I am fortunate enough to attend Gandhi Katha narrated by Shri Narayan M Desai twice, once at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad in Dec-2009 and second time at M S University, Vadodara few days back.
When I reached the venue, Prof C C Mehta Auditorium, I was surprised. The auditorium has the seating capacity of approx. 600 persons. The five-day Katha is scheduled to start at 5.30 pm. But, what I observed; the hall was packed 20 minutes before start time. Organizers have made additional seating arrangement in different halls with LCD Projectors and Screens. Those additional halls were also approaching to get the tag of 'house-full'. The consistency of 'house-full' almost continued for all 5-days. The audience remain engrossed for 3 hours, with very very less movement/break. They were totally engrossed. A very rare phenomena, now a days !
Many times, when we organize or attend the event; practically the function is starts late by min 5-10 min because of late arrival of audience or key guest. Here, both, guest and audience have reached the venue much before.
A bhajan/song is played almost every 30 min by the troupe based on the situation/scene of the Katha. I liked very much 'koi thi ame dariye na, na na na'.
This was the phenomenal and overwhelming response by the citizens of cultural capital Vadodara. If this was the response to Gandhi Katha, then what would be the response, if Gandhi himself arrives. Just imagine.
If you are the ones, who doubts on relevance of Gandhi today, then it would be eye-opener for you.