Gradually the spell of Gandhiji spread
all over Gujarat. It changed Vallabhbhai's life, too. Gandhiji attended
the Political Conference at Godhra. He andVallabhbhai met at that time,
and soon became friends.
Patel was very fond of children, but
he was never given to an exhibition of hisaffection. When Manibehn shyly
asked him, "How are you, father?" he made a brief answer: "I am all right."
Dhayabhai sometimes tried to engage
his father in conversation; but Vallabhbhai seldom responded.
Gandhiji entered Patel's home, too.
He was like a father to the two children.
The training and refinement she received
inculcated several good qualities in Manibehn. Love of simple life and
good habits developed in her. When public life imposed a severe strain
on her father she devoted herself to his service. She became his private
secretary, took care of his health, and found joy and fulfillment in serving
him. She was convinced that she could best serve the country by sharing
his burden to the best of her ability.