It was in about February or March in 1963 that a complaint came to my superior, from the Shipping Corporation of India office, about a maintenance problem in their flat at Jeevan Jyot. As it was my job, the next day I went to Jeevan Jyot around 9.00 am and rang the bell of the flat. Shri Mataji Herself opened the door and I was so impressed by Her personality and holy shining face that I automatically folded my hands together.
‘Namaskar,’ I said, and She reciprocated the same.
‘I have come about the complaint lodged in our office,’ I explained. Shri Mataji asked if I had brought a replacement to solve the problem.
‘I have come to explain about our inability to do so,’ I replied. She said that Shri Srivastava Saheb had already gone to the office and whatever explanation I had to give, to give it to him, as he was the master of the house, and She was ‘just a Gruha Lakshmi’.
‘I will come tomorrow again early,’ I said. She offered me a cup of tea, to which I said I would come the next day and have it. I said namaskar and departed. I had learnt from the staff under me that She would never allow a person to go from Her house without a cup of tea, however small he may be.
At 8.00 am the next day I went to the flat again. The servant opened the door and I was asked to sit in the drawing room. Shri Mataji came in with Her two daughters, gave instructions to them about their going out and asked them what time they would be back. As Shri Mataji came in I offered my namaskar.
‘Saheb is taking his bath. Please sit and have a cup of tea,’ She said. The servant brought a cup of tea. I just had one sip when Shri Srivastava Saheb came. I got up and said namaskar and he reciprocated the same.
Then followed a series of questions about the maintenance of the flats, and I explained that as per the lease agreement all the maintenance inside the flat had to be done by the lessee. We discussed this and came to a satisfactory conclusion. He asked why my staff did not explain this earlier, and I answered that they might have been afraid to meet him personally to say this. He replied that no one should be afraid to tell the truth to anyone.
‘Oh, you have not finished your tea. Sit, finish it and then go,’ he said, and left. I finished my tea and said namaskar again to Shri Mataji.
‘May God bless you,’ She said, and the blessing gave me two beautiful twin daughters later on. I still remember in my heart Her shining holy face and Her white silk sari with a red border that She was wearing then.