THE LORD AND THE SLAVE
Once He had a whim and asked me to go and see the individual who had already supplied the bungalow, with further request for a camel and camel-cart, two female donkeys, a cow for supplying the party with milk and to top it all, a completely white horse even to its eyelashes and tail.
The provider-to-be happened to be none other than Dr. Nath, a famous eye surgeon of Benaras, and he agreed to supply the animals, promising that he would try his best to find the white horse within the time stipulated by Baba whose identity was of course hidden from him.
"But why do you need the two donkeys?" he asked. "It is considered very unorthodox by the Hindus to carry donkeys on a pilgrimage."
All I could say was, "We don't know why the head of our party wants them" and this seemed to satisfy Dr. Nath.
However I had one more condition to set forth, namely, that the animals would only be accepted if the doctor agreed to take in exchange all the soiled and dirty clothes which the companions had worn so far.
"But why all this? I'll accept them, wash them and return them to you," he said.
"We don't want them. They are to be accepted by you."
A thought must have crossed his mind for he then asked, "Will the clothes of the head of your party be in that bundle?"
"That I don't know."
"Please go back and ascertain."
So I went back to Baba with the doctor's question. "Does he call Me by name?" Baba wanted to know.
"No. He simply said 'head of the party'."
"All right. I will give My scarf. Tell him that the clothes of the head of the party will be included."
That is how Baba was, the Lord and the slave; simultaneously a beggar on the street and the Lord of the universe.
THE ANCIENT ONE, pp. 67-68
1985 © Naosherwan Anzar