Oct 2, 2015
Of Bapu and Books
In 1981 when Richard Attenborough's epic film Gandhi was still in the making I purchased Vol I of The Life of Mahatma Gandhi by Louis Fischer (published by Bharat Vidya Bhawan) from GMC Bookshop near the GPO Indore for Rs 2.50. The train ticket both ways cost Rs 1.70. The three wheel tempo ride from the Indore Railway Station to GPO cost 50 paise.
I walked back to the Indore Railway Station from the GMC Bookshop with Rs 1.15 in my pocket. I needed 85 paise to get back to Mhow so taking a tempo ride was out of the question. The total expenditure that day came to Rs 4.70. I had set out with Rs 5 in my pocket. I had thirty paise in my pocket when I reached Mhow. The cycle stand at Mhow Railway Station charged me 10 paise for having kept my cycle safely for some hours. I had twenty paise with me when I reached home.
The next day I took Rs 3 from my mother and cycled to Indore and bought the 2nd volume of the same book which I had hidden behind some books the previous day. I headed back home with fifty paise in my pocket. I stopped at Choithram Chauraha and bought two oranges for the fifty paise I had with me.
Cycling back to Mhow with an empty pocket and a prayer that one of my cycle wheels does not get punctured was indeed difficult. But I reached home safely. Those two volumes of Fischer's biography of Gandhi are still with me.
What a day that was and what beautiful memories I have of those two days !!!!