New Delhi: Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a charismatic statesman who navigated the field of politics with finesse, but perhaps what endeared him more to his fellow politicians and the common man alike was his poetic side that often manifested in his fiery speeches. His oratory skills combined with subtle rhetoric earned him praises even from the members of the opposition when he spoke in Parliament and his public addresses liberally laced with poetries drew thunderous applause from the crowd.

One of its stanzas read — ‘Prithvi lakho varsh purani, jeevan ek anant kahani; par tann ki apni seemayen; yadyapi sau shardo ki vani, itna kafi hai antim dastak par khud darwaza kholen’ (The Earth is millions of years old, life an eternal story; but body has limits; though voices of hundred winters, it is enough that one must open the door on the last knock). He had also remarked once in his speech that ‘Manushya sau sal jiye ye ashirvad hai, lekjin tann ki seema hai’ (Man may live for hundred years is a blessing, but, body has its limits).

A seasoned politician, he carefully chose his words to drive home the message and even in his sarcasm remained dignified till the end.

A veritable wordsmith, Vajpayee’s speeches were so riveting, it earned him legions of admirers and monikers like ‘shabdon ka jadugar’.

In his hard-hitting May 1996 speech in Parliament, Vajpayee had famously remarked, “…Satta ka to khel chalega, sarkaren ayyengi, jayengi; partiyan banegi, bigedgi; magar ye desh rahna chahiye, is desh ka loktantra amar rahna chahiye (‘…governments will come and go… But this country should remain, this country’s democracy should remain eternally)”.

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