Skip to main content

89. TO MEET GOKHALE :





I must skip many of the recollections of South Africa. At the conclusion of the Satyagraha struggle in 1914, I received Gokhale's instruction to return home via London. So in July Kasturbai, Kallenbach and I sailed for England.


During Satyagraha I had begun travelling third class. I therefore took third class passages for this voyage. But there was a good deal of difference between third class accommodation on the boat on this route and that provided on Indian coastal boats or railway trains. There is hardly sufficient sitting, much less sleeping, accommodation in the Indian service, and little cleanliness. During the voyage to London, on the other hand, there was enough room and cleanliness, and the steamship company had provided special facilities for us. 

The company had provided reserved closet accommodation for us, and as we were fruitarians, the steward had orders to supply us with fruits and nuts. As a rule third class passengers get little fruit or nuts. These facilities made our eighteen days on the boat quite comfortable.


Some of the incidents during the voyage are well worth recording. Mr. Kallenbach was very fond of binoculars, and had one or two costly pairs. We had daily discussion over one of these. I tried to impress on him that this possession was not in keeping with the ideal of simplicity that we aspired to reach. Our discussions came to a head one day, as we were standing near the porthole of our cabin.
'Rather than allow these to be a bone of contention between us, why not throw them into the sea and be done with them?' said I.
'Certainly throw the wretched things away.' said Mr. Kallenbach.


'I mean it,' said I.

'So do I,' quickly came the reply.


And forthwith I flung them into the sea. They were worth some £7, but their value lay less in their price than in Mr. Kallenbach's infatuation for them. However, having got rid of them, he never regretted it.


This is out one out of the many incidents that happened between Mr. Kallenbach and me.


Every day we had to learn something new in this way, for both of us were trying to tread the path of Truth. In the march towards Truth, anger, selfishness, hatred, etc., naturally give way, for otherwise Truth would be impossible to attain. A man who is swayed by passions may have good enough intentions, may be truthful in word, but he will never find the Truth. A successful search for Truth means complete deliverance from the dual throng such as of love and hate, happiness and misery.


Not much time had elapsed since my fast when we started on our voyage. I had not regained my normal strength. I used to stroll on duck to get a little exercise, so as to revive my appetite and digest what I ate. But even this exercise was beyond me, causing pain in the calves, so much so that on reaching London I found that I was worse rather than better. There I came to know Dr. Jivraj Mehta. I gave him the history of my fast and subsequent pain, and he said, 'If you do not take complete rest for a few days, there is a fear of your legs going out of use.'


It was then that I learned that a man emerging from a long fast should not be in a hurry to regain lost strength, and should also put a curb on his appetite. More caution and perhaps more restraint are necessary in breaking a fast than in keeping it.


In Madeira we heard that the great War might break out at any moment. As we entered the English Channel, we received the news of its actual outbreak. We were stopped for some time. It was a difficult business to tow the boat through the submarine mines which had been laid throughout the Channel, and it took about two days to reach Southampton.
War was declared on the 4th of August. We reached London on the 6th.

Mahatma Gandhi

Next : 90.  (115-183)-MY PART IN THE WAR


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

LORD SRI RAMA THE APOTHEOSIS OF HUMAN PERFECTION-2.

LORD SRI RAMA THE APOTHEOSIS OF HUMAN PERFECTION-2.
22/02/2018
2.
The whole of the Ramayana is an Epic of humanity. Humanity does not mean mankind but that which particularly characterises human nature.

It is in this sense, Sri Rama is oftentimes called the paragon of humanity, an example of the perfection of human nature.

This perfection of human nature is not inclusive of the foibles of man in his lower endowments.

In the majestic words of Valmiki with which the Epic commences, we are given a description of what this perfection of humanity is, as an answer given by sage Narada to a question put by sage Valmiki as to who is the ideal of human nature.


"Whom do you think, O sage, is the perfect embodiment of humanity in this world and can you give me an example of such a perfection?" was the question put by Valmiki to Narada.

And then, Narada commences a dignified description of a personality whom today we know and adore as Sri Rama.

That majestic feature of bodily personali…

PM’s Mann Ki Baat Programme on All India Radio :- 25/02/2018

25 Feb, 2018

My dear countrymen, Namaskar.

Let us begin today’s Mann Ki Baat with a phone call.


Phone Call…

Thank you very much for your phone call. My young friends have asked me many questions related to Science; they keep writing on quite a few points. All of us have seen that the sea appears blue, but we know from routine life experiences that water has no colour at all. Have we ever thought why water acquires colour in rivers and seas? The same thought occurred to a young man in the 1920s. The same question gave rise to a great scientist of modern India. When we talk about Science, the first name that strikes us is that of Bharat Ratna Sir C.V.Raman. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work on light scattering. One of his discoveries is famous as the Raman Effect.

We celebrate the 28th of February as National Science Day since on this very day, he is said to have discovered the phenomenon of light scattering, for which the Nobel Prize was conferred upon him. This …

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Biography :

Personal Life & Legacy :



Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel tied the knot at the age of 18, to Jhaverba, who was twelve years of age then. Following the traditional Hindu customs, which allowed the bride to stay with her parents until her husband had a decent income and an established household, the two stayed apart for a few years until Sardar Patel had definite income to fall back on.

Along with Jhaverba, he set up a house in Godhra. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Manibehn, in 1904, and a son, Dahyabhai, two years later.

In 1909, Jhaverba, who was suffering from cancer, underwent a major surgical operation. Though the operation was successful, Jhaverba’s health continued to decline. She passed away the same year. Patel was against remarrying and instead raised his children with the help of his family.

Patel’s health started declining in the summer of 1950. Though he was taken care of intensely, his health worsened. To recuperate, he was flown to Mumbai, where he lodged at the Bi…