There’s really nothing I can type here that hasn’t been said already.. yet I’d like to.
I recollect reading his “My experiments with truth” as a 6th or 7th grader. There was a huge movement to educate the students on this great man, and I remember all of us having had to read this little fat book and then answer questions on it. One way of ensuring knowledge is spread I suppose, the good old desi way. Test the kids and for fear of the grade and the peer pressure they will at least retain most till they write that paper. Then hopefully nature and good fortune will intervene and just maybe the better parts would be retained. Why retain? Coz, there’s a lesson in there.
To emulate, to glean and perhaps think for oneself on the different virtues extolled that may find some good purpose in our everyday struggles with life. To provoke thought and perhaps understand how history was made, and with thoughts come questions, that lead to views and opinions and at least a few of those become actions.
I also vividly remember sitting in a movie hall, with my cousins and uncle and watching spellbound the 3 hour long fantastic visual and impacting story of the man, taken by a Britisher. Not that I knew much then, except that the two names stuck. Richard Attenborough, and Ben Kingsley. “foreign names”, and desi lady – Rohini Hattangadi. I remember seeing her and thinking “wow, so pretty, but why does she talk with a lisp?” I was 10 years old and in 6th grade. The impression has lasted. That was the only time I saw the movie. Didn’t get a chance to see it again, it surely wasn’t Jackie Shroff’s Hero. Now that movie, I can tell you that I watched 8 times. I was in love with Jackie Shroff and his debonair thin lanky ‘ssup dude look.
Irony? Of course. Our lives are full of it staring at us right in our face.
27 years later, there are a few scenes that fade in and out. It just struck me that I was younger than my older children when I saw and understood enough of his story but yet most definitely did not comprehend the impact he had and continues to have indirectly on us. Of course my kids now know much more about World History, about warriors, famous leaders and Generals and Admirals that served in various wars, but I don’t think we watched Gandhi, or read about him the way he ought be known.
It would be nice to watch this together, and hopefully sometime soon. I know the kids will enjoy and file away enough to pass onto their own children one day. Whether they do that or not, at least they’d be richer for knowing.
Happy Birthday Gandhiji!