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Bapu Kuti & Ba Kuti
Ba Kuti
Adi Niwas
Some sixteen from Adi Nivas hut, Gandhiji's disciple Miss Meera Ben had constructed a hut for herself and she used to teach spinning and carding to villagers in that hut. When the number of residents in the Adi Nivas increased, Gandhiji and Kasturba shifted to live in Meeraben's hut. Meeraben constructed one more hut on the eastern side for herself. However, later on she left this hut also for Gandhiji's office and shifted to a nearby village. These huts are known today as 'BAPU KUTI' and 'BAPU'S OFFICE'.
Kasturba had to live in Bapu Kuti in the midst of so many men. Looking to her difficulty, a new hut was constructed for her. Kasturba lived in this new hut with a few inmates and sometimes with occasional women guests. This hut is known as 'BA KUTI'.
Summers are very hot here. Gandhiji used to sit on the ground cross-legged and gave interviews or wrote letters. He never thought of changing this place. For shade, a curtain made of leaves was put at the entrance. Some water used to be sprayed on it from time to time. Above his seat one cloth fan of very old design was fixed. One of the inmates used to move the fan, so that there was some breeze in the room.
When we look at this hut, we notice the true living art of Gandhiji's liking. The roof of this hut is covered with bamboos, mats and country mud-tiles. The walls are neatly plastered with white earth. Meeraben had decorated the walls with folk art symbols like Oum, palm tree, peacock and the Charkha symbolising God, nature, living beings and human activity.
The windows and doors are also made of bamboos and decorated with local designs. The village craftsmen prepare the palm tree mats, which are spread on the floor. The bamboo almirah hanging by the wall is a specialty. There is one shelf made of bamboo for keeping articles.
He used to sit on simple palm leaf mats. His office was also nearby. Next to him, his secretary Mahadev Desai or Pyarelal or someone else who would assist him used to sit. The visitors also had to sit on the ground. In Gandhiji's office hut a telephone installed at behest of the then Viceroy of is also displayed.
Gandhiji's correspondence went on increasing. Naturally, one Secretariat committee was formed to help him. Mahadev Desai was it's chief. Others were Pyarelalji and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. More people used to help whenever needed. Replies to all the letters were invariably sent, sometimes in detail and sometimes in very brief, according to the importance and of the time.
The inmates of the Ashram used to take their food in the common kitchen. However, Mahadev Desai and Kishorelal Bhai were exceptions. They used to take their food with their families.