Please Come In

[Listen to Asha read this story]

The fever was so severe Swamiji was shaking with chills and panting to breathe. In those days, his whole house was the dome that is now just the living room of Crystal Hermitage. His bedroom was a loft a few steps to the left of the front door. Several of us were sitting in the loft on the floor near his bed keeping him company.

When Shivani came in, Swamiji said, “Don’t come too close, you might catch what I have.”

“If you have it, I want it,” Shivani said, then walked to his bed and took his hand.

Not long after there was a loud knock on the door. When I opened it, Sidney* was standing on the doorstep, quite agitated. I stepped outside and closed the door behind me, so that our conversation would not disturb Swamiji.

“Please whisper,” I said, “Swamiji is very sick.”

“I have to see Swamiji,” Sidney said in an urgent whisper.

“I am sorry, that is not possible. Swamiji is quite ill,” I said. I was his secretary and made the appointments for people to see him.

“But I have to see him,” he said again.

“Please understand, he is too sick to see anyone,” I said.

We were whispering; our voices could not have carried through the closed door. But now Shivani stepped outside, sent by Swamiji. “Please come in,” she said to Sidney. “Swamiji says he’ll be right down to see you.”

For the next twenty minutes, Swamiji stood in the entry way, clad in pyjamas and bathrobe, talking with Sidney until the problem was resolved and Sidney felt calm enough to go home.

A few minutes into their conversation, I interrupted to say to Swamiji, “Perhaps it would better if you sat down.”

“I’m fine just where I am,” he said firmly. His voice was strong, his breathing normal, the chills were gone.

However, as soon as Sidney left, Swamiji went back to the loft, climbed into bed, and immediately resumed his fever. For the rest of the day, he was gasping for breath and his body shook with chills.

No comments:

Post a Comment