Courage and self-respect
were two virtues, which took deep root in him from his childhood. While in Kashi, he went
with his friends to see a fair on the other bank of the Ganga. On the way back he had no
money for the boat fare. His self-respect did not allow him to ask his friends for money.
He slipped from their company without their knowledge. His friends forgot him in their
talk and boarded the boat. When the boat had moved away, Lal Bahadur jumped into the
river; as his friends watched breathlessly he swam to the other bank safely.
Though Lal Bahadur was, a man of small build, he was unusually strong. His moral
strength was even greater. As in water so in life he swam quite successfully. Twice he was
about to be drowned but was saved. It is said that when he was saved the second time, he
had his teachers three-year-old baby on his shoulders.
Lal Bahadur acquired virtues likeboldness, love of adventure, patience, self-control,
courtesy and selflessness in hischildhood.
Even as a boy he loved to read books. He read whatever books he came across, whether he
understood them or not. He was fond of Guru Nanak's verses.
He used to repeat the following lines often:
"0 Nanak! Be tiny like grass,
For other plants will whither away, but grass will remain ever green."