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Karnataka State Syllabus Class 9 English Prose Chapter 1 The Best Advice I Ever Had
The Best Advice I Ever Had Questions and Answers, Summary, Notes
- The first woman President of the UN General Assembly – Vijayalakshmi Pandit.
- The first woman Judge of the Supreme Court of India – Fathima Becvi.
- The first woman IPS officer of India – Kiran Bedi.
- The first woman President of India – Prathibha Patil.
- The first woman Prime Minister of India – Indira Gandhi.
- The first woman Governor – sarojini Naidu.
Opposites using negative prefixes:
- belief × disbelief
- recognised × unrecognized
- advantage × disadvantage
- courtesy × discourtesy
- decency × indecency
C1. Based on your reading of the lesson, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option:
Mrs. Vijayalakshmi resented her galling position. The ‘galling position’ referred to here is
a. the death of her husband.
b. her position 4s a widow without a son.
c. she and her daughters not being entitled to any share of the family property.
d. the hatred of her family members.
c. she and her daughters not being entitled to any share of the family property.
According to Gandhiji, Mrs. Vijayalakshmi could cleanse the bitterness of her heart by
a. making peace with her relatives.
b. going out of the country for some time.
c. asking excuse from her relatives.
d. fighting for her rights.
a. making peace with her relatives.
Mrs. Vijayalakshmi said, “I thought of ‘ the counsel that had calmed me so many times.” The counselling referred to here is
a. never hate anyone.
b. no one can harm you but yourself.
c. treating others in the same way.
d. not to be revengeful.
b. no one can harm you but yourself.
C2. Discuss the answers for the following questions with your friends and then write them in your notebook:
Why was Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit in anguish?
Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was in anguish because of the death of her husband and also due to the fact that as the widow with only daughters, she was not entitled to any share of the family property, which was given only to male heirs.
In paragraph 3, Mrs. Pandit speaks about ‘antiquated law’. What is referred to as antiquated law?
The antiquated law referred to here is that only male heirs had the right to family property. A widow or daughters, were not entitled to any share of the family property.
Why was Mrs. Pandit going to America according to Gandhiji?
According to Gandhiji, Mrs. Pandit was going to America because she was bitter and unhappy, and wanted to escape from the situation.
What did Gandhiji want Mrs. Pandit to do before going abroad? What was Mrs. Pandit’s response to that?
Mahatma Gandhi wanted Mrs. Pandit to go and meet her family and bid goodbye to them because courtesy and decency demanded it and in India this was very important. But Mrs. Pandit refused to do it even at the cost of displeasing Gandhiji.
How did Gandhiji make Mrs. Pandit meet her relatives?
Mahatma Gandhii advised Mrs. Pandit that no one can hurt one except oneself. Unless the bitterness in her heart was cleared, it would cause her injury. He asked her not to leave the country with bitterness, as happiness can’t be found outside when there is bitterness inside. He asked her to cleanse her heart and meet her relatives.
“Must you inflict further injury on yourself’
a. What is the injury referred to here?
The injury referred to here is the pain caused by the feeling of bitterness in her heart.
b. Why does Gandhiji ask Mrs. Pandit not to hurt herself?
Gandhiji asked her not to hurt herself as she was already in sorrow with the loss of her husband and she need not inflict further injury on herself because she lacked courage to cleanse her heart.
Why did Mrs. Pandit not meet her relatives in the beginning before she left for America?
Mrs. Pandit did not meet her relatives in the beginning as she felt bittter towards them for supporting the law which said that widows and daughters had no right to the share in family property.
“I lifted the debate back to where it belonged”. What was the debate about?
The debate was about India’s complaint regarding the treatment of pople of Indian origin in South Africa.
Mrs. Pandit recollected the advice of Gandhiji often. What was the advice?
The advice of Mahatma Gandhi was that, no one can harm one except oneself.
After visiting her relatives, Mrs. Pandit commented, “I felt as if a great burden had been lifted and I was free to be myself.” Have you experienced such a situation or a feeling in your life? Discuss.
[The Answer will vary from student to student]
[Model Answer] Yes, whenever I am upset with a person, I try to sort out the problem by talking about it openly with that person. It clears the air and makes me feel much better and light-hearted.
What do you infer about the relationship between Mrs. Pandit and Gandhiji from reading this lesson?
It is very evident that Mrs. Pandit respected Mahatma Gandhi very much and followed his advice sincerely. Though she did not like meeting her family, as a mark of respect for Gandhiji she met them and thus was able to sort out her problem.
