This incident occurred when Gandhiji was practicing law in Johannesburg in South Africa. The office was three miles from the house. Once, Gandhiji’s companion Mr. Polak told Gandhiji’s thirteen year old son Manilal to bring a book home from the office. Manilal forgot to do so. The news reached Gandhiji.
Gandhiji went to Manilal and told him softly, but with firmness, “The night is
dark, the path is difficult, coming and going is about six miles. Still, because
you had committed, you have to bring the book from the office for Mr. Polak.”
On hearing this, Ba and all the other family members got worried. Questions were
also raised as to why Bapu should insist in this manner.
An office companion, Kalyanjibhai told, “I will bring the book or let me go with
Gandhiji accepted the second option. The thirteen year old son brought the book
for Mr. Polak even at that late night. A father, who was tender than a flower,
but also harder than a rock, meticulously took care that his son would
accomplish the work that he had accepted and promised.