“Pyarelalji is madly in love with me”
December 28, 1946, Srirampur, Bihar
Sushilaben asked me today why I was sleeping with Bapu and that I would have to face dire consequences on that count. She also told me to think about my marriage with her brother Pyarelal, to which I said I had no interest in him and she shouldn’t broach that topic again. I told her I had full faith in Bapuji and regarded him as my mother.
January 1, 1947, Srirampur, Bihar
Pyarelalji is madly in love with me and is imploring me to marry him. But I am totally against it as I don’t suit him in age, knowledge, education and even in looks. When I told this to Bapu, he said Pyarelal admired my qualities more than anything else. Bapu said Pyarelal even told him that I am very guni ( virtuous).
January 31, 1947, Navgram, Bihar
The controversy over the celibacy experiments is taking a serious turn. And I suspect Amtussalamben, Sushilaben and Kanubhai ( Gandhi’s nephew) are behind it ( spreading rumours). I told Bapu so and he agreed with me saying he couldn’t fathom why Sushila should be so jealous. In fact, the manner in which Sushila spoke to me about it yesterday, I felt she is trumpeting it with all her might. Bapu told me that if I come out unscathed from this experiment, it would take my character to greater heights, impart me a big lesson in life and the clouds of controversy over my head would disperse. Bapu said this is the yagna of his celibacy and I was a sacred part of it. He said he only prayed to God to keep him pure, give him strength to stand by the truth and make him fearless. Then he told me even if all desert us, we shall carry out this experiment successfully with the blessing of God and then tell the entire world about this great test.
February 2, 1947, Amishapada, Bihar
Bapu saw my diary today and asked me to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the hands of unknown people because they can misuse its contents even though we have nothing to hide ( about the celibacy experiments). He said this diary will be very helpful towards giving a true account to society in case he suddenly dies. He said for me too, this diary will prove very useful.
Then Bapu told me that if I agreed, I should show the entries ( recent ones) in the diary to Pyarelal so that he could improve upon the language and puts facts in chronological order. However, I refused because I felt if Pyarelal sees the diary, its contents would surely reach his sister, Sushilaben, and that could cause a lot of rancour.
February 7, 1947, Prasadpur, Bihar
The atmosphere is really getting hot about the celibacy experiment. Amritlal Thakkar ( a social worker who was associated with Gandhi and Gopal Krishna Gokhale) came today and brought with him mails which were very “hot” on this issue. On reading them, I was shaken.
February 24, 1947, Haimchar, Bihar
I was very distressed today but Bapu told me he wants to see me smiling. He said any other person in his place would have gone mad after reading the hard- hitting letters on the issue from Kishorelal Mashruwala, Sardar Patel and Devdas Gandhi but he was unmoved. One more thing. Today Bapu wrote a strong letter to Amtussalamben saying that the element of regret that his celibacy experiment didn’t start with her was apparent in her letter to him. He wrote that it was a shame that she should regret it. He told her that if she could explain, he would want to understand what she wanted to say. Bapu wrote to her that this was a yagna of shuddhi ( purification).
February 26, 1947, Haimchar, Bihar
Today I became very angry when Amtussalamben told me to marry Pyarelal and told her why doesn’t she marry him if she feels so much for him. I told her these ( celibacy) experiments started with her and now she was jealous of me because my photos appear in newspapers and she
doesn’t like my popularity.
March 18, 1947, Masudi, Bihar
Today Bapu revealed a very important thing. I asked him whether Sushilaben also sleeps with him naked because when I asked her about it, she said she never took part in the experiments and never slept with him naked. Bapu said Sushila was not speaking the truth because she had slept with him in Bardoli ( in 1939 when she first joined him as his physician) as well as in Aga Khan Palace ( in Pune). Bapu said she also took a bath in his presence. Then he said why should I ask him all this when I already knew about it. Bapu said Sushila was very depressed and her mind had become very unstable and therefore he wouldn’t want to seek her clarification on all this.
GANDHI WITH HIS SECRETARYPYARELAL