Come June 2, and the reading aficionados, will be in for a treat. Author Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of MK Gandhi will be releasing his first ever book on his great grandmother Kasturba Gandhi, The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba.
The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba
The book is a reproduction of the only diary written by Kasturba Gandhi, accompanied by a transcription of what she has written in Gujarati, along with an English translation by Tushar Gandhi. Including some very rare photos of Kasturba and Mahatma Gandhi, the book presents Kasturba as her own person – a woman of substance.
The reader will get to hear from Kasturba, in her own words, for the first time. Through day-to-day activities that Kasturba noted down in her diary, the book provides a peek into what it was like to be married to the Mahatma. It also tells of her two imprisonments, not because she was Bapu’s wife but because she was a satyagrahi herself.
How Kasturba’s diary was found also makes an interesting story: A couple of years ago, the staff of Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon found a deteriorating and damaged diary at Kasturba Ashram, Indore. It turned out to be a 135-page diary written by Kasturba Gandhi, from January to September 1933. Somewhat like Kasturba, her diary lay forgotten and neglected. When Tushar spoke about the diary to family members, they couldn’t believe as Kasturba was supposed to be an illiterate person, one who couldn’t write. But as Tushar read the diary, this assumption was dispelled. “The diary gave me a glimpse into who she was—an individual, a companion and a satyagrahi in her own right,” says Tushar.
A page from the book
“All her life and post her death, Kasturba was always dismissed as being uneducated and unable to comprehend the written word. This book is testament to Kasturba Gandhi nee Kapadia dispelling the notion in the form of a well-articulated daily diary. Most of her writing is from the time she was a Satyagrahi imprisoned by the colonial government for her individual acts of defiance, showing us her world not only as Gandhi’s shadow, but her own person, in her own words,” he adds.
Says Swati Chopra, Executive Editor, HarperCollins India, “Kasturba Gandhi has always been known as the Mahatma’s wife, spouse to a man who towered over contemporary India’s history. Though narratives about Mahatma Gandhi have spoken of her, we have never before heard her speak, in her own voice. This book is perhaps the only such opportunity we will have, given that it is based on a diary she wrote, possibly the only one she ever did. Lost for years, it was serendipitously discovered by her great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi.”