Bapu at his witty best: No ‘elite’ fruit for me

Bengaluru: The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was no stranger to Bengaluru and his association with the city  from 1915 to 1936, when he visited it five times, is well chronicled. On his first visit on May 8, 1915 he was served only peanuts and fruits for lunch at his request, said freedom fighter and Gandhian, Dr H. Sreenivasiah, in his book Gandhi In Bangalore, also recalling that he refused to eat apples, “an elite fruit”, and picked papaya instead.

And when  a chariot procession was arranged for him on his arrival  in the city by the Madras Mail at the request of Kannada writer, D.V. Gundappa,  he refused to ride in the chariot on seeing  a group of youth readying to pull it instead of a horse.  Instead, he chose to walk all the way to his accommodation at Ananda Rao Circle, says a  book published by the Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi. It was on this visit that Gandhi also met legendary Diwan, Sir M. Visveswarayya. His second visit to the city on August 21, 1920 was part of the Non-Cooperation movement  and saw him address a gathering at the Khuddus Sahab Eidgah Maidan in Benson Town. 

An unwell Gandhi camped in Nandi Hills in 1927 during his third visit and visited the Imperial Diary Farm in Adugodi, watched a play, Dinabandu Kabir in the Majestic, visited the Tata Institute, Sri Chamarajendra Sanskrit Patashale and Mahila Seva Samaja in Shankarpuram.    

It was during this trip, that Mr Doreswamy got a glimpse of  him at the National High School, Basavanagudi where he  had come to inaugurate a khadi expo.
Gandhi's fourth trip in 1934 was part of  the 'Harijan Fund Tour' and his last trip to the city was in 1936.

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