The Story of my experiments with truth (An Autobiography) – M.K. Gandhi
In this part of the autobiography, he has penned down a few instances in his life since birth, about his marriage, education in England, self traits, about religion and a few other stories about tragedies, experiments, childhood etc.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born to Putlibai and Karamchand Gandhi at Porbandar on the 2nd of October 1869. He was the youngest among his siblings. He started school at the age of 7. He then shifted to a suburban school where he reached the twelfth year. He was a shy boy in school and used to go to school at the stroke of the hour and run back home as soon as the school closed. He has narrated a story about his school when an inspector Mr. Giles had come to his school for inspection and took a words spelling test in which Gandhi could not spell the word ‘Kettle’ in spite of the school teacher prompting him. He never learnt the art of copying or cheating. He also took keen interest in reading about the stories of Shravana and Harishchandra.
Gandhi got married at the age of 13 to Kasturbai on the same day when his 2 elder brothers and a cousin got married. For him marriage was nothing more than the prospect of wearing new clothes, processions, rich dinners and a new girl to play with. He has also talked about the traditions existing then about betrothal and marriage. Kasturbai was illiterate unlike her husband, but was an independent girl. Gandhi has also talked about how he tried to power his authority as a husband, his ups and downs with his wife, etc.
He continued studies after marriage. He enjoyed the affection of his teachers. He had obtained scholarships of Rs.4 and Rs.10 in the fifth and sixth grade respectively. He didn’t keep a keen interest in sports. In one instance he has said he was punished even though he was correct. He has also expressed the hard work done by him to learn different languages.
M.K. Gandhi has also penned down some tragedies that he came across in friendship, communication and loss of dear ones and what Hindu women go through after the death of their husbands and what the law has for them. He has mentioned how he got into the habit of smoking and got over it. He has further stated about his father’s death and how all was over for him.
He has also stated how he got versed with different religions and how he had faith in the Ram Raksha and how certain prospects influenced his life. He not only had Hindu friends but also Parsi and Muslim friends. After passing to matriculate exams with the professors putting trust in him, he decided to go to England for further learning. He was very nervous about adjusting to the British ways of living as he was not a meat-eater and a drinker. He sailed to England. A certain Sheth told him that he’ll be treated as an outcaste there, but he still chose to go. He landed in England at the Southampton port.
During his stint at England he has stated that he chose to remain a vegetarian despite meals offered there were meat and wine and despite peer pressure. He wasn’t fond of the bland British food. In England he had to dress the way Englishmen dressed. His shyness never seemed to leave him. He has penned down how he studied diets. The noise of untruth troubled him. He has given a brief about his curriculum and what he studied and learnt. He was helpless at times as he was torn with doubts and anxieties.