He died today, uttering the Lord’s name. An Indian shot by another Indian. I stand corrected. A great old gem of an Indian shot by a man, an Indian misled by his unjust beliefs. Okay. The man must have had his problems but, even after so many years, I still mourn the loss of the man who moved about in his loin cloth and stick, unmindful of rain or sun, summer or winter and led an imprisoned nation to freedom. Right from under the noses of the country who thought itself the most powerful regime in the world. But then, a loss is a loss. And nobody can ever compensate it.
I know I talk as if I have lost a family member. And why not? For a person who is responsible for my freedom of thought, speech and action? Why not for a person who taught the whole world the simple principle of non-violence? Why not for a person who sacrificed his family and life to give the future generations the freedom and liberty that he and the people during his time longed to have for years?
He has gone, leaving behind a nation losing its identity amidst the plethora of software, warfare, politics, plays about his unhappy sons and ‘monkey’ games. He leaves behind a legacy that is all but lost except for maybe, those little flames burning in some hearts out there apart from some Munnabhai movies that try hard to bring him back to life. Gosh! If only that were possible! If only that could happen I could introduce my little son to him and proudly show off my grandfather, the Father of Our Nation who was such a sweet little old man. He would have charmed my son, I am sure, having done that to the whole world once, way back in history.
Oh! Bapu. I was not there then. I regret it. Or maybe, I was there in the big crowd that walked after you to pick up that grain of salt to freedom. Maybe, you had looked at me then and smiled your beautiful smile. Today, as I observe those few moments of silence like everybody else, I call out for you to come again and save your country and give this girl the grandfather she always wanted but never got.