The month of November was over, the winter breeze started to blow in the Delhi air. The democratic government in the country that had written its constitution was starting to gear up. Everyone was busy building their life with new freedom. That day, she was walking with the Marathi male leader in the garden of a huge government bungalow. There were talks of happiness and sorrow. He was referring to the disastrousness and troubles of his life and the female leader was busy tying up that I am with you whenever you need me. In such a happy atmosphere, the male leader slowly said, ‘Can you come in my life?’
The breath had stopped. The question was so unexpected that hands and feet were rooted. Did he call tea on the pretext of meeting his mother for the same question? Is that why his female relatives came so that they could see me and offer me this? There were many challenging places in a life full of struggle, but such a moment was not far in the hope. The things of the past began to grow rapidly and started getting entangled. Apparently, the walk stopped, pausing the meeting there, the woman said, ‘Give time to think’.
But it was beyond thinking that any such question would be noticed in life. When life has reached its fifth decade, then this question is haunting. Although the father had married at an innocent place in the first decade of life, but when the reality of life grew, the father was also regretting his haste. At the age of 15, the girl reached her husband and declared that she does not believe in this marriage. He needs independence. Told you, I can’t live together, you marry someone else.
Seeing the firmness of the girl, the courage of her husband named only got lost. By then the people of the entire city had come to know about the struggle of that girl. At the age of just 12, a girl who used to meet Gandhiji with devotion and other needy women with complete persistence and planning. The girl who immediately translated Gandhi’s Hindi speech into Telugu at a packed meeting. The girl, who stopped Pandit Nehru from being ticketed at the gate of the Khadi fair during the Congress conference, was then freed from her marriage on her own, but now the marriage proposal was started churning again.
Struggling in the slave country, going to jail many times, working continuously for education and social reform, never mind that there will be an opportunity to bond again. That moment had greatly increased the discomfort. In a few moments, life had started running so fast that it was necessary to take a decision quickly to find a hideout. The next day we met again in the same garden. The future bride explained according to her mood, “I am a rustic and you are going to live a life full of luxury.” You have a reputation as the best wearer in the country. How will we keep up? ‘
To this, the future groom did not say anything, took the future bride to a bungalow near a bungalow of Nilgiris and gave a proposal of marriage on her trunk, and that too in Sanskrit. The message was clear, the British-era ICS officer who first married a foreign woman in England was now pleading with his country’s simplicity, culture to Sanskrit. After returning from the west, he wanted to go east. Then there was no way to refuse the offer. A few days later, when Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru came to know from the future groom, he jumped with joy that the country’s Finance Minister Chintaman Dwarkanath Deshmukh and Planning Commission member Durgabai were going to become spouses. Pandit Nehru became the first witness of that ideal couple’s registered marriage. The couple had been in the news for a few days in various newspapers across the country.
After marriage, the life of Durgabai Deshmukh (1909–1981) was restored, the passion for the country service increased. Immediately after the marriage, the husband and wife left for the famine of Maharashtra. She was a member of the Constituent Assembly. Her contribution in the field of education and medicine through the Andhra Mahila Sabha continues to this day. His hard work in the foundation of Indian social welfare and social service is memorable. He has never worn or adorned any jewelry in his life. She went on to serve husband and country till her last breath.