In the Spring of 2006, I decided — I don’t remember how — to walk in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi from Ahmedabad, Gujarat to the ocean at Dandi. It was a walk he did in 1930 to protest the British tax on salt. In completing his pilgrimage and making salt at the ocean, Gandhi initiated the biggest civil disobedience campaign the world has ever remembered, leading eventually to the political independence of India in 1947.
I wanted to see what was left of Gandhi’s ideas, footprints, culture in the Indian countryside, and took to walking in his footsteps as the most honest and direct means of understanding this great and complicated human.
I carried no money, and only asked humans for water. Everything else — including food and shelter — came from otherworldly intuition. Somewhere along the way, I decided I should take care to make my handwriting legible (at least to myself) in case the entries were worth reading. By the end of the 26-day trip, I figure it could be a nice thing to share.
So I carved little blocks of time out of the ensuing two and a half years to type, edit, revise, typeset, design, and print this book. It is 270pp and measures 8.3 x 5.3 x .65 inches. The cover is glossy and the paper is 50% post-consumer recycled. I did the best I could.
Gandhi once said that the most we can do in this life is to “do no harm”. That’s a tall order, but I do hope that the publication of this little books has aided me in focusing on that objective, and whatever human connection that results from it is worth the resources extracted for its production.