Last day in Gandhi's life – III

Then he had a stream of visitors. The last among them was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Deputy Prime Minister. He came at 4 p.m. At 4.30 his evening meal, of almost the same contents as in the morning meal, was brought in. 

The evening prayer meeting was to being at 5 p.m. But he and Patel continued to be in discussion, oblivious of the passing time. On being reminded of the time, Gandhi got up at 5.10, 10 minutes late. Some other visitors too were waiting to meet him. He told an attendant to tell them to come after prayers, and that he would see them then, if he were alive.

Gandhi walked towards the prayer platform, covered in the hand-woven khaki clothe, his hands resting on the shoulders of the two girls, whom he called his ‘walking sticks’. 

The Sun was setting behind him. The congregation parted to let him through and he acknowledged their greetings wit folded hands.