Atal Bihari Vajpayee: What You Need To Know

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“Some people are not dead, they live in the lines of their books,  the words that they have collected to create a masterpiece,  keep them alive forever.”

One of such wordsmiths was our former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was a true person, a true human, a true artist and a true politician.

Born in the year 1924, Mr. Vajpayee played an important role in the Indian freedom struggle. He was a part of the Quit India Movement and was even arrested and sentenced imprisonment.

Mr. Vajpayee was the first non-congress Prime Minister, who completed his five year period in the office.

As his  political life is known to most of the people, we want you to know a bit about his artistic or poetic  life. He was literally a great orator and dedicated his life after meeting a Stroke in 2009, to his poetic life. His art of writing was beautiful, emotional and inspiring.

He always tried to give some brave message through his work. His book containing his poetries was published as ‘Meri ekyavan Kavitayen’ (My 51 poems).

His poems were so beautifully constructed that every line of it touched the heart of the reader. Unlike all other professional poets, he used to write in simple words that were easy to be understood by anyone. 

I personally love all his poems but one of them titled “Maut Se Than Gayi” is a part of my favourites list.

At the news of the death of such a great poet- politician, different person reacted in different way and even opposition parties, his competitors, are a part of this condolence. Here we present use some of these reactions:

“I visited him this morning but didn’t imagine that the end will come so soon. He is, undoubtedly, one of the tallest leaders in post- independence India..” – Mr.Naidu stated.

“Had he not taken that firm stand, I would not have become the Speaker. Not just that, I could reach the position of Chief Minister of Maharashtra due to the BJP’s and Vajpayee’s support..”- Mr. Joshi told a Marathi news channel.

“Atalji emerged as a popular national leader who believed that power is a means of service and led a spotless political life without compromising on national interest. And that’s why the people across political and social boundaries showered him with love and respect..”- Mr. Shah tweeted.

“His captivating leadership qualities, mesmerising oratory, soaring patriotism and above all, his sterling humane qualities like compassion, humility and his remarkable ability to win over adversories despite ideological differences have all had a profound effect on me in all my years in public life..”-Mr. Advani said.

“Am deeply saddened. A great loss for India..”-Kejriwal tweeted.

“Extremely sad to hear of the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our former Prime Minister and a true Indian statesman. His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Atalji, the Gentle Giant, will be missed by one and all..”- said President Ram Nath Kovind.

“A reasoned critique in opposition and a seeker of consensus as PM, Atal Ji was a democrat to the core. In his passing away, India has lost a great son and an era has come to an end. My deepest condolences,”-pranab mukharji, former president of India said.

“Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit.”- Narendra Modi, our present Prime Minister expressed his mourn.

This great human being is a legend and he won’t die ever as he has made his special room in the heart of humankind. So, finally we pray his soul to rest in peace in the heaven. Probably such great people are loved by god and I truly believe that he would keep writing his poems in the heaven and god will keep listening them..

Finally, I can’t stop myself of posting his one of my favourites poem. So here it is:

मौत से ठन गई!
(Battle With Death)
ठन गई!
मौत से ठन गई!

जूझने का मेरा इरादा न था,
मोड़ पर मिलेंगे इसका वादा न था,

रास्ता रोक कर वह खड़ी हो गई,
यों लगा ज़िन्दगी से बड़ी हो गई।

मौत की उमर क्या है? दो पल भी नहीं,
ज़िन्दगी सिलसिला, आज कल की नहीं।

मैं जी भर जिया, मैं मन से मरूँ,
लौटकर आऊँगा, कूच से क्यों डरूँ?

तू दबे पांव, चोरी-छिपे से न आ, 
सामने वार कर फिर मुझे आजमा। 

मौत से बेखबर, जिंदगी का सफ़र, 
शाम हर सुरमई, रात बंसी का स्वर। 

बात ऐसी नहीं कि कोई ग़म ही नहीं, 
दर्द अपने-पराए कुछ कम भी नहीं। 

प्यार इतना परायों से मुझको मिला, 
न अपनों से बाक़ी हैं कोई गिला। 

हर चुनौती से दो हाथ मैंने किए, 
आंधियों में जलाए हैं बुझते दिए। 

आज झकझोरता तेज़ तूफ़ान है, 
नाव भंवरों की बांहों में मेहमान है। 

पार पाने का क़ायम मगर हौसला, 
देख तेवर तूफ़ां का, तेवरी तन गई। 

मौत से ठन गई।

(A battle! 
A battle with death!

I had no intention to grapple,
there was no agreement to meet at that inflexion,
Yet blocking my path, she stood there,
Seeming larger than life.

How long does death last?
A moment, perhaps two..
Life, a sequence, transcending today and tomorrow.
I’ve lived to the full,
‘ll die as I choose,
‘ll come back,
Why to fear to march on?

So, do not come creeping and quitely,
Attack from the front and then test me.
Unaware of death,
life’s journey unfolds.
Evenings sketched with dusky kohl, nights,
the rhythm of flute’s note.

I do not say no pain is there,
There’re sorrows, of my own and of the unknowns.
So much love that I earned from the aliens,
that no complain is left for my people.

I’ve faught with every challenge,
and have lightened the quenched candles in storms.
Now that it’s shaking tempest today,
my boat is a client in the arms of cyclones.

But the morale of victory,
seeing the frown of tempest,
the countenance stiffed.

A battle with death.)

I have tried to provide you a rough english translation of Mr. Vajpayee’s beautiful poem. Hope you like and understand it in whatever language you prefer to read, but all I wish is, to let you know the intensity of his love for poetries and life.