Reminiscences Of Gandhi
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Khadi Cap & Earth Poultice : Kamalnayan Bajaj Boyhood Memories : Ramkrishna Bajaj The Last Journey : Melville de Mellow Bapu & My Father : Narayan Desai Lessons-Big & Small : Kantilal Gandhi My Grandfather : Sumitra Gandhi In London & Delhi : John Haynes Holmes At Sabarmati : Prema Kantak Small Things I Learnt From Him : K. G. Mashruwala
10. Sweet & Sad : P. G. Mavalankar 11. Since 1915 : Hansa Mehta 12. How He Taught Through Letters : Margarete Spiegel 13. Four Anecdotes : Jack C. Winslow 14. Lessons From His Life: J. C. Kumarappa 15. A Glimpse Of Gandhiji : Gurdial Mallik 16. His Daily Life : Mirabehn 17. Light And Shade : Sushila Nayyar 18. Gandhiji And Women : Rameshwari Nehru 19. In The South African Days : Millie Graham Polak 20. With Gandhiji On Deck : Edmond Privat 21. Reminiscences : Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas 22. Gandhiji And Romain-Rolland Meeting : Miraben 23. His Visit To Romain Rolland : Madeleine Rolland 24. Gandhiji And Medicine : G. R. Talwarkar
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Khadi Cap And Earth Poultice - Kamalanayan Bajaj
IT was in 1920 that Bapuji came to Wardha for the first time. I was about 5 or 6 then. For the day my elder sister, and I had been dressed, in silk clothes with gold embroidery. Bapuji had his. bath, and was having his breakfast when we were taken to him. We bowed to him. After giving us his blessings and a couple of fondling slaps on the cheeks, he smiled and asked us whether we liked our dress better, or his. (He then used to wear a dhoti, a shirt and a whitecap.) We remained quiet, But when he repeated the question, Kakaji (my father, Shri Jamnalal Bajaj) encouraged, me to answer him. I told him with a childish pride that I liked my dress better: He took my cap in one hand and placed a white khadi cap in the other, and told us how the white cap was simple and beautiful. The point that appealed to me most was that it could be washed and could be kept clean. He asked me whether my cap could be washed. I nodded "No". Then he put the question again: "Now will you tell me which is better-the one which can become dirty, or the one which is washable?" I agreed with him that the white cap was better. The next question was that, if it was better, whether I would.1iketo exchange my cap with the one he had in his hand. I knew I was caught. I agreed to the exchange. As I was returning with my sister, Bapuji called us back and asked us to sit down near him. He told us that the cap I had given to him in exchange was such as only the rich could wear. He pointed a finger towards Kakaji, and told us that only Jamnalalji could afford, a cap like that for his children; that there were many children in the country who could not get such a cap; and that what other children could not get, we our- selves should not wear. "Children's clothes, he
While the leaders were
. though our dress" appeared to be bright and colorful. He had a quiet rest for a few weeks. Dr. remonstrated and sometimes even got annoyed with Kakaji. who came to Wardha. Kakaji. In December. Ansari. on his way to Calcutta for the annual session of the Congress. Kakaji could not imagine how any interview could be arranged without his knowledge. minutes more than the allotted time. One fine morning a group of leaders collected near Bapuji's residence. it was in fact not beautiful. and no one could go in without his permission. was allowed to see Bapuji unless the matter was very urgent. expecting him to come out for the morning walk. It seemed most of them had sought an interview directly.added. Kakaji . Even after Bapuji completely recovered and resumed his normal work. on the other hand. and did not allow anybody even a couple of. National leaders and other visitors. cheap. and the leaders top were very much surprised as to how they were given the same time when every one of them had specifically asked for a separate interview! Everyone thought that his own appointment was the fixed one. Mirabehn. and everyone had been given an appointment. Shri Shankarlalji Banker. But he was very strict. individually. said emphatically that none of these had any business to fix up any appointment without consulting him. and that any appointment fixed up in this manner was not valid. He pointed to our dress and said that. Among those who had come were Pandit Jawaharlalji. and a few personal attendants. Someone said his interview had been fixed through Mahadev Kaka. on the site of the present Mahilashram. no one. "beautiful. Sardar Patel. others said they had got their appointments through Mirabehn or some other member of Bapuji's entourage. in disregard of the jailor's authority. Seth Ghanshyamdasji Birla and a few others. Kakaji (my father). should be simple. at the time of the morning walk. He said that the colour hit the dirt and the brightness.himself had taken charge of the gates. Kakaji did not relax the strictness about the interviews. was only a show. With the exception of Mahadev Kaka. and the leaders and visitors affectionately began to call him a jailor. and yet washable. He was housed on the upper storey of the central building. 1928. and that there was some mistake about the others. and his health" improved. A temporary bath room was put up on the terrace. Bapuji came to Wardha for convalescence and also for a stay at Shri Vinoba's Satyagraha ashram.
At the same time everybody else is also right in saying that his interview has been fixed. That morning passed off in joy and laughter. she was very calm. Mirabehn followed Bapuji with a singular devotion. It was a scene we youngsters enjoyed immensely! For us it was a great fun!. arguing. they slowed down. Everybody is right in his own contention. Jamnalalji is right in saying that interviews cannot be fixed without his consent.joking. But when the others found the distance between Bapuji and themselves considerably increased. only Jawaharlalji.
. We children also were running after the leaders! In those days Bapuji used to go for a walk from the Ashram on the Sevagram road up to the railway crossing and then return. gossiping. In spite of the fact 'that additional hours were given that evening for interviews. and that they were surely going to have a private talk with Bapuji. . some leaders and others had to postpone their departure for a day or two. taking a roundabout turn. some of these. we are actually ahead of you!" By the time they all returned to the Ashram. and they were all laughing and talking and passing remarks about one another's style of running. Presently the laughter and the heat of the argument both increased. Then Bapuji descended the steps and loudly said: "I have heard you all. The sandals which were left by him were immediately picked up by Mirabehn.Ghanshamdasji and Mirabehn kept company with Bapuji till the end of the walk. taking everything else into consideration. For some time they kept actually running. Others tried for a while. he discarded his sandals and began to walk very fast. most of them had perspired. So far as I recollect. Every one of those present was in a state of eager animation. I shall now hear no grievance or complaint!" (I have paraphrased his words. Everybody was trying to show as if his own effort was practically the best.) Having said this. Some said they had to leave Wardha that evening or the following morning. jocularly remarked: "Look here. The road was unable even and strewn with small pebbles. Even Bapuji and Jawaharlalji why. and told them that only those who could keep pace with him would have the interview that morning. No one had imagined that Bapuji would play such a practical joke with them all. practically everybody else-ran! . and although tears flowed from her eyes. There was practically a race among the leaders to keep pace with him. and when Bapuji and the advance guard returned.. and some of them even boasting that whatever happened their own appointments had been fixed. Come on. discussing.
lost my left eye. and that. proper care was immediately taken.companied by an. and I was down with high fever. In nearly 'six weeks I completely recovered. get yourself periodically examined by the doctor. and I felt much better. your general health has improved. He also advised me not to walk. for we were under' a pledge." I went to the Gujarat Vidyapith with Kakasaheb: For nearly three weeks I lived an milk and thereafter an a liquid diet ..eyes examined by the doctor" who thought that I had. and if. He became very anxious. But I refused to avail of the concession. Bapuji asked me to go with Kakasaheb to the Gujarat Vidyapith and put myself under the treatment . I said to Bapuji: "Though I respect the doctor's opinion. etc. Previously for a year and a half I was on milk and fruit diet. but are you ready to lose your eyes? Though the earth poultices have not given any encouraging results as far as the eyes are concerned. I declined to go home.After the Dandi March Bapuji went and stayed at Karadi on the sea-coast with his batch of salt satyagrahis. He got my . my weight increased. They became very sticky and swollen. diet. When I joined the party later.one also. and send me regular reports about your health. activity. Parle. My eyes were severely affected. In about two weeks my fever was gone. The latter was busy with the salt satyagraha at Vile Parle. Bapuji asked me to continue my own diet in spite of the rules laid down for members of the party. if necessary. because of my insistence. but the eyes kept going from bad to worse. But I refused to take any special food or treatment. and earth poultices were applied to the eyes.of curd and fruit juice. I had to report to Bapuji every day as to my temperature. He replied that whatever treatment Bapuji thought best should be given to me. which still persisted. or at least it was beyond repair. and if you have faith in nature care. had come to . By the time we reached Karadi my body could not bear the strain any longer. and said he would arrange for some conveyance for me. I might lose the right . ac. yet. he took me into the party. and applied earth poultices to the eyes and the stomach. body to take me to Vile. I had malignant malaria. and informed my father about my illness. I have complete faith in you and your treatment. The eyes were as
. The fever got under control. I wanted to join them at Sabarmati but could not do so because of high fever. Meanwhile Kakasaheb. you should continue it even after going to the Gujarat Vidyapith.of the eminent doctor. I had a temperature of 1040. Bapuji made me fast." Bapuji said: "I am ready to experiment on you. he would send some.eye-specialist from Ahmedabad. see Bapuji.
and in six months I gained 70 lbs.
Bombay. Before that I used to weigh bet.. also left me. I have narrated this incident as a personal testimony to the I efficacy of nature cure methods.good as. It had arrested my growth when I was just 16 or 17. and especially the 'earth treatment' on which Bapuji pinned his faith to such a great extent.Ramkrishna Bajaj
.ween 80 and 85 lbs. But after my arrival at the Vidyapith. .or perhaps better than. 27-9-1948
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Boyhood Memories . and the malignant malaria. during the first month I put on 33 lbs. Within six months I went upto 155 to 160 lbs. they were ever before. which had persisted for about two years.
Wardha. But to my agreeable surprise he told me one day that he had preserved two stamps for me for the last eight or ten months! He asked his personal assistant to give them to me. It was a coveted privilege to become his ' walking sticks' and we used to long for it. Oh yes! they were there!
. Every one of us felt the warmth of his affection. Then Bapuji tried to remember it himself. in 1935. The latter did not remember where they had been kept. I had never spoken to him about it. After a few minutes he took out one of the many envelopes in his portfolio. My father sent me to Maganvadi to stay with him. but it was not an easy task because of his speed. The only memory I have of these days is that Bapuji walked very fast during his evening strolls. and that we youngsters had practically to run all the time to keep pace with him. and told me that the stamps must be in that envelope. He took personal interest in me as he did in everybody else. In those days I used to collect postal stamps as a hobby.My parents lived for a time in the Ashram at Sabarmati when I was about five years of age. Next I remember of him is when he went to stay at Maganvadi.
I was allotted the task of climbing up the trees every morning and collecting fruits like roseapples. read out the statement he had written for me. that he did not want to discourage me. because I was underage. He also wrote out a fairly long statement which I had to make at my trial in the court. I was but 17. I had little hope of my request being grant. along with my mother. He was busy and tired. Indeed he went further. etc. if I did not agree with anything that was said in the statement. at Sevagram. He therefore specially called me three or four times to Sevagram and had long talks with me. The following letter. I was about eleven at the time l am speaking of.Bapuji to get permission to offer satyagraha. I took them to Bapuji. He called me. After collecting them. my young enthusiasm took me to . would show how particular he was about even the smallest things in life (the original is in Hindustani. He also insisted on my spending that night. received by me in prison. 23-3-1941.
Dear Ramkrishna. of my intention to offer satyagraha. jujubes. however. After the arrest of my father. He told me specifically that. It was night-time. Wardha. and the next day I was to offer satyagraha. . It was only after he felt certain about it that he allowed me to court arrest. . and wrote out the notice I was to send to the Deputy Commissioner.ed. he would change it. and he would ask me to distribute them equally among the inmates of the ashram. At the time of the individual satyagraha in 1941. It seems. explained the meaning of it in detail.Maganvadi is situated in a garden. and asked me whether I understood it properly and agreed with it.the requisite age being 18. and in his own handwriting):
Sevagram. I hardly realized that he was testing my capacity to stand the rigours of prison life.
Gandhi) Apart from the lesson which he wished to teach me. you can certainly have it. Our behaviour at times was bad enough to annoy him. Gandhi" He utilized the blank portions at the back of letters he received. Indeed he would spend hours in explaining the smallest things to us. . its use has become a habit with you. Does not our duty lie in deliberately reducing our expenditure to the minimum and to cultivate the highest kind of life? I wish you to try for an all-round development. K. because today I was given to understand that I too can write to you. however. The cleaning was not properly done. I often felt as if we. Therefore. Love. I am writing this letter.cloth with soap.I often read the letters which Mother gets from you. . If. I was with him during his tours in Bengal. But what qould have been a headache for
. Bapu (M. Even then he took care to see that the letter might not be delivered to me without the knowledge that it was from Gandhiji. . below the signature.forgiving as he was-he would but gently remonstrate with us. Bapuji never put up with any slovenliness. and he asked one of the assistants to clean it. It is not at all necessary in our climate. He wrote it only when I informed my mother that I had got permission from the Superintendent. I would advise you to do without it. to receive a letter from Bapuji. and then put the whole thing under some equally distributed pressures that the inner cardboard which though wet does not get dishevelled. . He explained to the assistant at length like an expert how to do it-how to wash the . From your letter I see that you have asked for an underwear. Nagpur Jail. he put into brackets" M. We sometimes felt that it was unpardonable to take so much of his valuable time which could otherwise be utilized for more useful and important work. K. The portfolio got dirty. . There was a small and very ordinary portfolio in which he preserved those papers (pastis as we call them). Assam and South India after his release from the Agakhan Palace prison. the younger members of his entourage had been sent by God to take his patience and forbearance. there is another thing worth noting about the letter. but.
should not deter us from doing the work. but called me after the prayer was over: and told me that Khansahab was also sitting by his side when my friends came to see him. He said that the scheme was very good.others seemed to be a pastime with him. It was about 4 O'clock one afternoon. They all came in one by one. in order to see his guidance on Students' problems. and Bapuji was spinning. Whether you get any. Delhi."
. "You should keep one thing in mind. During this tour we stayed for a time at the Khadi Pratisthan in Sodepur. a few months before the faithful 30th of January. Khan Abdul Gafar Khan was sitting by his side. at Bhangi Colony. to Bapuji. you. He said nothing at the moment. and sat down in front of him. that it was not right of them to bow to him alone. however. I met him for the last time in company with some friends. and especially to Khansaheb when they were with him. but that we should not expect much support for it because people were Interested more in exploiting the students politically. he said. A batch of ten or twelve friends and relatives of mine came into have darshan and blessings of Bapuji. We explained to him our scheme about the formation of the National Union of Students. and that thereafter whenever such occasions arose I should take care to give a hint to the friends to give due respects to others also. 1948. support or not. made an obeisance. must never lower the standard of your principles for the sake of accommodating others." he added. that.
certain pictures register more clearly on my mind than others. These are the pictures I am going to write about .unusual pictures perhaps-but pictures I shall never forget none the less. As time goes by and the pain of the moments slowly subsides. To me it was a long night of tears-a nightmare of sorrow and tragedy which even to this day defies description. It was the morning of the cremation. but already there was a long twisting line of mourners slowly filing past the windows of his room.take Bapu's darshan before the crowds arrived. As I sit down to fulfill my promise I am still not sure of the answer. I have asked myself that question. I reached Birla House at 6 o'clock to . seat from where I was destined to see the last heart-breaking days.Melville de Mellow
HOW does one write about a saint? Ever since I was asked to contribute an article on the passing away of Mahatma Gandhi. I met a member of the household who took
. I am a radio commentator.Reminiscences Of Gandhi The Last Journey . and I was flung by fate an9 circumstance into a ringside. hours and minutes of Bapu's last journey.
What a wonderful face it was in death! As I looked. The look on his face was also something I shall never forget. there lay the great Mahatma. likewise. left behind for a moment the greatest man of our age in that room of tears. tragedy and rose-petals.me by a private entrance into the room. words raced through my mind slowly penetrating the numbness of body and soul-words I had learnt so well in my childhood. Words that Jesus Christ used on (he Cross: "Father forgive them. I left quietly. may have been the chanting of angels as Bapu's spirit climbed heavenwards. someone near me tried unsuccessfully to hold back a sob. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. the smell of incense may have been reaching me from some distance. I turned my head to look straight into the tortured face of India's Prime Minister. for they know not what they do. As I stood there in silence.
FAREWELL. His was the most forgiving countenance I have ever looked upon. his fine broad chest uncovered. As I gazed at that face. And then I saw his face'. garden in Paradise-the chanting. Only the face held me-the face among the flying rose-petals that cascaded through the open window. WITH ROSE-PETALS
. the face of the mourners melted into hazy nothingness." Bapu's lips seemed to be moving and saying just that. I shuddered when I saw the bullet-wounds-dark ominous patches of hate and madness.
My radio. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Millions lined the route-millions sang his favourite hymns-millions shouted his name-and all wept-nowhere did I see a dry eye.van crawled slowly along Queensway. Just behind us. Hardinge Avenue and Bela Road on its way to Rajghat. . thundered from a million parched lipsthe millions of the city who had taken up their stand at this point from an early hour. Sardar Baldev Singh. The heavens were raining rose-petals-Dakotas streaked across the sky and showered rose-petals and garlands on the bier-dipping their wings reverently as they flew away-fistfuls of flowers were flung from tree-tops and neighbouring buildings-"Mahatma Gandhi ki jai". slowly moved the trailer on which lay the body of Mahatma Gandhi. We neared the District Jail-where two months earlier Bapu had addressed a meeting of convicts -and it was here that I was to witness the biggest demonstrations of love and affection along that sad and solemn road which led to the cremation ground. Around the body like figures in marble stood Pandit Nehru. Rajendraprasad. exposed to public gaze. Acharya Kripalani and Dr. Devadas Gandhi. Kingsway.It was during the State funeral cortege.
and as I gazed at the agonized faces of the people lining the roads I heard a woman whisper: "It doesn't seem possible. tragedy has brought these two people closer than they have ever been before! Gandhiji was all India that has toiled and suffered. Our radio-van pulled up also. the rhythmic scuffing of marching men and the sound of sobbing. blue lips. His simplicity drew a world of hearts. I saw him weep unashamedly. It seems to me that he will be back tomorrow at the prayer gathering.
. over the hopeless landscape of an empty life of poverty. One who had looked too long.The cortege stopped here for a few minutes as the crowd surged forward to take a last darshan. poor soul." And then I realized she was talking to herself-trying to convince herself. and the well-dressed woman wept too. And I thought. for her neighbour was a beggar-a decrepit old man. how wonderful. As our van moved slowly onwards I heard a child innocently ask her mother: "Has he gone for ever? Is he never coming back?" The mother's reply was drowned by the clip clop of the horses. reassuring us all that it was just a mistake. bristling rags and unclean sores. with swollen tearful eyes.
On they came-these tragic men and women-ironing out barricades. Long lines or R. I no longer felt like an ant adrift on a leaf in a whirlpool-I felt one with the heart-broken.A. The sun went down as the first flames leapt skywards from the sandalwood pile. and a great wailing went up from the millions that had packed themselves tightly into that green saucer like piece of hallowed earth called Rajghat.F.
. Governors. As the flames rose higher and higher and darkness approached. I scrambled on to the roof of the van to get above me crowds. and gave vent to my feelings under the cloak of some violent nose-blowing. Looking out over the heads of this continuous unbroken mass of humanity. Our second radio-van was already in position about thirty yards from the cremation spot. ropes. After that. I made a few incoherent remarks about listening to the crowds-put the microphone above my head. the crowds pressed forward and the dust of a million moving feet filled the air over Raj Ghat. Then the cortege arrived. personnel surrounded the cremation spot-standing shoulder to shoulder and reinforced by the police. Many would have been happy to fling themselves on to the bier and say goodbye to this world of meanness and corruption. They milled around the sandalwood pile as the flames leapt higher and higher and the smell of sandalwood filled the twilight. I felt as helpless as an ant adrift on a leaf in the middle of a whirlpool. wire. 'It was as if a storm had broken over Raj Ghat.I. Many would have been happy to mix their ashes with the Apostle of Truth and Nonviolence who was born into a world of Untruth and Violence. Ambassadors. As I looked out over the heads of these tragic people. This was a storm of the spirit.I reached Raj Ghat five minutes before the funeral cortege arrived. One of the first things that struck me was the elaborate arrangements made for keeping the crowds in check. Soon Raj Ghat was a sea of moving heads. Cabinet Ministers-all were one here on this green patch of earth by the sacred waters of the Jumuna. guards and police. I suddenly felt a lump in my throat-a lump that I had been trying hard to swallow all day. These millions had begun to realize fully that the future that lay before them would be a lonely one without the Father of Liberty and Love to guide them. A great moan went up from the crowds as they surged forward. In the flames they saw their last hopes die-their hopes of seeing him smile again or of hearing him say: "Brothers and Sisters".
I soon realized that in the general chaos friends had lost friends. taking up the Torch of Freedom and rededicating himself to the Nation. who had fainted had been lifted to the hood for safety. and the restless dust had settled back." I replied. here stood a son of India. Pandit Nehru they surged round our van expecting him to speak. as also a little girl and a boy who had almost been trampled to death. Through the darkness I thought I saw the upright figure of a man in spotlessly white khadi. "He left half an how ago. waiting for the crowds to diminish. As I looked out over Raj Ghat." I replied. I noticed a hand trying to take hold of the edge of the hood. A guard had now been placed on the site. I drove to Raj Ghat. I sat on the hood of my van many hours after the commentary was over.
. He was a figure I had knelt near. with a grim look of determination on his face. How logical it seemed! There the flames leapt over the body of the Departed Father. As the crowd recognized. his closest follower. A wonderful thought passed through my mind as I knelt near this great man. At 2 o'clock next morning on my way back home. the tried and the true. The embers were smoldering.tragic millions that groaned to the Heavens under the silver pepper of the starsbeseeching the Unknown to return the known-the loved. And then. "Have you seen the Governor-General?" he asked. I reconstructed the scene all over again. By this time I was in strange company. a few hours before-it was the figure to which all eyes turn in these days-for hope and succour-the figure of Jawaharlal Nehru. "Have you seen Sardar Patel?" "He left a few minutes after the Governor-General. A woman. looking out over the heads of his countrymen. the crowds had melted. 'I looked over and saw it was the Prime Minister-Pandit Nehru-I grasped the groping hand and lifted him to the roof of the van.
