Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya

5:20 PM Tuesday, October 26, 1999

jairaj   17296 bytes

Just got back from Gandhi's house. Yeah, cold chillin' with the flavor. He's dead now but he used to live around the corner. I was returning home from hanging out in the Fort area of downtown (the place were the British first setup shop) and suddenly I had a bit of good fortune. See, there was a Taxi strike today so I had to navigate the busses and I didn't quite make it to my house. So I'm walking back and I thought I had made it to my street, Hughes Road, and I was trying to figure out if my house was up or down the street so I asked an old white-haired guy walking by if it was Hughes Road and he said, "You come with me to Gandhi house." I guess he thought I was looking for it. I didn't even know it was here. So I says, "Actually I live here, I'm just looking for my house." I was kinda sweaty and tired and dirty. He said, "You like Gandhi?" What do you say to that? Of course! So he says "Come, come, I am going to my place of work. I work at the spiritual center and it is very near and I will take you. Some time you come to my work. I will be glad to receive you any time. You come see me. My name is Jairaj. You like yoga? I teach yoga." Then he saw the bottle of Pepsi that I was chugging and he told me that it was very unhealthy to drink those cold drinks from the west. I had to ask him about 10 times what his name was because it kept sliding from my mind. We walked down a beautiful tree-lined street and showed me where he works and then he instructed me to read a plaque on the front of a red house. Oh, it's Gandhi's house. He walked me into the back and showed me the library and told me that I could come and spend the day and read. He sat down to study and told me to go upstairs. Checked that out. It's kind of funny up there. Gandhi everywhere. Gandhi Gandhi Gandhi. Like an Andy Warhol version of a museum. Forgot the guy's name again so I found him in the library and wrote it down and I took a picture of him and he made me very happy. It totally changed my Bombayday and set me right after walking through a constant crush of humanity, dodging cars, sucking exhaust and being harassed by street hawkers trying to get me to buy their crap.

martyrdom-1948   18817 bytes

If you've ever seen that movie called "Gandhi", this house is where the Congress Working Committee met about independence from England and decided to send Gandhi as the sole representative to London. But when he got there they just dogged him so when he got back they decided to launch the great civil disobedience called "Swaraj" at midnight on Dec 31, 1931. This pissed the British off so Gandhi was arrested in his tent on the terrace a few days later in 1932. They have his rap sheet in the back of a book I bought there. The dude was arrested 14 times! The terrace is really nice. I was kicking it there for a bit drinking Pepsi. I didn't know until I got home about the arrest stuff or that Gandhi used to pray and sleep in a little tent out there. I just looked at lines of shadow from a palm tree across a chair. I thought it looked like a Paul Strand photo.

Brian Baba is making sure that I have a terrace just like Gandhi. He's working on getting blinds for it so the pigeons don't poop there. They should come on Thursday. We were going to call it "the den" but now I think I want to call it "Swaraj Terrace".

"There is no way to peace.
Peace is the way."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this, ever in the flesh and blood, walked up on this earth"
-- Albert Einstein

          \  |  /
            /|\                            |
          /  |  \                          |
             |                             |

           TRUTH                      NON-VIOLENCE