Oh! You are speaking to me. Sorry. You know, you were saying ‘Uncle’, so I thought you were calling someone else. You see, I am old enough to be your great great grandfather.
Do I have time to talk to you? There is ample time. Sometimes I observe silence, but today I choose to talk. Someone has approached me after a long time. Why don’t you sit down?
Dream? I told you I am very old now. I haven’t slept well for last many years. No blood pressure. I am a naturopathy practitioner. And you know, fasting is the best solution for any health trouble. At times, the doctors had given up hope of my life, but I survived. I am a very stubborn old man. I am just under a little stress. Problems are there everywhere. And when you grow old, you cease to daydream. The realities of life are so harsh that one forgets to dream.
Aha! You are very determined. I like such people. Now I see that you are a mature adult, and you still talk about dreams enthusiastically. Good.
Yes, when I was young, and you see you can be young even at 70 or 80… what was I talking? Oh, yes I had many dreams. There might be some people who live with only one dream, but frankly speaking I had many dreams. I have written and talked a lot about those dreams, because I believe in sharing dreams, I believe in dreaming together. Did I write a book? Oh! Don’t bother about the past.
I had a dream that my brothers and sisters would stay peacefully together without fighting. But I was destined to see the separation. How painful were those days! I still feel that I had missed something vital that time. How could it happen in front of my eyes? And even today their children continue to fight. Reason? There is no reason at all. My family allowed the guest to interfere in our family matters, and that was the beginning of the problem. If I get the same life again, I will correct some of my mistakes. But alas, life never gives such opportunities.
I had a dream that my family – it is very big now – would be healthy and happy; each one of them will have enough to live a good life. But I see that some of them are still very poor – in ‘absolute poverty’ in your modern language. Some are wasting money in unnecessary consumerism and luxuries. The disparity is increasing. Yes, I use modern words. One has to change with the times to keep oneself relevant.
I was saying that most poor are still exploited. They are unhappy. How do I know? In my times I was known to understand people around very well. They said I could read the pulse of the people. Can’t I understand my own people? They speak different language nowadays, but in the heart they remain the same – for good and for bad both!
I had a dream that my children would learn good things in life, a kind of education which would make them better human beings, better instruments to serve the society. But they all followed English education, have become babus and are not bothered about their roots. Many of my ancestors and friends had taken trouble to bring the family out of ditch. But alas, all of them are forgotten now. Only on their birth and death anniversaries they get garlands! That is all.
By the way, how many machines do you have in your home? I am old, so do not understand these new machines. Good, I am happy that you use hand washed cotton clothes, and I believe you wash them yourself. You wash utensils yourself, you walk a lot. Good, I don’t mind talking to you.
I like people working more with hands than machines. No, No, I am not against technology. But at what cost your modern technology is used? I believe in appropriate technology. You know, production by masses is important and not mass production. Who has said it? You think that you have read it somewhere? How do I know? What if I say, I said it? Do not laugh. We Indians have this wrong habit of worshiping person and not paying attention to idea.
I can tell you a lot about my dreams. I have time, but you don’t seem to have. Sure, you can leave. It is alright.
Thanks. I do not want to be dropped anywhere, actually I have already been dropped. Yes, it is lonely here but I love this place. My family? They are busy in what you call a rat race. Who has the time to see that the old man is missing from home? Don’t worry. I am used to it. They will find me when they need me. No, I am not angry, I am just worried. No, I do want your jerkin. It is not made in India…I think so.
Name? What is there in name? Give me any name. My children call me “Bapu” – that means father. You can call me Bapu if you wish.
Ok, you insist. I like this spirit. I always insisted in my life, I never gave up easily. When you explore truth, you have to stand and fight, I know it. I can’t deny you the truth.
My name is Gandhi. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
My child! Don’t be so surprised and shocked. I did not tell my name earlier, because you did not ask.
Don’t think that I do not know I was assassinated sixty one years ago! I know I cannot have physical existence. I do not have.
Don’t bother about me. The idea matters, not the person. Don’t worship person, grasp the idea, live it fully, make the idea your life. Each generation has to dream anew, invest energy anew. The passion has to be regenerated to keep the movement on. Nothing but only guidance is given. You have to walk yourself in search of the truth, in search of the reality, in search of happiness, in search of equity, in search of peace.
All the time you are asking me about my dreams. But actually you are talking to me in your dream.
It is time to be awake. It is time to act.
Dream Well, my child. Dream Big. Dream for India. Dream for the Poor. Dream for the Neglected. Dream for the Exploited. Dream for the Humanity. Dream Collectively. Dream with all your Capacity. Dream with full consciousness. I pray God that all your dreams be fulfilled.
You have got it right: No more personal dreams. Only The Indian Dream.”
Remembering Gandhiji on his birth anniversary entails following his ideas. The book ‘Hind Swarajya’, Gandhiji’s dream for India, was first published in 1909. To live some of his ideas would be one of the best ‘INDIAN DREAMS’.