Wreaths of phlox decorated each side mixed with candy tuft and sweet sultans. The dark green of the cycas palms added to the solemnity of !lie
. was placed. I am standing opposite the green asthi special opposite the compartment in which the urn containing Gandhiji's ashes was placed. white phloxes and saffron-coloured calendulas. the urn carrying the sacred ashes of Mahatma Gandhi. At each end of the change hung carpets of multi-coloured phlox worked into a picturesque design.LAST JOURNEY
The last journey.m. Floodlights illuminated the central wreath. and it was into this wreath that. New Delhi: February 11th-and the time is 4-30 a. On this rested a beautiful wreath of snow-white phlox. on which the palanquin with the urn was laid. It was me middle carriage of a special train composed of third class carriages because the Mahatma always travelled third class. The ceiling was completely covered with a huge national tricolour. The middle carriage-what a blaze of colour! The rectangular table. was covered with a handspun tri-coloured national-flag over which was a chaddar of flowers woven in green murraya leaves.
too broken to look up-too grief-stricken to do aught but bow in grief-adoration-and homage to the one who had taught them how to hold their heads high. thousands of people filet past for a last darshan. Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.occasion. Some seem to smile. but saffron predominated. At 6-30 a whistle blew. and the green coaches pulled out of New Delhi station-people wept as the train carried away the last mortal remains of Bapu-others threw handfuls of rose-petals and garlands chanting mantras-others just stood in silence-bowed their heads and placed their palms together reverently. then low--dipping their wings as it were
Cold dawn broke deep-red over Delhi as the long green coaches pulled slowly away. red. Early crows flew silently by our side-flying high. pink. It was a fairy land of flowers-purple. Outside. and some have a . white and saffron. on the platform.sad and lovely expression.
down each little pathway dividing field from field. Or. At Tundla our carriage became a dispensary for fainting women. Many were covered with dust and dirt indicative of miles and miles of trekking. And so the asthi special continued on its last journey. Hathras. The crowds that came for darshan at Ghaziabad. Life is not slain! Never the spirit was born. Etawah. As I looked out across the fields and at the faces of the mourners who lined the railway track my heart was heavy. Our compartment was next to the middle carriage containing the urn with Gandhiji's ashes. one saw the ghostlike. All this beauty seemed out of key-the heart could not leap with joy at the sight of Nature. footprints of a man who had carried his blistered feet over the length and breadth of rural India-preaching to the peasants. And I wondered as I listened. full of sadness. Gentle breezes carried these smokechaplets solemnly over fence and field. And all the way. the music of the rnantras was in our ears. yet full of hope. Like a rippling blanket they stretched to the horizon intermittently touched by wind-on and on till the end of time-and yet something was lacking. Fatepur and Rasoolabad were gigantic. Outside. The crowds came in their thousands. the voices read from the Gita.
. because. as the wind tossed the words over the golden mustard. It was Spring. Aligarh. the spirit shall cease to be never. like the steady relentless rhythm of the wheels below us. and the fields were gold with mustard. Khurja. Phaphund. trampled children and injured soldiers. on and on.in homage. Kanpur. the engine threw wreaths of black smoke over the yellow fields. and none left without throwing his or her offering of flowers or taking a last darshan. Ferozabad. " I am slain!" those both Know naught! Life cannot slay. Tundla. and beautiful voices. " I have slain a man!" He who shall think. I wondered if they were saying: Be who shall say. who now wept silently as the asthi special sped by.
and I looked into the kind face of the bestower who had moved to the window next to mine. Gandhiji's disciple for thirty-two years. and their shouts of "Long Live Mahatma Gandhi" faintly reached us as we pulled farther away. My friend was V. they fell back. I touched the rose and thought it looked lovelier than ever as its faint per. He looked up with tears in his eyes as if anticipating the question. A. I liked him immediately. as the train picked up speed. As I gazed out of the window the train
. Now. I remember we had just left Fattepur. and soon I was being told all the lovely intimate sides to Bapu's character--his love of children and of the small things of life that really make life worth living. Outside the sun went down in a blaze of scarlet and gold. Sundaram. Men and boys had raced along with the train for almost a mile outside the station. or their shirts held out in front of them."-he whispered.fume filled the twilight. No more conversation passed between us.ed I had not eaten anything. with hands outstretched for flowers from the urn. "This was the rose that I had placed on one of the bullet-wounds. My friend was preoccupied with a deep red rose.A RED ROSE
"Would you like an orange?" I suddenly remember.
of Indians found expression in shouts of "Long live Gandhiji". on a house overlooking the track stood a soldier. The feelings. in streams of floral tributes. The ashes of the holiest and saintliest of human beings of our age were immersed at the confluence
.of the holy places-when they came to a River. millions sobbed unashamedly-and these millions belonged to all walks of life. the mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed. It was the homage of the warrior to the martyr. Above us. And so at last the journey ended at Prayer. King . He bowed reverently as the special passed by.slowed down to pass through a minor station.
"THEY CAME TO A RIVER"
Millions en route paid their last homage-millions wept. Millions prayed. on guard and in full battle-dress. millions filed past the carriage shouting or whispering "Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai". At the holy Triveni. or in tears. silhouetted Against the stars.
Barrels of milk were emptied into the river-and the water was shining white. Delhi. and his memory was like the myriad lamps that shone through the darkness. As for those who witnessed this last sacred ceremony-maybe they felt as I did when I said a few days later "on the air": "0 Lord. Now the lamps multiplied-like the slow punctuation of fireflies in the garden. As the urn was emptied thousands cupped the waters of the river and drank long and deep. I was standing in an open boat about forty yards away from the sacred "duck". and the lamps were lit.regarded as the most sacred by Hinduism from time immemorial. He had touched the Infinite and shared the divine current that thrills all high souls. and its light will penetrate far into space and time and continue to shine. We prepared to. It was the journey's end. I do not serve in the temple: mine is no solemn office nor critical station. Thousands of people had waded-in to get a closer view. the lamp still shines. I saw the ashes being immersed in the sacred waters by Mr. At that moment starlings flew across the sky like handfuls of black confetti. 2-10-1948. leave and took one last look at Triveni Sangam. The stars leaned close. as long as our civilisation lasts. Ramdas Gandhi. but I thank thee that the River of God flows through the streets of the city and whosoever willmay drink!" Darkness fell over Prayag. Yes. The stars and the lamps. Bapu was amongst the stars.
. and some lost their hold and fell away.
My father was busy the whole day. He had just finished his 21 days fast at 'Parnakuti' in Poona. Father was very anxious about m~. mostly in requesting visitors to spare Bapu as much as possible. He at once called my father and asked him to bring a telegraphic form and take down a message he would
. Manu. We had long since been great friends. In my delirium too I raved for my mother's presence. conveyed it to Bapu.but he was unable to sit by my side for long. who. out. I had a severe attack of malaria. Bapu's granddaughter. I never had an opportunity till now to stay with him for such a long period. chanced to see my father trying without success to restrain his tears. Whenever he came to me I asked him to send for my mother who was at Sabarmati. He did not consider it necessary to do so. The temperature did not come down even on the third day. .Reminiscences Of Gandhi Bapu And My Father . in her turn.Narayan Mahadev Desai
I WAS nine then. $he carried the report to Ba. and the temperature remained high for two days. It was my first stay with Balm for a month. and I became delirious. for he felt it would be a useless: expenditure of the nation's money.
"It is quite unnecessary." Mother came in response to the telegram." "The promise to take you to Hudli stands. "Don't you feel like going with we?". Bapu had shifted. and Dr. and you must send it. as . however. to prepare to go just because Bapu made the offer as a fun. get together his clothes for the journey." To Bapu he said: "Why do you waste so much money in this way?"
." replied Bapu. say: King or cross'?" It was Wholly a question of chance. Father imagined it was some ordinary 'business' telegram. Now would you like to go to Madras?" I still hesitated to say yes. "I do feel like it. a couple of days with a smile on his face. but we still lived at Maganvadi in Wardha. I came to know of this incident only when Father related it to me after. I was eager to go with him as I had never been to Madras before. "I have only asked you to take down my message. but I have not spoken." "Well." he said. about a year previously. He said to me: "It is not proper for you. On his way to the station Bapu came to Maganvadi Just for a peep. to Sevagram. and brought a pice at once. Bapu was to go to Madras to attend the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan to be held there in March 1937. l knew he would take me with him for the asking. I must leave this place in five minutes. for fear that you would refuse later on to take me to Hudli.dictate. "There are several friends here who can attend to BabIa. but in-a childish spirit I preferred the cross to the King who was a foreigner. and I won! Bapu said: "Hurry up." Just then my father. Durga. Bapu dictated the text asking my mother to come soon. She was infected by his jocular spirit. who was to accompany Bapu as usual. I never asked your opinion on it. I ask you to send this wire now. Babla. as the train was late by a few minutes. Bapu then asked me with a smile: "Come on." He asked my mother to give him a pice. arrived on the scene. but I was afraid he would then refuse to take me later to the Gandhi Seva Sangh Conference to be held at Hudli next month. Bapu tossed the pice. So he cut the gordian knot by saying: "Let us have a toss. When. therefore. to call Durga. Father was amazed and argued against sending the wire. Dinsha is always available. He asked me With a touch of humour.Sevagram had no post office then.
and he had frequent attacks of giddiness. "He will be very useful to both of us." I began to pack Father's luggage.
. and agreed to go to Nasik for about a fortnight's rest. better. Since then I formed part of Bapu's entourage in all his journeys. Doctors advised him to take complete rest. "How can I take rest at. this juncture?" Father said to his friends." The train moved on. when will he get a chance to be trained?" Father still opposed the proposal. the gravity of which was foreshadowed in Bapu's writings and utterances. When the luggage was packed and the train was passing over the Kistna bridge.as it was decided" that he would take the train back from Bezwada. If he does not accompany us in our tours. and you won't wish me to break it." he said with a serious voice. but he did not like to leave Bapu when there were talks of the coming struggle. He started for the place one evening." replied Bapu. if you find the atmosphere peaceful" To our amazement Father unpacked his things! "Bapu. "and you can as well stay on for two or three months. I need not see the place. But he had to yield to Bapu's own pressure."It is not a waste. On our way back from Madras Shri Jamnalalji spoke to Bapu about the serene atmosphere at Shri Raman Maharshi's ashram. Mahadev. We are not going to send him to a regular school. Bapu said: "Mahadev." "That is not a sound argument. Father's health broke down in April 1942. would you?" Father had no reply to this." "But he is not indispensable to either of us. Bapu said: "But I have given him a promise. Bapu said. as if in continuation of his previous sentence. very near to Bezwada station. . why don't you go and see the place? The' sooner the. "one Master is enough for me.
arrest me for that period at least. was firm in his opinion that he would not be arrested just then. asking Father to be removed at once to Sevagram.D. that he will be arrested. : Two. I heard the following conversation taking place between them: Ba M. and gently asked: "How are you. On Father's arrival. and asked others to do so. Bapu broke the silence.C." He could say nothing more. . I should like to meet death. At two o'clock in the night when I suddenly awoke. Ba M.I. however. Tears were streaming from his eyes.In about an hour a telephone message from Wardha came to Sevagram saying that Father had an' attack of giddiness at the station and was in a serious condition. and told him that you would be cured nowhere else.
Hitherto whenever our own readings have differed from those of Bapu. with my head in your lap. But there were two persons who could not sleep-Ba (Kasturba) and my father. "Therefore I asked the Civil Surgeon to send you here at once. and that the Civil Surgeon had taken him to his own bungalow. how many strokes did you hear just now?.however." Father was of the view that Bapu would be arrested immediately. : Do you still feel that Bapu will be arrested? : I do feel. and that there is every chance of your being cured if you are near me. He then sat by Father's side and began to fan him. Ba. and Bapu had already started his weekly silence. : Mahadev. Bapu put him into the bed which was ready. Bapu said emphatically: "Surely they won't arrest me after the speech I made this evening. 1942. After a while he went to bed. therefore. I have said therein that I will still carry on correspondence with the Viceroy for about a fortnight." he then said.D. But perhaps after all he may not be." On the 8th of August. meeting. I t was Sunday evening. Mahadev?" Father lay his head at Bapu's feet and said: "Bapu. they won't. Bapu. The air was thick with rumours about Bapu's destination after the arrest. those who were near him began to guess what would happen next. Bapu sent word in reply. "I know this quite well.C. he has always in
. when it Gomes. after Bapu returned late at night from the A.
the end proved to be right.' This may happen even now, though I have no doubt he will be arrested. The talk ended there. During the next two hours Ba several times asked my father: "Are you not asleep, Mahadev?". "How can I get sleep?" Father replied. When it was four, even Father began to feel that the arrest won't take place just then; but in a few minutes the police arrived. The police officer had warrants far Bapu, Mirabehn and my father, and had instructions to. take Ba and Pyarelalji with him if they wished to. accompany Bapu. They were; however, free to. decide far themselves. Father was happy because he was being taken along with Bapu. But far Ba it was a testing time. It was quite likely that Bapu would undertake a fast in the jail. Ba asked him: "What shall Ida?" Bapu smiled a little, and then seriously said: "It is far you to. decide. You are free to. came with me. But I should like you to. remain free just now, and court imprisonment later by same act of civil disobedience." - Ba was in a dilemma. She was very eager not to. be separated from Bapu, as there was every fear of the Government allowing Bapu to. die in prison if he undertake a fast an going there. Bapu, an the other hand, wished her to. remain out far the time- being. However, she did not take long to. make up her mind. She said to. Bapu: "I should have very much laved to. go. with you, but I will keep back since you wish me to. do. so." "I knew," said Bapu with an air of satisfaction, "that you would take this decision. I had no doubt about it."Vedchhi, 10-10-1948.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Lessons - Big And Small - Kantilal Harilal Gandhi
WE were travelling in a third class railway compartment during Bapu's tour in the D. P. in 1929. Even in a moving train he used to attend to his' correspondence or write for his weeklies, Young India and Navajivan. It was about five o'clock in the evening. His watch was lying among the papers in front of him. I was sitting with a watch on my wrist just opposite to him. He asked me what the time was. I looked at my watch and told him it was five o'clock. He also saw my watch through his spectacles and noticed there was still one minute to five. Even looking at a watch for time was not a trivial thing for him. He would not do that in a cursory way. But in this case it was not lack of proper observation on my part. I had also noticed that there was one minute to five. Only I did not attach much value. to that minute. He stopped writing and exclaimed: "Is it five?" I replied with a guilty conscience: "No, Bapu, it is one minute to five." "Well, Kanti," he said, "what is the use of keeping a wrist watch? You have no value of time. Do you know how many days or months thirty crores of minutes would make? What a colossal waste of time it would mean for our poor country? It seems you have not even understood why I talk of
the Charkha. Again, you don't respect truth as you know it, Would it have cost more energy to say: 'It is one minute to five,' than to say: 'It is five o'clock'?" Thus he went on rebuking me for about fifteen, to twenty minutes till it was time for his evening meals. It was in Juhu, sometime in 1935, that the following incident took place. Bapu and party had planned to leave for Wardha by the evening train. I was one of the party. ~y maternal aunt had come down to Bombay from Rajkot for meeting me. We had not met for the past several years., Bapu asked me after the morning prayer if I was accompanying him to Wardha that evening. He had thought I would like to stop for a day or two more in Bombay in order to have some time with my aunt. But I could not catch his purpose in asking me this question. Moreover, I myself did not think of my aunt and said: "Yes, I am going with you." After the prayer, at my aunt's request, I agreed to stay on for a couple of days more, and went to inform Bapu accordingly. He was in the bathroom. I announced to him the change of my decision across the closed doors. He gave me the permission, but added: "Now listen. Why did I ask you after the morning prayer whether you were going with me or not? 1 knew your aunt would like to have some time with you. Could you not think of this before answering me that you were going with me to Wardha? And if you had thought about it, you should not now change your mind. Once you make in your mind you should carry out the resolve at any cost unless of course you feel that to do so would be p sin. Don't think I am scolding you. I" tell you this for your future guidance. You can never achieve great things if you neglect this advice. You must cultivate the habit of sticking to your decisions and learning from your mistakes." "Yes, Bapu, I understand what you say, and I shall. . . " "No," Bapu at once interrupted, "You can stay on with your aunt. This is a matter now between you and her. But you can't serve people if you don't develop the habit of thinking well and acting with courage upon your decisions." Once while going to Bombay from Poona Bapu asked the headmaster of Bombay high school, who had come to see him at Kalyan, who was more intelligent among the two boys studying in his school and in whom Bapu was interested. The headmaster gave the name of one of them, whereupon Bapu enquired about the character of ~he two, and said:
Bapu called Mahadevbhai. We had several lessons from the same guru at Sabarmati. but we are very short of men with character. after this you don't require a large quantity of water to wash it. We have no dearth of intelligent men among our educated classes. water profusely over a small vessel to wash it. Once Kanubhai and I were cleaning vessels at a well. by looking at the context. and promised to speak to Bapu."Yes. or rather our inability to think of our actions in terms of millions of people. He continued: "How much water you are wasting!" "Well. But Bapu did not leave us until he saw that we could perform the operation well. but I filled the gap. Bapu.and told him with tears in my eyes that I did hot want to stay with Bapu. and in the well the water is inexhaustible. but why do you forget that here we live for the service of others? Can you waste your energy like this? No. As he went on cleaning another vessel he said: "See. Once I could not do so. So village industries began with Maganvadi at Wardha. We promised to do so thence. He dictated to me letters which I took down in shorthand. Mahadevbhai tried to pacify me for a long time.forth. character is more important in my view." It was not that we did not know how to clean vessels." we argued. Sometimes I could not hear a word here or a word there. and there were some bad mistakes. Kanti. Next day when he
.. how much water you are wasting! Even now you don't know how to lean vessels. He came to us and said: "Look here. take a small quantity of wet earth and rub all over the vessel. For this he rebuked me so severely for nearly an hour that I went to Mahadevbhai at night . In Wardha I was one of his stenographers. it is our energy that is spent in drawing more water. It was our carelessness." Then he sat down and showed us how to clean vessels with a minimum quantity of water. Bapu happened to pass that way and saw us pouring. He gently said: "Quite right. Now. and entrusted to us the work of organising the grinding of flour which we required in the kitchen. " It was sometime in 1935 just after the establishment of the All India Village Industries Association by the Congress. At 'this time he used to look carefully into everything we did in Maganvadi. Kanubhai and myself. then pour plenty of dry earth in the vessel and clean the vessel dry. Whenever Bapu placed before the Congress any new scheme the work had to begin with his ashram. you must preserve it for the service of our country. will you do like this?" he said finally.
asked Bapu not to rebuke me so much for mistakes which even the professional typist, who was employed there, made. "Besides," he added, "now Kanti is more afraid and commits more mistakes! I have to correct a lot of them. So the purpose of your rebuke is not served." Bapu said: "Mahadev, don't .compare him to the typist employed by us. We pay the latter for his work, and there the matter ends. It is not so with Kanti. I want to train him up. I can't tolerate any mistake in his work. He can sit very near me and ask me if he cannot follow me. He should be more vigilant in his work." Only once did I see him losing his temper. It was at Sabarmati in 1926. The second bell at 4-20 in the morning had gone. The prayer had to begin. Bapu looked by his side. Lakshmi, the Harijan girl who stayed with us, was not present.. He asked: "Where is Lakshmi? Has she got up?" "Yes," I said. The prayer could not begin unless Lakshmi came there. In those days Bapu used to make her sit by his side. We all sat silently for several minutes. At last Lakshmi came and took her seat by Bapu's side. Bapu inquired why she was late. The girl was of a very shy nature. She would not open her mouth. Bapu repeated the question several times. Each repetition was exhausting Bapu's patience. In the' moonlight we were observing Bapu's face. Even the voice was getting firmer and stronger. But the girl wouldn't reply. Guilty conscience had aided her shyness to seal her lips. Bapu never knew defeat. After asking . her. half a dozen times why she was late, he got very angry when she did not reply. He lifted his hand in the attitude of giving a slap, but the hand did not come down. For me it was a surprise to see Bapu about to slap someone! Then, fortunately, the girl murmured that she was combing her hair. That was enough for Bapu. He swallowed 4all his anger. The prayer began. Soon after the prayer we went to our house. Bapu called Lakshmi and gently explained to her the need of removing her hair which came in the way of her attending the prayer in time. Lakshmi was too young to be given a chance to decide. A pair of scissors was sent for, and Lakshmi's hair was bobbed by Bapu himself! This reminds me of another incident at Maganvadi, Wardha. I was late in the prayer. .Of course the prayer did not wait for me. But I was asked by Bapu after the prayer why I was
late. I said I was waiting to ease my- self and the latrine was not vacant. In Maganvadi we had no brick-wall latrines. They were shifting superstructures made of bamboo-mat and placed over a small, narrow and long trench. Hearing my reply he said: "You could have dug out a small pit by hand somewhere in the field where the place was ploughed and eased yourself. after all, the night soil should not lie uncovered and outside the field. It should be made into manure. The darkness of the night dispenses with the need of any screening. We should use our common sense in all that we do. Don't do anything without thinking why you do it." Bapu's hosts during his tour had always a hard task to look after his party which consisted of an assorted lot. Often we wouldn't go in time for meals. The kitchen would have to run all the day long. As if we were smaller "Bapus", some of us would have their idiosyncrasies in the matter of food. Some invalids also swelled the party occasionally. Bapu could realise the difficulties of his hosts. So he saw to it that we gave the minimum of trouble to them. Once during his tour in the U.P. in 1929, we were guests of Rajasaheb of Kalakankar. Several rooms were placed at our disposal. Even though our host had many servants Bapu went round all the rooms we had occupied, at the time of our departure. He was sorry to note in one of the rooms flowers, bits of paper, and the skin of oranges scattered here and there. He said with sorrow: "Look at this, Kanti, you have made this room look like a third class railway carriage." I promptly replied: "No, Bapu, I did not do it." He said, "Yes, I know you may not have thrown those skins of oranges there. But whosoever has done this belongs to our party, and we have all to share the blame." Then he asked me to take up the duty of inspecting our lodgings wherever we went, during the rest of the tour, before starting off for another place. At Sabarmati when my younger brother, Rasik, and I were yet children, I remember Bapu taking us on his shoulder and throwing us into the trough in front of a well. Once during the rainy season the Sabarmati was in spate. We used to jump into the river at a ghat up the stream and would be carried by water to the ghat down the stream. Then we would walk along the bank back to the first ghat. Our house was. just on the bank of the river between the two ghats. The path joining the two ghats passed through our compound. Bapu used to, sit in the open verandah facing the path. One morning. we, brothers, were
performing our trips in swimming from one ghat to the other as usual. Rasik just called out, while passing across our compound: "Bapuji, come on with us to jump into the river; it is so pleasant to swim on the waves of the flood." It was just the time for Bapu's bath also. He left off writing, got up and said: "Come along, let us see who swims better. Don't think I am old." (He was over fifty five then.) All the inmates of the Ashram who were staying along the bank came to know this and ran to have the unique sight of Bapu swimming in the flooded river. I had the good luck to witness a similar incident of Bapu's ride on a bicycle while going from the Ashram to the Gujarat Vidyapith in 1928. We had reach- ed half .way to the Vidyapith when Bapu asked one of the inmates of the Ashram, who was returning from the Ahmedabad city, to give him his cycle because it was getting late for him to reach the Vidyapith. He got on the bicycle and asked me to follow him slowly. Once at Maganvadi I was about to take a vow of eating only three things and only thrice, for a year or so. Ba came to know of this. She of course could not dissuade me. She therefore complained to Bapu about my pro- posed vow. He was walking after the evening meals on the terrace. He called me, and exchanged one of his 'sticks' for me. (Bapu often used to support himself on shoulders of two persons while having his walks. These were known as his 'sticks'.) Then he exclaimed: "Kanti, is Ba's complaint about you true?" I said: "Yes." "No, no," said Bapu, "you should not take such. vows, and that too at this age. (I was about 25 then.) We in the ashram do not cook anything for our taste. Our food is quite sattvika, and meant for body-building. I don't want you to practise such asceticism now. You must have an ideal of eating well and then serving well. Do you know I used to take a dozen plaintains, besides other things, in break- fast alone, and then used to walk 8 to 10 miles for my work, in South Africa? Don't take such vows. I may understand your doing such things when you are old but' not now. All right, go, don't take such vows." There was no scope for argument. I had to obey him. In January 1936 he went. to the Gujarat Vidyapith Ahmedabad, to recoup his health. The party included, be- sides Mahadevbhai and Ba, Kanu Gandhi, Prabhavati Devi Mrs. Jayaprakash Narayan-and myself. My birthday fell during this period. I made my obeisance to Bapu, Ba, and other elders and got their blessings. After the morning walk
no." Afterwards I went to the city for some work. Prabhavatibehn served me my meals. Bapu said: "It certainly does not apply to you! You should always expect to live as long as you can and serve. I don't know what I shall be able to do in the coming years. Mysore. It had been always a rare thing to have such indulgence from Bapu. I said to him: "Bapuji. half my life is over.as I was massaging Bapu's feet with ghee as usual. and to my surprise there were two small sweet balls in the plate. When I came back to the Vidyapith rather late. I think only a quarter of it is over. Therefore whenever it came. you think half of your life is over! No.
