I preferred her over Gandhi

I entertain myself to stand at ease, or even with crease. My music player, captured images and carefully-selected clippings from newspapers and magazines are thus my daily dose. They travel with me, everywhere. They also help me face my management’s lawyers, who come in a pack. I then repulse their black charges, entertaining myself to the hilt by defusing their batteries.

The other day I had to stand all alone and hear these lawyers in a court where I am facing some totally obnoxious, atrocious, malicious and vexatious charges. And I was totally unarmed. During the lunch break, the Sun whistled me out to pass on some energy.

Outside, on stairs, I took out Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography ‘My Experiments With Truth’. There was some struggle and I asked myself, “Do I need to re-read this?” And the very first sentence therein (again) disappointed me – “The Gandhis belong to the Bania caste and seem to have been originally grocers.”

The Sunday Express Magazine ‘eye’ was the next choice. It was the issue dated December 19-25, 2010. I turned to a flag, at page 28. I don’t remember if I was breathing while reading Venita Coelho’s Animal Instinct. Can someone write so beautifully … about snakes, monkeys and scorpians … and about Goa’s other wild side !!!

Venita CoelhoThe monkeys were my first trial. They would come for the mangoes on the tree that overhung the roof, and leap all over, breaking tiles. They would tease the dogs, making them bark madly and lead them on a wild chase all over the garden. Then, when the dogs were hysterical, they would settle down to gossip on a branch, just inches out of their reach. If the dogs persisted, they would take careful aim and pee all over them….”

Having had my peg, I tweeted: “U subscribe to a paper that gives useless content. One day u read a piece therein & feel content 🙂“.

Venita is a writer, painter, author, scriptwriter and a Goa resident. And she indeed is the change I would like to see in the world.

3 comments

  1. I agree with you Neeraj. Thanks for the reference to Venita whose many other works I also find interesting. Good Experiment With Truth, I would say.

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  2. “Outside, on stairs, I took out Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography ‘My Experiments With Truth’. There was some struggle and I asked myself, “Do I need to re-read this?” And the very first sentence therein (again) disappointed me – “The Gandhis belong to the Bania caste and seem to have been originally grocers.” ”

    I find myself at loss to read about the Bania caste of Gandhis and a further comment about them being grocers. I can not understand the need for this comment and its relevance that is utterly lacking. Could the author explain it a bit more please? To me this reference here looks more pejorative and derogatory as well as uncalled for.
    God bless
    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

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    • Dear Dr. Sudrania,

      I am a Gandhian. I take pride in claiming that I am also a Satyagrahi. I tell people I am 100 years younger to him. When I visited his home at Sabarmati in Gujarat last year, I wrote in the visitor’s book: “… Bapu, I visited you… on your footsteps…”

      Gandhi always fought against untouchability and opposed caste system. Even on a wall at the Sabarmati Ashram, it is written: “maine jaat nahi poochha, maine paani maanga hai.”

      And here in this post, it is not me who is saying that “The Gandhis belong to the Bania caste and seem to have been originally grocers.” Neither I am making any comment that can be termed otherwise. These are the words from Mahatma Gandhi only. And this has always made me wonder ever since I read his autobiography ‘My Experiments With Truth’. In fact, as I have said in my post, the autobiography begins with this sentence. It is the first sentence of his book. Why did Bapu feel the need to write this? Why did he choose to begin his autobiography with something he always stood against?

      Hence when I decided to rejuvenate myself, re-charge myself, I took refuge in Gandhi but as soon as I read the first sentence, I was disappointed. I had to look for something other that could refresh me and I took out Sunday Express’ eye that led me pen this piece.

      Hope it is clear to you. Thanks for raising a point.

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