Amid fighting for civil rights in South Africa to becoming a crusader in India, throwing off its colonial yoke, Gandhi's witty side only added to his charismatic personality.

When a reporter once asked Gandhi-- "Why do you always choose to travel by third class in a train?" He is said to have replied "Simply, because there is no fourth class as yet."

Sixty-three-year-old Delhi-based Gandhian scholar Shobhana Radhakrishna, says, "his infectious humour was as quintessential as his serious side."

"While those who were close to him, knew about his wisecracking style, others think of him as a very serious person, let alone someone who would joke around," said Shobhana, who was born at Sevagram in Maharashtra's Wardha, where Gandhi had lived for several decades.

"Once he even called himself a 'commander of a non-violent army', I mean imagine a man who stood for 'ahimsa' all his life, using a war metaphor to describe his philosophy.

"And, it was his humourous side that let him withstand the rigours of the tough journey he had undertaken for freedom of the country and its people," she said.

Gandhi is said to have once remarked that "If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide."

Even as a barrister in South Africa, when migrants had to face persecution and discriminatory laws, he displayed his sense of humour even while talking to his family.

"In the 1910s, when non-Christians marriages in South Africa were treated invalid, Gandhiji once told Kasturba that --"This means you are my mistress" much to her amusement," she said.

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