When in school, we used NCERT books. Each one started with the same page that said "Mahatma Gandhi's Talisman". There he was, drawn as a watermark on the page, wearing his dhoti and spectacles, carrying his bamboo cane, walking purposefully. There was something written on that page in the center in bold letters that we never really stopped to look at. Not a day went by when we didn't see that page and hurried went past it. One day, bored of the homework, I stopped at this page and asked my father what 'Talisman' is.
"It means Tilism," he said, "A charm, something that brings magic if you carry it with you."
I started to read what was written on the page. It said:
"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person whom you have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to that person. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away."