. It was almost impossible for us to have such delicacies while we were with Bapu. for I have rendered little service to anybody." Bapu said: "Oh. On my inquiry Prabhavatibehn told me how Bapu had asked her to prepare those sweet balls from his own wheat flour and jaggery with a sprinkling of milk. 27-9-1948. it was all the more welcome and was long remembered. When I look back across all these years I do not feel very happy. Why should you think it to behalf?" ~'Is not India's average longivity much less than 50?" I asked.
My eyes had been a source of anxiety to my parents and grandparents since my early childhood. and that weakened my eyes still further. and it was a difficult task for my mother to tidy them and comb them. They spread on my face and eyes. I had beautiful curls on my head.Sumitra Ramdas Gandhi
I WAS about five years old when Bapuji came and stayed in a building near Mahilashram at Wardha. Mother prepared a number of sweets and sent them through me to all her friends. As is customary for youngsters to pay their respects to the elders and receive their blessings. After making an obeisance to him I boast. Our house too was near by. This added to my parents' worry. Bapuji said with a twinkle in the eye: "But you did not give me any!" I was nonplussed. and opposed the proposal whenever it was made.ed to him that I had distributed sweets to all our friends.Reminiscences Of Gandhi My Grandfather . During the Divali festival that followed. I did not like the idea of cutting my hair. I went to Bapuji. I was a naughty child.. Presently. and used to play recklessly. I gathered courage and
. dishevelling my neat curls. The day after the Divali is our Gujarati New Year Day. Then Bapuji played a trick with me. I looked through the locks. however.
1938." He cunningly said: "No. and closely cropped my hair. for the sake of dignity. eleven. for she has caught Bapu to do this job for her!" Later. I took care to have one of these with me whenever I went out. By this time my kerchief got crumpled and soiled. now it is too late. He cleaned the machine. But in Poona. We started from our place at 10 a. you may have it. Bapuji's day of silence. We stayed in' a special tent put up for Bapuji. but on the condition that you . I will ask for something else from you!" I asked him: "What do you want?" He said: "Do you promise to give me whatever I ask for?" How could I imagine what he had in mind? I therefore said: "Yes. I felt like weeping. I had to undergo an eye operation.mother loved to hear children's talk and laughter. but to me they seemed more of an encumbrance. Older persons admire me for it. and during one of the visits to her I accompanied my father. my grandmother was ill. to give complete rest to the eyes.yourself must cut it.asked me to bring his chappals. In 1942-43 when Bapuji and my grandmother (whom we children addressed as 'Motilal were in detention in the Agakhan palace.m. I put them on and brought them to him. but gradually I calmed down and replied: "Well. and reached the Agakhan palace at 2 p. Le. He immediately told me that children should not put on the chappals or shoes of elders and that they should bring these in their hands. I was indifferent" about it. I won't allow anyone else to touch it. but I will bring some now for you. certainly!" He said: "Then give me your hair!" For a while I was shocked find became speechless. During that period I accompanied Bapuji and Ba (my grandmother) to the Congress session at Haripura in February. Then I went to my mother and narrated the whole incident to her. My mother gave me two handkerchiefs daily for use at school.." He agreed and there and then asked Kanubhai to get him a clipper. as grand. One morning he . and was asked by the doctor. but never regretted it.. when I was. after paying a few visits on the way.m. At night 1 slept near him. but restrain ed myself. He then asked me to take back the chappals to their original place and to bring them again in the proper manner. for one whole year. Now I won't take sweets. I forgot to do so earlier. and remarked: "She is a clever child.replied: "Yes. nor had I
. The day on which I went to see my grandparents was Monday. Later I often got my hair cropped or bobbed.
but he smiled and gave me a thump on the back in appreciation of my pluck and courage. What he disliked was a hotchpotch of words. children. 16-9-1948
. and he was keen on our using the correct words in the language which we for the moment were using. he minutely inquired into my hostel life and studies at college. He never liked my studying in a college. but turning to his secretary nonchalantly asked him: "What does Sumi mean? Is it a horse or a bull? I am unable to follow her.another 'to replace it. But it did not. when Bapuji came there for the conference convened by the Viceroy. He wanted girls to be as sturdy and bold as boys. and he gave me the correct word.in Gujarati I used an English word 'education' about which he reprimanded me. I apologised to him. We. Next day the kerchief I had left behind was returned to me with the remark: "Now your kerchief is clean. he gave me another kerchief. I was obstinate he had to give in. Do you know the meaning of the English word she used?" I realized my mistake and corrected it. and when I saw him and bowed to him he had no strength to speak. escape Bapuji's notice and by his facial expression he showed his disapprobation of my dirty handkerchief." In July 1945 I was staying at Simla with my uncle and aunt. He also corrected' the mistakes in our letters and pointed these out to us. He asked me to get it washed. and that it was not related to practical life. When I went to him after my first year examination. Banaras. He said nothing to me directly. joined him in his daily prayers and walks. whenever I was at a loss to find 'an appropriate Gujarati expression. . and I washed the offending one. When I said that I had not got another with me and that I badly needed it. Once while talking . After that. however. and said it was a showy type pf education. During his 21 days fast at the Agakhan palace in March 1943 I travelled alone from Wardha to Poona. As.
How abundantly was my faith vindicated in all that the Mahatma did and! said in the crowning glory of his career! Of course. in a sermon which unexpectedly went to India and beyond. I had at that time never heard his name. called Unity. asking if I might have the rights to publish this work in the pages of a weekly paper. From the moment I read this epic tale. Gandhi became the hero of my life. "the greatest man in the world". I wrote him letters-very presumptuous on my part. and the
. But Gandhi responded. He agreed at once.Reminiscences Of Gandhi In London And Delhi . I got into touch with Gandhi. it now seems. Soon I was receiving and reading the weekly copies of Young India. which I was editing at that time. How excited I was when the chapters of his autobiography began to appear in the columns of this paper.John Haynes Holmes
I first heard of Gandhi in 1922-more than a' quarter of a century ago. the saviour of my soul.Gandhi. but found it by chance in a magazine article which told the story of his achievements in South Africa. I at once cabled. I proclaimed him. Thus. and I became his friend and follower.
Then.autobiography was thus printed in full here in America. Instantly I abandoned all my plans of travel on the continent..land. He laughed with eager merriment as I tried to explain that I felt I had no right to intrude upon him unduly. I could not miss this unexpected opportunity to meet one whom I had so long revered! There. but had never seen him. by mere chance. that Gandhiji was on his way to attend the Conference. I can remember shivering as I stood on the pier-partly from the chill which penetrated my bones. I remember my consternation as I watched Gandhi going out unclad. Instantly he arose to greet me. a cotton shawl over his shoulders. "Then we could have talked. as his first word. It was a cold. He wore only a loin cloth. which will be remembered as the year of the Indian Round Table Conferences in London. he said: "Why didn't you meet me at Marseilles?"-the port where he had disembarked to cross the continent by train." But the train for London was waiting. in Eng. and among them is the autobiography in full. that I was in Europe in the summer of 1931. and partly from sheer nervousness at the prospect of at last coming face to face with the great Indian. foggy. I met Charlie Andrews and Reginald Reynolds. had raised
. I later secured its publication in an abbreviated form as a single volume edited by C. so we must hurry. Picking up a German newspaper one day I read. into the cold and wet of one of the worst days I had ever seen in England. "You should have come. and together we went to Folkestone to meet the distinguished traveler from India. The publisher argued that Gandhi was not well enough known in this country to justify the printing of the original text of so extended a work. as it seemed to me. The Channel boat was delayed by the fog." he said. the gang-way was down. and leather sandals on his bare feet. and hastened to England. Someone. my friend. as solicitous as I. But suddenly we saw her nose pointing through the heavy curtain of mist and rain. Andrews. As I entered the cabin I saw Gandhiji sitting cross-legged on his bunk. and held me in. and I was the first aboard. It happened. F. Now there is a spate of volumes about the Mahatma. rainy September day-typical English weather in the fall. his embrace. All this while I was close to Gandhi. to my vast astonishment and delight. At last she was made fast to her moorings.
This was a very different figure from that presented centuries be. With this there began a week when I was with Gandhi at intervals each day. As I look back upon this week in London. There were other occasions when I saw him. James's Palace. I am amazed that I saw so much of the Mahatma. But here was a greater and nobler conqueror.an umbrella over his uncovered head. where Gandhi was going to stay. Later on. I spent a late afternoon with him on the same terrace as he ate his frugal but nourishing supper. and I had to say good-bye. gathered about the Mahatma while he talked to us about prayer as an exercise of the spiritual life. where the Round Table sessions were being held. Here was one of the busiest men in the world. how little did I know that. Then there is the Sunday evening when a group of us. I shall 'tell them in detail some day. sunny Sunday morning when I talked alone with Gandhiji on the terrace of Kingsley Hall. during his attendance on the Round Table. Certain memories stick right out! Thus there was the bright. to him. when we discussed pro and con the question of his coming to America. Upon him lay the burden of India in her quest for national independence. I think also of our meeting in St. including tenement mothers from the neighbourhood. In this conference he was grappling with the world's greatest empire and. I trod behind him as we made our way from boat to train. and thought how grotesque he looked. when they landed on these shores to conquer England. and how happy he seemed to be. I recall how he enjoyed the warm sun. destined for mightier deeds. and offer leadership which affected the
. in less than sixteen years. " It was after this discussion that Gandhiji took me in his automobile for the long ride out to Kingsley Hall. India would be free and Gandhiji's victory won! On arriving in London we went at once to the Friends Meeting House. interpret policies. But all too soon there came my sailing date for America. therewith was challenged to make decisions.fore by Julius Caesar and William of Normandy. Then there was the long drive out to the East End. to Kingsley Hall. where a good audience had gathered to receive the distinguished visitor. and came so close . as the guest of Muriel Lester. Yes. Here in England he was attending the dally lessons of a conference of momentous significance.
He had no need of spending time to maintain his dignity or parade his importance. in Matthew Arnold's phrase. In all that week in London. or my travelling east. an unquenchable good humour. his utter lack of pretension or pose. the invitation of the Watumull Foundation to go to India on a lecture-trip to the schools and colleges. right out of a clear sky."
. and thus free to do what he would. a love of people. In all that seething city. He always answered my letters. Years passed. a concern for courtesy and kindness. sometimes by his own hand.ed to spring from a heart which had not a care in the world. not a trace of impatience. and I could reach Gandhiji only by letters.fate of millions of human beings. The correspondence continued at long intervals. there was at least one man who. Yet he seemed to find it easy to meet and talk with this unimportant clergyman from America. A part of the explanation lies in Gandhiji's humility. Gandhi sat at the centre of the council table. and hurrying crowds. The war imposed a kind of final veto upon Gandhi's travelling west. Then came to me. which made him accessible to all who would know his spirit and walk in his way. I shall never forget his reply-the precious letter in which he wrote: "You have given me not only exciting but welcome news. a sweetness of temper. there was not a moment of hurry. Along with these qualities. and I am not going to believe it in its entirety unless you are physically in India. . On the contrary. free of responsibility. He was pressed upon from every side-there was no incident or instant which was. I accepted at once--and wrote joy. He was as simple as a child. which made him the most attractive and lovable of men.fully to Gandhiji of what had happened. I had a feeling that I had no right to bother the Mahatma with frequent communications. sometimes by dictation to a secretary. I hoped that I might see him again. with its noise. I must write only when I had something definite to say. went an affection. and to show him a hospitality which seem. was "selfpoised and independent still". but this seemed more and more unlikely as time went. there was a constant serenity and calm. of course. confusion. The news appears to be almost too good to be true.
I addressed an enormous mass-meeting at Chowpatty beach in celebration of Gandhi's birthday. He seemed to be troubled by a bronchial cough. Their reverence was a beautiful thing to see. I was amazed at what seemed to be his superb physical condition. I saw Gandhiji a second time at the end of the week. and arrived in Bombay. I was leaving for South India. his muscles firm and stout. on Sunday. to see him. Of course I expressed my deep sympathy over the disorder. The hundreds of persons present were all worshippers. But surely there could be no violence in this lovely place and on this sacred occasion. The first time was on the very day of my arrival in the capital.I left America for India on September 18.ward to Calcutta. I did not press him on the great and distressing events of the hour. and then for a long trip east. We talked easily and in formally together. of different races. and see
. that assassination would be easy. to shed light in darkness. but one in the spirit of the Mahatma. high about his neck. On the Saturday following. And he trusted still in God. I went to New Delhi. and there met the Mahatma twice. after ten days in England. The night of this first day I went to the six o'clock prayer-meeting in the garden. October 5th. I t was an amazing experience to see this man whose single influence was bringing peace again to his stricken land. and all so quiet and simple. But he was not overborne. His skin was like a baby's. seventeen years before. To my astonishment and delight. I told him that he looked better than when I saw him last in London. and could see how great was the grief in his own heart. as I saw no police or soldiery in the place. violence and bloodshed which had been raging in the land. and I saw his chest and arms. On the following day. I confidently expected to return. This fell away as we talked. and I must go round at once to Birla House. and was wrapped in a cotton shawl. The thought came to me. 1947. I learned that he had already arranged an appointment in anticipation of my coming. religions and languages. and was pleased to be told that he was ten pounds heavier than he had been at that time. Nor would Gandhi seek the protection of arms. His courage was as great as ever. burning as a clear flame upon an altar. I was ushered promptly into his presence-in the little room where he was tragically fated to die within a few weeks. Here was the pure spirit.
As I rose to go. And there. I fear. right on top of my great accumulation of mail. five days in Los Angeles. . to take up the work which had long been awaiting my return.Gandhiji for one last. and his conversation was full of vigour. So this was just a good-bye. Gandhiji was tired that afternoon-he received me without appointment. New York. written from Calcutta. But. a week in Honolulu. But I did not stay long. I promised to come back. I had a leisurely journey. and to the interruption. But he was never more gentle and kind. was a long letter from Gandhiji. I stopped a few days in Tokyo. 1-10-1948. but had to content myself with a long letter of farewell. I never saw him again. A few days later-the assassination! And the greatest chapter of my life was closed. that this might be my welcome home. and to me a kind of benediction. then by train across the continent to New York.
. flying the vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean. I went promptly to my study. if my schedule permitted. he told me that I must surely see him again. alas. placed there reverently by my secretary. long communion of mind and heart. of important work.
took shelter of the roof and shifted their beds to the verandah. There lay his cot in the open. which was known as Hridaya kunj (i. but in the chilly winter they. generally liked to sleep in the open. But he never flinched. the 26th of May. unless it was actually raining. and placed my cot outside at a respectable distance from his. I followed suit. In the rainy days of July and August the tree put forth all its floral glory. Early morning one day I gathered all the delicate.Reminiscences Of Gandhi At Sabarmati . the Bower 'of the Heart). The other inmates of the ashram.Prema Kantak
IT was on.e. at the ashram. He liked to sleep under the sky. who lived near him. fragrant
. 1929. Here are a few memories of the days I spent under his care till he started on the Dandi March next year. He would often bid me good night with his favourite saying: "Now sleep the sleep of the innocent." There was a parijat tree in front of his residence. that I first entered the Satyagraha ashram at Sabarmati along with Gandhiji. in winter as well as in summer.
and the victorious one should not feel elated. wove them into a garland.red. may I garland you?" I asked with some hesitation. There are two patients in the ashram. and let me know afterwards how they fare. Once there was a sport competition on the ashram grounds between students of the Gujarat Vidyapith and those of the ashram.white flowers with which the ground had been strewn . Gandhiji was opposed to vaccination. is there any special occasion today?" he asked. "Today is a grand holiday." The remark was hailed with joy and laughter. Do you agree?" "I do. A month or so before the Dandi march in 1930." I playfully replied. The Iatter were beaten by a small margin. He looked up. that the defeated party should not be disheartened.
"Very fine! Now do this much for me. "I have gathered these lovely flowers of parijat from the garden. and carried out his instructions." I said. and made a garland for you. a smallpox epidemic 'broke out in the ashram. When you have the satisfaction of garlanding me." said Gandhiji. approached Gandhiji as he sat writing in his room. give one each to both the patients." "Where is it?" "Here!" I showed the garland to him. and parents in the ashram had not got their
. put it into a basket. Gandhiji was present on the occasion for nearly In hour and a half. "Mahatmaji. At the end of the match all the players gathered round him and asked him to say something to them. overnight. cut it I into two pieces. I and covering it with the upper skirt of my sari. "Why. take the garland at once. "I would say only this.
"Why are you writing at such an odd hour? Is it something very important? May I help you?" I asked him. He passed away while his father." he replied drily. I am
. as on the previous occasion. "No. These kiddies are fading away like little buds. was conducting the evening prayer of the ashram. And again when tiny Meghji followed suit.
Gita was a girl of nine. Mahatmaji. but got up. I could not keep to my bed. without turning his head. and as before I saw Gandhiji burning the midnight oil. I feel the weight of their deaths on my shoulders.children vaccinated in deference to his opinion. why do you get so much disturbed on the nights of these deaths? Every time a child passes away. That light passed on. and approaching him straightaway asked: "Oh. you get up at dead of night and bury yourself in writing!" "What else can I do?" he replied with a sigh. Let me go on writing. Gandhiji was sitting in his bed and was writing letters. Pandit Narayan Khare. I had no alternative but to sleep again. some days later.took all possible preventive and curative measures which were approved of by competent doctors. I prevailed upon their parents not to get them vaccinated. That night at 12 I suddenly got up. Gandhiji . When the epidemic broke out some children got severe attacks. Many of the patients were cured. but a few succumbed. Now the children are passing away. "I can't sleep. The lantern was burning. Her soul flittered away while she was listening to her father who was reading the Gita at her bedside. That night I again happened to wake at about mid. and saw Gandhiji sitting on his bed and writing. A few days later it was little Vasant's 'turn. It may be.night. you may sleep on. no.
Occasionally.afraid. It was a strict rule at the ashram that after 9 p. however. who can help? But why should you. was prohibited. You have applied correct remedies. I then left my room and came to the compound to go to bed. When I drew her attention to the fact. and so I feel very unhappy. If. and went to bed. "You have made the correct diagnosis. and at times Gandhiji talked to her for several minutes. "Ah! is it? I had no idea!" he exclaimed." I told him. the bell has gone. Doctors have approved of your method of dealing with the disease. the result of my ignorance and obstinacy." "Is it the Mahatma who is uttering these words?" I said with a taunt. If any parents wished to get their children vaccinated.
. No one dared to speak about this or to give a timely hint to either of them: One night I heard a sister. they were free to do so. who was my neighbour." he replied. Why should your heart be so weak as that?" "True. No one availed of this liberty. she expressed her regrets. then looked up." I admit my weakness. stopped the conversation. Now no one can resist death. and after that day there was no fatal case in the ashram. talking to Mirabehn who was standing in front of him! "Mahatmaji. he added. of all persons-you who always teach us to look to death as a friend and act in a dispassionate manner-should give way to attachment? It does not become a Mahatma. even beyond the prescribed time limit. when-lo and behold-there lay Gandhiji on his cot. Mirabehn came to bid him good night.m. talking loudly to a guest of hers after the bell was gone. Talking after 9 p." He mused for a few seconds.m. children die. while he himself had no faith in vaccination. I saw Gandhiji himself breaking the rule. can he not be tender-hearted as well?" Next evening he poured out his heart before the ashramites and declared that. there should be quiet everywhere and lamps should be put off. he did not wish to impose his opinion on others. after all. and said: "However brave and dispassionate a man may be.
23-10-1948. Sasvad. and added: "When you break the rule." he said quietly. you must pull me by the ear and bring me to my senses." "If I break the rule. "And what are you doing?" I asked. "behn too was chatting just now." "She ought not to have."Can a satyagrahi be so negligent?" I said. and went to sleep. "I too must obey the rules. when I had to pull her up. for my responsibility of abiding by them is greater than that of anyone else." He at once put an end to the conversation." he said. others follow suit.
. one so.
