“Lower House” & “Upper House”

Joseph Lelyveld என்பர் “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India” என்று ஒரு நூல் எழுதியிருக்கிறார். போகிற போக்கில் அதில் இப்படி ஒரு படு அபத்தமான அவதூறை சொல்லிச் செல்கிறார்.
Two years later, the lawyer Gandhi drafts a mock-serious agreement for his friend to sign, using the teasing pet names and epistolary salutations that Gandhi, easily the wittier and more humorous of the two, almost certainly coined. Kallenbach, two years the younger, has come to be addressed as “Lower House” in the parliamentary sense (a jocular allusion, it seems, to his role as the source of appropriations). Gandhi is “Upper House” (and therefore gets to vote down excessive spending). Lower House can pronounce on matters of physical fitness and everything that’s literally down-to-earth on the communal settlement, known as Tolstoy Farm, they’d by then established. Upper House gets to think deep thoughts, strategize, and direct the moral development of his other half in this touching bicameral relationship. In the agreement dated July 29, 1911, on the eve of a trip Kallenbach is about to make to Europe, Upper House makes Lower House promise “not to contract any marriage tie during his absence” nor “look lustfully upon any woman.” The two Houses then mutually pledge “more love, and yet more love … such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.” By then, except for time subtracted by Gandhi’s jail terms in 1908 and trip to London in 1909, the two had been together more than three years. Remember, we have only Gandhi’s letters (invariably starting. “Dear Lower House”). So it’s Gandhi who provides the playful undertone that might easily be ascribed to a lover, especially if we ignore what else his letters contain and their broader context. Interpretation can go two ways here. We can indulge in speculation, or look more closely at what the two men actually say about their mutual efforts to repress sexual urges in this period. A 1908 letter from Kallenbach to his brother Simon in Germany, shortly after Gandhi moved in with him, shows that he’d been under his lodger’s influence for some time. For the last two years I have given up meat eating; for the last year I also did not touch fish any more,” he writes, “and for the last 18 months, I have given up my sex life… I have changed my daily life in order to simplify it.” Later it is Kallenbach who points out to Gandhi the insidious tendency milk has to enhance arousal. Gandhi, ever the extremist in dietary experiments, extends the prohibition to chocolates. “I see death in chocolates,” he lectures Polak, who isn’t in this period involved in the food trials that Kallenbach readily undergoes. Few foods are so “heating,” meaning likely to stimulate forbidden appetites. He sends Kallenbach a verse on non attachment to “bodily pleasures.” We have bodies, according to this message, in order to learn “self control.”
காந்தியும் அவரது நண்பர் காலன்பாக்கும் வசித்த குடில்களுக்கு “Upper House” , “Lower House” என்று பெயரிட்டு அழைத்ததை வைத்து இப்படி ஒரு கதை எழுதியிருக்கிறார்.
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