I remember one time when we were traveling by train and there was an Englishwoman in our compartment. She kept looking at Baba, and, after a while, Baba gestured to me to ask her if there was anything she wanted to ask Baba. Now, in those days it was not common for an Englishman to strike up conversation with an Indian, and almost unheard of for a memsahib to begin talking to an Indian she hadn't even been introduced to, but when I relayed Baba's message to this woman, without any hesitation, she began pouring out her tale of woe to Him.
It seems this woman's husband was an officer in the government and, as such, traveled around the country a good deal. Often she accompanied her husband, but her problem was that she was terrified of snakes, and it seemed that wherever they stayed, there would invariably be snakes there.
Baba listened very patiently and then told the woman not to worry. All she had to do was to take an eggshell and burn it and then put the ashes from the eggshell into a locket and wear it, and she wouldn't be bothered by snakes. The woman seemed very relieved to hear this, although I never saw her again, so I don't know if she did it or if the eggshell talisman worked.
I have sometimes wondered about her karma, that she should be blessed to have a moment with the God-Man, should be fortunate enough to have the God-Man, on His own, ask her if there was anything she wanted to ask Him, and then to use that precious opportunity to inquire about charms to ward off snakes! But maybe the whole incident was only a means of establishing contact, of deepening her link with the Ancient One. At any rate, although on that occasion Baba on His own responded to the woman's unvoiced interest, in general He did not like it when people were drawn to Him because it interfered with His work.
THAT'S HOW IT WAS, pp. 323-324
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust