74. The Incident of Milk polluted with dry Fish
We felt no end of wonder at seeing the Mother behaving like a little girl in many a small matter. One day a son came to the Mother carrying a big pot of milk, with his face downcast! Placing the pot of milk on the ground before her and making a Pranam to her, he narrated the following pathetic tale. To get pure milk, a friend of his had paid a higher price than the current market price and had procured the milk that was now placed before her. But as he was bringing it, his attention was drawn to a tiny little, dry fish floating on it. The moment he saw it, he felt as if struck by a bolt from the blue and thought of throwing away the whole milk then and there. But on second thoughts he decided to bring it to the Mother and act according to her advice. He further added that his friend had a great desire to prepare Payasam with this pure milk and offer it to the Master and give the Mother the Prasada to taste. But how unfortunate! It seemed now that the desire of his friend in this respect was not going to be fulfilled. Hearing this, the Mother felt for him very much and said in a sorrowful vein, “No, my dear, why should you throw it away? We have so many children; they could easily take it.”
Nevertheless the thought continued to disturb her, that the son had taken so much trouble for the milk and had brought it over such a long distance, and still it could not be offered to the Master! She started asking the opinion of every one of the inmates of the house about this. Like an innocent little girl she was going to different persons, even to the cook and the maid-servant, and asking, “Well, my dear, could not this milk be offered to the Master?” Some of them gravely made the remark, “How can that be? A fish has been found in the milk. So it is now not fit to be offered.”
The Mother became very dejected and sat there morose. Just at that time Nalini-Didi returned home and the Mother apprised her of her dilemma. After hearing everything Nalini-Didi like a ‘seasoned matron’ pronounced her verdict. Laying proper emphasis by gesticulating with her hands from time to time she said, “What is wrong with the milk, auntie? Just a small dry little fish fell in it, and that in the house of a villager. It has been removed also. How could the milk be affected by that? Why can’t it be now offered to the Master? In the city of Calcutta what all things do not the milkmen mix with their milk? Who cares to look into all that? Such milk is used in the production of all these sweets. Payasam, too, is prepared with it, and people offer these sweets and Payasam unhesitatingly to the Deities.” At this the Mother’s face brightened up and she said, “Yes, Nalini has indeed spoken rightly. Whoever pays heed to what the Calcutta milk is like? How many are the things they mix with it! And when that milk can be offered to the Deities, why not this too? And it is absolutely pure and so much better than the Calcutta milk.” Thus fully agreeing with Nalini-Didi’s reasonable opinion, the Mother became very happy and satisfied, and arranged for Payasam to be prepared with the milk and to be offered to the Master. After it was all over, she fed everybody with the
Prasada, serving it herself, and her joy knew no bounds.