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STUDENTS' PROJECTS > SHORT STORIES FOR EVERYONE > Gandhi's bet !

 

Gandhi's Bet !

The students of Sabarmati Ashram were assigned various other jobs besides studies. After doing their personal work they would do various kinds of work which was of vocational importance like stitching clothes or knitting the ropes of a 'charpoi'. The boys would bet on who was the fastest in completing his work.

Once, a boy called Parthasarthy had to stitch a shirt and Prabhudas Gandhi had to knit a charpoi. Both of them had a bet on who would finish the work first. Prabhudas said that he would complete his work by Saturday. Gandhiji while eating his food had overheard the entire conversation that took place between the two boys.

It was Saturday afternoon and Gandhiji who remembered all about the bet asked Prabhudas if he had finished making the charpoi. Prabudas said that he had completed only half of it yet. Gandhiji then asked him, "Don't you have any plans of completing it by today?" "How can I do it?" said Prabhudas. Bapu said," You will not study today. Instead you will make the other half of the charpoi which you have left." In the evening Bapu again asked Prabhudas about the charpoi. Prabhudas said that he hadn't finished it yet. "After your dinner you will not go out to play but you will make the charpoi until your work is done."

Prabhudas sat alone and carried on with the work while all the other children went out for a walk with Bapu. His fingers had started aching as he had been working since morning. Everybody was now preparing to go to sleep and Prabhudas was still working. Bapu asked if he had finished. Prabhudas said that he had only five more yards to knit. Gandhi stayed back with him and encouraged Prabhudas while he read a book .

It was 11 o'clock in the night and the work was still not over. Prabhudas was very tired and finally his fingers stopped functioning. He started crying.

It was then that Bapu went up to Prabhudas and said : "One should do as one says: You had placed a bet that you will finish your work by today but you did not."