Parikshitbhai never used to be free from work. Whether it was a festival or a Sunday didn’t make any difference to him. He would often joke, “Don’t we take food on Sundays or on festivals?” He would be continuously busy since 5 o’clock in the morning till 10 or sometimes 11 o’ clock in the night. The labourers from the village would always flock around him. Whether he was in the office or in a car or traveling, he would always have an infinite number of visitors. He would heartily meet every visitor saying, “welcome brother, how are you?”
Whenever he was at the Ashram, he would be at
the office of the Harijan Seva Sangh from 7 in the morning till 5 O’ clock
in the evening. Once during a conversation one thing led to another. He
asked me, “Do you have a holiday on Holi?” I went through the list of
holidays and told him, “We have a holiday on Holi and its next day too.”
“Oh! Two days leave?” He was surprised to hear it. Then in a voice loud
enough for all in the office to hear, he said, “Bapuji never takes a leave
on any festival or on Sundays. In Yerawada jail too, he would get up early
as usual and then engage himself in prayer, spinning, reading or writing
etc. One of his guards was a Somali from Eden. He knew neither English nor
Hindi. He would come to Bapu whenever he was free and join him for prayer.
He would watch Bapu spinning the yarn.
Although Bapu was suffering from severe cold
in those days, he would follow his routine since dawn. The Somali observed
this and started saying something in his language. Bapu couldn’t understand
what he said. At last with the help of signs he asked Bapu to rest. Bapu got
it then. He pointed to the blazing Sun and said, “Aaftab! Aaftab!” The
Somali was clever enough and got the cue that people should always keep
working just like the Sun who never tires.” The story was over and the
smiling Parikshitbhai got busy in his work.