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7 Effective Habits that Gandhi followed!


7 Effective Habits that Gandhi followed!


On account of Gandhi Jayanthi, Amritha Prem meets Gandhi’s last personal secretary V Kalyanam, age 96 at his clean and well-maintained apartment at Teynampet.

His apartment will certainly take you back to the pre-independence days, as his living wall was hooked with black and white photographs of him and Gandhi, and handwritten letters and newspaper cuttings flourishing at his living area.

V Kalyanam, in his white kurta and pyjama, welcomes me warmly and reminisces Gandhi’s most effective habits which amuse him till date.


From the very beginning, my interest in domestic work such as cleaning, sweeping and gardening was greater than towards office work. I disclosed this to my father, who had a friend close to Devdas Gandhi (Gandhiji’s fourth son). So based on his friend’s suggestion, I met Devdas Gandhi who gave me an introduction letter to the manager of ‘Sevagram Ashram’. Thus, I started working there. My initial role was to segregate letters addressed to Gandhiji based on the language it was in. During that period of time, Gandhi was recovering from malaria and when he came back to the ashram the first thing he did was to reply back to all the letter. As I introduced myself, he told me to make a note of all his replies. In the beginning, I couldn’t understand any of his words as he had no teeth but only dentures yet if I ask him to repeat his lines, without getting angry, he repeats it calmly.


Gandhi’s ashram had no facilities and he followed sustainable living. He always reused and recycled things. His ashram consisted of mud pits, which after use was made into manure and was used for his garden. Also, he won’t buy paper to make notes. He flips the other side of the paper (used or written) and starts writing on it in all directions.



Gandhi always prefers traveling in 3rd class and he always pays for his tickets. During one such journey, I accompanied him as the senior secretary was not there. While crossing the 100th kilometer, Gandhi asked me, “If I had bought my tickets. When I said ‘no’, he immediately called the railway superintendent of police at the next junction, complained to him about the same sincerely.

Hearing his words patiently, the police said: “What is the need for you to buy tickets, your a great man, you’re a VIP”.

“Is this the way you allow all great men to travel without tickets? I will report about you”, Gandhi warned the officer.

Then, I paid the money and bought my ticket from the officer.


 Once a reporter had fixed an appointment with Gandhi at 4PM. Gandhi made sure he didn’t have any other works and the reporter turned back only at 6pm.

On seeing him, he only said “You delayed the independence by two hours” and gave him the interview.


Once we got to travel to another city and he had assigned me a letter to be typed out which ought to be signed by him and given in the next station, so it can reach the Viceroy staying at Delhi.  Without knowing all these details and as it was Monday (he observes silence every Monday from morning 6 to evening 6) I remained idle.

But, as soon as he broke his silence, the very first question he raised was “Where is the letter” to which I replied, “I don’t have the typewriter”. He said, “When I send for a barber I expect him to bring his tools” firmly. I didn’t know what to do and his granddaughters suggested me to borrow a typewriter from the journalists who travel in the next compartment. I immediately did so and submitted the letter at 8 PM. His professionalism and work nature inspired me a lot and I haven’t seen him stay idle even a minute, Kalyanam adds.


Towards the end of the day, he documents his everyday events and reflects on it. He makes sure he hasn’t done any bad things! He reflects and starts his next day afresh!


Once, Gandhiji and I were traveling, when a person from the ashram came to him to speak about a problem. Gandhiji gave solutions to it and also asked him to go to the concerned place, to which he politely denied for not having money. He asked me to give him the required amount, which was 35. I did so and forgot about it. But Gandhiji remembered the same returned the money in the form a cheque on the 20th of January 1948, while I was in Patna. Since I had my bank account in Delhi, I posted the cheque on the 29th to have the money credited. Unfortunately, on the 30th, Gandhiji got assassinated. I rushed back to the bank and requested for the cheque as I wanted to treasure the same with his signature on it; it had become more important for me than the money. This cheque with his signature is my priced possession, Kalyanam concludes.

Gandhi, our father of nation has lived his life by practicing these seven habits. On his birthday, why can’t we inculcate these habits to lead a simple yet happy life!

Spread love, spread happiness!

Happy Birthday Gandhi:)

Let’s smile like him each and every day!!!