Saturday, June 20, 2009

[Father's Day] - About a not so 'Mahatma' Gandhi

Father's Day - yet another day we have come to appreciate thanks to the West. Now, sure, it is only natural that we celebrate this day honoring the many achievements and feats of our adoring fathers. The ones who cleaned our behinds as an infant and our mess as teens. The ones who treated us with a strict hand while becoming our friends once our footwear sizes became the same. Our good old daddies.

But then, much like I had done on Mother's Day (where I had penned a piece on the eldest Kaunteya) I couldn't help think of those who didn't exactly get it the way they'd have expected on Father's Day too. While most of them had issues that went beyond anything that could be controlled, there were those who never could step out of their father's large looming shadows. One such character of tragic irony, is Harilal Gandhi - the first son of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. After doing some research on both Harilal and our esteemed Mahatma I decided to pen something that would bring these two controversial figures together. The scene depicted here is in the final moments of Harilal as he lies dying from a liver disease. Harilal died just a few months after Gandhi's assasination and this piece - 'O father where art thou?' - is an attempt to look at what might have possibly been his final moments like.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

3 reflections:

Anonymous said...

Excellent peice... I was pondering about Harilalji since I saw the movie by Anil Kapoor.. Gandhiji... sadly was too busy a man to give time to his children. Father of the nation, but not to his children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Thanks for reminding this day, to thank god for giving me my dad (who is just my dad not a celebrity!!!);


ShaK said...


Thank you for the comment Shubha. Harilal definitely remains a strong anti-thesis for whatever Gandhi stood for. In retrospect one wonders if Harilal's views were indeed the reason why Gandhi continued to do what he did with such passive aggressiveness. I wish you have a wonderful day with your father. :)



Anonymous said...

Nice 1... :) njoyed reading it SK.