He said: "Do you see how it opens up without injuring the paper? This is a method which everyone should know.Kishorelal Mashruwala
DO not exactly remember the occasions on which I learnt several small things from Gandhiji. They jar upon the eye. 1. and asked me to cut it with a knife. the gum of which had got stuck. He was displeased if he saw a letter placed in an envelope with irregular folding.Once he showed' me how to open up the flap of an envelope.
. and began to tear it along the crease. This was perhaps when I met him for the first time in Champaran in 1917. As the paper was larger than I needed I folded it up. He asked me to copy out a passage from the Indian Year Book on a sheet on foolscap paper.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Small Things I Learnt From Him . "fibres appear along the edges. Gandhiji stop. You should make it a rule always to divide the paper with a paper-cutter or an ordinary knife. "When you tear along a crease with your hands." 2. He introduced a fountain pen into a slight opening under the flap."
3. I shall just mention what they are.ed me." he said. and quickly rolled it round the edge. made a crease by passing my fingers over it.
'. An irregular folding creates a .bad impression upon the receiver about you. Wardha.' 5. and when he saw my wife later he showed his displeasure at it. and it got encouragement by his example. Bapu saw the torn condition of the cloth.. as it verges on miserliness and disorderliness." 4. 31-8-1948
. and washed if it has become dirty. I am not at all proud of it. He said: "One need not be ashamed of clothes repaired with sewing or patches. Perhaps the instinct of thrift was inherent in me. I rather feel ashamed of the extent to which it has grown.He said: "When you fold your letter you must see that the edges coincide properly and the fold is regular. But there is no excuse for a person to put on unmended or dirty clothes. to a greater extent than commendable. But it seems to have got hardened in spite of my own mental protest against it. One of my young nephews lived with me at Sabarmati. I may also mention a habit which I developed. He once. and used envelopes. room. tore his clothing during play and then went straight to Bapu's. It looks slovenly. wrappers on book-post packets etc. under his influence. It is that of preserving and using bits of paper written on one side. Poverty in itself is not a matter for shame. A cloth must be repaired as soon as it is torn.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Sweet And Sad . G. through my father. All seemed to like my writing. Love. wherein I stated that my life-ambition was to advance culture.P. Mavalankar
WHEN I was studying in the English sixth standard. May God help you. after his release from jail. BAPU
. I insisted on his taking my article and give it to Bapu for his opinion. . through work in the field of education. for a meeting of the Kasturba Trust Fund. My joy knew no bounds when I got. Thereafter my father went to Sevagram for the first time in 1944. Do come here some time. a letter in Bapu's own handwriting: Dear Purushottam. I contributed an article to the school Annual. You have selected the best but a difficult ideal.
Bapu had all along joined in the laughter. I do not know anything about it. in a romantic manner. Shri Devdas (youngest son of Gandhiji). But what he stated must have been true. I am still using that pen. your embarrassment. Bapu presided over it.book for his autograph. As we approached the place. and he caused addition to the peals of laughter by saying: "But." After saying this. Mahadev was naturally upset. presented a pen to me. as Shri Rajaji is the father-in-law of Shri Devdas. I lost my . Bapu was at Juhu. he gave us. He signed his autograph with a pen lying near him. stating that it was of foreign make." Pointing to Shri Thakkar Bapa." "But it is something against the view you propound. the late Shivaprasad Gupta. and one day (on 24th October) accompanied my father to the Bhangi Colony at prayer time. Rajagopalachari happened to be there at the time. While signing his autograph. Say frankly what you want.rupee note. There was a meeting of the Kasturba Fund Trustees in the cool climate of Mahabaleshwar. Mahadev was with me. pen there. I can appreciate. Bapu." Bapu said: "Surely. I wish to say something about this.It was May 1944. He even rejected my pen. After the talks (between him and my father) were over. who is a trustee of the Fund. I was in Delhi in October 1946. But you need have no such feeling. I went to him with my father." said Devdas. the history of his own pen. he added with a hearty laughter: "But look here.-manufactured in Banaras-and it works well." It was the month of May in 1945. which was known as 'Gooptu's Perfection' and was made at Calcutta. I placed in Bapu's hands my autograph. It is entirely Indian-made. He said: "Once I had been to Banaras. During the discussion on a certain subject. Bapu smiled and said: "An obedient son may feel shy of speaking to the face of his father. here there are three fathers instead of two! This was quite correct. here are two instead of one Bapa (father). therefore. So our host. and asked for a fountain pen." Shri C. say whatever you like. we noticed some turmoil
. He took the book with the five. He gave one to Mahadev also. he said with a smile: "I was told the story (of the manufacture of the pen) by Shivaprasad. said: "Bapu. But he returned it. under the impression that it was of foreign make. which was then offered to him by my father.
They were very vocal. and stood on the left side of the prayer platform. we want the Central Government to intervene in this matter. you must keep quiet. What could helpless people do in such a situation? Whom else could the afflicted appeal to. and was talking to the crowd. We want that our people must be saved from this calamity. I imagined that he might be saying . The slogans continued. to the crowd. "Expel Ben. There is no obligation on anyone here (to remain present). He was patiently trying to have his say. Bapuji was appealing to all of them to be quiet. we saw a different situation. You can go elsewhere. At last he showed great presence of mind and abandoned a large part of the prayers. Bapuji was standing on the plat. We want you to intervene.from a distance. if you do not wish to join these. It was not possible to know what exactly was happening. with slogans against the Muslim League and the League Ministry in Bengal. Bapuji was standing and was saying something with a sad heart as appeared from his face. "Remove Suhrawardy Ministry". some among whom were raising some slogans. He took up only Ramdhun. We saw some young and angry faces. You have come here for prayers. He saw that it was
. but Who would.good-bye with a heavy heart.gal Governor". on the eve of his departure for Bengal next day. We learnt afterwards that they were local Bengali Hindus. but if you choose to stay. He said to the angry crowd: "Prayers will begin if you keep quiet. but to the Father of the Nation? Did Bapuji not know the situation in the country? . We entered the premises with curiosity. The situation appeared to me from a distance to be strange and sad. But his hands were tied in many ways. Save Bengali Hindus from mass slaughter". Why don't you immediately go to Bengal?" I also felt moved at the piteous appeal of the man to the Father of the Nation. among the crowd. "Rescue abducted women".hear him in such a tumult? At last one voice angrily said to him: "Gandhiji. We were afraid that we were a bit late for the prayers.form. Instead." For a while nobody complied with his request. with others. carrying boards displaying the following slogans: "Down with Bengal Ministry".
. since the South African days and therefore for the last fifty years. He even referred to the Interim Government and said: "Pandit Jawaharlal. On the contrary he spoke to them with sympathy: "All leaders are fully alive to the situation in Bengal. congratulating the crowd for maintaining peace. But what is the remedy? Everyone must discharge his duty. First decide whether you want to kill or to die. The Congress Cabinet is at present considering the very question. he said: "I have told women long ago that it is better to end one's life by poison than suffer insults. not the way to kill. Empty slogans will serve no purpose. He could not sleep till two o'clock last night.to twenty minutes." Ahmedabad." At the end. Cheerfulness and patience replaced irritation.impossible to induce the excited crowd to keep quiet for fifteen . I have been preaching this in India for the last thirty yearsin fact. none of them will fail to act accordingly. he said: "I am very grateful to you: all for having given a patient hearing to' me. Bapu then began his address to the crowd. I wish our sisters become brave. Sardar Patel and other leaders have been very much grieved at the Bengal atrocities." Bapu spoke to this effect. He is overburdened with work. The 'Ramdhun' brought about a sweet silence. He did not attempt to find fault with people who had gone mad with rage. All of us are moved. when we read or hear the Bengal atrocities. but leaders cannot afford to sit silent in grief. I can only show to you the way to die. have some courage. but you should all keep some patience." Bapu then turned to the atrocities against women. and trust in God. 21-11-1948. anxiety for the entire nation. He had felt the pulse of the distressed people. This was not a new experience. after participating in Ramdhun. and I am also preparing to go to Bengal. While explaining that. to sacrifice all that you have. What an amount of responsibility Jawaharlal is bearing today! He carries the burden of . If Members of Government feel convinced that the Bengal conflagration can be put down by their sacrifice. though our sisters in Bengal might keep with them knives for self-defence if necessary. the knives would be of no avail against crowds. Solid work and not mere slogans are essential on such occasions. and anger. His voice showed the deep sorrow of his heart.
Years passed. I went" abroad. Clad in his Kathiawadi dress he looked unimpressive and out of place in the midst of the frockcoated and top-hatted gentry who formed the bulk of the Congress members in those days. The non-cooperation movement launched by Gandhiji in 1920-21. He was hardly audible. and as students we discussed the happenings in India.' criticism. in particular Gandhiji's appeal to students to leave colleges. came in for.Hansa Mehta
THE first glimpse I had of Gandhiji was in December 1915 when he attended the session of the Indian National Congress held in Bombay:' He had returned from South Africa in the beginning of that year. and gave an account of the position of Indians in that country and the battles he had waged to improve it.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Since 1915 . Some of the
Shrimati Sarojini Naidu was there and introduced me to Gandhiji. At Gandhiji's bidding this visit of the Prince of Wales was to be boycotted.students who had left colleges in India came to England to join the universities there. and the Congress people.. I t was at one of his halts in a village that he called a special meeting of women whom he wished to harness in the service of the country. Women from all over the country were invited. Why boycott all foreign cloth and not British cloth only-that was a question in the
. . I. It I was a most pathetic scene. After his speech he invited questions in order to clarify and solve our difficulties if any. He spoke for an hour asking women to take up the picketing of foreign cloth shops and of liquor shops. resulted in a terrible clash in Bombay 'between the loyalists. He had different plans for women. I remember to have joined a batch of women from Bombay. Nobody knew when we would see him again. terrible tension in the country. and called this special meeting to explain them to those who were anxious to I serve. We had many questions to ask. When the news spread about his arrest there was. The boycott. mostly Parsis. Every day during the march he held crowded meetings of men and women to whom he explained the meaning of his movement. had reached Bombay. We were taken inside the prison walls where Gandhiji was sitting. I was moved to tears and could hardly speak or reply to questions he was asking. He sat on a raised platform under a huge tree bunyan or mango tree I forget which-and we all sat round him. for I always felt deeply moved . They waited for the Prince Of Wales to leave the shores of India before they arrested Gandhiji. In 1921.especially as the boycott was a great success. In 1930 his march to Dandi made history. Some of us had gone from Bombay. His face was I exultant with the joy of action. . I returned home and landed the very next day after the Prince of Wales. I remember to have written an article later f-or a paper in England under the caption "Peace of the Grave!" Gandhiji was removed to the Sabarmati Jail. This was the first time I met him face to face. There must have been something terribly pathetic about him. and people from all parts of the country poured in Ahmedabad to have a last darshan of him before he was thrown into prison or transported. and we could not understand this action on their part.in his Reference whenever I was with him. He sat talking and laughing while all those around him looked sad and miserable. later King Edward VIII. The Government of India was very much annoyed with Gandhiji.
He desired women to be brave and face all these difficulties. he pointed out that it was not the Congress who was responsible but those persons who in the name of
. He confessed to the failure of the Congress to instil this very essential quality into the people.throwing etc. I told him what had happened in 1942 when even school-children were asked to leave schools and engage themselves in activities like stone. who had done heroic deeds in the past and asked us to emulate them. He gave examples of women. He deplored the lack of discipline and lack of consideration shown by the people. He had come down from Panchagani. We were asked to begin with foreign cloth . first as much money violated the very principle of ahimsa on which our fight was passed. Gandhiji could not approve of these activities. However. How could women talk to such ruffians and persuade them not to drink? Gandhiji smiled his bewitching smile. He had a way with women and knew how to handle them. His persuasive powers were wonderful. Gandhiji explained that our fight was for principles. Did not women wish to see India free? How could they daunted by such imaginary fears? He won in the end as usual.minds of most of us. I then asked him if the Congress was not responsible for encouraging indiscipline among the young people. I remember when we had promised to do!
He always attracted large crowd wherever he went. and felt hurt at what had happened. To my question as to what he felt about this madness on the part of the people he said that he was not at all happy about it. Then came questions about picketing liquor shops. It was obvious to most of us that these men and women who came for his darshan came only to satisfy their religious hankering or out of curiosity. There were few among them who really understood his message or what he stood for. Swadeshi Dharma meant encouragement of all indigenous products and boycott of I foreign goods. and we agreed to do the picketing. they might attack them. I wished to know how he felt about these crowds.. British goods and other foreign goods came under the same category. and on his way had met with such big crowds at Wai that it was with great difficulty that he could get away. and we should not single out British goods only. How could women do it? These liquor shops were frequented by low people. They might insult women. We were travelling in the same compartment from Poona to Bombay.
He propounded the theory that a man must work in order to earn his food. At Kalyan where we got down there was a large crowd waiting.
. He looked tired and exhausted and had to stop now and again for breath. I expected to see him resting in bed after his ordeal but was very much surprised to see him sitting and spinning. But he was adamant. i. After the fitful fever of life I he slept well. The last time I saw Gandhiji alive was on the day he broke his last fast. 20th January 1948. He agreed that they were exploiting the name of the Congress to achieve their own end. 14-9-1948. We all tried to persuade him to rest and put aside this I self-imposed task in view of his utter exhaustion. His face did not betray the violent end he had met with.the Congress were carrying on such activities. and yet he insisted on finishing his allotted work. In reply to our importunities he merely I smiled the smile of a naughty child as much as to say that we were wasting our breath.e. And since he had started taking his food that day he must also start working!
A few days later when I entered that same room again I saw him lying in bed taking his last rest. What could one feel but moved to the very depths of one's heart in the presence of such peace. It was I beautifully calm and serene. the supreme triumph of an enlightened soul? Baroda. and in spite of all precautions Gandhiji was nearly crushed that day and was rescued from his worshippers and admirers with great difficulty.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi How He Taught Through Letters . where I was a teacher at a Government college.Margarete Spiegel
SINCE a very young age I was interested in India. and then read all the books by and about him which were available in the State Library at Berlin. In Germany there used to be no prescribed textbooks for higher classes. so I chose a German school-edition of Gandhiji's speeches and
. Rabindranath Tagore was my favourite author. Through Romain Rolland's book I came to know of Gandhiji. Living in Germany during the first World War. I was drawn towards pacifism.
you served the whole of it. The adoption should be an addition both to your name and to your strength. which said: "I must continue to dictate.writings for a class I was preparing in English for the University entrance examination. in as much as you rendered this selfless service to down-trodden humanity. can be finer than that we should all add on the virtues of our own nations to those of others? Why was there a struggle to choose between Gurudev [R. e. You are entitled to call yourself an Indian. and what . In reply to a letter written on my way back home. In order to study the Gandhi movement I got leave to visit India for two months in 1932. I was glad that you were at the Ashram and were able to take actual part in the service of the Harijans." He wrote another letter only two days later. i. since you have felt like one from your childhood. Gurudev occupies a throne which belongs to him by sheer merit. Next time we meet. You were quite right in giving up spinning 'ropes' as you were doing. you are not going to be 'awed' by me. After travelling over several parts of India I stayed as a guest at the Sabarmati Ashram for three days. on the 14th of January. but that is not a substitute for your' German birth. He scolded me for having given up vegetarianism because it was troublesome during my journeys. God has blessed you with many other gifts. I have none
. Tagore] and myself? We are no competitors. if we do. In December 1932 I saw Gandhiji for the first time sitting under a mango tree in the Yeravda jail. and in my opinion. taking part in all Ashram activities. I would certainly have advised you to continue to spin not cotton but wool. he wrote on 12th January 1933: "I had your love letter from your ship. if you are to be a daughter to me. and I again became a vegetarian. but perhaps you have no talent for such work. If you could have learnt the art properly. Do not hesitate to write to me whenever you feel like it. and it is well with you so long as you use them for the service of mankind including of course your dear mother.
You should tell me also. But you must also realise that it is a hard yoke to bear. You have plenty of years before you. Of course you are like Lakshmi to me or Mira. You must now begin to tell me something about your children and the many things that you teach them and how you teach them. They will. therefore. You should not think of coming here in the hope of getting a professorship or something of that kind so as to enable you to support your mother." .of the gifts that he has. If you have at all imbibed the central truth of the Gita. Go through the necessary training. and as years roll on. Surely it is possible for you to love India even from where you are and to do many acts of service. and what is more. therefore." He wrote again on the 17th of February: "I hope you have been receiving all my letters. I would have you.
The next letter is dated the 2nd of March: "You are sending me letters regularly. if you would be a real daughter like Mira. You don't think that these things will not interest me. No more. You will only come when the way is perfectly clear for you. You should hold on to your savings. it will tell you that this kind of wish has to be subjugated and sublimated into pure action which for you consists in doing your duty there. and we understand also each other better and better. what you would do to and for the Ashram children. if you had then under your charge." And the next one the 1-7th of the same month: "Why do you want to come here for three days or at the most for a fortnight? [during 5 weeks' summer vacations. keep India your goal. to say that you like us both equally for. we dearly love each other. you should send them here for the
. and some day you will gravitate here. whatever gifts God has bestowed on us. as a teacher. because they might be of use for the Ashram children. our love becomes stronger. But you are telling me nothing except about myself. and if you cannot restrain yourself from spending them somehow. of choice-making.
he wrote a long letter. and the majority have admitted that a bloodless diet is necessary for full spiritual enlightenment. I read it during odd moments in two days. They have never been taught to attach the slightest value to it. I shall be now eagerly waiting for your letters to know your fate. your summary dismissal of the question of food does not mean that the solution is as easy as you fancy it is for you [giving up meat-eating]. Whilst it need not be given undue importance. Mahadev has been receiving your letters. you can take the palm for economy. The experience of the sages of the world shows that they have given importance-some more and some less-to it. and 1 have now your notes from your pupils' papers [essays on Gandhiji]. I do not wonder. though you must remember the old proverb that 'one swallow does not make a summer. What worries me is the time
." His next letter is dated the 10th of March: "I receive your letters regularly. Of course you are not going to be upset if you are turned out as a I Jewess. And for that reason. and as it was quite a booklet." A week later. on the 24th. You need not worry over the poor comprehension that your girls have shown of ahimsa. and he has got your booklet too. If you will have it so. evidently in reply to one from me: "Your letters continue to 'come with clock-work regularity. As I had heard of Parsifal. and probably they have been taught to despise it. They make very interesting reading. There is no response to ahimsa from the atmosphere. and 1 liked it very much. You cannot expect them all of a sudden to understand the value of ahimsa in an atmosphere so hostile as yours. I do hope you got all my previous letters as also the Ranjan which is being posted to you every week.Harijan cause. it is a gross error to think that food has nothing to do with a person's moral or even physical growth.
it is not positively harmful." Again he wrote on the 13th of April: "Your letter of 20th March is disturbing. All haste must be deprecated.point-and that is the only one I am sure which you want to apply to yourself-your coming will be justified only when you are ready for the Ashram life. out of employment and have to be ill search of one. 1 hope you have had my letters that I have been sending you not quite every week but fairly regularly. If you are thrown. Everything done in a hurry generally proves unsatisfactory. 1 wish. remain there by your mother's side and live the Ashram life there. when. I hope you are now satisfied that the work you may be doing there is also my work inasmuch as you are observing the rules of the Ashram and doing your work purely from a spirit of service. and if you have imbibed the fundamentals of the Ashram life. and stayed in Poona for some time. but he was adamant. I was dismissed from the Government College in Berlin for being a Jewess. As the Jews were deprived of their passports. so that if God wills dt. On the same day (10th May) I got the following little note from him:
.you have spent Over the translation and copying. therefore. to get a job should not have been written. In May he began a fast for 21 days. the whole of yourself." This letter was redirected to me to the boat for India. you have to courageously stand by your people and suffer the hardships that they will have to suffer. He will send you some day to. you would give up the idea of the job. therefore. From Venice I wrote to Bapu that I was coming. I had evidently not understood the science of satyagraha well. and 1 have no doubt that so long as your mother lives. You do not want a job ill India. and after landing in Bombay I went straight to Yeravda jail. the Ashram. I left for Venice on April 2nd and waited there for twelve days for the next boat to India. 1933. seeing him almost daily in the prison. All your letters to 24 people ill India. you might even render inestimable help to them. Your immediate duty is to be by your mother's side. for I started a fast in order to make him give up his. your duty is to be by her side. On April 1st. to India. That clearly you are not. and I gave up my fast after two days. From the highest stand. You cannot risk bringi11g her to India. but you want to give your free service.
he went from Poona to Wardha in the last week of September. You should come and see me when you feel like it Love. If Judaism does not satisfy you. Do you suppose that they were living with me?" After his release from prison in August 1933. I am sure you understand this very simple truth." The next one was dated the 15th of March: "It is just now 12-40 a. went off at 12 midnight. no other faith will give you satisfaction for any length of time.m. There were many prisoners occupying the same yard. Now be good. I would advise you to remain a Jewess and appropriate the good of other faiths. You are forgiven. living and the only reality prevailing all. That many' Hindus are callous to the sufferings of animals is but too true. as grown-ups from reason. You will grow to faith in time." He then sent me to the Ashram at Sabarmati. him there till he started on the Harijan tour on 7th November. and I had the good fortune to stay with. 1934. I am attending to arrears at an affected place in Bihar.m. You were too decent to persist in your folly.where in South India: "If you don't believe in God as a permanent. 1933:
"You are with me when you are at the Ashram doing the Ashram work. As children we derive belief from parents. because I believe you to be a seeker. His next letter is dated 28th February. and because you have faith in one who believes in God. It is a mark of degradation and lifelessness of the religious spirit."I am glad you have broken your fast."
. and then we have faith or become sceptics. The belief comes to a certain extent through reason and finally through faith. and gave me my Indian name-Amala. The alarm that should have gone off at 2-30 a. At Sabarmati I got the following letter from him dated June 6th. written from some. You don't need to be a Hindu but a true Jewess. naturally you 'cannot feel Him while praying or in the earthquake.
in Orissa: "My condolence on the loss of your companion. 1934. You should not be anxious about me. They do not realise that mere refraining from killing is not enough. You are right in thinking that those round you don't act up to the principle they profess. It is necessary to show active sympathy for sufferers. The march will do me good. I am certainly keeping well. written while he was on a walking tour. 22-3-1948.
