Anecdotes told by Kismet Stam, who served as a secretary to Hazrat Inayat Khan. Kismet accompanied her Murshid to India in 1926 and was with him in Tilak Lodge in his final hours.
It happened in a desert through which the Overland Limited train passes before reaching its destination in the far west, that it halted in one of those desert towns with its peculiar atmosphere of aloofness from the world. When Murshid returned to the station at the end of the appointed stopping time, and reached the railway platform, the engine already had taken its start and was more and more quickly moving its long trail of shifting wagons along their track.
Murshid did not pause for one moment, nor did he hasten what he himself used to call his ‘majestic walk.’ There has been no shouting from others nor any other sign of excitement. But the Limited broke its journey and stopped again until Murshid safely entered.
Then it re-commenced its thousand miles’ journey westwards.
* * *
In Los Angeles there was a little girl, about four years old, who could not take away her eyes from Murshid’s face. All during her visit she gazed and gazed and was delighted when Murshid looked at her.
When the hour of parting came, her mother wanted to put on her little coat. But nothing could move her to allow anyone to do so. Neither her parents nor anyone present could induce her to be dressed for going. When they touched her, she made herself as stiff as a plank; and when they tried to manage these stiff little limbs, she became as slack as a harlequin.
Murshid took the little coat and said, “First we put in one arm.” The little girl smiled winningly when Murshid addressed her, and obediently did as Murshid suggested. Murshid said, “Then we put in the other arm. — And then we close the buttons.” The little girl admiringly looked how Murshid’s slender fingers buttoned her jacket.
As it is said in the Arabian legend, “God brought the soul to ecstasy; then it entered this body of clay.”
Adapted from “Rays”
K. D. Stam