"Love blossomed" between a "lonely" Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the country, and the last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten's wife, Edwina, who had had other "lovers" before, says her daughter.
Pamela Mountabatten, who fondly called Nehru "Mamu" (maternal uncle), has used diary entries and extracts from family albums as documentary evidence to write India Remembered: A Personal Account of the Mountbattens During the Transfer of Power.
In a section titled A Special Relationship Pamela writes: "My mother had already had lovers. My father was inured to it. It broke his heart the first time, but it was somehow different with Nehru."
She quotes a letter which Lord Mountbatten wrote to her elder sister in June 1948 on the Edwina-Nehru relationship: "'She and Jawaharlal (sic) are so sweet together, they really dote on each other in the nicest way and Pammy and I are doing everything we can to be tactful and help. Mummy has been incredibly sweet lately and we've been such a happy family'."
So there existed a "happy thresome" based on firm understanding on all sides, writes Pamela, which strengthened during a trip to Mashobra.
Pamela, who thought Nehru spoke and wrote beautiful English, also quotes a letter written by Nehru to Edwina in March 1957: "Suddenly I realised (and perhaps you also did) that there was a deeper attachment between us, that some uncontrollable force, of which I was dimly aware, drew us to one another, I was overwhelmed and at the same time exhilarated by this new discovery. We talked more intimately as if some veil had been removed and we could look into each other's eyes without fear or embarrassment."