After returning from South Africa, Gandhiji had lodged at his barrister friend Jivanlal’s place in Ahmedabad. The thought of establishing the Ashram in Ahmedabad only was continuously going on in his mind. The form and path of the struggle for the country’s service had not yet clearly emerged and crystallised in his mind.
One evening, his friend Jivanlal came home and told him jovially, “Gandhi, your
fame has started spreading all around!”
Then he told Gandhiji in detail, “Today, one of my barrister friends met me. He
was coming, walking through the Ellis Bridge. At that time two people were
talking, going little ahead of him. One of them was our cook. He was telling his
friend that, someone has come to our place from South Africa. He requires about
ten or twelve bananas in the breakfast. The whole day, he just sits idle. He
says that he is a barrister. But, he is not doing any work at all. Just see,
Gandhi, we have now started adding to your fame!”
And the barrister friend candidly burst into laughter. Gandhiji also joined him.
But, then Gandhiji suddenly became serious and told: “In a way he is correct, I
am not doing any job here. But, shall I tell you, what am I doing at every
moment all these days? As some commander constantly thinks, standing in front of
the antagonist’s castle, that which pebble or stone has to be removed in order
to make a hole, so that he can intrude the whole army inside the castle,
similarly, I am constantly pondering over the same matter that where to make a
hole in the strong castle of power of the British Empire.”
And, after some time, Gandhiji started his Ashram, near Ellis Bridge, in the
house given by his barrister friend Jivanlal.