In the Shadow of Freedom - A Liberating Love Story by Laxmi Dhaul

MUMBAI: Author Laxmi Dhaul's book was launched in Mumbai on October 3, at the Godrej Dance Academy, NCPA. 

The launch started with a 10-minute video clip on the book explaining the time line in History from 1930. The protagonist of the book Ayi Ganpat Tendulkar went to Germany in the 1920’s to study and the book revolves around his stay in the Weimar Republic in Germany till Hitler came into power. Tendulkar returned to India in 1939 and met and falls in love with a freedom fighter Indumati Gunaji with whom he joins the independence struggle. The war breaks out soon after and after five long years they are finally married with Gandhiji’s blessings after several conditions are imposed on them.

Dileep Padgaonkar described Tendulkar as an incurable romantic as the book describes his 4 marriages and also his brilliant mind and linguistic genius. He described how he personally came across Tendulkar, whilst reading  the biography of Fritz Lang, a famous Hollywood Director who along with his wife Thea von Harbou had made epic German movies such as ‘Metropolis’ and ‘M’. Thea von Harbou married Tendulkar on Fritz Lang’s departure to Hollywood. Padgaonkar read that Tendulkar was from Belgaum, and was able to

 trace the author Laxmi Dhaul and realise that their family had been friends for 3 generations!

Suhel Seth read 2 passages from the book in his wonderful theatrical style and made the book come live for the audience! The first piece was the incident when Ayi Tendulkar met Thea von Harbou for the first time. Anil Dharker opened the discussion on Thea von Harbou’s admiration of both Hitler and Gandhi and wanted to know from the author why she had taken so long to write this book, which was an important document in that chronicled the period of  World War 2 and India’s independence struggle.  

Vijay Crishna was among the noted faces present at this very graceful evening


Brief about In the Shadow of Freedom:

The book is a daughter's testimony to the love story of her parents and the hardships and sufferings that one faced during the time of Independence for India.

Ayi Ganpat Tendulkar and Indumati Gunaji would probably have remained just footnotes in the annals of Indian history had their daughter, Laxmi Tendulkar Dhaul, not written In the Shadow of Freedom, a riveting account of their lives and marriage. Tendulkar Dhaul’s parents could not have been more different from each other but they still managed to forge a relationship that was not only ahead of its time but also unique in its emotional architecture.

Indumati Gunaji was in her 20s, a simple girl from a sheltered though enlightened Saraswat Brahmin family, when she fell in love with her future husband. A freedom fighter and Mahatma Gandhi’s follower since her youth, Gunaji could not have been more different from her dashing lover, a thoroughly Westernized man known for his sartorial elegance and a taste for the finer things in life, including a red Mercedes, which he drove around the small town of Belgaum (Karnataka), where he first met Gunaji in the late 1930s. This is a story of how love was sacrificed till India was liberated. It is about emotions, empathy, priorities and moreover pure, defiant love.

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