Baroda. the squirrel.And yet the next one is dated the 22nd of May.
fallen.Jack C." said Charlie. thoroughly crest.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Four Anecdotes . Winslow
One characteristic incident of that visit remains with me. and Charlie was telling me about an article he had just written for the Manchester Guardian about the satyagraha movement then in progress in Travancore. Charlie and. "I'll just go and show it to Bapu. "before I send it off. In glowing terms he had described how all eyes were now concentrated on this wonderful movement and no one was interested any longer in the proposed Government reforms. which Charlie Andrews sometimes." said' Charlie. "Bapu said: Charlie. but it isn't true!" With all Bapu's idea's went a strong strain of realism. "Oh.
. lacked." Presently he returned.I had left Bapu lying on the verandah. "What did Bapu think of it?" I asked. it's what you'd like to be true.
A few days later. I went again to see him." While at Oxford. and. At the end of his address an opportunity for questions was given. commented a little scornfully that he could not under. Bapu lifted a warning hand and said: "Mind the branch!" 'With visitors coming all day.ed. "If you cannot understand. as I approached. greeted with delighted laughter.
. I will take you step by step. it was amazing that he could remember so trivial a matter concerning one unimportant person!
When landing from the steamer on his way. 26-9-1948. slightly swollen-headed through having recently been made a Fellow of All Souls. "that your plus fours are quite as amusing as my minus fours. The latter. I struck my head on an overhanging bough. commented playfully on the scantiness of his attire in view of the rigours of the English climate. as I approach. he was approached by a newspaperman desiring an interview. Lynton. in the course of conversation. to London for the Round Table Conference. Bapu smiled at him and replied in the politest manner." replied the Mahatma with a smile.stand how Mr."-a remark which the entire company. I went to see him in the prison at Yeravda.During the fast which Bapu undertook for the alteration of the 'Communal Award' for the Harijans. Gandhi could possibly reconcile two particular statements which he had made. He was lying on a cot in the open court under a tree. A young don. and. "It seems to me. Bapu was invited by the Master of Balliol to speak to a number of Oxford dons at his college.
and wrote out the story of the British exploiting India through their taxation policy in the form of an essay.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Lessons From His Life . and I was urged to submit the manuscript to him first. The person who was responsible for this suggestion was very persistent about my getting into touch with Gandhiji. I went in European clothes up the staircase.J. I was then practising as an Auditor in Bombay. Gandhiji was passing through Bombay towards the end of April that year after his South Indian tour. at was hardly associated with any definite ideas. I was directed to go and see Gandhiji at Mani Bhavan. and the door was answered by someone
. Laburnum Road. Kumarappa
1. I was negotiating with some of the publishers in India in this regard when I was told that the subject was one in which Gandhiji would be intensely interested. It was suggested that I should publish this. OUR MEETING
IN the year 1929 I returned from the United States where I had made a study of public finance. At that time Gandhi was merely a name to me. C. which was his usual Bombay residence at that time. Gamdevi.
So I. more or less in a reclining position. and when he nodded I promptly sat down on the cow-dunged floor regardless of the well-kept crease of my silk trousers! Seeing me sitting without stretched legs.m. With a walking stick in one hand and the manuscript in the other I walked down the bank of the Sabarmati at about 2 p. I saw an old man seated under a tree on a neatly cleaned cow-dunged floor. and marking that the person who was talking to me was able to speak good English. 1929 at 2-30 p. The house where Gandhiji stayed was pointed out to me. my appointment being in the afternoon. I asked him if I could see Gandhiji. and suggested that I see him at Sabarmati on the 9th of May. and I was told that was the place where I should report myself at the appointed time. I reached Sabarmati accordingly that morning. (This person later turned out to be Gandhiji's Secretary Pyarelal. I replied that since he was seated on the floor I did not propose to take the chair.whom I took to be a servant clad in dhoti and shirts. It was devoid of all furniture excepting a charpai. walked up the bank again towards Gandhiji's house. and thinking he might be worthy of taking a message. It suddenly dawned on me that my questioner might be no other than Mahatma Gandhi. room. Squatting toilet arrangements further made me anxious to get away from the place at the earliest moment. spinning. I had taken my manuscript with me. On the way up. I anxiously waited to get it over.) . With these personal difficulties. someone from the house came rushing down with a chair for me. asked him if he was Gandhiji. I leaned on my walking stick and standing akimbo was watching. and went to the Ashram where I was horrified at the emptiness of the 80 called guest room. in my turn. though glorified by the designation of a guest. Pyarelal telephoned to my office address later to say that Gandhiji would want to see me in Ahmedabad after he had had a look at the essay.. I left the manuscript with him and asked him to give it to Gandhiji. Having never seen a spinning wheel before. and with a smile on his face enquired if I was Kumarappa.
. This old man after about five minutes opened his toothless lips.m. and I was told that Gandhiji was busy in a Working Committee meeting. and Gandhiji asked me to get up and sit in the chair more comfortably. as there were still ten minutes for the appointment. and that he would not be able to see me just then.. and after enjoying the beauty of the bed of the river.
." And he succeeded in doing so. but he quickly got over that by saying that he would place the professors of economics of the Gujarat Vidyapith with all their students at my disposal to help me with the survey. My writings in Young India ultimately landed me in jail. Gandhiji started off on the Dandi march as the first stage of the salt satyagraha. On the other hand. I got into a huff and. the moment I saw you I felt here is a I young man I must grab. Seeing that I was a young man dressed in the most fashionable Western style.) While I was doing the survey later. after which it became impossible for me to go back to resume my practice as an auditor in Bombay. Then he enquired if I would undertake a rural survey for him in Gujarat. in the course of a conversation on the study of characters. referred to this incident and said: "You remember Kakasaheb} was not able to size you up when he first met you. and after his arrest the trustees of the Navajivan Trust invited me to conduct the paper Young India in the absence of Gandhiji and Mahadev Desai. returned to Bombay. even without taking leave of Gandhiji. and he made my ignorance of Gujarati to be a great handicap and discouraged me. and suggested that I go and see the Vice-Chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapith. as the later events proved. By return post I got 'back a letter from Kakasaheb to say that he would be most happy if I would go back and do the work that Gandhiji wanted. as a great many of my clients were European and Parsi firms who would not tolerate a man with Gandhian sympathies. Gandhiji informed me. Kakasaheb did not feel that I would fit into the sort of work that Gandhiji wanted me to do. and wrote to him that I should be glad to help him with any work that he wanted done. and that I was about the first student of economics he had come across with that same view point. was the very person who came running down the steps' with a chair for me!
In the afternoon I went to the Gujarat Vidyapith to see Kaka Kalelkar. and that he proposed to publish that in a series in his journal Young India. and reported that Kakasaheb did not feel that I could be of any Use. Kaka Kalelkar.Gandhiji told me that he was interested in the essay I had written. (Years later Gandhiji. who. as he found that the approach that I had to economics was almost exactly the same as his. I raised the difficulty of language. It was after this that I threw in my lot with Gandhiji.
To discuss this matter he invited me to meet him at Karadi where he was camping then. and asked him to spare me from doing any writing work. If you write any trash. I. But if you write anything that is appreciated. have to sit in judgment and not you. We have the tradition of publishing the name of the writer under each article. I invite you to write to this paper. (It may here be stated that as the events came about. Gandhiji wished them. Then Gandhiji replied: "As regards your qualifications to write. It was then I promised Gandhiji that I would send some articles as soon as I heard that he had been arrested. In my own 'efficient' way I had prepared a foreword for him. to be collected together in the form of a pamphlet. wished me to help Mahadevbhai. and. He informed me that the arrangement was that when he was arrested Mahadev Desai was to take over charge and he. and if there was any work in that line I would gladly undertake. the Editor of the paper. neither did I know how to . therefore.
. occupy a journalistic chair! I told him that I understood auditing dusty ledgers much better. I replied that I knew nothing about Gandhian philosophy nor what had gone before in Young India. and took it all typewritten and ready for him to sign! Gandhiji looked at it and smiled and put it aside saying: "My foreword will be my foreword and will not be written by Kumarappa.2. the public will Say Mahatma Gandhi's paper publishes trash. therefore. AN UNANSWERABLE APPEAL
When Gandhiji was on the Dandi March my articles on 'Public Finance and our Poverty' were published in a series. and I desired that it should bear a foreword from Gandhiji. Mahadevbhai was arrested before Gandhiji.) This incident indicates the masterly way in which Gandhiji makes his appeal irresistible. they will give all credit to this Kumarappa who is writing in Gandhiji's paper." This presentation of the appeal was irresistible. and later when Gandhiji was arrested I was required not only to contribute articles to Young India but to take up its editorial charge." He then said he had called me there not to discuss the question of the foreword but to ask if I would write regularly for his paper Young India when he was arrested.
When he finds danger coming ahead he immediately brings the ludicrous into play. "Kumarappa. POT . . leaving Gandhiji bewildered at the quickness of her action. One. telling Gandhiji that this was no work for a person like him.WASHING
Gandhiji's sense of humour often saves the temper of people around him. of our rules at that time was that everyone should take part in all our daily activities. near the well. One day it fell to Gandhiji's lot to clean the kitchen pots: I was his partner. So we both sat down together. So you will excuse me if I go away leaving her to partner your washing of the kitchen pots!"
. and that he ought to be engaged in better work. She could not tolerate the sight of the great Mahatma with his hands up to the elbow in dirt. You have no wife to rule you this way. With the cocoanut fibre in one hand and the other hand all full of dirt. and.3. Kasturba Gandhi appeared on the scene. with cocoanut fibre in our hands. you are a happy man. snatched off the dekchi from his hands. She watched him for a few minutes and burst out in Gujarati. and ashes and mud by our side. Suddenly. and thus glances off at a tangent and avoids friction. leaving the work to be done by others. In a rage she asked him to get up and go away. saying: . and we were scrubbing the black stuff off. This included washing of heavy kitchen utensils coated with soot and dirt. However. he looked at me with open mouth and laughed.so as to be on the spot to guide the policy of the Association. I suppose I have to obey my wife to keep domestic peace. swiftly suiting her action to her words. When the All India Village Industries Association was formed Gandhiji came to live with us at Maganvadi .
obtain their own supply of petrol for themselves. When this was reported to Gandhiji he was a little puzzled. him as a result of his greatness. I told Mahadevbhai that I was not prepared to feed Gandhiji and his group. would cost much more than the daily provision we had made for the volunteers. and required sanction for every trip that the cars made. Gandhiji's milk. Again. time when used. During the relief work in Bihar. Naturally all these restrictions caused a certain amount of dissatisfaction. That being so I fail to see why you should not debit my expenses to the Relief Committee. by whom used. He sent for me and said: "I am coming all the way to Patna to help with the relief work. It is my one and only object in coming to' Patna. In order to check a tendency to be extravagant and spend much on the upkeep of volunteers and their expenses.in Patna for a tour in Bihar. Consequently." I explained to him my delicate position where I was faced on one side with checking the expenses of thousands of volunteers. this alone brings us the so-called 'power' over our fellow-men. When Gandhiji came I suggested to Mahadevbhai that they should. after the earthquake of 1934. It became a little embarrassing when Gandhiji with his entourage arrived.4. Power so obtained is a responsibility rather . fruit and the various requirements of his entourage. It should make us cautious in using that power. I myself was eating in the volunteers' camp on this basis. I had made a rule that the daily allowance for food of volunteers should not exceed three annas. HUMILITY AND DISCPLINE
The greatness of a man does not consist in the power he wields to control the life of others. The real greatness comes in the personal humility of the individual and selfdiscipline imposed on himself. Later Gandhiji arrived . therefore. I was functioning as the financial adviser of the Bihar Central Relief Committee.than a privilege. and disallowed Gandhiji's bills in regard to food and motor car travel. which called for provision of dates and nuts and other articles of food which would ordinarily be regarded as luxuries. I had a strict register kept recording the mileage of the cars. and. though it may result in such powers being granted to. Even an increase of an anna
. Gandhiji's life is full of incidents which show the great humility and the iron discipline he imposes on himself.
and.per day would involve the Relief Committee in lacs of rupees in the course of our work and. Gandhiji thanked me for drawing his attention to the rules of the Association and said that his memory had failed him. if we wish to forge ahead with the development of our country . I pointed out that my life-work was connected with the Village Industries Association. even though his rights arising out of duty done would have given him the right to claim for the expenses incurred in the execution of his work. of which I was the Secretary. required us not to take part in politics. thus in a sense giving roe his approval to take up the membership of the Working Committee. I immediately replied and said that one of the rules of the All India Village Industries Association. He had written this after seeing the reports in the newspapers. responsibility that had been placed on me. taking into consideration the difficulties of those who are engaged in the field work. Gandhiji wrote to me.
. saying that he would be happy to watch my career in this new. early in 1947. Here again we see his greatness. I should give up my connection with the Association according to our rules. and if I had to join the Working Committee.mission to rules requires a great deal of humility and wise understanding of the situation. Similarly. He was willing to subject himself to the discipline that the administration called for. and told Mahadevbhai that not a pice was to be charged to the Bihar Relief on his account. therefore. This mode of sub. we had to resign from the All India Village Industries Association. Gandhiji appreciated my point. though he was the President of the Association. when I was invited by the Congress President to become a member of his Working Committee. in regard to this rule and that the rule was a wholesome one and we must respect it at all costs. I suggested that Gandhiji should bear his own expenses so that they would not stand in contrast to the austere life I was suggesting to the volunteers and would also check the extravagant use of motor travel. therefore. he undertook to advise the Congress President not to saddle me with this additional responsibility's . and if we wished to do so. but in spite of the needs in other fields we must resist the temptation and confine ourselves to the work before us. He definitely said that it was an alluring offer.
prove to be futile. remained on the Committee for about three
. the then President of the Indian National Congress. academic economists. Then you. It will develop you and widen your range of view. CO-OPERATION OF SATYAGRAHIS
When the National Planning Committee was formed in 1938 by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. therefore. The time that you spend in trying to satisfy yourself and your fellow-members will not be' wasted. and it will then become your duty to resign and not to waste your. and business magnates. but though we may be innocent as doves. and. you can always resign and come away. You must give your opponent the fullest chance. I declined to go and waste my time in endless discussions which would bear no fruit." To this Gandhiji replied: "This is not the approach of a satyagrahi. and we' should not attempt the impossible. On tills Panditji wired to Gandhiji asking him to use his influence in sending me to Bombay. therefore. In a group of this nature I felt that all efforts would result in nothing and. as I found in: it all kinds of heterogeneous elements. Gandhiji explained that it was inconsistent with the principles of satyagraha to prejudge our colleagues." With this advice I went and worked with the National Planning Committee. and when the time comes that your position in the committee will not serve any purpose. Knowing the personnel as I do. can with a clean conscience resign. men of the world. Having done your part in good faith you will have done your duty. with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as Chairman. I feel that it would be merely dashing one's head against a wall. I suggest that you go and attend the committee meetings until such time when your work would. and. and come away.spent in merely trying to fence with the other interests.5. I pointed out the reasons why I felt my time would be ill. we have also got to be wise as serpents. He said: "Why do you think that you will not be able to persuade the whole committee to accept your policy? This shows a lack of faith in yourself and in your colleagues that they will be open-minded enough to listen to you!" I replied: "The view may be strictly correct. time. I was asked to contribute my share as a member of that Committee. It included practical industrialists. laboratory scientists. Gandhiji called me for an interview to discuss this subject. Pandit Nehru invited me to attend its deliberations in Bombay. Looking at the personnel of the Committee I was doubtful of any good results.
After this examination all that they could declare was that they could find nothing wrong organically. I was taken to Bombay to be examined by some of the best doctors. finding that they were driven into all forms of discussions which would not benefit the country. the reason for the malady was to be ascertained. He immediately set about finding the cause of even that nervous strain. He brings to bear on the case before him profound wisdom and commonsense which often outwit the technical advantages that the professionals have." He thought the cause might be either physical fatigue or mental tiredness. With this report I came back to Gandhiji. able to treat the disease or prevent its recurring. who had come to discuss certain difficulties with Gandhiji. Lahore. This shows that the duty of a Satyagrahi is limitless in regard to extending co-operation to whosoever calls for it. Afterwards. and it is wrong for one who wishes to lead the life of a Satyagrahi to prejudge anybody. I got Gandhiji's permission to resign and get away. and therefore he wanted to locate the actual difficulty with me. and I was at the mercy of the specialists for three or four days. THE DOCTOR
The kaleidoscopic variety of activities that Gandhiji indulges in cover practically all professions.
. and therefore by the process of elimination they decided that my blood pressure was due to nervous strain. I was thoroughly 'overhauled'. At that time there was a professor from the Kinnaird College. He said: "We have to trace the cause of the strain. He calls himself a quack where the medical profession is concerned.
6.months. and his contributions are by no means mean. He sent her to discuss some of these with me. Some years ago when it was discovered that I was suffering from blood pressure. but it has not yet been decided whether the professionals are quacks or Gandhiji.
Combining this with a regulation of the diet so that digestion and brain work do not. In the same way his approach to the various ailments is both simple and efficacious. and have followed his instructions carefully for the last seven years. and directed that my blood pressure should be taken before and after. You may work in the morning till 11 or 12 and take a complete relaxation for about a couple of hours before you begin to work again in the afternoon.and instructed Dr. The result showed that my blood pressure went up by 15 points. The next day Gandhiji called the manager of the workshop and asked him to draw a line on a plank of wood and get me to saw it exactly on that line. The discussion was limited to a period of fifteen minutes. and his attempt is to
. go together." I took Gandhiji's treatment as being scientific both in regard to diagnosis and in regard to treatment. you should be able to control your blood pressure more or less completely. He looks upon disease as caused by man's deviation from Nature's ways.
With these three results before Gandhiji he said he was fairly positive that my blood pressure was due to concentrated work of the brain and not physical fatigue. As regards mental strain. The third day the physical instructor was asked to run a furlong with me and observe. He said to me: "Whenever you get symptoms of blood pressure you have simply to walk it off. The result this time was a fall of 15 points. and the pulse remained more or less normal. The result again was a rise in blood pressure of 20 points this time. my pulse and also have my blood pressure taken before and after the exercise. to prevent its accumulation you should relax between your periods of work. with the result that excepting when this regime is upset by unforeseen circumstances the plan has worked satisfactorily. and the results also showed the way of cure and prevention. Sushila Nayyar to take my blood pressure both before the discussion and after it.
and I shall consider how best to utilize him. and little by little in the course of a few months he was almost normal. Even the washing -of vegetables was a difficult process for him to begin with. He sat down on the steps and remained there from morning till evening. Vitus' dance which is a nervous disorder (choria) making the sufferer unable to control the shaking of his hands and feet. He was able to develop in the young man will power sufficient to over. THE COMPASSIONATE
A few years ago when he was staying at Maganvadi a young man about 17 or 18 years of age appeared before him suffering from St. One of Gandhiji's party reported to him in the evening that the young man was still sitting at the door-step. Gandhiji told him that it was impossible for him.bring back our life into alignment with the requirements of Nature. as he was situated. to take charge of every disabled person. and he was put on by Gandhiji to do some work which the shaking of his hands and feet would not prevent him from doing reasonably satisfactorily. Gandhiji turned round and said: "If I turn him away. Of course he could not card or spin. This was done by sympathetic understanding of the individual's case and dealing with him gently.where for shelter. Later on he started cutting the vegetables and handling the knife. He was then well enough to go to America for technical studies With the all-pervading love Gandhiji. whom will he go to? Let him stay. So he requested Gandhiji to let him stay with him. and suggested that he should be sent away. and would not go away under any circumstances. but he was asked to wash vegetables and help in the kitchen work as far as possible. But the young man was adamant. The young man said to Gandhiji that he found life heavy on him as he was unable to be of any use to anybody." The result was. This should be the aim of every physician. the young man stayed.come the lack of control of his nerves. By will power the boy was able to control his limbs to a certain extent. and therefore he must seek else.
7. elicits the capacity in an individual to the best advantage.
Miras. You must allow for the chilies in his blood!"
9.He exploits the good points in each to the fullest on the principle "he that is not against us is for us. So he started taking about ten tolas of neem leaves ground down to a paste. without waiting 10 mould. This accounts for the range of variety of men and women who cluster round the Mahatma. The Sardar was watching this parental act."
8. some overzealous person who was anxious to attain non-violence. Birlas and Vinobas. word and deed. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. he took out a spoonful and placed it for me on my 'thali'. One day at the midday meal I was seated to Gandhiji's right and Sardar Vallabhbhai to his left. Gandhiji replied with a smile: . the person according to his own specifications." When I was in editorial charge of Y Dung India.
. "Kumarappa comes from Madras. Then he winked at me cynically and said: "You' see. in thought. suggested that my language of criticism was very severe. JUST AS I AM
One of the features that makes Gandhiji great is his ability to accept everyone just as they come to him. At Maganvadi' we have a number of neem trees. to find the effect it has on health. . in his own fashion. Of course his leaven works slowly and secretly as in a mass of dough. and that Gandhiji should ask me to tone down. reminded me of the invitation given by' Jesus: "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. as he would have nowhere else to go. Rajajis and Bhansalis. He is ever experimenting though not in an elaborately equipped laboratory. As Gandhiji was going to gormandize on 'the neem chutney'. He believes in letting each person express his personality in the best way suitable t() the individual. THE INDEFATIGABLE EXPERIMENTER
No scientist has a greater thirst for knowledge than Gandhiji.Gandhiji's decision to let the young man stay. in a hurry. Changes in his food are often dictated by the desire to find out something new. You have Rajen Babus and Sardars. Sarojinis and.
evolved experiment in welding people together into an humble instrument in the hands of the Power "other than ourselves".
Reminiscences Of Gandhi A Glimpse Of Gandhiji .Gurdial Mallik
My memory goes back to the year 1921 when Gandhiji visited Karachi in the course of his lightning tour round the country in connection with his newly. Bapu started with drinking goat's milk. with public engagements of all sorts. and now he has come to goat's food!"
Calcutta. he had condescended to come for a few minutes to the
. packed . and "that makes for righteousness-an experiment incorrectly characterized as the non-cooperation movement. In spite of his unusually heavy programme. 24-12-1947.Kumarappa.
like to translate it here: O Lord. and in it Thou dwellest everywhere.night school for labourers with which I was associated as one of the workers. The market-place is crowded with people. At the scheduled time we began our evening routine with a couple of songs-one of an unknown mystic of Sindh. but the breath animating them all art Thou. As the former has since become a great favourite of 'Gandhiji. and 'the other of the well-known mystic of Rajputana. but at the helm of his life art Thou. but the moon among them art Thou. . We were so absorbed in the congregational singing that we did not notice when on tiptoe Gandhiji and his party had walked into the specious compound of the school and stood in
. and is also one which he has generally asked me to sing to him whenever I have met him afterwards. but their liege and lord art Thou. Thy house (this world) is wonderful. Mirabai. The temples are installed with innumerable images. The sky is studded with stars. That boatman sits at the helm.
