book: The Story of My Experiments With Truth

Yesterday I went to this bookstall waiting for my sister to pick up some book, and as I strolled through casually glancing at the books, one of the books I passed was My Experiments With Truth… the autobiography by Gandhi. I continued to stroll through and then remembered that a friend had strongly recommended it. Though I thought probably I might not be interested… in the first place, I have never read anybody’s autobiography till now. And in this case, it would probably be related to politics (not my cup of tea) or something like that. But anyway I went back and picked it up and randomly opened some page.

What I read really gripped me… I had never expected Gandhi’s autobiography to be that interesting!! I flipped through few more chapters, and the simplicity of the man really floored me! His way of thinking is truly excellent!! I bought that book and read a lot of it yesterday night, the chapters were almost like a collection of short stories. I did not feel that I had to read them in strict sequence, though I eventually started doing that.

He has written so candidly about his everyday life! I expected the book to be about some saintly idealistic man, but he has written about his mistakes as openly as his achievements. He is such an ordinary man that I am sure each of us who reads his book will find many things in common with him. It showed that “greatness” is not a switch that God switched on in case of
Gandhi… it is very much internal to each of us, just that we need to identify these qualities and focus on strengthening them. No doubt that the difficult part is having the courage and determination to stand for them inspite of circumstances. But that again IMO is not just a switch that can be turned On one fine day, its a matter of time.

As if to highlight the simplicity, the book cost only Rs. 30. 🙂

Btw, there are many people who strongly believe that India wouldve been much better off without Gandhi, and others who believe the opposite. I havent done enough historical analysis to argue for either side, but you can surely benefit from this book independent of that debate.

I dont plan to finish it in a hurry, so thats why I didn’t wait to completely read it before posting this. Anyway, I felt whatever I’ve read already itself is worth mentioning in a post. (I also came across the chapter which was there in my school textbook 🙂 ).

See also: Mahatma Gandhi Archive & Library

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