Love Mirabahen."
Gandhiji's eyes were wet with tears of joy as he wrote out this telegram to them:
"Tell Ba that her father imposed on her a companion whose weight would have killed any other woman. I treasure her love. She must remain courageous to the end. For you, I have nothing but only thanks to God for giving you to me. You must prove your bravery by sustained joy over this newest of God's decisions for me. Love."