(RECORDED BY PRAVRAJIKA BHARATIPRANA)1
When I met the Holy Mother for the first time, I was a student of Sister Nivedita's school, at 17, Bosepara lane. One day after the school, Sister Sudhira took four or five of us to the Holy Mother's house. The Mother was sitting in the shrine room. Sister Kusum was reading some book. When we bowed down to her, the Mother said, "Sit down, my dear girl." And she said to Sister Sudhira, "Are you well, my dear? Is your school over just now? Do these girls study in your school?"
Yes Mother, these girls study in our school.
They are good girls. (Indicating me),
Where does, this girl come from? She seems to be a very good girl.
She is of Brahmana parentage. Her house is nearby only.
After this conversation, the Holy Mother said, "Kusum, you read. These people will listen." Reading began. I think the book was 'Krishna Charita'.
Hearing the description of Sri Krishna drinking all the curds and milk through various strategems, the Holy Mother and all others began to laugh very much. She said, "What a mischievous boy!" Soon after, our vehicle arrived. The Mother enquired, 'Will you go just now? Could you not stay a little longer?" Hearing Sister Sudhira's reply, she said, "Then come in the morning, my dear." After receiving Prasad, we bowed down to the Holy Mother and took leave of her. She said "Come, my dear, come again."
Another evening Sister Sudhira took me to the Holy Mother's house. The Mother was lying on a mat spread on a plain cot. Seeing us, she said, "Sit down, my dear." We made Pranam and sat down.
Originally a student of the Nivedita Girls' school, Saralabala Devi became later a disciple-attendant of the Holy Mother, and it was she who nursed the Mother in her last illness. When the Sarada Math and the Monastic Order for women was founded in 1953, she became a Sannyasini under the name Pravrajika Bharatiprana and the first Head of the Order. These reminiscences were recorded by her in her pre-monastic days.