|Saturday, February 3, 2001||
A number of anecdotes and incidents related to Mahatma Gandhi’s life reflect his luminescent personality. I too have preserved within the folds of my memory, for over 50 years, an event that illustrates his unmatched humility while dealing with common people.
In the 1940s, during my
student days in Panjab University, Lahore, I nursed a desire to have
Gandhiji’s darshan and to attend one of his prayer meetings.
During the Partition of the country, I was forced to shift to Delhi.
After I settled down in a job there, I placed fulfillment of the above
said desire on top priority. On the first Saturday of January 1948, I
made up my mind to participate in Gandhiji’s prayer meeting the next
evening. Four of my friends expressed their keenness to join me.
Unfortunately, Sunday morning began with a heavy downpour that persisted
till the afternoon. But the bad weather failed to dampen my enthusiasm.
By 4 pm, the rain had dwindled to a drizzle.
Gandhiji then began his discourse with
the following remarks: "Dear brothers, today I felt ashamed at
myself — at my weakness of mind, my lethargy — to have got so
frightened by a little rain as to take the decision to cancel the prayer
meeting. When Pyare Lal came to me and told me that a few bhagat log
had come to attend the prayer meeting braving the rain, I felt immense
remorse at my erroneous decision. Brothers, I seek forgiveness from