39. Taking of the Mother’s Foot-Print
A certain devotee-son was a hot favourite of Bhanu-Pisi (aunt). The Pisi addressed the Mother’s son as Dada, a term of endearment for a grandson She was the Mother’s ‘aunt’, and so the Mother’s sons were her dear grandsons. She told this grandson of hers one day: “Disciple-sons keep with them impressions of the soles of the Mother’s feet. So better procure a pair for yourself.” With great earnestness, the son requested the Mother for this, and the Mother agreed. Accordingly, after a few days, he brought a phial of red dye and a few white handkerchiefs, and gave them to the Mother. The Christmas vacation was then approaching. The Mother explained to the son: “The
Christmas vacation is coming soon Many devotees will be coming here. What will they think seeing red colour on my feet? So better leave these with me now. After some time, I shall have the impressions taken at my convenience.” Then with a smile playing on her lips, she just added, “The boys making Pranams to me will look at my feet and think that the Mother has put on alta (lac-dye) on her feet!” (It is only married women, with husbands living, who put it on.) The son was very much satisfied and handed over the phial and the handkerchiefs to the Mother. Days passed and the disciple almost forgot the matter. One day he had come to take noon Prasad at the Mother’s place. In the evening he made Pranams to the Mother and took leave of her. The Mother was then staying at Bara-Mama’s place. As the son walked out of the house, he found the Mother following him Thinking she was going to the tank, he stood aside and faced the Mother as she came near. Smiling, the Mother called to him in a low voice, “My son!” Taking a small packet from the fold of her cloth, she handed it over to him, and in a voice saturated with affection said: “Come, my son! Take this. It is yours.” Several disciples had gathered in and about the house of the Mother and so she got this done privately, unseen by others. With a palpitating heart the disciple opened the packet, and lo! he found in it what he was longing for – the imprint of the Mother’s feet in pink! Filled with bliss, he touched the sacred foot prints with his forehead, and keeping it closest to his heart, returned home after making Pranams to the Mother again and receiving her blessing.
The son came to know later on that the Mother had got the impression taken by Nalini-Didi. One day when he met her, Nalini-Didi said to him curtly, “What a colour you had brought – red like blood! What would people say on seeing it! That was why we had to use ‘alta’ instead of the colour.” The son’s heart was full of joy for getting the impressions of the feet; so this rebuke was sweet to his ears.