IN SCARSDALE, (July 1952) meals for Baba and the women were being prepared by a Negro cook named Alberta. She had previously worked for Elizabeth in New York and Filis had hired her to cook for Baba. Baba sent Rano to bring his food. However, it was not ready, and she told the cook, “This is Baba’s mealtime; how is it his lunch isn’t ready? It should have been ready by now. Baba is most particular about promptness and has been complaining about this lately. You really should try to be on time, as Baba will be upset.”
The cook reacted angrily at what she took to be Rano’s bossing (when Rano was really only trying to help her avoid displeasing Baba), and verbally abused her. This got Rano’s temper stirred, and she came to Baba in tears and told him what had happened.
Baba asked, “Do you love me?”
Rano said yes. “Then go and apologize.”
Rano countered, “If anyone should apologize, it should be …” She caught herself and said, “I’ll go and apologize, Baba.” But it was too late.
“No,” stated Baba with a disappointed look. “If you had gone immediately when I told you to, there would have been some meaning to it. Now your apology would be meaningless. You have lost the chance. What is the use in asking now?” Thus Rano learned a very good lesson in obedience.
Filis Frederick was a witness to this incident and thought perhaps the exchange had something to do with Baba’s work with the races in America. Soon after Baba left, the Civil Rights Act was passed.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 11, pp. 3878 – 3879.