Author: Yashodabai Joshi
Translator(s): Vijay Kumar Bhide
Publisher: Roli Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8174362908
The summit is near and my legs are heavy with fatigue. So Lady Yashodabai Joshi told her daughter Manikbai Bhide on her deathbed in 1948. She little realized that the journey she had taken would become a classic Marathi narrative, published by her daughter, her amanuensis, who was prevailed upon to disregard the author’s wish that the account be kept only for private circulation. The classic Marathi narrative is now retold by her grandson in English, 55 years after Yashodabai Joshi passed away.
Hers is a story that spans 80 years of the rise and fall of the Raj. Its pages stir with the first feelings of Indian national pride and brim with the ardour of one who was labeled a reformer. A Marathi Saga: The Story of Sir Moropant and Lady Yashodabai Joshi is a fascinating and rare autobiography; it is history as told by an eyewitness.
Just before they left Moti rallied a little, clung to me and said, Give me some milk and comb my hair.” The mirror-backed brush I was using fell down, and the mirror broke. Malan exclaimed, “What bad luck! We Christians consider this a very bad omen, don’t let the boy look at the broken pieces. Meanwhile, Moti just would not let go of me. He clung to my neck with one hand and to my necklace with the other. I took it off and placed it in his hands…he suddenly bit the necklace, threw it down and became inert. They took him away. We hadn’t even taken a photograph of him. I could think of nothing but to pray…Annasaheb came back by the evening train, empty-handed. Malan brought back the pieces of the mirror-backed brush, wrapped in her handkerchief. I have them still.
Your mother-in-law is watching you
Women should walk softly
Let us not be born again as women
We have to live separately
A brave man who is incognito
Set aside your sorrow and save the boy
Truth has no place in your government
I have been orphaned
God has fulfilled my desire
Today we have chained a lion!
A blow from fate
You are to be absolved from rebirth
A palace of happiness and its pinnacle
Epilogue: 1948 to 1999
What happened to them after 1949