The river is aswaying with waves. I would . but through them all art mirrored forth Thou.
a corner. rich in re-orientating radiance. Gandhiji had surveyed the whole scene. said to him: "All that you have written could be boiled down to only four lines. at Lahore. of an impetuous youth. And SO one of them. So I waited outside in prayerful patience. Gandhiji had drafted a certain statement. "I am sorry. the door was opened. after about three hours.away. and I shall sign it straight. It was on an errand of Deenbandhu C. listening silently to the song." he rejoined with the disarming courtesy of the truly great. in the scorching heat of purblind passion in a particular place during the martial law' regime. It was in Bombay. "You see. streaked with cynicism. Andxews. One day I went to see him at the house of his hostess. while criticising something what
." And then he went away to fulfill another important engagement. F. no sooner was the song over than. However. "Were you waiting long?" he asked me affectionately. and was in the midst of writing a report of the horrible happenings of the recent past. I was trying to hit upon the right word in a sentence describing what a certain party had done. I then requested him to say a few words to the students. referring to it." The young critic was at once taken aback. haunts me till this day like the aroma of my own mother's love. I found the door of his apartment shut. during 1945. spotting him. we all rose to our feet to do him reverence." And yet one more reminiscence of Gandhiji have I in my limited repertory which I should very much like to relate. At long last. Shrimati Sarladevi Chaudharani. "Rather." I answered with the individualized indifference. I went in. Then Gandhiji reminded all those present of the observation :made by some wise person in the past that. which was considered rather long by some of the members of his entourage." Whereupon Gandhiji remarked: "Is that so? Then please bring the abridged version. It was after the prolonged dark night of fear and frustration in the Punjab had just begun to be touched with the light of dawn. Another memory of Gandhiji. He replied: "What I would have said has been conveyed to you all through the song.
the critic should De ready simultaneously with something constructive that could take its place. 6-12-1945.another has done.
to me. and so on. Others also do this. but when he is alone. By this I do not mean the fact that he gets up at 4 or 3. the richest and profoundest is the everrecurring incident of his daily-life.Mirabehn
OF all the incidents in Bapu's long career. I know nothing more exquisitely gentle than the touch
. has prayers twice a day.30 in the morning. Not when he is meeting people and carrying on discussions. Whenever I am with Bapu I love to sit near him in silence for a while each day. eats unspiced food. It is the way he does everything.Reminiscences Of Gandhi His Daily Life .
Such times are for me infinitely precious. some misfortune happened to his last one. This he gently opens and extracts an envelope. The ink-pot is one of Bapu's little patents. carefully I collected from the !blank page$ on the backs of letters and other communications which come In endless numbers by each post. slips into it the written sheet. I watch Bapu is absorbed in his thoughts. because he extracts a number of odd sheets. It is now about 3 inches broad and 5 inches long. places them by the side of his pillow. kept for outgoing letters. Bapu begins to write.of Bapu's hand. with writing on one side. and in one or two minutes he is fast asleep. and filled with a profound teaching which could never be conveyed in words. and consists of a tiny balm bottle fixed in a wooden stand which also carries pen and pencils. There is a little khadi case with stationery in it. keep off the flies. and puts it into a little basket. Again he turns to the khadi stationery case. look appears on his countenance. for a concentrated. but unused on the other. Before the article is finished he begins to feel sleepy. infinitely sweet. The "pusti" sheets are carefully put on one side. and nothing is wasted.
. it is yet bigger than he requires for his concise communications. The post card is now finished and slipped into the basket. probably on some burnirig problem of the day. sitting near his head.a11 he needs to say. and on this he writes . and I am never tired of watching him handling his writing work. He removes his glasses. The pen is laid in the stand. and Bapu turns and lies down on his gaddi. He softly takes a piece of paper to write a letter. It is not a fountain pen which he is using. and breathing as peacefully as a little chilld. Nothing is ruffled or damaged by. even stern. These are his "pusti" sheets. Again he looks for something. his bands. The next communication" is evidently to !be still shorter. Though small. I take up a handkerchief and. so he carefully folds it. The article seems to be of a serious nature. The little old tin screw top of the balm bottle Bapu most delicately puts off and on every time he uses his "ink-stand". and the tiny tin top is placed on the balm bottle. and he takes up a post card. and then divides it 41 two. addresses it. It is evidently an article that he is going to write. since when he writes with an ordinary nib" and holder.
so some. "Do you expect me to be satisfied with somebody else's stump?" he said." said Bapu. and at last the little stump was found and triumphantly brought to Bapu.On one such occasion. It could not be found anywhere." So somebody brought him another stump. would you be satisfied if somebody brought you another child and said. he could not find his pencil. "Supposing you had lost your child. A whisper went round that Bapuji was hunting' for his pencil.).body brought him a new pencil.little stump.P. a little stump which he had been cherishing. 'take this one instead'?" After that a desperate hunt was made. when I was sitting near Bapu. Pashulok (U. who received it with a beaming smile. Members of the staff began to search about. in the whole world. 24-1-1948
. "I want my . and that is the few square feet containing Bapu's gaddi and little writing desk. "No. There is only one real Gandhi Ashram.
This is what keeps me going. and so long as He guides my footsteps."
. Therefore they are sceptical when they hear 'that Gandhiji never misses an opportunity to crack a joke and have a good laugh. "If I had no sense of humour.. "How can he possibly laugh and joke when he is carrying such a heavy burden on his shoulders?" ask others. Gandhiji's reply is that he is able to shoulder the burden because of' his ability to laugh under all circumstances." he said to a friend recently.Sushila Nayyar
MANY people seem to think that a sense of humour is . But I have a living faith in God. I do not care what people say about me. I take it lightly and can laugh even with those who laugh at me. incompatible with a serious or religious bent of mind.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Light And Shade . "the attacks that I have had to face would have killed me long ago.
After her departure for Rajkot he was disconsolate and cried for 'Motiba' (Grandmother) all the time. He sent for the child and told him that he would soon be with Motiba'. He explained to them how the waters of Jamna look darker than the waters of Ganga. Nobody could manage him. and had been too lazy to go and change afterwards. She had broken her ink pot. and then advised him to sit down in meditation in imitation of the child saint. with old people he is old. The little imp was at once all smiles. The joke became so much the richer for the instruction it brought them. and Gandhiji was too busy. At the time of the Rajkot Satyagraha. But a careful observer can note that in all his jokes there is an undercurrent of seriousness. The children were curious to know the meaning of what Gandhiji had said. One can always learn something by listening to Gandhiji's talk irrespective of whether it is light or grave." Everyone laughed at the remark.THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS JOKES
I have often been struck by the way Gandhiji is able to adapt his conversation and his jokes to his company. Shri Kasturba insisted on going to Rajkot to fill the breach caused by the arrest of Shrimatis Maniben Patel and Mridula Sarabhai She had been mothering Ramdas Gandhi's little son for some time. with half her sari stained with ink. Gandhiji took out a mala (rosary) and gave it to him. Gandhiji told him to tell the beads repeating 'Motilal' each time. and not a word escapes his lips that may be termed frivolous. The boy had become very attached to her and would not leave his grandmother's side even for a little while. Even while joking he never says a thing that he does not mean. He told him the story of little Dhruva. With children he jokes like a child. with politicians he laughs and jokes about politics and with householders about their domestic affairs. Gandhiji greeted her with a smile: "Hullo. how the two come together at the Sangam at Prayag. I well remember how once at the Sabarmati Ashram a girl came for the evening walk. and still one can discern the two currents distinct from each other for some distance. he is a young man. If you do that with absolute concentration and without a
. When he had done so. with the young people. you have brought Ganga and Jamna together. But he had to take up the matter in the end. spilled the ink on her clothes.
But the man worthwhile is the man who can smile When everything goes dead wrong. seriousness: That is because you interrupt your meditation time and again. Yet he would not let his grief be seen. how Ba could sometimes scold. after sixty-two years of companionship he just could not adjust himself to life without her."
. Towards the evening someone suggested that he might retire and have some rest and nourishment. but Gandhiji's sense of humour does not leave him even in the midst of adversity and sorrow. Ba will never forgive me. But he laughed and said: . "It is easy enough to smile when life flows forth like a song. The family had a little relief and could attend to their work." And so the fun went on for two or three days." Gandhiji reprimanded rum in mock. as he often explained. counting the beads in all seriousness." And so little Kana sat down with eyes closed. and how like a sport he let her exercise her prerogative to be his own and everybody's good-humoured laughter? The secret of his ability to smile even Under the weight of the most crushing sorrow. No one who saw him laughing and joking with the visitors on the day of Shrimati Kasturba's cremation. From time to time little Kana would open his eyes and complain: Motilal has not yet come. It created a void that could not be filled.break. Who does not remember. Motiba will be with you in person. lay in his abiding faith in the goodness of God."If after sixty-two years of companionship I leave her now while the cremation is unfinished. In the meantime Gandhiji had made arrangements for the boy to be sent to his mother at Dehradun!
IN SORROW AND SICKNESS TOO
His laughter has at times the quality of tears in it. He had been sitting !before the burning pyre from the early morning without food or water. As Gandhiji himself Said more than once. In this way she won't come at all. with all the concentration that he was capable of. could have imagined what her passing away had meant for him. Many of us can laugh when all is going well.'.
developed fistula. The physician first questioned him about his family history.In illness too he keeps a smiling face and can appreciate a good joke. he was at his lowest. The physician was not getting what he considered helpful replies. and stricter rules had to be enforced in order to ensure a more satisfactory convalescence. of Bombay sent their Surgeon-General to report on his condition.
HOW GANDHIJI BRINGS DOWN BLOOD PRESSURE
That reminds me of an interesting conversation that Gandhiji had with a homoeopathic physician who was trying to elicit his symptomatology." replied Gandhiji.times created difficulties for his doctors and attendants." It was no good. the Government. he asked.
After his release his irrepressible high spirits some. The result was that when he went to Juhu after three days stay in Poona."
. "but I could gorge myself with bhajias and fritters. "I think you like sweets. Seeing a bottle of jaggery on Gandhiji's table. he asked: "Do you like sweet things or pungent?" and add. He went and issued a reassuring bulletin. These reports disclosed a dangerously low kidney efficiency. The physician proceeded: "What did your mother die of?" Gandhiji: "She became a widow and died of a broken heart. and died at the age of 65. "He had had a fall. Gandhiji interrupted him: "Don't say that." replied Gandhiji. People. That sometimes misleads those around him. They took the law in their own hands and entered into long tiring conversations. Out of his inborn courtesy Gandhiji greeted him with a friendly smile. When and what did his father die of." remarked the physician indulgently. That did not help. thought that the doctors were unnecessarily alarming the public. and the temporary animation of the patient's face deceived the doctor. During his illness at the Aga Khan Palace." "I have a sweet tooth.out any bhajias. no one likes only sweets. I have known Brahmins who will take huge ladus (Sweet balls) by the dozen with. when they saw him cheerful and smiling. which he had to contradict within 48 hours after seeing the pathologist's reports. and resulted in the Government deciding to order his release unconditionally." "Oh yes. He laughed and joked with him.
who never missed the opportunity of exchanging good jokes with Gandhiji." "If you can give me that gift. He now handed the sheet to Gandhiji for verification. e.he added with a twinkle in his eye. He had been trying to interrogate Gandhiji as carefully as he could." replied Gandhiji." he remarked. B. the prescription depends upon the patient's symptom complex. and there was a roar of laughter. 'In homoeopathy. who. Still he was hot going to give up easily. He knew them and had great regard for one of them. "Modesty has never been my weakness. Mahatmaji. "I have lost the memory for details. "Then your memory is quite good." replied Gandhiji." "Then give it to me without my offer. "As rotten as you can imagine. given to philosophic and religious studies " Gandhiji put a big question mark before the data on temperament." the physician proceeded especially emphasizing the last part of the sentence." replied Gandhiji. I have not inherited hookworms from my
. . he said. "And sickness does not come because of what we do ourselves. I have often envied my friends who could roll out whole poems after reading them once. had been his patient. "Yes.The physician was getting a bit impatient. "How can you have regard for a . they say. Roy. "God alone can give these gifts.physician if he is a patient himself?" put in Gandhiji. "I have a very poor memory. I shall become your unpaid advertising agent. C. I remember visiting the hospital at Hardwar." Gandhiji interposed." The physician felt discomfited.' "That is modesty. "1 cannot do so. the habit to question any allegations of virtue. Mahatmaji. It comes as an inheritance from our parents. He had been jotting down his observations. He put in: "To these you should add one more." replied the physician." .The physician was very pleased and quickly put in. "Well. everyone does fall sick sometimes." The physician smiled. "What about your memory?" he asked. The irrepressible Dr. It ran: "Temperament very intelligent. The physician asked: "Is it all right?" "How should I know?" replied Gandhiji. The physician next inquired whether the homoeopath knew some others whose names had been given to Gandhiji. "Do you remember the occasion when years ago you went to visit the Mission Hospital at Hardwar? I took you round." "Surely. however much I may like your offer." said Gandhiji. but he was not meeting with luck. and I do not remember you at all." "No. i." replied the physician. was sitting nearby.
and I would like to bring her to you if you permit me." Before he rose to go." In reply he wrote the following post card which I reproduce from memory: "Dear Mother Superior. But mind you do not run away with her. "No." remarked Gandhiji.parents. You are so solemn. Everybody had a good laugh. I must laugh or I shall burst. "This is how I bring down my blood-pressure. say all girls are sweet. R. Mahatmaji." replied Gandhiji. I have no faith in it. "No. They had always wanted me to give it a trial. and because I am "not strong enough to have faith in God and what the five elements can provide. Regulation of your diet is all you require to get strong. On the report being referred to her for verification she replied: "Ask your own heart to verify it. Das and Pandit Motilal Nehru which had led me to seek homoeopathic aid." he said. "I am sixty. "it is claimed as a specialty of Gujarati girls. Years ago an esteemed lady friend and co-worker allowed herself petulantly to make an irresponsible statement about him. Mahatmaji?" said the poor man in holy horror. I must address you like this. In a more serious vein Gandhiji then proceeded: "It was regard for the memory of the late C. But Gandhiji was in a playful mood. "She is a sweet Gujarati girl." remarked Gandhiji when the laughter had subsided. "I know of a man who ran away with a French girl after the age of sixty." he said. The physician felt nonplussed." he persisted. I cannot run away with anyone at this age~. How is my poor heart to tell me what your tongue whispered into somebody's ear?"
. he mentioned to Gandhiji about a pupil of his who was very keen on meeting Gandhiji.
LAUGHING AWAY THE BLUES
As an illustration of how Gandhiji can make people laugh away their blues the following may be cited. nor the germs of dysentery." corrected the physician. I have sought your aid because I have no faith in allopathic medicines. I do not think you need any medicines." But Gandhiji was bent on teasing him." In the end the physician said: "Mahatmaji. he had gained a friend. "All Gujarati girls are sweet. Mahatmaji. And besides some innocent entertainment." "How can you say such a thing. My own preference is all for nature cure.
" Supdt. the Rajputana by which he voyaged to England to attend the Second Round Table Conference. a number of fellow passengers (mostly Europeans) had formed a club." The tippler' beat a hasty retreat. he once ordered a knife to be made in the jail workshop. but not Yeravda. S. somewhat the worse for drink. One of the bolder spirits expressed the grievance on behalf of his comrades thus: "Bapuji. you always tell us about the Gita. It was named "The Billygoats"."
On S. Gandhi. They also ran a typed news sheet. I have never known him to be discomfited in repartee. ready wit. well pleased with the joke. entitled The Scandal Times the title being a fair index of the contents. The little children of the Sabarmati Ashram used to address him questions every week which he would answer. : "Well. you insisted on 'Swadeshi'. The next day the following little dialogue took place between him and the Superintendent of the jail: Gandhiji : "So this is your proud handiwork." Gandhiji : "Yes. asked him to "read it carefully" and "give his opinion" as to its contents. and quietly returned them with the remark: "I have extracted the most valuable part from it.HIS READY WIT
He has an unfailing. Mr." he continued tipsily. "I must have it before I go down to my cabin for my next glass of whisky. The members one day took it into their head to "offer their greetings to the Mahatma". His extremely laconic replies sometimes exasperated them. Their spokesman. In the Gita Arjuna asks just a one-line question and
. remove~ the paper fastener with which they were fastened. "For. after presenting the latest issue of The Scandal Times with the good wishes of the members of the club." Gandhiji scanned the sheets. It was done in a hurry and with unskilled labour. During his incarceration in the Yeravda Central Prison in 1930.
and each one of them a handful. His reply to Malaviyaji ran: "Your wire.C. So our grouse remains unventilated. On his release from the Aga Khan's Palace in May last Pandit Malaviyaji sent a wire of greetings expressing: "Every hope He will let you live hundred years to serve motherland and mankind. to quarrel with you.I.C. He had often been reminded by friends about that remark as a "public commitment" to live for a hundred and twenty-five years. Churchill containing his celebrated retort courteous to the latter's description of him as "the naked Fakir"! C. Add' twenty-five to yours!"
THAT INFECTIOUS SMILE
His good humour is so catching that it led the late Maulana Mohamed Ali once to make a grievance of it. But you answer our full-page questions with just a word or a sentence. R. "Mahatmaji." Gandhiji's reply was characteristic. while I have a host of Arjunas on my hand. I am afraid your letter will be misunderstood. and Gandhiji were discussing a letter which Gandhiji had addressed to Mr. speech on the 8th of August.Bhagavan Krishna rolls out a whole chapter in reply. Bhagavan Krishna had only one Arjuna to deal with. The fact is that these meetings are often a picnic of wit and humour. In the course of his A. and you think that it is.
. The grievance was drowned in' the joke. he had made a humorous allusion to the possibility of his living for a hundred and twenty-five years. It was a naughty letter. Is it fair?" Quick came the reply: "Well. Don't I deserve sympathy?" And the little :Arjunas laughed. the atmosphere must be very tense and solemn. all right~ with us. We come to you full of grouse. R. At a stroke you have cut off twenty-five years. 1942. you are very unfair to us. And he quoted the wellknown couplet of Ghalib to describe his dilemma: muds nhnkj ls psgjs is tks vk tkrh gS jkSud os le>rs gSa fd chekj dk gky vPNk gSS Most people think that when Gandhiji meets to discuss political questions with his colleagues. C. But you make us smile and laugh in spite of ourselves. Here is an illustration.
I am sorry." he remarked. this 46 per cent is somewhat reduced!"
To a host of press correspondents who besieged him when his boat touched the shores of England on the same occasion. '. I hope you are right. "You have had on behalf of the women a complete repudiation. I meant it seriously. R. and the House was on the tip toe of expectation when Gandhiji rose to reply: "You had a striking demonstration of the inaccuracy of this figure.'The fashion here is plus-fours. I have taken out the sting by appropriating his remark as an unintended compliment. G. C. It was a plausible argument. I can't return the compliment!
Even his most devastating retorts have the quality of benevolence. R. referring to the speeches of the women delegates. he retorted when a reference was made to his unconventional attire. Ramsay Macdonald.G. in announcing the signing of what is known as the "Minorities' Pact". C. and as they happen to be one-half of the population of India. I prefer minus-fours!"
. of which he is probably not very proud. At the Second Round Table Conference Mr. You have touched him on the raw by rubbing in a past utterance of his. Therefore the Congress claim stood repudiated by about half the population of India. G. of special representation. argued that they represented 46 per cent of In9ia's population. I don't think so. They leave no sting behind. No.
S. He was indulging in a little swagger about his paternity bump. . The baby smiled its sweetest. It was in 1931. on board S. blandest smile as quietly it came into his arms. the Rajputana. He claimed that he could hold the baby of Shuaib Qureshi (now in Bhopal State Service) better than anyone else.B.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Gandhiji And Women . New Delhi.Rameshwari Nehru
.Only once have I known anyone to get away with the last smile at his expense. Shri Pyarela1. Quickly Gandhiji returned it to its nurse. for some of the anecdotes. I am indebted to my brother. the baby still smiling but the grimace gone! N. June 1946. of which he has a grand conceit. . . and proceeded to make good his claim 'with a faked grimace.
the Age of Consent Committee appointed by the Government of India. An appointment was made. In the years 1927 and 1928 I served as a member of . He was much too high a personage out of the reach of an' insignificant individual like myself. I do not
. and I was given a few minutes interview. I felt an urge to see him and sought an interview with him. It was sometime in the forenoon. So I felt. wanting to ask his opinion on the '5ubjects of early marriage and the age of consent which were under the investigation of my Committee. and went to Ahmedabad in the course of my travels. near Ahmedabad. I heard and read about him ever since he returned to India from South Africa. and he was busy with the inmates of the Ashram all about him.MY acquaintance with Gandhiji goes back to the year 1927. He was then living in the Sabarmati Ashram. But I had never met mm. and I felt irresistibly drawn towards him. and was a regular student of Young India. His sayings and teachings affected me deeply.
I realized the fact that with him there was no high or low either in work or in men. accompanied by a couple of young girls.'
