“Bapu was a mother to me and me only”
January 18, 1947, Birla House, Delhi Bapu said he perused my diary after a long time and felt happy. He said my test is over and he has never come across a girl more noble than me and that’s the reason he calls himself my mother and not of anyone else. Bapu said: “Abha or Sushila, Pyarelal or Kanu, why should I care for anyone? That girl ( Abha) is fooling me but the fact is that she is cheating herself. I greatly value your unparalleled contribution in this great yagna.” He then told me, “Your only fault is that you have destroyed your body. More than your physical exertion, it is your diffident nature that is killing you. I will consider myself a victor only when you start looking not like a 70- yearold that you look now but a 17- year- old.” October 2, 1947, Birla House, Delhi Today was Bapu’s birthday. I prayed to God to bring him out a victor from this wildfire ( Partition riots which Gandhiji was trying to quell) or else call him ( meaning bring an end to his life). Bapu has exerted a lot but now I can’t see his agony further. Oh God, how long you will continue this test of Bapu! While sleeping or keeping awake in the night, I only pray that let this last good work ( of dousing the communal riots) end at the hands of Bapu. November 14, 1947, Birla House, Delhi I am feeling totally depressed of late. When Bapu saw this, he asked
me to reveal my agony saying he was a grandfather and father to many but mother to me and me only. I told Bapu Abha is very indifferent towards me these days which is the cause. Bapu said he was happy that I poured my heart to him but even if I didn’t, he could guess my state of mind. Then he said I will remain associated with him till the end but that was not the case with Abha and so let her do what she wants. He complimented me saying that I served not just him with devotion but others too. November 18, 1947, Birla House, Delhi Today when I was giving Bapu a bath he became very angry with me for having stopped my evening walks with him. The words he used were bitter. He said, “You don’t follow my instructions when I am alive, so what will you do after I am dead? Does it mean you are waiting for my death?” I was stunned when I heard this and didn’t have the courage to react.
GANDHI WITH MANUBEN ( LEFT) AND ABHAIN DELHI, 1947
GANDHI ATAPRAYER MEETING IN BIRLA HOUSE, DELHI, WITH ABHATO HIS LEFT, AND MANUBEN