One day Vallabhbhai had to appear in a very important case. He was arguing before the
judge with the almost concen- tration. He was still on his feet when an urgent telegram
was handed to him. He glanced at the contents and folded and put the paper in his pocket,
and went on with the argument. It was only after he concluded his speech and sat down that
even those near him learnt the contents of the telegram -his wife was dead!
Vallabhbhai had read the news -and had gone on with his arguments as if nothing had
happened. Such was his sense of duty. All through his life, troubles never discouraged
him. With a will of iron he completed whatever task he had under taken.
Patel was only thirty-three years old when his wife died. He did not wish to marry again.
After his brother's return, Vallabhbhai went to England. He studied with
single-minded devotion. The glitter and luxury of fashion- able life did not tempt him.
The library was at a distance of eleven miles from his lodging. Every morning he walked to
the library, and walked back in the evening. He stood first in the Barrister-at-Law
As soon as he returned to India, Vallabh- bhai set up practice as a barrister at
Ahmedabad. Day by day his fame and his influence grew. The elder brother, Vithal- bhai,
said, "You look after the family; I shall work, for the country."
"Yes," said Vallabhbhai. At the time he was earning eight to ten thousand rupees
a month. He spent his leisure hours playing cards in a local club. He dressed like
the English. He was not at all interested in politics. He sometimes laughed at Satyagraha
(nonviolent non-cooperation) and service to the country as dreams of crazy fellows.