Narendra Shroff’s son Ajay Shroff and his wife Suman recollect Balakrishna Menon’s friendship with Narendra.

Transcript of the interview

Suman Shroff: His grandfather was a civil engineer who had studied in London. Then he was working in Vellore for many years, his son (Narendraji’s father) was living there and was studying there only. After that he went with Swamiji to Lucknow college and was studying there, he used to play a lot of tennis with Swamiji. The two often used to come and go to Narendraji’s home in Karol Bagh.

When my father-in-law got sick – he first got typhoid, then started getting high blood pressure, then he got a stroke, a paralytic attack.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: Was he previously having such health issues?

Suman Shroff: No, this was all very sudden – the doctor said he got a stroke and a paralytic attack.

Swamini Kaivalyananda: After his marriage?

Suman Shroff: After his marriage, he got married in 1943. In 1944 his son was born. Then he got a paralytic attack and a haemorrhage, he got a nose haemorrhage once, once there was something in his stomach, there was a lot of blood that was coming out, for three years he was bed-ridden.

Swamini Kaivalyananda (gesturing toward Ajayji): After he was born?

Suman Shroff: Yes. For three years he was bed-ridden, then after a few days Swamiji came there and did a lot of sewa for him. Along with my mother-in-law Swamiji did a lot of sewa for him, my mother-in-law used to say he would change his bed sheets and look after him. Then my father-in-law died, this caused Swamiji a lot of grief. He was his friend, so he was very sad. He took his ashes to Haridwar…

Swamini Kaivalyananda: In which year did your father-in-law pass away?

Suman Shroff: 1947 – 4th August 1947. Swamiji then took Narendraji’s grandfather, mother-in-law and everyone to Haridwar where his ashes were immersed. After that for many days Swamiji did not return to his home. He went to Sivananda ashram, stayed there for a few days, came back to our home and took my mother-in-law with him to Sivananda ashram. There he got her diksha from Swami Sivananda.