Describe the state of mind of the cook referred to in the lesson.
The cook was totally drunk and was unaware of his actions. His eyes were glazed and his mind was faraway in some other sphere. Unaware of the seriousness of the situation, he was singing and waving a ladle and beating time with his foot.
C3. Following are some extracts from the lesson. Read them carefully and answer the questions that are given below each of them:
“Yet in law we women were still recognized only through our relationship to men.”
a. Why does the speaker say so?
The speaker says this because widows and their daughters were not entitled for a share in the family property.
b. What is the mood of the speaker while speaking the above words?
The mood of the speaker is one of bitterness and resentment.
“No one can harm you except yourself’.
a. Identify the speaker.
This was said by Mahatma Gandhi.
b. Who is the speaker addressing?
Mahatma Gandhi is addressing Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit here.
c. What docs the speaker mean by the above words?
It means that the bitterness in our heart will spoil both our physical and mental well-being.
“I struck back with the same sharp weapon.”
a. Who is the ‘I’ and whom did the speaker strike back?
The speaker is Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit and she struck back at the opponents who made statements harmful to India’s prestige and Mrs. Pandit personally.
b. What was the weapon used by the speaker?
The attack was verbal one. Harsh words were spoken by the speaker.
c. What was the need to strike back?
Mrs. Pandit resented the manner of personal attacks against her and her country. Therefore she felt the need to strike back with the same sharp weapon.
C4. Discuss the answers for the following questions in a group of 3 or 4 and then present your answers before the other groups:
Mrs. Pandit had to face a lot of humiliating situations in her life. Give a brief account of the situations and comment on them.
Mrs. Pandit had to face a lot of humiliating situations in life. Widowed early, she had to fend for herself and her daughters as the law did not entitle a widow or her daughters for a share in the family properly.
Embittered, she wanted to go away but this resentment and bitterness was removed from her heart by the wise counsel of Mahatma Gandhiji that, no one can harm one except oneself.
The second humiliating experience she underwent was when she was the leader of Indian delegation to UN for a debate of India’s complaint regarding the illtreatment of people of Indian origin in South Africa. The opponents made personal attacks against her and the country and initially she responded in the same vein.
Recollecting Gandhiji’s advice she apologized to the leader of the opposing delegation and diffused the strained relations. The third humiliation she almost had to face was when she had invited the PM of UK and Lady Eden for a dinner.
Her cook got drunk and dazed and dinner was not ready. Yet again recollecting Gandhiji’s advice, she quickly got food ready and the tense situation was calmed with humour.
Comment on the title of the lesson with respect to Mrs. Pandit’s experiences in different situations in life.
The title of the lesson ‘ The best advice I ever got ‘ is an extremely apt title because whenever Mrs. Pandit faced some difficult or unpleasant situation, the advice given by Mahatma Gandhi came to her rescue and helped her overcome her problems.
Each time she faced some bitterness or resentment, the advice given by Mahatma Gandhi that, no one can harm one except oneself, helped her remove her negative feelings and solve the problem in a positive way. She was able to apply this counsel and overcome any difficulty in life. It was like a universal cure for all diseases.
From a reading of the lesson, write a note on Mrs. Pandit’s accomplishments and her contributions to India.
Mrs. Pandit 1900 – 1990. was the sister of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister. She took an active part in the Indian Freedom Movement and was jailed thrice in 1932 – 33,1940,1942 – 43. She was a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Her husband passed away in 1944 and from late 1944 to 1946, she travelled to the USA on a lecture tour.
After Independence, she entered the diplomatic service and became the Ambassador to the Soviet Union, the United States, Mexico, Ireland and Spain. She was also the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. In 1953, Mrs. Pandit became the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly. With her dedicated service to her nation, Mrs. Pandit was an asset to the National Movement.
“Means are as important as the end”, said Gandhiji. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer.
I agree with this view totally. Ends are no doubt very important to everyone but how one achieves it, is more important. Everyone works for achieving an ideal or goal one has. But in the process of achieving the goal, one should not veer from the right path. The idea about achieving one’s goal through hook or crook is not ethical.
The satisfaction one gets in the end will not be genuine and wholehearted. Even if one does not achieve one’s goal but goes about persevering in the true way, the satisfaction one gets in trying is far better than the satisfaction of attaining the goal. Therefore means are as important as the end.
Assume yourself to be a social activist. Write an article suggesting ways and means of removing gender discriminations that still exist in our society. You can discuss in groups and write down the article.
