In the Yeravada jail, Shankarlalbhai Banker, a close associate of Gandhiji used to wash Gandhiji’s clothes. One day, Gandhiji told him, “You need not wash my clothes, I will do that myself.”
Shankarlalbhai asked, “Is it the case that the clothes are not washed properly or is there any shortcoming?”
Gandhiji told him with an air of satisfaction, “They are washed properly. But, I think the soap is being consumed excessively. I can use this amount of soap for almost double the number of days.”
Shankarlalbhai assured him, “I shall now use the soap economically.”
He thought that, it is okay if some more soap is consumed, but the clothes should be clean and bright. Now, he gained an insight of the economy Gandhiji was thinking about.
There must be an imaginative power, which must always work behind an insight of economy.
One morning Gandhiji said, “Shankarlal, Do not light the grate today. There is no need to warm up the water.”
Shankarlalbhai asked, “Why?”
Gandhiji replied, “We keep a lantern in the room at night. The idea just clicked to my mind that if I keep a jug of water on the lantern, then by the morning, the water will get warmed up. I tried that and the experiment is successful. The water is warm enough for me to drink.”
Shankarlalbhai felt a bit offended. He said, “Aren’t you doing this, because you think that I have to take trouble to light the grate early in the morning? I feel that I am unable to give you satisfaction from my work.”
Gandhiji replied, “You were preparing things very well. But, it was just an experiment that I wanted to try. I wanted to see how it works if water is being warmed on a lantern. That much coal would be saved. There is nothing to be offended about in that.”