Bhari dupahari mein andhiyara
Sooraj parachhai se hara
Antaratan ka neh nichode
Bujhi hui baati sulagaaen,
Aao fir se diya jalaen.
These words will resound in the minds of many as they mourn the passing of a statesman, with a penchant for poetry and oratory…
The political career of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee may have lasted decades, but there were many other facets to this great man which endeared him not only to the public but also to his opponents.
He could speak and how! He was a highly-skilled orator who claimed in an interview with a leading newspaper, that it was in his genes.
Vajpayee said that he learnt all his oratory from his father who was unknown in political circles. He also said that his grandfather was equally skilled as an orator.
He was wonderful to hear and watch. His expressions, subtle pauses, sometimes long, gave an effect of a man who had things to say and say them well. He held the audience spellbound, whether over a political discourse or at a poetry session.
His speeches were powerful, his poetry magnetic and he had a way over weaving words, making it sound soothing to the ears.
Vajpayee has said about his poetry, “My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier’s drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior’s will to win. It is not the dispirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory “
The poetry was all about his experiences in life and his approach to it. It also dwelt on the Kargil War against Pakistan and saw it from the soldier’s point of view too.
He loved poetry. He was a prolific poet who applied the magic of words to any situation.
Vajpayee was educated at the Victoria College (now Laxmibai College) in Gwalior and DAV College Kanpur where his father joined him in the hostel to do a post-graduate course. He had an MA in Political Science but his literary and artistic achievements were numerous too.
Today Vajpayee is no more. Though he leaves behind a rich political legacy marked with success, he will always be remembered as a gentleman prime minister who was a great orator and a superb poet, loved by the masses and his opponents too.
Do din mile udhaar mein
ghaaton ke vyapar mein
kshan-kshan ka hisaab loon
yaa nidhi shesh lutaoon main?
raah kaun si jaaon main?