I was hastening home from hospital, tired and hungry, after a long spell of duty. Suddenly, at a turn of the road, two Muslim girls ran towards me and gasped, "Nursamma! Bade bahan ki thabiyath achchee nahi hai; jaldee aayiye!" ("Nurse! Our elder sister is ill; her condition is bad; come with us, quick.") They dragged me by the hand, towards their house. Evidently, something serious!
The scene in that gloomy house increased my fears. Around a wooden cot, about a dozen women were weeping and wailing; the kids were running helpless, hither and thither. The master of the family had gone to town to fetch a taxi. The patient, "the bade bahan," was in great agony and struggling for breath. She was shouting in great pain, "O I am dying."
That was, it seems, her sixth pregnancy; ten months had been completed, but there were no signs of the infant in the womb. Doctors, big and small, general practitioners and specialists, some whom I knew, and some whose names were strange to me, had examined her and pronounced judgement. Their verdict was that it was a case of malignant tumour which will yield only to surgery. But, Sarambibi trembled at the thought of the operation; she preferred drugs and injections; they showed me the list of medicines, administered in despair, allopathic, unani, ayurvedic, homeopathic. They had tried sorcerers, astrologers, magicians and quacks. But, the situation only got worse and worse; her husband proposed to take her before dawn to the huge big hospital at Coimbatore.
It was at this juncture that I walked in. As soon as she saw me, Sarambibi sat up and fell on my neck, shouting in distress, "O! my Baabaa." I cleared the room of all the relatives and friends and examined the patient. Yes! The 'tumour' was hard as stone, there was no heartbeat recognisable; no movement of the foetal limbs could be traced. I was non-plussed; what could I do? I knew only one remedy—the Vibhuti of Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, a packet of which I always have with me. I move out every morning to the hospital only after worshipping Him. I had His Darshan at Ooty when He carne there and I had read the Tamil `Sathyam Sivam Sundaram" more than half a dozen times. Baba must help this woman now, I thought.
I opened the packet and, praying, "Sai Mata! Save your daughter," I drew with it a big Om on her abdomen and put a small quantity on her tongue. "Do not fear, you are with child; it will be born soon," I announced, to my own surprise! Sarambibi was filled with joy; she quietened and breathed normally; she went into deep sleep. They did not allow me to go home, but, insisted on my remaining there.
It must be midnight. Sarambibi woke with a start. She called me, "Nursarrmma! Come and see! The child is moving." I ran to the cot and with trembling hands felt her abdomen. I examined her. No tumour, no hardness at all.... It was the child, heart beat and movement clear and convincing! The pains too started soon and at 2 am, a girl was born! (7½-8 lbs!!)
The taxi which Amir Jan brought to take her to Coimbtore dropped me at my place, at 4 am.