Mateshwari’s health had been deteriorating silently. There were bouts of weakness and intense thirst, palpitations and feelings of dizziness. She felt the cold of Mussoorie much more than anyone else in the house. She had not seen any doctor for these symptoms and had overcome them through her tremendous will power alone. But there were physical laws working inside the body and a dangerous undetected disease, which was making its presence felt in an insidious manner.
The boys had barely begun to attend Vincent Hill from the 2nd of April 1954 when a tragic incident occurred at home.
One day, towards the end of the first week of April, when Shri Nathji had gone out of Savitri Nivas, the boys were alone with Mateshwari in the house.
Priya Nath was in Mateshwari’s bedroom when he saw her face turn upwards, and heard an awesome scream escape from her mouth. She gesticulated wildly for a moment and then collapsed on the floor in an unconscious state.
Priya Nath was terrified beyond measure and had no idea what to do except call out, ‘Mo! Mo!” repeatedly. Pran Nath, who was the stronger, immediately asked the telephone operator to give him Dr. Goel. Minutes later he had called the doctor to the house.
When Shri Nathji reached the place he found doctor Goel standing in the room helplessly. He was a homeopath of great repute, but at that instant of time he did know what had happened. Shri Nathji had always had this experience with homeopathy that it rarely worked in emergencies.
He therefore called Dr. Mathur and Dr. Garg the two allopathic doctors of Mussoorie. No sooner had the two doctors arrived than Dr. Goel walked down the stairs in a huff, feeling slighted.
It was just as well that these doctors had arrived. Dr. Mathur smelled ketones in Mateshwari’s breath and immediately came to the conclusion that she was in a diabetic coma. He called for an urgent injection of insulin, and gave it to the unconscious form of Mateshwari as soon as he could. And Mateshwari appeared to come back to life.
Years of undetected diabetes had taken their toll. The reason for Mateshwari’s constant weakness and palpitations was discovered. It was the high blood sugar. Her blood pressure was also found to be elevated. The ravages of uncontrolled diabetes were evident in her system. Whenever she had been in the plains, the devotees had insisted that she take sweets. She had also been very fond of mangoes. No one had ever told her that sugar was like poison to her system. It was a miracle of Shri Nathji that she was still alive despite so much of negligence.
A pall of gloom hung over Savitri Nivas as Mateshwari remained ill and mostly in bed for several months after this episode. She was never to regain her health again, and the remaining years of Shri Nathji with Mateshwari were to be of constant service towards Mateshwari.
No husband in the world could have served his wife in the manner that Shri Nathji served Mateshwari during her illness. Shri Nathji would stay awake nights watching over her, counting her breaths, rushing hot water bottles to her side, and giving her drops of Coramine for the sinking of the heart. Those were the days when Shri Nathji would be seen frequently at the Pioneer Chemist’s shop purchasing medicines for Mateshwari.
Pran Nath and Priya Nath were miserable because their mother was so ill. Priya Nath was haunted by nightmares in which he saw himself losing his mother, and the words of the song he had heard years ago would keep ringing in his ears:
“Maa, pyaari maa, bhoole na jhoole ke din. O Dear Beloved Mother, how can the days of the cradle be ever forgotten?”
There came one day when she became so ill that a lady doctor from St. Mary’s Hospital, which was on the mountain above Savitri Nivas, had to be called at night. The doctor advised her admission into the hospital.
But Mateshwari refused. She said that if she had to leave the world she would rather do so at home at the feet of Shri Nathji than in a hospital.
Shri Nathji spoke to her and said:
“Rabb theek karegaa! God will make everything all right!”
She said to him:
“Rabb! Kaun saa Rabb! Main or kissee Rabb ko naheen jaanti! God! Which God! I know of no God other than you!”
She added: “I have just one wish left in life–that if I had lived longer, I could have served you more!”
Shri Nathji had called Sri Krishen Khanna by telegram and he fell at the feet of Shri Nathji and prayed to him to cure Mateshwari.
And a miracle occurred. Mateshwari recovered that night, and lived for many years more to serve Shri Nathji and the children, as she had desired. Shri Nathji’s verse appeared to ring out in the halls of Savitri Nivas:
Kushtagaane khanjare tasleem raa
Har zamaan az gaib jaane deegar ast
For those who have annihilated themselves before His Will,
A new life comes, every moment, from a direction unknown