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Shri Nathji, Mateshwari, Pran Nath and Priya Nath would often drive out to the lawns at India Gate where they would go for boat rides in the small ponds there. This would be followed by ice cream from the street vendors there. The family would sit on the grass, Shri Nathji would pace back and forth rapidly in the patch of lawn, and then they would return home.
The trip to Connaught Place had become routine. It was there that Shri Nathji purchased the greatest number of toys for Pran Nath and Priya Nath in a shop next to Odeon Cinema. Shri Nathji would also eat in the newly opened Embassy Restaurant at Connaught Place, which belonged to a relative of Shakuntala, Inder, by name, who had also developed great faith in Shri Nathji. The waiters in the restaurant would vie with each other in serving Shri Nathji. They would offer the best place on the first floor where Shri Nathji and Mateshwari and Pran Nath and Priya Nath could eat in privacy. The family would always eat chhole bhatoore, which was Shri Nathji’s favourite dish outside home.
After the meal at Embassy, Shri Nathji and the children would stop at the paan-vaalaa’s shop on the pavement of Connaught place and eat paan, betel leaves.
There would be the man selling chooran, a digestive powder, and referring to it as “Lakkarr hazam, patthar hazam chooran– Chooran that can digest wood and stone!” in loud tones, inviting all passers-by to buy it from him. Shri Nathji would often laugh at his novel way of advertising his goods. Shri Nathji would also buy the chooran and try it himself. The children were very fond of the taste.
Beggars would run after Shri Nathji wherever he went in the arcades of Connaught Place, and, as usual, Shri Nathji would give away everything that he had with him. Shri Nathji would buy the gas filled balloons for the children only to give a living to the sellers of balloons.
While at Connaught Place Shri Nathji suddenly saw a balloon seller whom he recognised. The man had once had a novelty shop in the New Market at Kulri, Mussoorie. He had gone bankrupt, and taken to selling balloons in the streets of Delhi. Shri Nathji was deeply moved at the plight of the man, who began to weep even as Shri Nathji embraced him. Shri Nathji gave him his blessings. Perhaps it was to bless that one man that Shri Nathji had come to Connaught Place on that day. In later days the man became successful again.
The majestic sight of Shri Nathji walking in the arcades of Connaught Place was enough to thrill the hearts of all who saw him. The covered verandah that passed by the shops in the arcades had become hallowed by Shri Nathji’s footsteps. Shri Nathji would frequently stop and enter all manner of shops if only to give his blessings to the shopkeepers as well as the customers inside. In ending Shri Nathji would purchase the evening newspapers from the little boys in rags who ran about the arcades selling them.
Shri Nathji recalled the doleful sound of the newspaper vendors in Connaught Place crying: “England kaa baadshaah mar gayaa! England kaa baadshaah mar gayaa! The King of England is dead! The King of England is dead!” Shri Nathji had been greatly saddened at the news. He had always loved the British royalty. Connaught Place was a legacy that the British gave to India.
Connaught Place and India Gate had become two very important places that were blessed by the presence of God upon earth.
The ascetics, sadhus and mahatmas who had renounced the world and taken to the life of the ashrams, living in isolation from the rest of humanity, did not know what simple pleasures of life they were missing.
These were the simple pleasures that Shri Nathji enjoyed, being a man with a family. He could go anywhere without imposing any restrictions upon himself. For Shri Nathji the entire world was just another face of God, not separate from him. He would just as soon be seen sitting in Odeon Cinema Hall watching a Walt Disney film with his family, as he would be seen visiting the Laxmi Narayan Temple, the Birla Mandir in Delhi.
There were hilarious moments as Raj Vaid Sudhanwa went with Shri Nathji and his family to the Mughal Gardens attached to the President’s House. As uniformed police officers stopped the car and peeped inside at Sudhanwa who was in the front seat next to the driver, Sudhanva suddenly panicked. When the officers asked him his name, he could not remember it! However, when they saw Shri Nathji sitting in the back seat, the officers immediately softened and allowed the car to proceed without further questions. Shri Nathji and Mateshwari would laugh no end each time they recollected the incident.
Shakuntala would always tease her husband for his timidity. The man was solidly built and was very tall. He was handsome in his own way and always wore a black cap over his shervaani and chooridars. He looked like a rich seth himself. Whenever he walked with Shri Nathji it was as if a King were being escorted by his Prime Minister. Indeed no other person had so elegant a personality as him to be part of Shri Nathji’s entourage. But, despite his strong build and personality, he had always been rather faint-hearted. Shakuntala would recall with vivid detail the night when a shadowy figure was seen above the courtyard of their house, and Shri Vaid Raj was found standing there, paralysed with fear, his legs shaking and his voice coming in a faint whisper: “Chor-chor-chor-chor!..Thief-thief-thief-thief…” The shadowy figure was, in fact, a cat on the roof that had cast a huge shadow on Shri Vaid Raj below.
For Shri Nathji, who always saw the funny side of things, these were incredibly funny episodes, which kept him laughing for years afterwards, as he recollected them at Savitri Nivas.
A photograph taken on December 22, 1952, showed Shri Nathji, Mateshwari, Pran Nath and Priya Nath sitting on chairs, with the stately Shri Vaid Raj Sudhanwa, his wife Shakuntala, his daughters, Aruna and Shashi, Veeran Devi and Victor standing around them, outside the dispensary of Shri Vaid Raj at 37 Lady Harding Road, which was known as Shyam Sunder Ayurvedic Aushadalaya. It was a highly prized portrait. Not everyone in the world had the good fortune to be photographed with Shri Nathji, along with his family.