'During my occasional and short visits both at Wardha and at Sevagram. this time to spend the night so as to be able to attend the morning prayers. I felt ashamed and became tongue-tied. to achieve my object. Another appointment was made. and started peeling vegetables. and I came back to the labours of my Committee work pondering on all that I had seen and experienced. Without discouraging me. Greater understanding of him and closer association with him supplied me with answers to both these questions. and so
. however. A light conversation with the girls interspersed with jokes and laughter ensued. although early marriage was bad and had to be stopped. Thereafter I had my first walk with. Mahadevbhai who looked after my needs and before retiring had a preliminary talk with me. but I was overwhelmed with emotion. he made it clear that. By the time the peeling of vegetables came to an end my time was over. raw young girls whom I saw around him? They hardly looked educated. or without expressing his. the better way would be to go all over the country and preach against the evils of early marriage till people were. The serious part of the interview over. But I could feel a touch of. He heard every. All work was service. I explained to him. Gandhiji. This made me feel at home and at ease. what we were doing in the Committee. his way of doing it was not through the agency of a foreign Government which he considered to be vicious and with which he thought it necessary to non-cooperate. How does he find time for such a trivial occupation as the peeling of vegetables in the midst of his multifarious activities and with the heavy responsibilities of guiding big movements which shape the destiny of millions resting on his shoulders. and I came again to the Sabarmati Ashram. He told me that.t4ing kindly and graciously. he wended his way into the kitchen. Next morning at dawn prayer's were held on the sandy bank of the Sabarmati river. and all service was dedication. disapproval of what I did. sat down on a stool with a small table in front of him.know what happened to me. uncongeniality about the atmosphere. not being able to say anything. and what common interest can he have with those simple. as I watched him engrossed in his daily occupations. weaned from this evil custom. I was put in charge of the late. Uncontrolled tears began to flow.
for the deep springs of Gandhiji's unfathomable love. In his dealings with human beings he has often struck me as a super-sculptor busily engaged with.. he writes his letters with his own hands. with growing physical weakness and equally growing pressure of work. asserting that.ness and the wisdom of these actions which is the real secret of the hold he has over millions. I can tell. chisels them. from personal experience what thrill of joy a few uneven and illegible lines of his own hand-writing have given me and how I have longed to get them. great variety and difference of stature and colour and fineness amongst his numerous followers on whom the skill of his chisel has been applied. by giving them daily attention. fine specimens of men and women out of the human material available to him. and spent it on higher and greater objects which awaited his attention. It is this devotion to small matters which lifts him above everybody else. and gives them a finish in accordance with his own conception of things. as one would give to settling matters concerning the most intricate affairs of politics or the State. But I know how wrong such notions are. saved it from these trivialities. and hope to the disheartened. I have seen him spending time in doling out food to the inmates of his Ashram with his own trembling hands both morning and evening. I have seen him giving as much time and attention to settling trivial disputes amongst his disciples.
. He has time to enter into the domestic affairs of those who come near him and who seek his aid. But there is no doubt about the fact that i all those hundreds of thousands of men and women who I come under his magic influence are moulded into a better shape. must be equally shared by. He gives succour to the grief-stricken. Others may consider all this a waste. therefore. if Gandhiji spent his time a little more judiciously. At this advanced age. for it is so high. the creation of. He moulds them. The fineness of the specimens he produces is naturally limited by the nature of the material at his command.work had no rank with him. It is the spontaneous natural. all without any discrimination. like Christ's and Buddha's. There is. They fall far short of his ideal. but they all benefit by the contact and evolve into a I better and higher life. I have seen him devotedly attending on the sick. He carefully reads the reports' of the smallest of institutions (and there are many such all over the country) run under his inspiration and guides them in great detail. and I have heard many highly placed men and women deploring the fact. and makes the lowly feel that they too have a place in his scheme of things. things would be better managed.
Mere assertions of principles. The latest instance of this love for the living truth regardless of consequences was the Indumati Tendulkar marriage celebrated last year at Sevagram under his instructions. He gave a new shape to the rite of Saptapadi which in its orthodox symbolic form represents seven steps taken by the couple jointly in the path of life. disregarding the fact that this ritual of his making was not recognized by the law of the land. I have often found him setting tasks to these little sisters of mercy too complicated and complex to be tackled even by men of great learning and power. He has often said that women can make better soldiers of his non-violent army than men. In this new ritual the bride and the bridegroom were made to accomplish in company with each other seven pieces of activities like the reading of the Bhagavadgita. He wants to bring the Kingdom of God on earth from which vicious human passions are eliminated and in which the governing force is love (ahimsa) and co-operation. and an iron will which he has instilled into them. humility. All rituals and conventions of society. He pushes this love of living the truth to dimensions beyond the conception of ordinary individuals. enriching the little world they live in with the fragrance of their se1fless existence. He values an ounce of practice more than a pound of precept. have value for him only in so far as they conform to the actual facts of life and are based on moral principles.He is out to create a new world-a world which is free from the struggle and strife and turmoil of the world of today. wear themselves out at his bidding in fulfillment of the duties entrusted to them. with no other equipment except simplicity. The volume of their work may not be great. Thus many of them are posted in different faroff corners of India burning the candle of their lives to give light to the poor around them.
. are like empty shells if they are not followed by practice. They live unknown to the outside world. but its value lies in its purity which invisibly enlivens the world of their contact.
The procedure he adopted in this marriage gave a practical shape to the whole ritual of Hindu marriage. therefore. For the creation of this world women supply the better material. spinning. love of truth. however learned. He therefore has confidence in them. and that is why they are so forcefully drawn towards him. These little women.
But no one possesses all the Vedas~ Man's religion has been under. i. The label was given to us. If there was a change. on the eve of the marriage.our religion is 'Manava Dharma'. which prominently brings into relief his bold adherence to moral laws I alone in defiance of all false notions of social prestige. Owing to this much harm has been done.. No aspect is neglected. society was undergoing change from time to time. e. British rule changed all this. The whole proceedings were held in Hindustani. The priest who officiated at the marriage was a Harijan by caste and belonged to the Christian religion by profession. His solutions
. We need not heed those British rules which are inconsistent with highest morals. In this case the complication was that the bride belonged to a nationality and a faith different from those of the bridegroom. Before the advent of British rule.tending of the cow. The name of . We must run risks. In this state of things. I give below his written opinion on the matter. man's religion. Manusmriti is the code of man's religion. In evolving this form of marriage the only one principle he regarded was strict adherence in life to the moral principles held by him and professed by the couple. and society has become inert like the superimposed laws. cleaning the well-side and the land for cultivation etc. if there be any in so doing." In the immensity of his work. my advice is to perform marriage rites according to morals prescribed by man's religion. The following is a quotation from what he wrote on the occasion: "The very word 'Hindu' is modern.going evolution. The fountain of all is the Vedas. some old unnecessary ones were omitted and new ones were introduced. Amongst the list of pledges given and taken. That should be binding.. What was fit for change became petrified. he covers the whole of human life. and the question of the ritual of marriage allowing freedom of religion to either party was to be solved. it came from either the Privy Council or the British-made legislatures. Another instance of a similar nature happened when my son's marriage was celebrated in accordance with his advice. He has tried to solve all questions confronting individual and collective life. At one stroke and in one action so many reforms which he advocates were woven into the fabric of life.
though with. like all other things in his life.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi In The South African Days . 4-3-1946. :At one time he might have interested himself in orthodox medical science. but just that of the many who were near or came to him for help. for. he sought to get back to what was to him the fountain-
. of long ago were aware that he had long had a deep interest in trying to heal a sick body-not only his' own.are made with a view to evolving a civilization in which there is peace on earth and goodwill among men. say that he had ever made any real study of it. though I cannot.Millie Graham Polak
MANY of us who knew Gandhiji in the days. that he was always experimenting. New Delhi. But orthodoxy was not for him. .
in which the 'author had devised a special simple method of nature-cure. and several other trials. acid fruit cures. An Indian trader had a dearly loved son. but. but the father was filled with fear and anxiety. that the boy had died under the operation. The operation was not considered to be a serious one. and engendered a strong dislike of the surgeon's life. upon inquiry. and that he might have recovered under other treatment. colonic irrigation. the time of trial Gandhiji consented to do so. He consented at last. When. and deepened his suspicion of the orthodox medical schop1s'of thought and practice. in any case.
This experience certainly increased his bias towards 'unorthodox' methods of healing. the operation.. Gandhiji returned to us-my husband and I were then living with the Gandhi family-it was evident that he was still labouring under a severe emotional strain. being partially responsible for. fasts. The operation was performed at the boy's home one Sunday morning. Many cases of illness or discomfort were quite successfully treated in this. We learned. later that day. the operation and the unhappiness of the bereaved family. Gandhiji was convinced that here were to be found healing and absence of ills. and I think that he felt that his agreeing to be present on the occasion was tantamount to advising. cabinet steam-baths to be followed by a I plunge into a tub of cold water. and to help the family at.head of life and health. that it had been incompetently performed. and. therefore. begged Gandhiji to be with him during the ordeal. to. Always these experiments were first carried out on himself and the members of his own family. who had become seriously ill. Several of us who were closely associated with him at the time underwent experiments with earth-poultices. Gandhiji seemed to feel that the boy need never have undergone it-and. manner-a poisoned
. many different types of diet. After reading Just's Return to Nature. It was about this time that an unhappy expense made a profound impression upon him. said the doctor in charge of the case. So he sought to treat an ailment by what was known as naturecure methods. could cure the boy. Only an immediate operation. He worried about this considerably..
She was given frequent small quantities of acid fruit 'and practically no other food at first. she became very ill. and.. contrary to the expectations: of those of us who feared the consequences of such drastic treatment of a weak and desperately sick woman. however.finger or a severely suppurating wound having made a remarkably quick recovery when treated with a clean. he found her suffering from a bad attack of pernicious anemia. The shock of the cold compress produced a rigor and after my ministration had restored him to normal. in Natal. and Ba commenced to improve. Upon examination. After a week or two. a complete cure was effected. was dispensed with. Presently. I refused to have the method tested' on him again. She was at the Phoenix Settlement. Neither of us believed that the other was right. much to his indignation. The cure that seemed almost miraculous to those of us who watched it was that for which he was responsible in respect of Mrs. and the doctor. He considered her condition so serious that he asked for her husband to be sent for at once. simple. and Gandhiji set to work and treat his 'wife. The doctor. This same type of poultice.' "If that be so. In those days. but a real danger to the poor child." However. the trouble was arrested. which involved breach of the customary vegetarianism. had a slight digestive trouble) proved not only a failure. Upon Gandhiji's arrival. This line. he smiled tolerantly. and you do not certainly believe that to be the case. and after being closeted with Ba for some time. in the Transvaal After having been ailing for some time. Gandhiji accepted cow's milk as a valuable food. though already he was saying that. he told us that she had placed herself entirely in his hands for treatment. it was 'not a proper food for adults. In due course. who are principally fed on milk. would be nothing but horrible little brutes. non-stimulating food was taken. and that he was going to 'look after her himself. had to be sent for late one night. fresh earth-poultice. and Gandhiji was at Johannesburg. when applied to the stomach of my six-weeks old baby (who. orthodox dietary treatment. like most infants. of argument aroused strong opposition in me. Shortly afterwards he took a vow never to drink again the milk of the cow and buffalo. Gandhi. he insisted that it stimulated the lower passions of man's nature.
." I said "then young children. who lived twelve miles away. who had been' urging.
his tea-parties were a delight to many. with his usual affectionate smile. When he discovered that Mr. He would then be his most human self. made from roasted and ground cereals or peanuts. in 1912. But years later. he later learnt to distinguish between the moral consequences of taking cow's milk and goat's milk! I expect that he must often have thought back to the past and. and probably only such medical care enabled him to retain for so long a hold on his physical body. G. was the usual evening beverage. teasing. When this phase passed. who were then living at Phoenix. until my husband had denounced it to him as a stimulant or a narcotic. he had much enjoyed his afternoon cup in his office. And. Our dietary experiments were many and various.Since those days. When Mr. doctors and surgeons played a bigger part ill Gandhiji's life. For some time. Cooked fruits. and he and many others endured imprisonment therefore. his advice. Even his fasts had to be carefully watched by his medical advisers. Gandhiji contended. would cease to argue with me. laughing. we had a saltless table. and seemingly enjoying the friendly intercourse and the tea. K. Gokhale was suffering from diabetes. in a way. whereat Gandhiji. intent on working out his own dietary theories. was bad not only for health but for the character. Salt. A house had been placed at Mr. I personally struck against some of these austerities and refused to be Bound or worried by them. though keeping strictly to his own regime. a real deprivation for him. Gandhiji entered minutely. to investigate the Indian grievances there. felt that those days. nor any other stimulant. full of hope and belief and strenuous endeavour. for. my husband and I were no longer sharing a home with the Gandhi family. upon. When in London on one of his missions on behalf of his countrymen. puddings or cakes were sweetened with raw cane syrup. he and I used to char the bread and potatoes in
. Gokhale paid his historic visit to South Africa. other than that contained in natural foods. Ba and I cooked without ordinary refined sugar. In all the arrangements for the distinguished visitor's comfort and convenience. An imitation coffee. he conducted the great anti-salt tax campaign in India. too. Abstention from tea was. were rich in experiences and the knowledge that grew from them. I think. Gokhale's disposal by an Indian merchant. Tea was not to be used.
. it is understandable that education. and nothing further was done in the matter. He realised that children growing up in a free life close to nature might misunderstand the right use of the procreative faculties and that experimenting and abuses might easily take place. 12-3-1948. the imparting of information along scholastic lines was of secondary importance to him. Gokhale never knew of these culinary efforts to preserve his health. somewhat during this period was . Nevertheless. owing to his rapid immersion in the political struggle. Yet we did have a little school at the Phoenix Settlement for a short time.
London. and the more menial the task. and that if it were to be allowed to develop naturally from birth. . the little school was closed. and Gandhiji was interested in the work.hot ashes. and a married woman. namely. it was something in the right direction. Soon after. he asked me to help him. In our talks in the South African days. At length he procured what at that time were regarded as standard works on what a boy and a girl should know and how they should be informed. A question that troubled him. for the teachers were 'without much training or skill. so as to extract as much starch as possible. I came to realise that Gandhiji believed very intensely that man's essential nature was divine. in its ordinary sense.how to convey the right Kind of sex-knowledge to the . Being the only other Englishwoman there. The teaching was very rudimentary and amateurish. This being his profound belief. the greater dignity he imparted to it by his own great earnestness and simplicity. so Gandhiji did not feel that he could ask her advice on the books 'without embarrassing her. Many were the arguments that I had with him. The then teacher at the school was an unmarried woman. which the children of the settlers attended. children under his influence as they were reaching puberty. Mr. the divine in him would expand as a flower and his natural wisdom would grow and manifest direct from God. Nothing was ever too small for Gandhiji.
my wife wished him good success in London. smiling: "Behaviour is success. in September 1931. there he spent a week at Romain Rolland's house near Villeneuve.Edmond Privat
Our first meeting with Gandhiji was at Marseilles. We went to the :French harbour on an early morning with Romain Rolland's sister. and he replied.
"It was a great experience.violent advice
. When we left. and together with Charlie Andrews we spent part of the day on board the ship with the Mahatma. and shall never forget his reply to an old man who asked him if he was not discouraged repeating the same non."-a remark well summing up all his moral philosophy.
After the Round Table Conference we went to Paris to bring him to Switzerland.Reminiscences Of Gandhi With Gandhiji On Deck . We often quote it. when he arrived in Europe for the Round Table Conference. We organized his lectures at Lausanne and Geneva.
went to Rome with the party and. "do you think two thousand years such a long time to learn something as difficult as to return good for evil?" Gandhiji's part in human history will have shown that at least one nation agreed to fight for its freedom in a peaceful way thanks to his teaching and to the best spiritual tradition of the country. and an umbrella. and very kindly teaching us about Indian ways. who was a communist. "I said these things have been preached for twenty centuries in vain." We counted how much money we had in our pockets. full of wit. Pilsna was wonderful." answered the Mahatma." he explained laughing. We had no luggage. got the visa and the tickets. "You probably think in terms of first or second class. It was during that journey in the train that he asked us why we did not visit India.
. and decided to seize the opportunity. "but we only pay ten pounds each for our passage on deck and. and we accompanied them to the Italian frontier at two hours' notice. After such an event the world. We stayed in the train. The journey on the S. Indian food. Such an adventure is only offered once in a lifetime." insisted the old workman. We replied that the journey was too expensive. south to Brindisi to sail back home on the S. but we bought some bedding at Rome and sent a few telegrams to cancel lectures. will never be the same as before. many Indian friends would open their houses to you. and Gandhiji was very jolly. once there. except a tooth-brush. S. S. We all kept in row on deck. "Well. there. "How long did you say?" asked Gandhiji with his usual good humour. Pilsna. and taking trouble for his friends: comfort with a real mother's heart. After his Swiss visit Gandhiji and his party went .given by Christ two thousand years ago "without much success if we judge by history". Even Norway followed Gandhiji's inspiration in its resistance to the Nazi authorities.
and we found the Mahatma great as ever. Jawaharlal Nehru had just been arrested. where huge crowds were waiting to welcome him back.
. Well. Indian self-government was not an end in itself: the nonviolent fight to achieve it was the occasion for a new experience in human history and a step towards abolishing war. a real brother of men? These three weeks with him on the S.They say that a great man is never great to his servant. even cleaning our common corner when the dogs of the first class passengers invaded it. sharing all the details of daily routine on deck. Gandhiji's love of his people is boundless.stand the greatness of their religion and their sense of democratic equality. His humour and his kindness are unforgettable. The political situation was tense and the atmosphere revolutionary. His description of Islam and of Muslims to us was the most generous we ever heard. He wanted us to under. intimacy. A few days after Christmas we landed at Bombay. than war in their struggle for freedom. and felt himself responsible. Pilsna were a rare privilege. and he is still greater when you are his companions day and night. Many times he repeated that his mission was to accustom men to use a better method. he was as deeply ashamed as if she had been his own daughter. He does not impose an overwhelming or crusmI1g personality on you as other great men often do. The Congress contemplated a new civil disobedience campaign as a protest. but never blind. Who could ever lie to such a guide and friend. Gandhiji is an exception to the rule. S. and such an introduction to India was unique. and that illusions fall when you live near him. He just makes the atmosphere absolutely honest and clear by his presence and his love. We spent three weeks in close. His pain was hard to bear. of truth. When a radiogram announced that a girl student had tried to murder the Governor of Bengal. Lord Willingdon refused to discuss such measures with Gandhiji.
customs: "We felt that he would never ask us to do anything against love or truth.At the mass meeting on the Maidan we could compare the Indian leader's tone with the language of nationalist leaders in Europe and with their brutal appeals to hatred. for both go together. He only said a few words. In the early morning there was a meeting for worship in a public square. mostly against fear. where a silent mass of white-clad men and women squatted around their beloved leader. and two very tall officers standing on both sides of. a sort of Indian passport on a precious scrap of paper. Two testimonials impressed us specially.free themselves from hatred and hypocrisy. we made hundreds of friends in the trains. we found his spirit and his inspiration alive everywhere from North to. and was asking every man and woman to be ready to give their life in protecting English officials and their families against any injury or insult. . told us what he thought was Gandhiji's greatest achievement: "He taught our people to cast away fear and so to . Rabindranath Tagore. the great Poet of India." In Calcutta. It opened all doors through India and."
. you can remain calmly brave and love your opponent while resisting his intrusions. we saw the police arrest him on the roof of his host's house. the stairs with tears in their eyes. Gandhiji was reminding the crowds of their promise of nonviolence. Travelling third class and wearing khaddar. Even then he found time to scribble a few words of general introduction for us. at Poona. If you are free from any dread. in that winter of 1932. We shall never forget that scene. we could watch his patience and calm in very difficult circumstances. Staying with the same friends who were his hosts at Bombay. "We are not fighting them. A woman with white hair explained why she and so many of her sisters had come out of their homes to take part in the Gandhi led movement. either of losing your possessions or your life. Early another morning before sunrise. but the system of government that employs them". which is the chief cause of violence. much against old. South. while he was :in jail.
themselves t9." This deservedly curt treatment of the orthodox element in the caste has had its own effect.Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas
APART from learning from newspapers about the fame of Gandhiji in connection with his satyagraha in South Africa. There were many who did not approve of this. 25-3-1946.doing nothing. if carried. When. mention was made qf this move to Gandhiji: he simply said: "Why take the trouble of passing a resolution put-' ting me out of the caste? 1 am prepared to go out of the caste myself. my first knowledge about his firm views was when he returned from overseas and there was a move on the part of the orthodox members of the Modh Bania community in' Bombay to put Gandhiji out of the caste. Gandhiji's attitude regarding matters concerning his caste of Modh Banias has
. reconciled . Neucbatel (Switzerland).The world owes a deep debt of gratitude to India for having chosen such a leader and shown mankind a way out of war in following his prophetic vision.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Reminiscences . and those who felt that they would in the least degrade him by their resolution.
Panditji. It was decided that. after I explained my point of. who used to be his host in Bombay at Mani Bhavan. he asked me to say a few words. Pandit Motilal Nehru came in to see him. and there were a few speeches requesting Gandhiji to break the fast and assuring him of the loyalty of all India to him. The net result today is that the Modh Bania community feel proud of him. and Gandhiji said that I was the Sheriff of Bombay. a few friends should be present. At the end of these speeches. provocative or disrespectful. He enquired of Gandhiji about me. remarked: "He will have to give this up now.been a consistently cold and indifferent one all through. namely discipline. I was specially invited to this. rejoined: "He will do it more thoroughly than many. without waiting for me to . was: "I will make this experiment with such as choose to follow me.' and' that was the first time I met the Panditji. But on his repeating his request. when' he was about to launch the noncooperation movement for the first time. This took me by surprise. I replied in all earnestness: "It is a serious move and will require to be watched at every turn!' My next interview with Gandhiji was in 1921 immediately after the landing of the Prince of Wales at Bombay when commotion took place in Bombay and Gandhiji went on fast." and Gandhiji. even though I may not get it from the classes. half jocularly. I was Wing to Understand from Gandhiji how the non-cooperation movement could at all succeed under the circumstances of the country and the people at the time. 1 then saw him by appointment through the late Revashankar Jagjivan. when Gandhiji was to break his fast. A few friends from the
. but he will only do it when he is convinced of our line of action being the correct one. if not effaced. My first contact with Gandhiji was in 1920. I referred to what I felt was most lacking in Indian public life or private. and caste restrictions are slowly but most definitely being worn out. as nothing in that direction was indicated to me.say a word." As Revashankarbhai said good-bye to me at the threshold of the staircase of the second floor of his building. he asked if I felt that the interview had been a useful one." As I was leaving Gandhiji after the interview. view to him. without bring in any way.' Gandhiji's one reply. There is such dire poverty in the country that I shall get my following from the masses.
