Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/57

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42
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

Two Indian fellow-passengers landed with Mr. Gandhi at the London Docks on a never-to-be-forgotten September afternoon, in 1888, and not knowing where to find their friends in the gear city, they decided to go to the Hotel Victoria. Their luggage was left behind for delivery, and dressed in flannels, which appeared to him a most becoming costume, the Rajkot student entered upon his English experiences. They were not at first particularly happy, and Mr. Gandhi retains vivid memories of that day. His costume and colour drew the attention of passers-by, and sensitive as he was, it appeared to him that he was a marked man. To his surprise, no one else was in flannels, his dark skin was in a hopeless minority, and he began to think that courtesy and refinement were not features of London life. Beyond this he was horribly lonely. After a while, an urgent telegram brought to him an Indian friend, and matters improved. The older man was versed in city ways, and while he laughed at the young student's simplicity, he set himself, as he said, to make an "English gentleman" of him.

His first move was to take Mr. Gandhi to apartments at Richmond; then he carefully instructed him in the way he should go. This friend had