Thursday 31 January 2013

In Gandhi's footsteps - Mani Bhavan in Mumbai

Dear reader,
When I was young and vacationing with my parents and little sister, the vacation always included some sort of walking-tour. Usually were walking in the footsteps of some known (or more unknown) historical hero. I remember we marched our way through Baker street in London in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes - not the coolest thing for a 16 year old teen - and the guy was not even a real person!

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Well, I am not a teen anymore, and I have come to re-enjoy theese footstepping- exercises, and today the enjoyment led me to a house I had wanted to visit for a long time. Mahatma Gandhi's house in Mumbai. This is where he lived and work from 1917 to 1934, when he was in the city.
The sign outside Mani Bhavan - the house where Gandhi lived.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

The house has 3 floors. I was suprised to see there was no entrance fee, but you can donate some money if you like. There is a library in the first floor, with over 50.000 books. On the walls you will see pictures from all his life, press clippings and Gandhi's quotes. We enjoyed walking around reading and looking, and just taking in the atmosphere in this house where Gandhi himself lived.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

I think we enjoyed the most to see the livingroom/workingplace - the room which Gandhi used when he stayed here. It is on the 2 floor. I noticed that when Michelle and Barack Obama visited in November 2010, they were allowed into the room, but all we normal visitors admire it through a large glass window. You can see the spinning wheels, book, sandals and his floor bed, and the room has been preserved as close as possible to its original setting.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

The house is considered one of the most important Gandhi Memorial Museums in India, and Jawaharlal Nehru stated: Mani Bhavan in Bombay will ever remain a precious memory to all those who visited it on many occasions when Gandhi used to stay here. I am glad therefor that this house is being converted into a Gandhi Memorial.

It was also quite special to see the terrace where Gandhi was arrested early in the morning 4. January 1932. He used to sleep and hold his prayers on that terrace. I think we were all a bit moved by the thought of being in the same house as The Father of India. An very inspiring footstepping-exercise indeed:-)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

The Mani Bhavan is at 19, Laburnum Road in Mumbai.

A very good visit - and interesting for my teens to see also! We have all heard about Gandhi right? And not a fictional person like the one in Baker street..! So, a place to visit when you are in Mumbai. For more info on the house and museum you can check out the webpage.
That's all, dear reader- stay tuned. Good evening from Mumbai!

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
Mahatma Gandhi

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