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59. Are You Scared Of Me?
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 with me.”
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!”