A leader is born, not made. And when they walk, millions walk behind them, trusting the path they follow. Such a leader was Bal Thackerey. I have never seen him nor been to Mumbai, but sitting in Delhi, I have always heard of his headline making comments in media. When he roared, the roar reached Delhi in no time. I was feeling not too optimistic about his state when I read 2 days ago that filmstars cancelled their events to visit him and when I read about his demise in the morning paper, it reminded me of my mother’s demise last year. Since I lost my mother, I have developed a kind of empathy with every departing soul. Whenever I come to know of someone’s demise or see a cremation mass, I pray for peace of the departed soul, strength for his family and happiness for my mother, wherever she is. Sometimes, when I see a corpse being taken to the cremation ground, I silently ask him/her to tell my ma how much I miss her. I know it sounds weird, but when u suddenly loose someone u love so much, u crave for even an atom of that soul.
As the last rites were being telecast on TV, I could see his son, trying to hold his emotions, following the directions of the priests. Celebs too are humans. There are moments when you feel like being alone and manage your grief. But when their happiness is public, so is their sorrow. And he looked alone among lakhs of people who joined him in his grief.
In this age when people are bound to gather for a common cause or have to be enticed to come for rallies or protests, it’s amazing that lakhs of people came to pay their respects to their leader. People who were unrelated to him, cried bitterly at the loss. In life, we all strive to cater to our desires,, ambitions etc. But there are people who look beyond and walk to make a change. And they are remembered not for who they are but for what they did and how they made a difference to the lives of people they worked for. Such was his leadership. RIP Bala Sahab Thackerey