The Mahatma and Three Unlucky Lovers
This is a true story of three unlucky lovers and the role Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) played in this sad saga. The main characters are Bapu, Bapu's granddaughter Sita Gandhi, who got engaged to Krishan (Kris) Tangri in 1947, and the sculptor Meera Mukherjee, who sailed from Naples to Bombay on the SS Victoria in December 1956. Kris and Meera met on this voyage and fell hopelessly in love with each other.
This book is a wonderful rendering of a man's travails and tribulations in life, especially his unhappiness in love. The author lends authenticity to the narration by reproducing excerpts from personal correspondence pertaining to the narrated events. The language of narration is simple yet forceful enough to pull at the very heartstrings of the reader. Details of the Partition, the author's college days, his meetings with great figures like Dr. Radhakrishnan, all touch the very soul of the reader. The provocative statement "Bapu loves humanity but not individuals" (p.34) reveals how deeply the author has been personally affected by this most public of historical figures. The autobiographical novel is a tale of romance interspersed with historical details. The writer carries the reader with him from history to heartache from his college days to later years - all with a thin thread of resentment against the Mahatma running throughout for being the instrument of his loss in love, not once but twice. This is a tale of love well told, interspersed with youthful experiences, India's historical events, and encounters with famous figures. Poems appended at the end are a bonus and show that Dr. Tangri is not only an artist with colors but also with words.