Free Press Journal

August 2018: A month, when the Universe drastically lost its sheen

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INDIA-POLITICS-VAJPAYEEPhoto by Douglas CURRAN / AFP

Very rarely there comes a year or a month that lingers on to your memory longer than usual, for all the good or the bad reasons. This very last day of August was the one of its kind. It had the power to silence three of the most influential energies we experience in our life – oratory, peace and laughter.

On August 16, a poet, a former journalist, a remarkable statesman and above all a mesmerising orator went into absolute silence on the planet Earth. India’s former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a recipient of India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna passed away at the age of 93.

Two days after the demise of oratory, it was the time for global peace. On August 18, it was the turn of the Ghanaian national and the first black African to be appointed as the world’s top diplomat and who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian went to Rest In Peace. Kofi Annan died at the age of 80, in Bern, Switzerland.


On August 24, laughter followed oratory and peace, in demise of veteran Marathi actor Vijay Chavan at the age of 63. One of the national daily in its intro to the story announcing Chavan’s demise said it all: His impeccable timing and comic punches would have made any contemporary stand-up comedian jealous; his dance, draped in a saree, in Moru Chi Mavshi made the audience groove with uncontrollable laughter.

Death had visited thrice in a single month, taking away a valuable Slice Of Life each time. I’m optimistic that on the very same day, there must have been births of several talented and noble souls, which decades down the line shall rise up to what we have lost. But the fact remains that, what we have seen, what we have experienced and what we have been fortunate enough to be a part of was now setting into the horizons of life.

No wonder Annan once said, “Let us be good stewards of the Earth we inherited. All of us have to share the Earth’s fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.”

Vajpayee’s oratory, Annan’s message of peace and Chavan’s deliverance of laughter is now confined to the recorded videos and published books. Beyond that what begins is the search for the new laureates in new lives. Will they or won’t they, emerge only time shall tell.

As we move into a new month, let us hope and pray that we are not further deprived of any more resourceful energy like these. We need to have them with us as long as the universe and the almighty grant us their presence in our lives.

But just as I pen down these words, a verse from one of the poems written by Vajpayee comes to my mind. He writes: The cycle of being and not being, will continue till eternity. So will our illusions, that we are, we will be.