When studying in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 10 years ago, local friends urged me to visit the Gandhi Ashram. However, I was too caught up travelling through other more 'fun' parts of the country to be bothered. Why visit a boring ashram when there were the beaches of Goa, the frenzy of Mumbai and the splendour of Delhi to be experienced? To be honest, I didn't even make any attempt to read up on this man of history till much, much later! Reading this book has made me deeply regretful of that youthful folly. I'm still working my way through it, but already I am inspired by his virtues that include svadhyaya (self-study), tapas (fiery discipline) and aparigraha (non-grasping), among many others.