A woman is born free, but is chained all her life. There is a universal feeling that women are the weaker gender and they need men to complete the meaning of their existence. Since the ages of the Epics, women have always been exploited by men on all grounds.
But if looked deeply, one realizes that a woman is the pivot of the family, a pin that holds all the threads of the family. She shoulders all the responsibilities without a murmur but she is never given her due credit.
People used to stop women from doing certain jobs, saying that it was beyond their ability and capacity. But now, we see women in every field including the armed forces. The pervasive denial of the human rights to education experienced by women and girls across the globe undisputably proved by the fact that two thirds of the world’s non-literate adults are women in a striking example of gender discrimination.
The Constitution guarantees equal rights for men and women, yet women generally have a lower level of protection than men. They are easy targets for violence and discriminations. It is time for-the world to realize and support women in their endeavour to excel. It is time for the world to respect women as individuals with minds of their own.
It is time for the world to stop violence on women, stop treating them as objects. It is time for the world to realise that only if women are taken care of well, the world will flourish. Otherwise, the end of the world is very near.
VI. Dictionary work:
Complete the words beginning with ‘re ……’, which mean the phrases given against each of them:
- make a decision: r e s o l v e
- state that one is unwilling to do something: r e f u s e
- take revenge or hit back: r e t a l i a t e
- feel bitter about: r e s e n t
- connected with, concerning: r e g a r d i n g
- a feeling of reassurance and relaxation after stress is over: r e l i e f
- latest, fresh: r e c e n t
- keep, preserve: r e t a i n
V2. Classify the following qualities into desirable and undesirable. Discuss with your teacher as to why you classify them so:
2. Grammer and Usage:
G1. Formation of Nouns
A. Change the verbs into nouns:
- perform – performance
- continue – continuation
- react – reaction
- realize – realization
- treat – treatment
- observe – observation
- express – expression
- involve – involvement
- agitate – agitation
- interact – interaction
- confront – confrontation
- explain – explanation
- enter – entrance/entry
- allow – allowance
- achieve – achievement
- enroll – enrollment
- admit – admission
- free – freedom
- judge – judgment
B. Pick out the Adjective + noun pairs from the lesson and classify them into Adjectives and Nouns:
C. Change the adjectives underlined word. into noun’s and combine the two sentences:
Rajesh is a very amiable person. It has endeared him to his colleagues.
Rajesh’s amiability has endeared him to his colleagues.
The actor was famous. It got him many endorsements.
The actor’s fame got him many endorsements.
The young businessman was extravagant. It led to his downfall.
The young businessman’s extravagance led to his downfall.
James was silent during the enquiry. It did not help the police, in bringing the culprit to book.
James silence during the enquiry did not help the police in bringing the culprit to book.
G2. Formation of Verbs:
Make new verbs with the following words by adding a prefix or a suffix. Use them in sentences of your own:
- Bath: bathe (v): The Mahout took the elephant to the river to bathe it.encourage hard working people.
- Courage: encourage (v): We must always encourage hard
- Force: enforce (v): strict laws have to be enforced to bring down the crimes.
- Food: feed (v): Feed the hungry children.
- Joy: enjoy (v): I enjoy reading autobiographies of great statesmen.
- Memory: memorize (v): We must memorize this poem for the exams.
- Prison: imprison (v): The gangster was imprisoned for life, at the Central Jail.
- Slave: enslave (v): We should not get enslaved to bad habits.
- Speech: speak (v): Speak loudly if you want to be heard.
- Sympathy: sympathize (v): The neighbours sympathized with the mother when her child was killed.
- Clear: clarify (v): The students asked their teacher to clarify their doubts.
- Civil: civilize (v): Education civilizes People.
G3. A. Pick out the adverbs used in the lesson and frame sentences using them:
- recently: A huge meteor passed by the Earth, recently.
- finally: The man-eater was finally caught by the hunter.
- suddenly: Suddenly, a flash of lightning zigzagged across the sky.
- lightly: My mother tapped my cheek lightly.
- warmly: We were warmly welcomed by our grandmother.
- hardly: There are hardly any trees in this street now.
- meticulously: The reporter meticulously took down the speech of the Prime Minister.
B. Choose the right option:
- Bill is a careful / carefully driver.
- Can you please repeat that slow / slowly?
- The party was very good / well. I enjoyed it very much.
- Tom didn’t do good/well in examination.
- Come on George! Why are you always so slow / slowly.
- Our team played bad / badly.
