“And remember also that I know your life – there has never been any ecstasy, any blessing. It was a continuous fight, a struggle – with the father, with the children…” In India, it is a joint family. My family consisted of at least sixty people: my uncles, their wives, their children. “And you have been continuously miserable – that I know. Perhaps inside you may have experienced something that I am not aware of. Think it over for fifteen days. And I leave it to you. If you say ‘Get married,’ I will get married.”
After fifteen days she said, “No. Don’t get married.” She said, “You tricked me. You trusted me so deeply that I cannot betray you, and I cannot cheat you and cannot lie to you. You are right; many times I have thought, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ – just giving birth to children, raising children. This has been my whole life. From early in the morning at four o’clock, to late, twelve o’clock in the night, I am continuously working. I have never known a single moment of my own.
“These fifteen days,” she said, “have been a great turmoil in me. I have never thought about my whole life the way you forced me to think. I love you, and I take my question back. It was not really my question; your father was trying to find out the answer.”
I said, “Tell him that he should ask me directly.”
She told my father, “As far as I am concerned, it is finished. I have told him not to get married.”
My father said, “My God! You have advised him not to get married?”
She said, “Yes, because he trusted me so much, and he asked me to think it over for fifteen days. He was willing, but no, I cannot cheat and I cannot live with the guilt my whole life. You do whatever you want to do.”
Now he was even more afraid – even my mother had gone out of his hands. But somehow the answer had to be found out, what I wanted to do. He asked one of his friends, a Supreme Court advocate – very famous, very logical and rational, and he thought that that man might be the right man to argue with me.
And of course that man said, “Don’t be worried. I have been arguing in the Supreme Court my whole life. Do you think I cannot convince your boy, who has just come from university? What does he know? What is his experience? I will come tomorrow.”
The next day was Sunday, the courts were closed. He came to my house, and I told him, “Before you start – because my father has told me you are coming to meet me about my marriage – before you start I would like to make a clear statement: that if you convince me, then I am ready to get married, but if you cannot convince me you will have to divorce your wife. Because you have to stake something.
“And I trust you, so I don’t ask for a judge. I have loved and respected you, just as I have loved and respected my father. You have been such bosom friends, I have never thought of you as anything other than my father. So I don’t ask for a judge, because that would be distrusting you. I trust your abilities and I am ready for the arguments, but this condition should be remembered.”