Sadly, this seems to be an “urban legend”, but it does illustrate the wilyness and wisdom of a great man – even at an early age:
When Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely and always displayed prejudice and animosity towards him. Also, because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him, as he expected…. there were always “arguments” and confrontations.
One day, Mr Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University, and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor. The professor said, “Mr Gandhi, you do not understand. A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat.”
Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, “You do not worry professor. I’ll fly away,” and he went and sat at another table.
Mr Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions. Mr Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question. “Mr Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?”
Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, “The one with the money, of course.”
Mr Peters, smiling sarcastically said, “I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom, don’t you think?”
Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, “Each one takes what he doesn’t have.”
Mr Peters, by this time, was fit to be tied. So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi’s exam sheet the word “idiot” and gave it to Gandhi. Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move.
A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, “Mr Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade.”