Lal Bahadur's grandfather
Hazari Lai's family was very large. His brothers, their wives and children, besides his
own children and grand children, lived under the same roof. It was a small world in itself
and Hazari Lai was the fountain of love and affection to all of them. He looked
after every one in the family with love. He was especially fond of little Lal Bahadur. He
always affectionately called him 'Nanhe' which means 'tiny'.
An interesting incident took place when Lal Bahadur was only three months old. The
mother went to bathe in the holy Ganga with her child. In the milling crowd at the bathing
ghat she lost her child. The child had slipped from his mother's arms into a cowherd's
basket. The cowherd had no children, So he took the child as a gift from God and
celebrated the event with great joy.
The mother was lost in grief. A complaint was lodged with the police. They traced the
child. The foster parents wept bitterly to give back the child. Lal Bahadur, who was
destined to govern the country, narrowly missed the 'good fortune' of becoming a cowherd.
Lal Bahadur stayed at his grandfather's house till he was ten. By that time he had
passed the sixth standard examination. There was no high school in that place. They sent
him to Kashi for further education.