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It had been Mateshwari’s sincere desire before she left the world that both Pran Nath and Priya Nath get married. She had even purchased two gold guineas in London for the event. However, it could not be fulfilled during her lifetime. Shri Nathji was very keen to fulfil her desire, and played the role of an ideal father, seeking a match for his son. There was Urmila who had been sent by her mother, Vidyawati, the elder sister of Mateshwari, as a likely match for Priya Nath.
She had begun to live in the same colony as Shri Nathji, while Shri Nathji was seriously considering the proposal. He would take great care of the girl and treat her like his daughter. She used to work in the city and therefore, both, Priya Nath and Shri Nathji, would get up early in the morning and dress up to leave her at her office in their car.
It was Shri Nathji’s greatness that he would break his daily routines and dress up with great speed in the mornings as if it were he who was going to attend office! Later, in the evenings, both Priya Nath and Shri Nathji would go to her office and bring her to her home in the colony. Shri Nathji was always worried about girls living away from their parents and therefore had this great protective feeling for her.
Although she was very inclined to the marriage proposal with Priya Nath, what she really desired was that, after marriage, she and Priya Nath start an independent home of their own, separate from Shri Nathji. It was apparent that the spiritual atmosphere of Shri Nathji’s home was not altogether welcome to her. She was a working girl and wished to keep her job. Priya Nath had been afraid of this.
Whenever Shri Nathji would bring up the topic of his marriage, Priya Nath would immediately say:
“I do not want any third person to come between us! Aapke aur mere beech men koyi teesri cheez naheen aani chaahiye!”
Priya Nath knew that the Father he was serving was God Incarnate himself, and he also knew that he had left his career behind in America only to be able to live with him and to serve him, day and night. If being married meant, in effect, being separated from Shri Nathji, then marriage would become meaningless for him. He had wished that his life companion be as dedicated and as devoted to Shri Nathji as he was.
When he made his feelings known to the girl, a sudden change came upon her. One day, after an argument, in December 1970, she suddenly disappeared from her home and office. Both, Priya Nath and Shri Nathji, were in great distress and searched all over the city for her in the cold winter nights, driving over miles and miles of the city roads. Shri Nathji caught pneumonia in the severe cold and fell seriously ill.
It turned out later that she had gone to the house of her aunt in Chandigarh. She had left without informing Shri Nathji and Priya Nath, knowing fully well how it would pain them. And it was thus that the marriage proposal came to an end, and Vidyavati’s dreams of seeing another member from the Hargopal family enjoined into matrimony with Shri Nathji’s family came to an end.
Indeed, the world had changed a lot ever since the days of Shri Nathji’s youth. More and more girls were taking to careers and attending offices daily. The sense of freedom that it instilled in them would not allow them to enter into a marriage where taking care of their father-in-law would be their prime concern. It was only some girl who had absolute and complete faith in Shri Nathji, and who wished to serve Shri Nathji with the same love and affection that Priya Nath was doing, who would fit into their family.
Priya Nath was convinced that such a girl would be impossible to find. Though there would be many girls who would want to marry him for his Harvard qualifications and his vast potential to earn money in India as well as abroad, there would be no one who would wish to marry him only for the sake of Shri Nathji.
Shri Nathji would frequently say to Priya Nath: “It is my wish that you should get married and live in America or wherever you may think fit. Don’t waste your precious life by spending it with me. Even a servant can look after me. It is your time to go out and enjoy life. Take your life partner with you and go wherever you wish. For how long can you go on taking care of your old father?”
These words were sheer anathema to the ears of Priya Nath, who could not, even in the wildest stretches of his imagination, ever think of leaving Shri Nathji for even a single moment, far less live away from him for the sake of any woman on earth.
Priya Nath preferred to remain a bachelor all his life rather than be married to anyone who would take him away from the one and only goal he had in life–to serve Shri Nathji and to live with him.
There were frequent scenes in which Priya Nath would be seen arguing with Shri Nathji over this issue. Shri Nathji would try to urge him to forget all about him and to concentrate on his career and a family life of his own. Priya Nath resisted. Perhaps it was a spiritual test placed before Priya Nath.