Baba is back in camp

Posted By Author on January 5, 2011


At 3.30 A.M. in the wee hours a moaning sound calling Shomu’s name startled us all. We were electrified by Baba’s sound.  Rushed out.  Baba was so much exhausted that he was squatting on the ground in front of our hut. Bachiram accompanied him.  What a stamina and strain at this age to cover Himalayan fifty miles afoot in two days!  (See Netaji’s hazardous march from Rangoon to Bangkok. A-25 to 40 Chapter IV ‘The Forced March’ and his breath taking journey afoot from Peshawar to Kabul S-342 to 353). The whole camp buzzed with activity.  For sometime he sat on the chair in front of Ramanidada’s hut.  He then shifted to inner stock room adjoining his kitchen.  His reed-mat was spread and he lay on it.  He was so drained out that he was not aware of his disheveled dhoti.  Ramanidada was sitting near him and pressing his legs for relief.  Gita was sitting near his shoulder and his middle finger was locked in Gita’s crooked middle finger.

After a while Ramanidada started massaging his feet with ghee and Gita was massaging his back. He then gulped three bumper glasses full of lukewarm water mixed with fine ginger and black pepper.  Then two full glasses of warm water mixed with fresh lemon juice and rock salt followed. (Netaji used to take rock salt) .  He felt refreshed and took sitting posture.  He told me the news that stones were thrown on Indira Gandhi and lamented as shameless for the people. (Once Netaji met the same fate in Bihar.) At the crack of dawn he told Dipali to bring Chinu and we retreated.

I served hot parathas and tea to Bachiram who escorted Baba, I told him to take rest. After sometime Baba called us all and told Gita to distribute sweets to us.

He finished his bath and then he called us.  We talked a lot.  He told us news about China and was critical about that problem.

We finished our lunch.  In the afternoon, two teachers of Agastimuni and one from Fata came.  They were on election duty.  Baba talked with them and emphasized the need of making Sanskrit as National Language.  He then left for rest.

Budhiballabhji Penoli arrived with bananas and oranges.  Contractor Mr. Bolasingh of Rambada brought Baba’s belongings left there.  He was utterly exhausted.  He felt very sorry that he could not accompany Baba. We took his care. In the morning Baba told me that he left his things in Rambada and that he neutralised them.  As such somebody was to be sent to bring it.  Luckily Bolasinghji saved our trouble. I was contemplating on this neutralization and charging of his things that were taboo to touch by anyone. I am too small a fry to comment on it.

In the evening we assembled around him and as usual gossip followed.  The battalion order of the day was that Radhakant and I would leave the camp on 17th Feb. 67.  The permission was granted but I was worried about revision of the order.

My stomach was upset. With slight rice I retired for the day.

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