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03. Marriage
It is my painful duty to have to record here my marriage at the age of thirteen. As I see the youngsters of the same age about me who are under my care, and think of my own marriage, I am inclined to pity myself and to congratulate them on having escaped my lot. I can see no moral argument in support of such early marriage.
I do not think it meant to me anything more than good clothes to wear, drum beating, marriage processions, rich dinners and a strange girl to play with. We gradually began to know each other, and to speak freely together. We were the same age. But I took no time in assuming the authority of a husband.
I would not allow my wife to go anywhere without my permission. And Kasturba was not the girl to put up with any such thing. She made it a point to go out whenever and wherever she liked. More restraint on my part resulted in more liberty being taken by her and in my getting more and more angry. Refusal to speak to one another thus became the order of the day with us, married children. I think it was quite innocent of Kasturba not to have bothered about my restrictions. How could an innocent girl put up with any restraint on going to the temple or on going on visits to friends? If I had the right to restrict her, had not she also a similar right? All this is clear to me today. But at that time I had to make good my authority as a husband !
Let not the reader think, however, that ours was a life of constant quarrels. For my severities were all based on love. I wanted to make my wife an ideal wife. My ambition was to make her live a pure life, learn what I learnt, and identify her life and thought with mine.
I do not think Kasturba had any such desire. She did not know to read or write. By nature she was simple, independent, persevering and, with me at least, shy. She was not impatient of her ignorance and I do not recollect my studies having ever made her want to go in for studies herself.