Back | Next
STUDENTS' PROJECTS > BA AND BAPU > Touching meeting of Ba and Harilalbhai
73. Touching meeting of Ba and Harilal
Once Ba and Bapu were travelling by Jabalpur Mail. When the train reached Katni, they heard someone cry out, "Victory to Mother Kasturba!" This was something unusual, for on railway stations and elsewhere they had generally heard the cry, "Victory to Gandhiji". So Ba just looked out of the window in curiosity. And lo! there was Harilalbhai, looking very poorly in health, with all his teeth gone and his clothes in rags. Just then Harilalbhai went up and, taking an -orange out of his pocket, said to Ba, "Ba, this is for you." Whereupon Bapu asked, "And you have nothing for me?"
Harilalbhai answered, "No, I have brought this orange only for Ba. To you, I have only to say this: If you are so great, it is because of Ba."
Bapu rejoined, "Of course, it is so. But, first, tell me, are you coming along with us?"
Harilalbhai said, "No, I came up only to meet Ba."
Then he offered the orange to Ba, saying it was just a token of his love for her, even though he had to beg for it, and insisted on her taking it alone. And as she began to eat the orange, she said to him sorrowfully, "Look at your present condition, son. Come along with us. Do you realize whose son you are? But, perhaps, now your condition is beyond any improvement." Tears welled up in her eyes. And as the train steamed but she heard Harilalbhai say, "Ba, do eat the orange."
Suddenly Ba remembered that they had not given anything to Harilalbhai. So at once she took out some fruit from the basket to give it to Harilalbhai, but he was far away. The train was already in motion. From a distance once again, however, the cry was heard, "Victory to Mother Kasturba!"