was capable of bearing a lot of physical pain. He hated idle talk and pointless
discussions. He was ever ready for constructive work.
One day Dhingra and his friends had gathered in the India House and were discussing the
heroic qualities of the Japanese, their courage and fortitude.
Dhingra did not like the attitude of his friends. "Enough of this praise of the
Japanese," he said. "Do you suppose we Hindus are in any way inferior to them?
Let the time come, and the Hindus will show their mettle to the whole world!"
In the eyes of many people Dhingra was just a dandy; they thought he was a good
for-nothing fellow. So they burst into laughter at his words. "0 we know you! You
have a quick pair of heels", they taunted. Dhingra would not agree that his words
were words of empty boast. The friends continued to taunt and jeer. The quarrel took a
serious turn. It was decided to put Dhingra's bravery to the test and he agreed to it. One
of them brought a long thick needle. He asked Dhingra to place his right hand on a table,
and Dhingra did so.
All eyes were on the hand. The man put the point of the needle on Dhingra's palm and
started pressing it down. It cut into his flesh.
But not a sound came from Dhingra's lips. The man pressed the needle harder still. It
passed through the palm and ran into the wooden top of the table. It was painful and the
blood was freely flowing. But Dhingra sat still like a stone statue. Then the needle was
removed. Dhingra was smiling as if nothing had happened.
All the same, Dhingra's nature was strange. He had a sense of humor and would always be
teasing somebody. When he went to India House, he would not attend any lecture other than
One evening an important meeting was going on in India House. Dhingra had no mind to
attend it. Then what else should he do?
He thought of a plan. He brought a gramophone and placing it near the window facing the
road, started playing a record. When the music started, many girls gathered in the street
near the window and started clapping rhythmically and dancing to the tune.
Dhingra joined them, at the same time whistling the tune. It was a noisy scene.
The meeting inside was very much disturbed by this. Savarkar rushed out and was shocked
to find Dhingra there. He felt like beating him black and blue then and there.
"Madan!" thundered Savarkar, "Stop that wretched music!" Dhingra
obeyed. White with anger, Savarkar looked at Dhingra and shouted, "Madan! You should
be ashamed of yourself. There is a meeting going on inside.
You don't attend it, but here you are making a fool of yourself. You stay away from the
meeting and become a nuisance to those who attend it. O, shame upon you Madan! What is the
use of all that talk about?
Fight-to-the-finish and self-sacrifice if this is what you do in practice?"
Dhingra hung his head in shame and walked away.
Days passed. Two months rolled by and Dhingra did not step into India House. He was
angry, perhaps. He must have felt offended that everybody thought him irresponsible.
Savarkar was worried about Dhingra. What had happened to him? Where was he? Why had he not