I particularly asked friends in Bombay to arrange that I should be able to see Gandhiji in Bombay on his way to Rajkot. after the evening prayers. but I was given to understand that Mahatmaji said to them: "Purshotamdas touched the correct thing." I left Gandhiji convinced that he would. with his tact and usual resourcefulness. he very kindly sent a message back saying that he would start his silence an hour or two later. A servant brought the message that Mahatmaji had arrived. Mr.Congress circle were upset by my few words. My wife was
. He had kind enquiries made after my health fairly regularly. Gandhiji has proved that whenever he wills it so." I reminded him of the divided loyalty which was bound to worry him. and I am glad he said it on this occasion. he can stretch a thing without making it snap. I suggested to him that in my opinion Rajkot was-too small a problem for him to go personally to solve. and on the very first day after his arrival in Bombay. Birla. As soon as he learnt that I was anxious to see him. The last incident that I may refer to is what took place during my recent illness in 1945. and the nurse was preparing me for the night's rest. Gandhiji decided to follow Kasturba who had gone to Rajkot.m. all that Gandhiji said was: "Anyway I will see him. which developed just before the Tripuri session of the Congress over which Subhash Babu presided. having been brought up at Rajkot though her birth-place was Porbandar. and the Dewan has a great hold over the young Thakore. I might not be able to see him. Birla said that at about 8. bring about the best solution permissible under the circumstances there. so that I might go and see him at his host's place in Juhu." He called at my residence with Dr." Gandhiji's father had been Dewan of Rajkot. his silence day. Perhaps I may be able to render a small service to the State which was served by my father. Sushila Nayyar and another friend. and during the agitation against that State. I particularly appreciated this. And so it did happen. if I can go. if he cannot see me. and had about half-an-hour's talk with him at Juhu. and he said quite seriously: "That is exactly why I am going. The people are not in the wrong. but I feel. he told his host. that. that he was calling on me. It was a Monday. My daughter and grandson had left me for the evening just a few minutes before. and he was to be in Bombay only for a few hours.30 p. I should not avoid it. Gandhiji's only reply was: "I know it. When Mr. When I heard about this.
but she forthwith went down to meet him. who saw him for the first time. he started going up the stairs. if you like." Without waiting any more. July 1946. but he is a little better. as if bracing me to the course of recovery." He was one of the very few who." Bombay. and as soon as he was at the entrance of my bed-room. Gandhiji at once asked: "Is Purshotamdas in?" When my wife said: "I am afraid he cannot come down. I will take you up with me to convince you that I can go up the stairs comfortably. they would do more for a patient's recovery than doctors themselves. and the nurse in attendance. I can go up and. kept on talking to me merely. I will come and sit by you. said: "If only I could be.
. sure that patients would have such visitors calling on them. He left me after twenty minutes. instead of enquiring of me as to the why and wherefor of my illness.wondering what to say to him." Gandhiji smilingly said: "Oh. he said in his cheerful voice: "Don't move at all.
The little man.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Gandhiji-Romain Rolland Meeting . His shaven head with its few coarse hairs was uncovered and
. thin as a heron's stilts. is a letter written by the late Romain Rolland to an American friends of his on the visit of Gandhiji to his home.Miraben
(The following. were bare. MIRABEN} How I should have liked . bespectacled and toothless. which is taken from The Nation (New York).from the 5th to 11th December at the Villa Vionette.to have you' here during the visit of the Indians! They stayed five days . was wrapped in his white burnoose but his legs.
as he did at Lausanne and Geneva. the Indian seated on the carpet. the chamber on the second floor where I sleep at Villa Olga . prayers were held in the first-floor salon. and but little aware of the grandeur of his name. It was. I felt his grizzled head against my cheek. "Gandhi held other prayers at three o'clock in the morning. is tireless. the kiss of Saint Dominie and Saint Francis. proud of figure and with the stately bearing of a Demeter. "Evenings. with a round and happy face. and the little assembly of the faithful grouped about. for which. without a muscle of his face twitching. and the third a canticle of Rama and Sid intoned by the warm. He came to me with a dry laugh.
. and flinging an arm round me leaned his cheek against my shoulder.disciples -two young men of rare qualities of heart and mind Mahadev Desai and Pyarelal. He could calmly answer for hours the heckling of a crowd. Then came Mira (Miss Slade). The others were secretaries . he used to wake his harassed staff. This little man. With lights lowered. with the assistance of Mira. motionless. he replied to his adversaries open or masked -and they were not lacking at Geneva . and fatigue is a word which does not exist in his vocabulary.you) will remember it. Devadas.that Gandhi came each morning for long conversations. although he had not retired until one. at seven o'clock.giving them rude truths which left them silenced and suffocated.the first an extract from the Gita. so frail in appearance. the second an ancient 'hymn on the Sanskrit texts which Gandhi has translated. I amuse myself thinking. As I had contrived shortly beforehand to get a severe cold on my chest. Miss Kondacheff. his mouth open like a good dog panting.wet with rain. it was to my house and to. who took notes on our discussions. there was a suite of three beautiful chants . and I had also a Russian friend and secretary. and finally three Indians. his voice always clear and calm. He is gentle. in London. one a young son of Gandhi. Seated on a table. our neighbor from Montreux recorded the aspect of our interviews. grave voice of Mira. Some good photographs by Schlemmer. My sister interpreted.
but he knows that Beethoven has been the intermediary between Mira and me. it is to Beethoven that the gratitude of us all must go. in the final count. To that I added. because his thought is in constant revolution. even the atheists do not doubt the necessity for the power of truth. and nationalist. I noted in him traits similar to Vivekanand.' "But. who had at first received him with crafty looks. Gandhi asked me to play him a little of Beethoven. after the prayers. I was largely responsible for steering him on this latter course.The Roman bourgeoisie. but he never stops. 'God is Truth. He pronounced himself as unequivocally as possible on the double questions of national armaments and the conflict between capital and labour. He explained how. the public meetings would have been forbidden. For. His mind proceeds through successive experiment's into action and he follows a straight line. I will give you a little example of it that is characteristic. and. and one would risk error in attempting to judge him by what he said ten years ago. and consequently between Mira and himself. from their point of view. In their passion for discovering the truth. he had in his youth chosen the word" truth" as most truly defining the essential element. not concealing a thing. And yet not a single political ruse catches him unprepared. two years ago I advanced another step. quivered with rage when he left. they are right. among the noblest' attributes which the Hindu scriptures ascribed to God. And his own politics are to say everything that he thinks to everybody.the page for the orchestra and the air for the flute. He had then said. now say. and that. He does not know Beethoven.
. single trait the boldness and independence of this religious spirit from the Orient." he added. On the last evening. I played him the Andante of the Fifth Symphony. I believe that if his stay had lasted any longer. Truth is God. the atheists have not hesitated to deny the existence of God.
GOD IS TRUTH
"He was asked at Lausanne to define what he understood by God." You will understand from this. "Les Champs Elysees" of Gluck.. .
which somewhat resemble the most beautiful of our Gregorian melodies. having survived. photographers in ambuscades let fly their fusillades from behind every bush.11. No. Vol.He is very sensitive to the religious chants of his country. For my part I have entirely lost the gift of sleep. We received letters from 'Sons of God'. not even life itself without hardship. "Here. my dear friend: are a few hints of those days of ours together on which I have taken much more detailed notes. which he thinks truth should bring. from which he does not separate his conception of truth. nor from his conception of truth that of joy. But it follows of itself that for this heroic nature joy does not come without effort. has gone to take ten day's rest at a cure in Zurich. She returns shortly. and hard as granite. The seeker after truth hath a heart tender as the lotus. Some Italians wrote to the Mahatma beseeching him to indicate for them the ten lucky numbers for the next drawing of his weekly national lottery! "My sister. What I do not dwell on to you is the hurricane of intruders. and he has worked to assemble them. and half-wits which this visit loosed on our two villas. send it to me by registered mail ! Harijan. loiterers. If you find it. p.403
. The milkmen's syndicate at Leman informed me that during all the time of this sojourn with me of the King of India they intended to assume complete responsibility for his victualling". the telephone never ceased ringing. We also exchanged our ideas on art.
Reminiscences Of Gandhi Some Reminiscences of the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to Romain Rolland in 1931 - Madeliene Rolland
ONE of the most precious memories of my life is that of the visit which Gandhi paid to my brother, on his way back from the Round Table Conference at London, in 1931. We were then residing in Switzerland, near Villeneuve, at the eastern end of Lake Leman. We had long looked forward to this meeting, and more than once we had been disappointed. What was, therefore, our joy when we received a wire announcing that the Mahatma would arrive on the 6th of December! We were tenants of two small villas at ten minutes' distance from Villeneuve, enclosed within a large park and separated from each other only by their own small gardens. It was in one of these villas, the further of the two from the road, that we arranged to offer Gandhiji and his party our modest hospitality with, however, the advantage of complete independence.
On Sunday, the 6th of December, as night was Coming on, Gandhi arrived by train from Paris. It was com; it was raining. My brother, still suffering from an attack of bronchitis, was unable to go to the station to welcome his revered friend. But he was waiting for him at the threshold of the Villa Lionnette when Gandhi, enveloped in his big white shawl and followed by friends, some Indian and some European, appeared. My brother moves forward, his hands held out; Gandhi, pressing his cheek on his shoulder, puts his arm around him in a moving brotherly embrace. A few words of welcome are exchanged, and we take on: guest. to the upper floor where a room almost unfurnished is reserved for him, with one window overlooking the Lake I and two others the beautiful Alps of Savoy, the wide valley I of the Rhone against the background of the glaciers of the Dent du Midi. It is there that he will stay during his all too short visit, I from that Sunday evening of December 6th to the following from Friday, the 11th; there, too, that the morning and evening prayers will usually be held; there that, seated at his spinning wheel, he will receive the many visitors of all races and all strata who will stream in ceaselessly. Hi!' son Devadas, his disciples and secretaries, Mahadev Desai and Pyarelal, and the devoted Mira supervising everything, will share the other rooms. Henceforth, letters, telegrams, messages, telephone calls (the latter, fortunately, received only at the Villa Olga) will keep up uninterruptedly. Now it is Lausanne reminding the Mahatma of his promise to address several meetings; then, Geneva, notified of his visit later, feeling desperate at having to take second place and claiming the immediate presence of Gandhi at a large public meeting; then there are all the press correspondents, most of them ignorant enough of the real life and teaching of the master; and above all come ail the fervent admirers of non-violence (amidst whom, of course, there are a few prompted by curiosity) requesting interviews and vying with each other in offering the greatest service. Two reverend fathers place ,their car at the disposal of Gandhi during the entire period of his, stay; a young musician, every morning at dawn, plays the violin under his windows; a Japanese artist comes hurrying from Paris to make sketches; school children bring him flowers; and on the eve of his departure the choir of Villeneuve will
sing popular songs in the garden, including the celebrated Ranz des Vaches (Calling the Herd), that song which even more than the national anthem touches the heart of every Swiss away from his motherland, arousing patriotic love coupled with a feeling of home sickness. And let me not forget to mention the Syndicate of the Milkmen of Leman who, even before Gandhi's arrival, had phoned to express their desire to supply milk to the "King of India"! Amidst that seeming confusion, Gandhiji remains calm and smiling,! punctual at every one of the engagements he makes, and yet managing, somehow, at dawn or during any moment of leisure in the course of the day, to slip out of the house and to stride briskly along through the neighbouring country, accompanied by. the faithful Mira, but watched by photographers hidden behind trees and followed (we blushed to witness this!) by British and Swiss policemen, entrusted, so they pretend, with "protecting" him! On Wednesday afternoon, he asks to be driven by car to a ,mountain village where he calls on an old peasant woman whom Mira had known when she was still Madeleine Slade and used to come to us at Villeneuve; that old woman spins and weaves her own garments; and so Gandhi is happy to shake hands with her, to sit at her loom and to fraternize 'with her before proceeding along the steep road up to Leysin where he says a few words to the tubercular students of the University Sanatorium. But before all else, he gives preference to his daily interviews with Romain Rolland for which he sets aside jealously two to three hours. Is not that the sole reason .for his having come? And so, sometimes in the morning and sometimes at the end of the afternoon, he will go across "the little garden of the Villa Lionnette and enter through the gate that of the Villa Olga to go up to my brother, since he does not wish the latter, in his indifferent state of health, to be exposed to the cold and dampness of a specially' rainy season. Then, Romain Rolland at his desk and Gandhiji -facing him cross-legged on a settee, talk to each other as if alone, for the rest of us are silent listeners-Mira, Mahadev, Pyarelal, my future sister-in-law and myself. We .are there only to take notes or to be called upon as interpreters. They discuss the grave problems which they have at heart. My brother describes for Gandhi the tragic situation of Europe: the sufferings of the people oppressed by dictators; the drama of the proletariat who in their desperate effort to break the
as his custom is.. But the two private gatherings at Lausanne are more moving still. For man in the West is by education.. ruthless capitalism and pushed forward by their legitimate aspiration for justice and freedom. Of these one is set apart for his personal friends. that of rebellion and violence. reflects. Of these one is set apart for his personal friends. their clearness. yet always they commune with each other through their common love for humanity. eager to hear him speak. On Tuesday the 8th and on Thursday the 10th. refusing the motor car which is offered him. by tradition and by temperament unprepared for the religion of ahimsa. Gandhi. and receiving enthusiastically the answers that Gandhi gives to the various questions put to him at the public meeting. in its multiplicity of aspects.Gandhi his point of view on' the practice of non. answers which are remarkable for their precision. they show.. for the presence of mind. at which Pierre Ceresole. states to Gandhi his point of view on the practice of non violence. as also for their biting frankness.. He thinks that. for the presence of mind they show. at which Peirre Ceresole. But the two private gatherings at Lausanne are more moving still. Gandhi gives to the various questions put to him at the public meeting. founder of the Civil International Service. There a large crowd awaits him. Ceresole (that noble personage who has just passed from the scene) believes that he can reconcile with his duties as a loyal citizen his passionate fight against war and militarism.. traveling in third class.. founder of the Civil International Service. respectively. states to.shackles of an anonymous and . At times their conclusions vary. answers which are remarkable for their precision.. the Swiss Pacifists (headed by Edmond Privat and Pierre Ceresole organized public meetings in Lausanne and Geneva.. Yet he understands that to convince sceptical Europe the concrete example of a successful experiment in nonviolence would be necessary. he reaffirms his unshakable faith in the full power of nonviolence. their clearness . Gandhi listens. as also for their biting frankness. takes the train to Lausanne.. When he answers.. Will India furnish it? He hopes so many are the burning topics that are touched upon during these intimate talks. their identical desire to alleviate its misery. their fervent search for Truth. if a conscientious' objector refuses to comply
. see only one way out. in the course of which the two speakers open their hearts without any reservation..
case of a neutral country. On Thursday the . and hence hostile to Gandhi. Gandhi's voice. Most of the questions raised were but. and hence should pledge himself to assist the victims of national and international calamities. he owes the State voluntary service. and that is total noncooperation." and finally to "Truth is God. his followers. These did not forgive him. Some of his statements had awakened fear in the minds of the narrowly conservative. traps behind their insidious simplicity. On this basis was created the Civil International Service. A painful and perplexing inner conflict for a sincere soul who in all loyalty. Gandhi !:lad dared to protest openly against the way in which his words and even his motives had been misrepresented by two of the leading newspapers of Switzerland.10th of December. beneficent and constructive. until then rather favourable changed its tone. as in all humility. was having its repercussions.with the obligation of compulsory military service. cannot and does not wish to resolve it on the spot. making of their bodies a
. Furthermore. in exchange for the protection it gives him. Gandhi. some Socialists. Overnight the press. had aroused echoes throughout Switzerland as well as abroad. on the other hand. and some Pacifists. explains that for him there is only one logical attitude possible towards a militaristic Government." Meanwhile the public meeting at Lausanne. the large amphitheatre of Victoria Hall was filled with a dense crowd among whom one could sense conflicting tendencies. such as Switzerlandwhat should it do faced with foreign invasion? Must it not defend itself. women and children.how he passed from his first definition of God. As a result the public meeting at Geneva took place in an atmosphere altogether different from that which had prevailed in Lausanne. because to him it represents a maleficent and destructive force. and therefore did it not need an army? In a tranf1uil' yet firm voice Gandhi answers: "An army is useless: It would be enough to have all citizens. men. The upper bourgeoisie were there. capitalistic and militaristic. held in a church. One of them brought up the. which had been broadcast." to "God is Truth. wanting to hear him speak of social problems. sceptical and curious. It is permeated by a religious atmosphere which becomes more striking still as Gandhi speaks of his experiences and explains . The other private gathering. is for the representatives of the Pacifist groups in Switzerland. "God is Love.
at the request of the Mahatma. it would only have to rise to have capitalism crumble away. !These were held on this day. That morning there took place the last interview. went up to his little music room. he played on the piano an andante movement of a symphony of Beethoven. The following day.' And if the latter should be barbarous enough to butcher them.. in the ground floor of the Villa Olga. even more intimate and more affectionate than the preceding ones.wall against the enemy. revealing to our guests for the first time the mountains and glaciers clear of mists. For Labour is the only power in the world. in the silence which followed the last hymn. Gandhi." Such statements fill the bourgeoisie with silent fury while most of the audience applaud. and. the sun.
One can understand. by the religious soul of the great composer. Friday the 11th of December.. Mira and myself.
That same day." The other question refers to the class struggle.. that such declarations by Gandhi were looked upon as dangerous by the authorities and commented upon with indignation by the press.. accompanied only by Gandhiji. my brother. For Gandhi knew that it was through Beethoven that Mira had known Romain Rolland. if the departure of the Mahatma had . Then the preparations for the departure..not already been fixed for the next day. There. which on the previous days had hidden itself. might have been considered. indefatigable and having taken only a few minutes' sleep on the hard. Did it know it. that it was to Beethoven therefore that he owed his faithful disciple. and the sparkling lake. however. It is very likely that. Afterwards. flooded the country. so as to allow Romain Rolland to be present. an invocation without words to the Deity. The good weather fortunately permitted my brother to go
. benches of the third class compartment. in the short free interval before the evening prayers. his expulsion as an undesirable. was back in Villeneuve to have one more talk with my brother. their death at least would bear good fruit. And Gandhi answers: "Labour does not know its own power.
reflecting sadly on the fact that most likely in this world we shall not see each other again. The train starts. To protect him my brother had succeeded in having Gandhiji invited to stay at Rome with a friend whose integrity was beyond doubt and whose. hospitality was therefore above any possibility of suspicion.
. coming towards my brother.. yet deeply grateful that Providence should have granted us the privilege of living a few days near Gandhi. Gandhi. halting at Rome. Pyarelal. Then. (Translated. On the square.to the station. gives him a farewell embrace and gets into his compartment. My brother had warned him against the tricks of the Fascists who might try to get hold of him and thereby compromise him. 14-2-1946. We stand beside those who are about to leave us. by Shrjmati Sophia Wadia. a sympathetic and curious crowd had gathered.. for it was thus that we looked upon Mahadev. as also friends who had come to greet Gandhiji who was to cross through Italy.. Devdas.) Paris.bye.. from the original French.. before embarking at Brindisi. We stay a long time looking at Mira who waves a last good. carrying our friend towards his destiny of earthly trials and spiritual victories. as also to be richer through the affection of new spiritual brothers. to feel the radiance of his presence.
doctors. I must admit. he would gladly allow us that procedure.Reminiscences Of Gandhi Gandhiji And Medicine .dysentery there is no treatment so sure as a few injections of emetine hydrochloride. Dr. B. Suddenly it struck me that. We. paid sufficient attention to nature cure methods according to Mahatmaji's conception. We were almost at our wit's end how to give Mahatmaji emetine.allow his body to be injected with the medicine. with the result that his dysentery was cured and he was able to travel from Nadiad to Ahmedabad in a week's time and.G. N. Kanuga of Ahmedabad was treating him. and he asked for some nature cure method of treatment. have not. So we proposed to him that we would only give him an enema. but I must say that for acute amoebic . But Mahatmaji was firm that he would not . He at once agreed. if we proposed to him an enema. He was then in a bad condition of health due to acute dysentery. Talwalkar
IT was in about the middle of 1918 that I first came in personal contact with Mahatma Gandhi. This little procedure had such marvellous effect on our patient within the next twenty-four hours that he voluntarily asked for a repetition of the same enema procedure for five successive days. R. and we added to the enema water a full dose of emetine and morphia. and was feeling very puzzled as to how to persuade him to take a few injections of emetine which alone was the right remedy for Gandhiji's trouble. placed
but he would not take a single drop of milk. At first this good and sincere man was a butt of ridicule by some inmates of the Ashram. At this juncture came into the field one Dr. I tried my best to persuade Gandhiji to take milk. but that would more certainly produce diarrhoea. When I whole-heartedly endorsed the views of Dr. Kelkar. and I was getting anxious about his future. and Gandhiji would not let himself be experimented upon by this faithful apostle of naturopathy. but he would not agree on this point. Kelkar the ice treatment began. and within a fortnight Gandhiji so much improved in health and. At this juncture somebody (I do not know who it was) suggested the use of garlic as a remedy against high blood pressure. doctors. We. ) was able to persuade Gandhiji to take goat's milk. In 1935 Gandhiji had high blood pressure. K. The story is narrated by Gandhiji in his autobiography.himself completely under my care without questioning my authority. A few months later when he was in Bombay the late Surgeon A. vigour that I willingly offered half the credit of having cured him at that time to Dr. Mahatmaji was at once convinced. He was under the impression that a dozen or two of oranges were enough for maintaining his nutrition. with the help of Kasturba. For some time after Gandhiji resumed to take rice and chapatis. Gandhiji asked my opinion about this novel treatment. as I had long since known that in the south of Italy garlic was much used by the poor as a remedy against
. and when I said that it could not support his body and strength for more than a few days. however. and his condition at times caused much concern to many of his doctors. So I showed to him from a wellknown authority on dietetics that. I discovered that he was taking no food and even no milk. he challenged me to convince him about the -fallacy of his fancy. of my views on the medicinal virtues of garlic. Kelkar who had for some time studied the use of naturotherapy in the form of rubbing the back with ice as a valuable and rapid method of bringing vigour to the body. milk is the most precious and indispensable animal protein diet. in spite of good feeding. Soon. if a man wished to live entirely on oranges. Dalal. he did not pick up energy satisfactorily. and from that day he began to take rice and chapati as his daily diet. for pure vegetarians as we Hindus are. It was then that I sent to Harijan some . believe that. he would require about 50 to 75 oranges a day to give him enough nourishment.
. but I could not convince my medical brothers about this. and I yet believe that his continued good health for years after his high blood pressure had frightened doctors out of their wits. and though inconveniently inquisitive at the beginning. 5-6-1948.
Jai Hind………. I found that Gandhiji at once took to the daily use of garlic. Bombay..and one Dr. Gandhiji always had an open mind. However. The late Shri Mahadevbhai got intensely interested in the use of garlic. and Wrote to me a letter asking for my experiences with it. he was the most enthusiastic follower of a principle once he was convinced about its soundness. I had been using a concentrated extract of garlic in cases of lung tuberculosis with very gratifying results. may be attributed to the regular use of garlic. Minchin in Ireland highly praised the local application of garlic poultice to tuberculous glands and sinuses as an effective remedy. Here is the key of a great mind.tuberculosis.