Tuesday, April 16, 2013

25 years ago...this day...

Father was up and ready early in the morning, having shaved and bathed. He was waiting for the social and political local leaders he had called to discuss various burning issues of the region. Several issues agitated his mind. Why is it that the proposed coach building factory had not been sanctioned for Akola? Why no effective demand was being raised for shifting the headquarters of the Cotton Corporation of India to Akola known as a rich cotton growing, processing, trading town with several textiles mills located there. He was visibly unhappy that the local leaders were not taking up these issues in right earnest.

While pacing up and down, he lit a cigarette when he suffered a massive stroke. He slumped on his bed, never to recover. Doctors were summoned. But to no avail. He was dead. Our black prairie dog lay under is bed, refusing to eat or drink for three days. It was ‘Shani Amavasya’, Saturday, 16th April 1988.

His heart always beat for the people of his soil. He lived and died as a ‘Bhoomiputra’. He was only two when his freedom fighter mother was sentenced to jail. He too became a prisoner to be with his mother. His mother’s brother was a revolutionary and even hid arms at home. Having had such a surrounding, it was natural for father to follow in the footsteps of his mother and uncle. He was jailed twice and after the Independence was elected the first and youngest  President of the Freedom Fighters Association in Akola.

An avid reader, he was an enchanting orator who moved the audience. Chief ministers and even the Prime Minister showered him with praises for his oratory and sought him out as the star campaigner during elections. Even his political opponents acknowledged his oratorical prowess. Just five feet in height, he rose to immense heights in social and political stature in Maharashtra.

I was in Mumbai with my family when I got to know the news of his death. I was so dazed that I could remember only vaguely how we reached Akola. His people had already taken over his body and the last rites. I simply did what people told me to do. I told mother to take care of herself and expect everything to be as it was when he had left the ministry and given up his ticket in 1972 to honor the wishes of Mrs Indira Gandhi who wanted all those who had enjoyed an office in the government to make way for newer blood and devote their time and energy on party organization. It was then that he suffered massive myocardial infarction.  Having no office and position, all his fair-weather friends and relations left him.

I told Aai (Mother), “phones will stop ringing, so will the doorbell, letters will dwindle. He left Ministry in ’72 and now he died as a sitting MP. Never be afraid of the future. We would never be compelled to go back to a chawl where my sister Kiran and I were born. We will make a better life, so what if father has left us with no money.

In the last 25 years we have become richer in terms of friends and well-wishers earned. 

I pray in the memory of a everlasting memory of Madhusudan A Vairale my departed ,beloved,Father....that the dreams he saw for his people will come true....someday...


Vinay said...

rare were such leaders even then..now they are almost non existent..I salute his spirit and dedication...I heard about him from you so many times..and because of you he is a source of inspiration for many like me..thanks for sharing his memories..

Nachiketa Desai said...

Chanda, you have inherited a great soul and intelligence from your father. You are blessed to have such an honorable parents - your dad and aai. One cannot but feel the warmth of both aayi and you.

Thanks for being my friend.


अफ़लातून अफ़लू said...

उनकी स्मृति को सादर नमन ,श्रद्धांजलि ।

Nil Naik said...

you are lucky and blessed to have such a honourable parents.... thanks......... be a part of my life

cmvairale said...

Thank You dear friends, A bit belated though!