the Lap of Glory
Motilal was a very generous man. Petty
thoughts or mean acts were miles away from him. As money poured in through
one door, it flowed out, like the Ganges in full spate, through another.
As his income rose his style of living also changed. He bought a big bungalow
on the outskirts of Allahabad. It was named Anand Bhavan. He added to its
grandeur with an indoor swimming pool and lovely gardens. The swimming
pool was brightly lit with coloured electric lights. People used to come
in large numbers just to see this splendid sight. All the children learnt
swimming. Select furniture to furnish Anand Bhavan and a variety of Dresden
china and Venetian glassware were brought from London and Pads. A motor
car also was brought. It was the first car in the district. Motilal himself
used to drive it. The family had scores of servants of all communities.
Motilal was very fond of horses. He
invariably bought and took home every good horse he saw. There were five
or six Arab horses, and coaches in the house. Children rode on horse back
even before they started walking. There were several hunting dogs at home.
Hunting in the nearby hilly woods on horseback, with a gun on the shoulders,
to avoid boredom at home was common. The house was a veritable free feeding
centre. There were three kitchens. There used to be a dinner party every
evening. Friends and big officers both Indian and English including even
the Lieutenant Governor were the guests. Hindus, Muslims and Christians
all mixed freely. They were served according to their religious customs.
Motilal was not a vegetarian. Foreign drinks were poured in abundance.
People considered an invitation to these parties as a signal honor. Every
party providing not only excellent food but also sparkling conversation.
Motilal would charm the guests with his lively table talk and jokes.