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105. Savitri-like Ba
On February 22, 1943, Bapu hovered between life and death,—so very feeble he had become as a result of the 21-day fast he had undertaken. Therefore, it was rather strange that Ba, whose health had been indifferent for quite some time, on the other hand, gained gradually in strength, both of body and mind, from the day the fast began, just as her worship of the Tulsi plant and of the image of child Krishna acquired greater intensity and earnest­ness. Mirabehn and Dr. Sushila Nayar often found Ba so deeply absorbed in her adoration in the verandah outside Bapu's room, that she was not at all conscious of their presence. And this elevating and touching sight brought tears into their eyes.
Once Dr. Sushila Nayar went to Bapu's room and pleaded with him to take some orange juice. But he declined, just as he had done on the third day of the fast, when Bapu had nausea, Ba's similar appeal. However, after a few minutes, Bapu indicated his assent. The juice somewhat restored him and there was a glow of returning life and strength on his face. At this time Ba entered the room and, finding Bapu appreciably better, she felt as if God had answered her prayers. A year later, once referring to this incident, someone remarked, "A year ago on this very day Bapu seemed to be in the clutches of death. Bui Ba rescued him from the noose, as did Savitri, Satyavan, pledging that, instead, she would offer her own life as ransom."