My father was a lover of his clan, truthful, brave and generous, but short-tempered.
Of religious training he had
very little, but he had that kind of religious culture which frequent visits to
temples and listening to religious discourses make available to many Hindus. In
his last days he began reading the Gita at the instance of a learned Brahmana
friend of the family, and he used to repeat aloud some verses every day at the
time of worship.
The outstanding impression
my mother has left on my memory is that of saintliness. She was deeply
religious. She would not think of taking her meals without her daily prayers.
Going to Haveli—the Vaishnava temple—was one of her daily duties. As far
as my memory can go back, I do not remember her having ever missed the
Chaturmas.1 She would take the hardest vows and keep them without
flinching. Illness was no excuse for relaxing them. I can recall her once
falling ill when she was observing the Chandrayana2 vow, but
the illness was not allowed to interrupt the observance. To keep two or three
consecutive fasts was nothing to her. Living on one meal a day during
Chaturmas was a habit with her. Not content with that she fasted every
alternate day during one Chaturmas. During another Chaturmas she
vowed not to have food without seeing the sun. We children on those days would
stand, staring at the sky, waiting to announce the appearance of the sua to our
mother. Everyone knows that at the height of the rainy season the sun often does
not condescend to show his face. And I remember days when, at his sudden
appearance, we would rush and announce it to her. She would run out to see with
her own eyes, but by that time the fugitive sun would be gone, thus depriving
her of her meal. "That does not matter," she would say cheerfully, "God did not
want me to eat today." And then she would return to her round of duties.