Folks and Reality

I remember how I grew up listening to stories from Mahabharata, Ramayana, stories of India’s independance struggle, stories of Chhatrappati Shivaji Maharaj and other many such great men. I have never known any one to exist… at least not the mythological characters, most of whom we call gods. But they were great stories of great men and I grew up learning different facets of life and personality from the characters of these great men and women.

Now that my son grows every day, I am back to the learning phase. I’ve already started revising what my grand father and mother told me as a child. The stories of gods, kings, great men of folks and the ideologies of well being. When the time has come to revise it, I wonder what if I could see them and know who they really were. I wonder what made ‘Arjun’ what he was. Or why did they call ‘Krishna’ the god when even he looked and behaved like an ordinary man.

The quest to find the answer led to a string of interwining thoughts crowding my mind. I think the men in these stories became what we remember them as only because they never gave up on what is right. Each of them had a purpose filled life. And they went till the end to fulfil their purpose. What differentiates them from us is that they never gave up. They just never did.

The world has changed a lot since the times of these great men… different times. What has not changed is the balance between the good and bad. We still have the evil that gave rise to great heroes in those times. We had martyrs of the freedom struggle who gave their lives for India’s independance. And we have the modern day heroes who are still fighting for making a terror free state.

When my son grows up, I’m going to teach him. I’m going to tell him the great stories of great men both from our age and the yester age. I’m going to tell him to go till the end in his quest, come what may. Because there is still some good left in this world. And it is worth fighting for!

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What about the unsung heroes?

untitled3It has been more than a month since the terrorist attacks on Mumbai. More than any thing, it was a boon for the media guys and some opportunistic politicials. So there were banners placed on every nook and corner of Mumbai featuring the pictures of Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and some others. The bill boards first highlighted the political party and then the heroics of these policemen.

Excuse me gentlemen? What heroics are we talking about here? With all due respect to the individual accomplishments of these guys and their bravery, what they did on the night of 26th November was mere bad decision making. They could have easily lived and planned the retaliation. They however ended up losing lives like the other unarmed civilians. Not their fault though…

If some one really saved Mumbai were the NSG commandos, the marines and the team at Girgaum’s check post (especially Tukaram Omble and Vishwas Kadam.) They are the ones who should be applauded. We should put the placards around the country praising the NSG and the Marines. Despite risking their lives, the Marines and commandos remain out of the lime light. We know names of no one except Gyanendra Singh and Sandeep Unnikrishnan (who lost their lives.) None of the others were given the much deserved credit. C’mon guys! There should be nothing about being a ‘Marathi’ or a ‘Non-Marathi’ here. Nor should any one try to gain a political mileage out of it.

Show some respect and acknowledge the real heroes! Jai Hind!