Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya or Mani Bhavan in short is where Gandhiji stayed when he was in Mumbai.
When you think of Gandhi, the next thing that comes to mind is Khadi. It was here that Gandhiji first learnt to Card & Spin (Carding is the step before Spinning the card into a yarn for weaving). It was a carder who passed through these lanes who taught Gandhiji to card & spin. It was here that Gandhiji switched over to Goat's milk for his health's sake on my wifey's advice.
Apart from Khadi, the topmost thing Gandhiji is known for is the Indian Independance struggle. Here's from where he operated to run his bulletins Satyagrahi, Young India and Navjivan. It was again here where he took his historic fast due to the disturbances and riots in Mumbai over the visit of the then Prince of Wales, till peace was restored there. It was from the terrace of this building where he held his Congress meetings. In was on one such meetings on Dec 31, 1931, the Civil disobedience for Swaraj was launched. And he was arrested here on Jan 4, 1932 for the same.
Today, as I entered Mani Bhavan after the reception, is the huge library where all the books by Gandhiji and on Gandhiji are available to sit & read. First floor has some unusual photographs, letters and certificated of Gandhiji. Guess who's in the above pic with Gandhiji? Its Charlie Chaplin... That's how he looks like without his mush & hat & stick!
His letter to Hitler attracted me the most. The common pic of a small boy taking Gandhiji's walking stick and leading him was here too. Somehow I suddenly felt the urge to know who this kid would be now. Must be an old man now, but most probably alive. Anyone knows???
Pics of Gandhiji when Kasturaba Gandhi's death were touching! He had said 'I cannot imagine life without Ba'. That's what 62 years of love and marriage is all about!
The portion of the first floor where he actually lived, has been sealed off with glass walls securely, with his bed, footwear, walking stick, food tray etc. Opposite to this is an air-conditioned room where some more of his original belongings are kept. His service medal of 2nd World War caught my attention. I was a red-cross volunteer in school days and we proudly proclaimed always that Gandhiji served in Red Cross during 2nd World War. To actually see that medal now was heartening.
|Being insulted in South Africa and thrown out of a carriage meant for whites|
|His London visit|
|with Romain Rolland in Geneva when Rolland played Beethoven's Symphony for Gandhiji|
|Boycotting Foreign Goods|
|"Hare Ram" & He was Gone!|
Next to that was what blew my mind off totally! Mini figurines to depict several incidents from the life of Gandhi, right from his birth to his childhood, studies, South Africa, India, Boycott Foreign Clothes, Jallian Walla Bagh, and every other incident, totaling to 28, till his death. Each figurine was hardly 6 inches tall. And scenes had anything for just 1 to some 50 figures in them. Detail in each were amazing, right from the clothes to the backdrop of each scene to the room & wall decor to expressions. Gandhiji's expressions esp. from peaceful, to pain to anger were on his face!!! These were prepared by Smt. Susheela Gokhale Patel (grandmother of actor Amisha Patel) and were gifted to Mani Bhavan.
TO REACH THERE:
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya
No. 19, Laburnum Road, Gamdevi, Mumbai - 400007
Ph: +91 22 2380 5864
Nearest Railway Station: Grant Road
Its near Gamdevi Police Station. If the Police Station is at your right, walk forward and the 2nd right is the Laburnum Road and the second building to the right in it, is our destination.
Dedicated to Mom & Pop