“The Secret Diary of Kasturba” which laid it bare to tell the world what it meant to be Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mahatma Gandhi will now be published in Hindi edition. Written by Neelima Dalmia Adhar, the English edition which was published by Westland last year, is a gripping tale of unconditional love, passion, sex, ecstasy and the ultimate liberation that every woman seeks.
“2017 is proving to be a year of Indian languages for us. Not just Hindi but all other major Indian languages such as Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, etc. The Secret Diary of Kasturba has been one of the biggest books for us last year and it was only natural for us to get it translated into Hindi in collaboration with Yatra Books. In fact, other language editions of The Secret Diary of Kasturba are also in the pipeline,” Gautam Padmanabhan, CEO, Westland, said in a statement.
The book evolves around Mahatma Gandhi who was sworn to poverty, celibacy and became the cause for India’s freedom; Kasturba spent sixty-two years of her life juggling the roles of a devoted wife, a satyagrahi and sacrificing mother who was eclipsed because of a man who almost became God for India’s multitude. Gandhi was an intolerant father to Harilal, his wayward son, driven to debauchery — and Kasturba paid the price for her son’s unending misery.
Early life and background
Born to Gokuladas and Vrajkunwerba Kapadia of Porbandar, little is known of her early life. In May 1883, 14-year old Kasturba was married to 13-year old Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in an arranged marriage, according to the custom of the region.Recalling the day of their marriage, her husband once said, “As we didn’t know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives.” However, as was prevailing tradition, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents’ house, and away from her husband. Writing many years later, Mohandas described with regret the lustful feelings he felt for his young bride, “even at school I used to think of her, and the thought of nightfall and our subsequent meeting was ever haunting me.”
When her husband left to study in London in 1888, she remained in India to raise their newborn son Harilal. She had three more sons: Manilal, Ramdas, and Devdas. Kasturba also had a son who died very young and even though she had four sons later on, she never truly got over the death of her first newborn.Kasturba’s relationship with her husband can be described by the following extract from Ramachandra Guha’s novel Gandhi Before India; “They had, in the emotional as well as sexual sense, always been true to one another. Perhaps because of their periodic, extended separations, Kasturba deeply cherished their time together.”