When Mahatma Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a Professor by the name of Peters disliked him intensely and always displayed animosity towards him. And because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him, as he expected, there were always “arguments” and confrontations.
One day Professor Peters was having lunch at the University dining room when Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to him. The professor said,”Mr Gandhi, you do not understand. A Pig and a Bird do not sit together to eat. Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, “You do not worry, Professor, I’ll fly away,” and he went and sat at another table.
Peters, red with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions. Unhappy and frustrated, Professor Peters asked him the following question: “Mr. Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?”
Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, “The one with the money, of course.” Professor Peters, smiling sarcastically, said, “I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom.” Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, “Each one takes what he doesn’t have.”
Professor Peters, by this time, was fit to be tied. So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi’s exam sheet the word “idiot” and handed it back to him. Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk, trying hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move. A few minutes later Gandhi got up, went to the Professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, “Professor Peters, you autographed the sheet, but you did not give me a grade.
Talk about some brilliant repartee! Those are examples of the kind of comebacks that we all wish we could reply with immediately and in just the right tone when it’s appropriate. It’s too bad, but I always think of “just the right retort” an hour or two later – after the moment has passed.
A tip of Garnet’s 10-gallon hat to Rock, our roving correspondent for sending this!
Categories: Humor & Satire