Sabarmati– From Gandhi to Being ‘Mahatma!’ (1917-1930)

Sabarmati– From Gandhi to Being ‘Mahatma!’ (1917-1930)

Movies like ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’, ‘Hey Ram’, ‘Gandhi My Father’, etc. have always bought an urge in my mind to at least visit Gandhi’s ashram in Gujarat once and know more about him and his principles of living. Gandhi Jayanti was arriving near, seeing it as an opportunity I took a break from my work and came to Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 1st October 2018 and decided to stay in a hotel nearby Sabarmati Ashram. To celebrate the birthday of BAPU in my own way I made my move towards Gandhi Ashram and called a cab. The first thing that amused me was the cleanliness all around the place and the stringent security arrangements. On a very serious note, people are not wrong about the weather of Ahmedabad, it is too hot here even during the months of winter. As soon as I stepped into the premises, I saw this picture of Bapu with his lathi which bought in me a sense of patriotism.

Moving further, I took a tour of the ashram which is situated at the banks of the world known Sabarmati River. I must say the place had simplicity incorporated in it that left me amused and stunned.  I started from the wide hall which has picture models and all the information related to the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The museum aka the ‘Gandhi Smarak Sanhghralaya’ and a library are later additions to the ashram created by the architect Charles Correa to depict detailed insight into Mahatma Gandhi’s life and principles. Apart from these sections, there is a painting gallery for art lovers who can have a view of 8 life-size paintings of Gandhi. 

All this time, a question that mingled up with my mind was how come we being in this era, equipped with all the facilities and leisure do not feel satisfied enough! And Mahatma Gandhi – ‘the initiator of Do or Die Movement’ on the other hand lived a selfless life and gave up everything for the love of the Nation’s freedom and progress.

This, in turn, raised a question that why we have become so self- involved and self-centric that we consider progress as an individual affair? While thinking all this and roaming around, I finally reached to Gandhi’s room in Hriday Kunj which was his own cottage. Seeing the simplicity of the room, I was awestruck again. To my amazement, the room of one of the greatest men on earth just had a charkha, two tables (a writing desk with a small table), and a place for him to sit. It seemed as if it was just yesterday when Bapu was busy spinning wheel, writing, reading, conducting meetings, etc. or as if I have time travelled to peek in his life and see him talking, do discussions while spinning the Charkha. This sudden rush of thoughts stopped when a man patted my back to ask me to move aside as he too wanted to click the pictures of the room.  Being an artist, I sat down in unhindered peace and painted a sketch of that room as taking pictures would have destroyed the authentic beauty and disturbed the silence that the room held.

This is exactly what the room looked like.

A few Steps away on the opposite side of HridayKunj lies Vinoba-Mira Kutir where Madeleine Slade aka Mira behan ( a name given by Gandhiji) lived. Before her VinobaBhave resided in this Kutir which is why it has been named as Vinoba-Mira Kutir. When I got inside the cottage, I saw a note in which Gandhi had replied to her question-if she could become her disciple and live in the ashram.’

Moving over, I sat for sometime at the banks of the most serene and beautiful Sabarmati River with a blank mind to enjoy the scenic view of the river. I wanted to live every moment of pride and admiration as this visit has surely affected my life and thoughts in a positive way.

The time at Sabarmati ashram flew so fast that I did not even recognize that it got evening. The artificial lights were lit which made the place look more fascinating and eye-soothing.

It was now the time for me to leave the ashram and I was leaving with a feeling of contentment and  chauvinism. I realized one thing that day, it is not essential to wait for 26th Jaunary or 15th August to manifest your love, partiotic feeling and public spirit. Every single day, every little step of ours define our love for our nation. We just need to come out of our self-centered phase and work while keeping nation’s progress in mind.

Experience the zeal and enthusiasm on your own and find out more about the life history of Mahatma Gandhi by visiting the SABARMATI ASHRAM!.

Minal Jain

Born in Chittaurgarh Rajasthan, Minal Jain is an artist and creative writer. Currently working as a content writer, she takes out time to follow her passion for promoting the Indian culture, tradition and heritage through her artwork and writings. You can follow her work on
https://m.facebook.com/minaljain13/photos/

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