- John I need your help quick / quickly.
G4. Complete the following table by filling all the columns:
G5. Make sentences using the words given below, as nouns and also as verbs:
view, drop, design, walk, distance, need, treat, delight
- view (n): The view from the hill top was breathtaking.
view (v): The artist viewed the scene, before he started sketching.
- drop (n): Drops of water trickled down the window pane.
drop (v): The child dropped the toy which broke.
- design (n): The shop had a new collection of clothes in beautiful designs.
design (v): The architect designed this building on Mughal style.
- walk (n): The walk from here to the park is very tiresome.
walk (v): People walk everyday to maintain good health.
- distance (n): The distance between my school and my home is about three kilometers.
distance (v): We distanced ourselves from the mischief – mongers.
- need (n): The need of the hour is to maintain law and order.
need (v): All of us need peace and tranquility in life.
- treat (n): Watching the opening ceremony of Olympics was a visual treat.
treat (v): The King treated all his subjects with kindness.
- delight (n): The delight on a child’s face when it sees a toy is indescribable.
delight (v): The clown delighted the children with his antics.
S1. Role Play:
Role – A: Daughter/son
Role – B: Father/Mother
- Role A: Dad! I want to go to theatre to see the new play.
- Role B: When are your exams commencing?
- Role A: My exams start next week.
- Role B: Then, have you completed your preparation for it?
- Role A: No, dad! I’m lagging a bit. I still need to revise three chapters in physics.
- Role B: I’m very much worried that you might not do well in the exams.
- Role A: But dad, it is my friend Ravi’s birthday today. He is taking all of us out for a treat.
- Role B: 1 don’t want you to waste time with exams so close by.
- Role A: Dad! The tickets are available at reduced price and the play is good.
- Role B: I’m advising you for your own good, son!
- Role A: But I need some break from studies. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on work.
- Role B: Why did you pile up your work till the end? If you had worked before, you could have gone, Now you have no choice. Sit and study. We will see after the exams.
I. Change the following direct speech into reported speech:
Gandhiji said to Mrs. Pandit, “You will go and say good-bye because courtesy demands it.”
Gandhiji ordered Mrs. Pandit to go and say good-bye because courtesy demanded it.
I said to him, “Not even to please you will I go to those who wish to harm me.”
I told him that not even to please him will 1 go to those who wished to harm me.
Gandhiji said, “ you are going to a new country because you are unhappy and want to escape.”
Gandhiji said that she was going to a new country because she was unhappy and wanted to escape.
Gandhiji asked Mrs. Pandit, “Must you inflict further injury on yourself because you lack courage to cleanse your own heart?”
Mahatama Gandhi asked Mrs. Pandit if she wanted to inflict further injury on herself because she lacked the courage to cleanse her own heart.
Mrs. Pandit said to the leader, “I have come to ask you to forgive me if I have hurt you by any word or action.”
Mrs. Pandit told the leader that she had gone to ask him to forgive her it she had hurt him by any word or action.
Mrs. Pandit said, “ Why isn’t the dinner ready?”
Mrs. Pandit asked why the dinner wasn’t ready.
The Best Advice I Ever Had Additional Questions and Answers
Part – A
When was this article written by Mrs. Pandit and in which magazine was it published?
This article was written by Mrs. Pandit when she was the High Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom. This article was published in ‘The Reader’s Digest’ a monthly magazine.
Why was Vijaylakshmi passing through a period of anguish?
Mrs. Pandit’s husband had passed away. Added to that loss was her realization that in the eyes of Indian law, a widow without a son was not entitled to get any family property nor were her two daughters. This resulted her in feeling very anguished and bitter.
Why did Mrs. Pandit go to America?
To take part in a conference.
Whom did she go to meet before leaving for America?
What was her reply when Gandhiji asked her if she had made her peace with her relatives?
Mrs. Pandit said that she had not quarrelled with anyone but she refused to have anything to do with those who took advantage of an archaic law to create a humiliating situation for her.
What was Gandhiji’s reason for her going abroad ?
Gandhiji feltthatMrs. Pandit was going to a new country because she was unhappy and wanted to go away.
Describe Mrs. Pandit’s meeting with her family members.
Heeding Gandhiji’s advice, Mrs. Pandit called her brother in law and met the family. Within five minutes of meeting, she was able to sense that the meeting had brought a feeling of relief to everyone. She told them her plans and asked for their good wishes before embarking on a new life. She felt very relieved and light hearted after the meeting.
What according to Mrs. Pandit is the recurring nightmare most of the women have?
