Gandhigiri actually works!

Before I actually start this post, I must disclaim that I am not very fond of the word “Gandhigiri” – but it has come so much into the everyday parlance, that I cannot find any other alternative.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the word finds itself in the Oxford dictionary pretty soon.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “Gandhigiri” means doing as (Mahatma) Gandhi would. The word comes from a very popular (and extremely hilarious) Hindi film – “Lage Raho Munnabhai” in which the protagonist follows on the steps prescribed by Mahatma Gandhi to bring about revolutionary changes.
This involves using the path of non violence and satyagraha.
Though, I found the movie to be extremely hilarious and enjoyable, I didn’t actually think working on these philosophies would produce results in our modern, day to day life.
However, the cynic in me was silenced when I actually happened to try the technique at home for a very interesting (though trivial problem) and it produced astonishing results.
Let me enunciate as follows:
At the onset of summer, the chore that becomes the biggest pain in our house – is filling up bottles of water to store in the refrigerator.
Though the cold water is consumed by everyone, it is usually my mother and me who end up filling the water. This is actually frustrating, because we have a “Fill up water when you consume it” policy which no one seems to follow.
You will empathize with me when I tell you how homicidal I feel when I open the refrigerator to find that – not only is all the cold water over, but bottles are missing entirely – the ones which my brother conveniently bootlegs to the confines of his room.
This naturally infuriates me because not only do I NOT get the cold water which I so painstakingly filled up, but I know that after I fill up the bottles again – the same scenario will take place and I might actually end up strangling my brother.
None of the tactics to make my brother start filling up after he drank worked. No amount of tantrums, abuses, nagging ever got him to fill a single bottle.
Then, while re-filling the bottles that evening, the concept of Gandhigiri hit me.
One of the biggest and most pro-active emotions that human beings experience – something that more often than not makes someone get up and do something is that of guilt. And this is what the principle is based on. (I think)
So, I decided, to somehow make my brother feel guilty for what he was doing. (He’s human – so he has to eventually – right?)
That evening, once I had done filling up the bottles, I poured in a glass of ice cold water and took it up to his room and put in on his desk.
After looking suspiciously at the utensil on his desk, smelling it and finally taking a sip, he asked what was wrong with me.
To which I replied: “I am now embarking on the path of Gandhigiri and everytime I fill up bottles of water which YOU drink, I’ll get you a glass of water.
He was on the floor laughing and told me that there was no way in hell he was going to fall for this, and I could go and keep filling bottles till kingdom-com for all he cared.
I knew this was coming and had mentally prepared myself to go through this ritual for a couple of months atleast!
I couldn’t be more wrong.
The next day, I get back home after work to find the refrigerator completely stocked – every empty nook and corner of it – with bottled water.
My mom was as shocked as me – and told me that my brother had come to the kitchen, dug up hundreds of empty bottles, filled them up and stocked them – all without her telling him anything.
I couldn’t believe it!
It worked!!! Gandhigiri worked!
Results within 1 day (though your mileage may vary).
So, if you have similar problems, I suggest you give this a shot. The trick is finding the right angle to make the person feel guilty as soon as possible (you don’t want to keep doing this forever and look like an idiot) – like in this case offering a glass of water did the trick.
If this does not work, threatening the concerned person that you are going to blog about this usually does the trick. 🙂
[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 85.]

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Comments (10)

  • Shantesh Patil 13 years ago — Reply

    hehe that was a very interesting and amusing post… only problem is i myself am the one who never fills up bottles at home.. hehe. 😀

  • nithin 13 years ago — Reply

    hahahaha….ur brother has changed…i’m very disappointed in him!shyeah!

    p.s. i dare you to try this with jewboy and get positive results!

  • Saurabh 13 years ago — Reply

    Ok done.
    I am going to now start targetting individual people and change them.

    Jewboy is next!
    Watch out world!!!

    Hehehe 🙂

  • Shalini 13 years ago — Reply


    One day?? Thats it???

    That is a little far-fetched, although i am not doubting the truth of your post! 🙂

    ONE day???

  • Aswin Anand T.H. 13 years ago — Reply

    Lol!! nice post… the situation you have detailed happens in every home… especially in Chennai where the heat is very unbearable when summer is at its peak.

  • Mulling Over My Thoughts 13 years ago — Reply

    um, i hate to be cynical but knowing your bro as well as i do, did you buy him something or tempt him with some ‘goodies?’ (pun intended…) just to aid the process, im not entirely undermining the concept, atleast not until iv gotten the answer to this question…

  • Id it is 13 years ago — Reply

    Amazing! I would like to try this one out! What if the person is a thick skinned, hard headed individual? Would I find it in myself to be patient and continue doing the right thing regardless of his actions or the lack thereof? I am not sure that all of us are capable of “gandhigiri”, hehe. However, it’s definitely worth a try.
    Interesting post.

  • Rishi Agarwal 13 years ago — Reply

    Yup, the problem of filling up water bottles happens in every home. But I cant empathize with u , as I never fill bottles at my place 😛

    But I dont believe that ur bro changed his habits the very next day. I guess the conspiracy is – U must have threatened him, or had a duel on ur X BOX and beat him at it, or even had a boxing fight , so that he starts filling up very next day, which wud mean u dont have to lie in your blog ( which ends up getting 8 comments within 2 weeks ! ) and u still remain a true Gandhi follower by speaking the truth …..

  • Yuvi 13 years ago — Reply

    I’m the culprit at my house, and worse being, the empty water bottles would be under the computer table where he had to dig ’em up and then fill ’em.

    The solution? My brother is now Not at home, so I have peace of mind and fill up the bottles!

    [Where did my writing gusto go? I’m mixing up my verbs!]

  • Abbas 11 years ago — Reply

    Nice act 🙂 but one day is quite quick . You must have really mastered the technique .

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