In April 1906, When Shastri was hardly one year old, his father, had only recently been promoted to the post of deputy tahsildar, died in an epidemic of bubonic plague. Ramdulari Devi, then only 23 and pregnant with her third child, took her two children and moved from Ramnnagar to her father’s house in Mughalsarai and settled there for good. She gave birth to a daughter, Sundari Devi, in July 1906. Thus, Shastri and his sisters grew up in the household of his maternal grandfather, Hazari Lal. However, Hazari Lal himself died from a stroke in mid-1908, after which the family were looked after by his brother (Shastri’s great-uncle) Darbari Lal, who was the head clerk in the opium regulation department at Ghazipur, and later by his son (Ramdulari Devi’s cousin) Bindeshwari Prasad, a school teacher in Mughalsarai. Thus, the greatness of the traditional Indian joint family system, and the traditions of family responsibility and kinship, are deeply evident in Shastri’s case, where the orphan child of a penniless widow was raised by his distant relatives in a manner which enabled him to become Prime Minister of India.