The recurring nightmare that most women get is that they invite someone important for dinner, the guests arrive, and when it is time to eat, there is no dinner.
What sight greeted Mrs. Pandit in the kitchen?
When Mrs. Pandit entered the kitchen she saw the kitchen maid standing frightened in a corner, and the housekeeper in another. The cook was sitting on the table, waving a ladle and singing, beating rhythm with his foot. His eyes were glazed and the table was littered with pieces of chicken.
How was the dinner crisis averted?
Instead of losing her temper, Mrs. Pandit decided to quickly prepare something. Everyone pitched in and the dinner was served. When she informed the guests of ’ the kitchen disaster, all had a hearty laugh after a chorus of surprise.
What lesson did she learn, then?
She realized that to retain a sense of proportion is as important as being able to keep one’s heart free from hatred.
Annotations: Part – B
“The best advice I ever had came from one of the greatest souls the world has ever known.”
a. Who said this?
Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit.
b. Who is the greatest soul?
c. What advice did the speaker get?
No one can harm one except oneself was the advice received by Mrs. Pandit.
Yet in law, we women were still recognized only through our relationship to men.
a. What did the law say?
According to the law, a widow without a son was not entitled to any share of the family property and it was applicable to the daughters too.
b. How did this law affect Mrs. Pandit?
She became a widow in 1944 and as she had only two daughters and no sons, neither she, nor her daughters were entitled for a share of the family property.
I went to pay my respects to Gandhiji.
a. Why did she go to pay her respects to Gandhiji?
She was about to leave for America to take part in a conference and so Gandhiji.
b. What does she call Mahatma Gandhi?
Mrs. Pandit calls Mahatma Gandhi as one of the greatest souls the world has ever seen.
I was amazed that he could take sides against me.
a. Who said this about whom?
This was said by Mrs. Pandit about Gandhiji.
b. Why was the speaker amazed?
Mrs. Pandit was amazed that Gandhiji took sides against her.
c. What made the speaker think so?
Mahatma Gandhi asked her whether she had made her peace with her relatives and this made her amazed.
Harsh things were said by both sides.
a. What was the argument about?
The topic of debate was India’s complaint regarding the treatment of people of Indian origin in South Africa.
b. Where did the debate take place?
The debate took place at the United Nations in New York.
c. Who led the Indian delegation?
The Indian delegation was led by Mrs. Pandit.
d. In what way was the argument harsh?
The opponents made personal attacks harmful to India’s prestige and to her and she retailated in the same vein.
I lifted the debate to where it belonged.
a. What was the debate about?
The topic of debate was India’s complaint regarding the treatment of people of Indian origin in South Africa.
b. Why did Mrs. Pandit stop the personal attack?
Mrs. Pandit suddenly thought of Mahatma Gandhi and wondered whether he would and stopped the attack approve such a beheviour.
c. What was important to Gandhiji?
To Gandhiji, means were as important as the end and he wouldn’t approve of the success of their ‘ resolution getting passed by questionable tactics.
“I have come to ask you forgive me if I have hurt you ”
a. Who said this to whom?
Mrs Pandit said this to the leader of the opposing delegation in the UN.
b. Why did the speaker say this?
Mrs. Pandit felt that one cannot make a personal attack or score a cheap point when the debate was about the prestige of a nation.
c. What was the response to the speaker’s apology?
The leader of opposing delegation shook Mrs. Pandit’s hand warmly and said that he was not upset about the argument and had no complaints.
I had planned everything meticulously.
a. Why had Mrs. Pandit planned everything meticulously?
Mrs. Pandit had invited the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Lady Eden for dinner.
b. What was the position held by Mrs. Pandit then ?
Mrs. Pandit was the High Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom then.
c. What did she plan?
Mrs. Pandit had planned right from the menu to the colour scheme of the flowers and the candles.
It presented a shocking sight.
a. Where had the incident take place?
The incident took place in Mrs. Pandit’s kitchen.
b. When did the incident take place?
The incident took place when Mrs. Pandit had invited the Prime Minister of UK and Lady Eden for dinner.
c. What was the ‘shocking sight’?
The shocking sight presented to Mrs. Pandit was a totally drunk cook, sitting at the table, waving a ladle and singing, beating time with his food. His eyes were glazed and the table was littered with pieces of chicken.
“Get out. You’re dismissed!”.
a. When did this thought come into Mrs. Pandit’s mind?
