Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri

Our second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was simplicity incarnate and heart's magnanimity incarnate. From his appearance, nobody could tell that he was a great leader. Only people who were around him and knew him well, or those who were in the political world, could recognise who he was.

One day he was working in his garden. He was wearing very, very simple gardening clothes. A few middle-aged men came up to him and said, "Can you tell us where the chief is?"

He said, "Yes, I can. Just wait. I will call him." Then he went into the house, washed his hands, put on a panjabi and dhoti and came out and stood in front of them.

Some of them bowed down; some were shocked. Some felt miserable. "Oh, we thought you were just the gardener," they said.