Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
Mahatma Gandhi 15 - In England - Poem by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
When we enter a new place,
A country for the first time,
You step into it with
A kind of nervousness,
A sort of fear,
A mind full of questions,
A feeling of anguish,
Of the unknown waiting for you!
For Mohandas Gandhi,
The situation was no different.
When he stepped out of the ship,
To his dismay,
He realised he was the only person
Dressed in white!
He felt embarrassed
"Everything was strange,
The people, their ways and even their dwellings-
A complete novice in English etiquette"
What of the promises made to his mother?
The Vegetarian Vow!
He found himself between Scylla and Charybdis;
He could not bear England but could not think of a return,
Now that he had come - he needed to finish the three years.
Many a temptation,
Many a situation emerged
Wherein the promises made to his mother
Could have been broken
Had Mohandas been a weakling
Things would have been different
In spite of food being tasteless and insipid,
Yet, nothing would change his mind.
Mohandas had already learnt a few lessons
In his early life,
A friendship that went sour,
A harmful habit nipped in bud,
A period of remorse and anguish,
A strict resolution,
A strong will
Never to repeat the mistakes again!
Mohandas realised that more than
Indulging in surreptitious feasts,
To tell a lie was the worst act of a cowardliness!
Even when Mohandas entered the University of Ahmedabad,
It was another routine study to pass an examination!
The most valuable education of his school and college was
Never to tell a lie even for trivial matters
For truth was God and God was truth!
Poet's Notes about The Poem
So, it means ‘between the devil and the deep sea' - faced with two equally unpleasant, terrible situations.
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