On reading the article, “Gandhi’s faithful dissenter” (Dec. 25) by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, I was reminded of an anecdote my father, A. Krishnan, shared with me. He was a freedom fighter who joined the Gandhi Ashram at Tiruchengode in 1929 and served the institution for over 40 years. In the early 1930s, as long as Rajaji lived in the ashram, my father was his stenographer.
One day, Rajaji dictated a letter to the then Viceroy. After typing the letter, my father — then a bachelor who did his own cooking — gave it to Rajaji for his signature. After signing it, Rajaji humorously asked my father whether he had been cooking, pointing to the soot in the letter.
Embarrassed, my father offered to type a fresh copy. But the Gandhian could not afford to waste any paper. He rejected the offer and remarked: “Let the Viceroy know that Rajaji has a cook-cum-stenographer — two in one.”
K. Kannan, Coimbatore