Maintaining self-control


In Marseilles, Baba sent Norina out to a pharmacy to buy him some mineral water. The label on the bottle was in French and when Norina returned with it, Baba asked Rano, who spoke French, to translate it. Baba indicated that this was the wrong kind of mineral water and sent Norina back to exchange it. She returned with a different bottle and again, after listening to Rano translate the name and contents, Baba sent Norina back with it and asked her to bring something else. This happened five or six times.

The pharmacist became annoyed and asked Norina, “Why don’t you ask your party for the correct name in French? Surely, Madame, if someone can read the label, he should be able to give you the correct name.” Norina kept her poise. The man had no idea that this was a lesson for Norina in swallowing her pride and anger, and maintaining her self-control.

Back at the hotel, Baba even remarked to Rano, “You don’t really think I’m doing this for myself, do you?”

Date:2 November 1937, Revised 2014, p1879


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