Rano had been suffering a very high temperature since the end of April. Her face was swollen, she had a rash on her chest and her skin itched. The doctor told Baba that there was little hope for her survival. Baba called Dr. Nilu from Rahuri, who properly diagnosed her illness as scarlet fever. Nilu began treating her according to Baba’s advice. (1)
When in Nasik, Baba would look in on Rano two or three times a day. When he entered her room, he would remove his sandals outside the door and enter barefooted so that he might not disturb her if she was asleep. Once Baba came when Rano was asleep. When she awoke, Nonny (Rano’s mother) informed her that Baba had come but that she was sleeping. Bemoaning, Rano sharply replied, “Well, I’m awake now …”
Baba would hand Rano medicine and sometimes spoon feed her orange juice. Once, during her recuperation period, someone’s birthday was celebrated and ice cream was served. Rano asked Baba to let her have a little. “No,” he gestured. “Ice cream will be bad for your throat.”
“But they give ice cream for tonsillitis,” she pleaded. “Besides, my throat is all right.” Baba again said no. But later, he came to Rano’s room and gave her a bit of ice cream on his pinkie.
Nilu had been ordered to take Rano’s temperature seven times a day. When away, Baba was cabled about her condition every day. Baba had ordered Rano not to set foot out of bed. Finally, her fever came down and by the 6th of May, after six weeks of illness, she showed every sign of recovering. Rano once recollected, “I was so pampered, I didn’t miss not being with the others. Perhaps Baba needed someone immobile for twenty-one days – similar to spending so many days in a penitent circle.”
After Rano recovered from this illness, Baba mentioned to her, “I have saved you for my work. Had I not been here when you were sick, you would have died.”
(1) On May 2nd, (1937) Baba had come to Nasik just to be near Rano during her acute illness.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 6, p. 2173.