Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
Mahatma Gandhi 11- Mohandas Gandhi On Board The Ship - Poem by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
A close friend, shrewd learned Brahmin -
Mavji Dave or Joshiji
Suggested and advised the Gandhi family
That Mohandas be sent to England.
If he studied Law in London,
Within three years,
He would become a barrister!
On his return, perhaps would become a Diwan,
Or even something better, but most importantly,
The whole family would prosper.
Thus, Mohandas Gandhi left for England,
Keen on becoming a barrister,
Financed by the sale of some of
His mother's precious jewellery!
His elder brother fully supported him
On this venture of higher studies abroad!
Like every loving Mother
Mother Putlibai was reluctant
To send her son away to a far off land!
Yet, with pressure and insistence
Of the close family members
Putlibai gave her consent.
Though conditions applied:
Mohandas had to take three vows
Before his mother, before he left his home.
The vows being:
To abstain from drinking wine
To abstain from eating meat
To abstain from getting involved with women!
Sometimes, a trip that aspires
To be a glorious one
Turns out to be dull or boring!
This was the case with Mohandas.
The initial excitement of sailing by ship
Was rather short lived.
Instead of a joyous voyage to the English shores
Or a memorable adventure,
The whole journey turned out to be
Lacklustre and lonely!
On board the ship,
Mohandas felt totally out of place.
He was shy and fidgety,
And found it difficult to mingle freely
With the passengers that consisted of
Many Englishmen but only a few Indians!
He could neither converse with anyone
Nor dine with relish with knives and forks.
All he did was to stay inside his cabin the whole day
Or else to stand at ship's railings staring at the sea.
All young people dream!
Dreams of a glorious future,
Dreams of becoming an achiever,
Dreams of success and fulfilment!
There is always an excitement
Of the unknown
Of the undiscovered!
Yet, when the journey begins
It is never what one imagined
There are so many slips between the cup and the lip!
Poet's Notes about The Poem
During Gandhiji's time to study abroad was a very big achievement.
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