He died at Tashkent in 1966 before he could repay the loan. The Bank wrote to his widow Lalita Shastri for repayment of the loan of Rs 5,000 which her husband owed. The lady promised to pay back in instalments from her family pension. She repaid every Rupee of the Rs 5,000.
The fiat car still stands at his home, reminding of the era of a different breed of men.
Incidently, when his son was given an out of turn promotion by a department, Shastri immediately had it reversed.
When Shastri filled the form for admission of his son to St Stephen's college, in the column about himself he wrote, "Government Servant". During his Prime Ministership, his son once stood in line with other unemployed to register for a job at the Employment Exchange. The clerk enquired as to what was his father. The son replied, "Prime Minister of India"
Lal Bahadur was a strong man. When Pakistan sent infiltrators in Kashmir, he said in his speech from the Red Fort; "हम ईंट का जवाब पत्थर से देंगे" (Hum eent ka jawab pathar se denge)
General Ayub told his generals, "यह छोटा क्या करेगा?" (Yeh chota kya karega?). His patton tank division invaded Jammu region and raced to cut off India's road lifeline to Kashmir.
Lal Bahadur ordered a full counter attack on Pakistan. The Indian Army and IAF crossed the International border.
General V.K. Singh
There was a major railway accident sometime in 1950s. Being the railway minister at that time, he took moral responsibility and offered his resignation (However, Nehru did not accept it). That shows the moral standards he maintained.
During freedom struggle, when he was jailed by the British, he was informed that his daughter was sick. So he asked for 15 days permission and was granted on the condition that he will not participate in freedom struggle in these 15 days. By the time he reached his home, his daughter had died. After performing the funeral for 3 days, he immediately returned back to jail inspite of having 12 more days of freedom from jail!!
Similarly, one day, while in jail, he was told that his son was sick and this time he got a permission of 7 days of leave from jail. He stayed with his son all the 7 days. The son had still not recovered, but Shastri went back to jail to keep up his word!! (Fortunately, the son survived)
He is popularly called "The politician who made no money". He was born in a poor family, he lived his life in simplicity and austerity. And he died as a poor man. He really knew what austerity meant.