This thought came into Mrs. Pandit’s mind when she saw her cook totally drunk and the dinner not ready.
b. Why didn’t she utter these thoughts aloud?
Mrs. Pandit did not utter these thoughts aloud because, she remembered the counsel that if she lost control she would end up hurting only herself.
c. How was the crisis averted?
Mrs. Pandit and the Kitchen maid along with the housekeeper pitched in and were able to serve food.
d. What was the reaction of guests when they became aware of the crisis?
When the guests came to know about the crisis, they exclaimed in surprise that if the food served by a drunk cook was so good, then his cooking must be fantastic when he was sober.
The Best Advice I Ever Had by Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit About the author:
- Vijayalakshmi Pandit (1900-1990) was an Indian diplomat, politician and the sister of India’s first Prime Minister Shri. Jawaharlal Nehru.
- She was very active in the Indian freedom movement and held high National and International positions.
- She was greatly influenced by the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the freedom struggle.
- She was imprisoned thrice by the British in 1932-1933, 1940, 1942 – 43
- After her husband’s death in 1944, she travelled to the USA from late 1944 to early 1946 on lecture tour.
- She entered Indian Diplomatic Service after India’s Independence and went to Soviet Union as India’s Ambassador. She went to Soviet Union, the United States, Mexico and Ireland as the Indian Ambassador.
- She was the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Spain.
- In 1953, she became the first woman President of the UN General Assembly.
- Mrs. Pandit passed away on 1st December 1990.
- President R. Venkatraman described Mrs. Pandit as a, “Luminous strand in the tapestry of India’s freedom struggle. Distinctive in her elegance, courage and dedication, Mrs. Pandit was an asset to the National Movement”.
The Best Advice I Ever Had Summary in English
Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit received the best advice from one of the greatest souls the world has ever known – Mahatma Gandhi, one afternoon. She was passing through a period of intense anguish with the demise of her husband. Added to that pain was the knowledge that neither she nor her daughters had the right to any share of family property as the law said that only male heirs were entitled to it.
Mrs. Pandit became very bitter towards all the members of her family who supported this antiquated law. Just before leaving for the USA to take part in a conference, she went to pay her respects to Mahatma Gandhi and bid goodbye to him. After their talk, Gandhiji asked her if she had made peace with her family. Mrs. Pandit was upset that Gandhiji took the side ofher relatives.
She said that she had not quarreled with anyone but she refused to have anything to do with those who had humiliated her. Mahatma paused for a moment and smiled and asked her to go meet her family as decency demanded it. He also said that no one can harm one, except oneself. He said that the bitterness in her could harm her if she didn’t check it.
He asked her if it was possible for her to escape from herself though she was going abroad to escape from this situation. He advised her to be humble saying that the loss of a loved one is sorrow enough and asked her to cleanse her heart.
These words struck a deep chord in her and after deliberating she called up her brother-in-law, met die family and cleared the air between them. After the meeting, she felt as if a great burden was lifted from her heart.
A year and a half later, when she was in New York as the leader of Indian delegation to the UN, India had a complaint regarding the treatment of people of Indian origin in South Africa. During the argument, personal attacks were made by both the sides when she suddenly thought of Gandhiji’s advice and wondered whether he would approve of this behaviour.
She resolved not to make any personal attack but steered the debate back on track. Before leaving the Committee room, she went up to the leader of opposition and apologized for her behavior and felt better when her gesture was warmly reciprocated.
Gandhiji’s advice helped her retain her perspective even in minor matters. Once she had invited the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Lady Eden for dinner. The entire programme was planned to the last detail. The guests had arrived and after two rounds of drinks, Mrs. Pandit requested the dinner to be served. When it didn’t happen, she went into the kitchen to see her cook drUnk and dinner not ready.
Enraged, she wanted to dismiss him, but the advice of Gandhiji helped her retain her sanity and dinner was prepared quickly and crisis was averted. The guests were amused at the incident and the dinner disaster was averted.
Mrs. Pandit’s advice to all is-to retain a sense of proportion is as important as being able to keep one’s heart free from hatred. The advice of Gandhiji that – No one can harm you but yourself – is applicable to each and everyone in life.
- Humanity (n): people
- Cleanse (v): purify
- miraculous(adj): unexpected and very lucky
- prestige: respect because of social position
- distressing: upsetting
- questionable: doubtful, debatable
- tactics: particular methods
- delegation: a group of people representing a view
- recurring: happening again and again
- littered: strewn; spread about and around a place.
- counsel: advice
- pitched in: helped, joined in the activity.