Christmas 1935


Kamala’s condition took a turn for the better. It was not very marked, but after the strain of the past weeks we experienced great relief. She had got over that crisis and stabilized her condition, and that in itself was a gain. This continued for another month and I took advantage of it to pay a brief visit to England with our daughter, Indira. I had not been there for eight years and many friends pressed me to visit them.

I came back to Badenweiler and resumed the old routine. Winter had come and the landscape was white with snow. As Christmas approached there was a marked deterioration in Kamala’s condition. Another crisis had come, and it seemed that her life hung by a mere thread. During those last days of 1935 I ploughed my way through snow and slush not knowing how many days or hours she would live. The calm winter scene with its mantle of white snow seemed so like the peace of cold death to me, and I lost all my past hopeful optimism.

But Kamala fought this crisis also and with amazing vitality survived it. She grew better and more cheerful and wanted us to take her away from Badenweiler. She was weary of the place, and another factor which made a difference was the death of another patient in the sanatorium, who had sometimes sent flowers to her, and once or twice visited her. That patient—he was an Irish boy—had been much better than Kamala and was even allowed to go out for walks. We tried to keep the news of his sudden death from her, but we did not succeed. Those who are ill, and especially those who have the misfortune to stay in a sanatorium, seem to develop a sixth sense which tells them much that is sought to be hid from them.

In January I went to Paris for a few days and paid another brief visit to London. Life was pulling at me again and news reached me, in London, that I had been elected for a second time president of the Indian National Congress, which was to meet in April. I had been expecting this as friends had forewarned me, and I had even discussed it with Kamala. It was a dilemma for me: to leave her as she was or to resign from the presidentship. She would not have me resign. She was just a little better and we thought that I could come back to her later.

At the end of January, 1936, Kamala left Badenweiler and was taken to a sanatorium near Lausanne in Switzerland.

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The Discovery Of India – Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru

Bharat Ek Khoj – Doordarshan

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