(H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami, November 2011, Mayapur, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, part 11)
Here in Mayapur, Malati was appointed to do the cooking, and it was very difficult. That was when Prabhupada was still living in a hut. Now that hut is gradually being surrounded by skyscrapers, and I hope that hut will always stay there. That was Prahbupada’s hut and everybody’s hut. Everybody was living there, including Brahmananda – even in the flood in the rafters, as he told us a many of times.
So Malati had to cook under those conditions. There was a coal stove. She first had to make the coal stove a trip and a half to get it nicely burning. Nowadays we just put the electric fan on it at the beginning to get it burning, but if you don’t have that then you had to do it by hand. It takes forever for the coal to burn, that’s a whole trip, and when the coal was burning, the secretary would march in and take the coal for Prabhupada’s frankincense, and she had to start again. And the cooking had to be done in time. So what could she say?
There was a big army treasurer and he would give money for her to do the shopping. Bengalis are a little tight, they are known to be very tight. So they gave her a little and all according to the prices that the Bengalis would get, and then he goes:
‘A white lady.’
So you can imagine how much she had to fight in the markets to just get all the bhoga everyday, and when she got it, it was just too much – with all the smoke and so on.
So she had just decided on this particular day:
‘This is it, I’m going to quit…I had enough…I’m quitting.’
So then on that day it was announced to her that Prabhupada wanted her to cook something special, because his godbrothers were coming for prasadam. So anyway, it’s okay since she wouldn’t quit in the middle of that. So she cooked a feast, and then she brought out the pots of prasadam. Prabhupada was sitting among all these sannyasi godbrothers and Malati walked in with the pots and Prabhupada said:
‘Oh, this is Malati. She will do anything for me – anything. She would cut her throat for me and I would do the same for her!’
That was it – she didn’t quit!