6. The Truth

Gandhiji loved to be truthful since he was a child. He has written how he moved in the company of bad boys for a few days.

Those boys had a habit of eating snacks at a vender's shop and smoking. Since they could not ask their parents to give money for such a thing, they started stealing it from the servants' pockets.

Mohan would feel suffocated due to this, but when he saw those friends he would be tempted to smoke.

As the time went by they had piled a lot of debt at the vender's shop. The shop-keeper would demand his money time and again; it was a difficult situation. They worried about his demanding the money in front of people or that he would come home to take it from their parents. The money stolen from the servant's pockets used to be very little and the debt was big enough. What to do now?

So the group was worried. Gandhiji's elder brother was also there in the group. Then he thought of stealing to escape from this situation. He said, "I have a gold bracelet in my hand. If we take some gold out of it, we would be able to pay the debt and nobody would know!"

This idea made Mohan uneasy but he dared not speak against it. He let them cut a piece out of it. The debt was paid but how could a truth loving person have peace of mind? He thought, "Alas! I have been a part of this theft! Let the snacks and the cigarettes go to hell!"

Again a thought came to his mind, "Oh God! I have even deceived my father!"

Uneasy as he was he could neither eat properly nor do any work! He felt guilty.

At last he decided to go to his father and confess the misdeed. He thought, "I will face his anger and even take the beating if he does so."

But he dared not speak to his father. So Gandhiji wrote a letter to him confessing everything and asked to be forgiven. He handed it over to his father with tearful eyes and trembling hands. His father overcame with joy on reading that letter. He forgave his son's misdeed and embraced his truth-loving child!