Rights, responsibilities and more….
Four months Akshay…… we have coped raja…without a single ‘real’ channel of communication with you. If constant thoughts, dreams and silent conversations are considered ‘acceptable means of communication’, then of course, our channels have been hyperactive- haven’t they?! Know you will be proud of how we have managed so far. Takes me back to more thoughts…whenever I was stressed, you always knew and prodded….and when I shared those worries or fears, you always soothed me….it came so easily to you- to reach out and help anyone who was troubled anytime. In one particular conversation you said, ‘don’t worry mumma…. ….sab theek ho jayega….aap ek do din bad dekh lena…mujhe pata hai…..koi aisa problem nahin jo aap log handle nahin kar sakte…. motivate kar ke dekho…and you are strong…papa is strong….
Since 29th November 2016, we have been mustering not just our strength, but seeking strength from you too. None of us is as strong as you were raja- you showed us that quiet… kind… more mental than physical strength…..right since the day you were born…….and it stayed with you till the day you were forced to take that last breath among earthlings. When concerned folks call us to ask ‘how are you all’, we usually say ‘doing ok’. Yes, life goes on …as it must. Apart from accepting what is beyond our ability to change, also getting to realize how important it is to become more spiritual. To understand that keeping faith also means not questioning the almighty/the universe/the unseen power. Many questions have no clear answers anyway.
We keep getting invited to functions and events in your honour Akshay. Know that will make you smile in absolute glee….! I can picture that wonderful smile and twinkling eyes, the slight blush on those cute cheeks….and you saying ‘dekha…sab aapke bete ke baare mein kitne wonderful baatein kar rahen hain…khush toh mein hoon hi…..aap ka beta star ban gaya mumma! And you know what raja…. Satwik sent us a picture of his tattoo with a note that said: ‘Excited and emotional but thrilled to share my tattoo of our hero, Akshay’s signature! This is taken from a picture of Akshay’s notes: “Do it Akshay.” I love it dearly, live by it; and it will continue to give me good josh! Also, the act of scribbling self motivating autographs makes wonder if he was already rehearsing for the hero’s role.’
Akshay, you are truly our biggest hero and brightest STAR. Even your signature had a star and I noticed it only recently sweetheart…its just that now you are right up there…with all the other stars…and we still need time to get used to not being able to have you in our midst, in our home…in our arms.
Just yesterday Capt Tushar Mahajan’s father called from Udhampur…two parents connected over their beta’s. He said something so very important. ‘Woh jo kar gaye, hum toh kar nahi sakte. Lekin jo bhi humse ho sakega, hum bhi karenge. Apna farz nibhayenge’.
Those words took me on a chain of thought. While life is all about living…and there are so many ways to live…. how do we live better? This question was also in my last blog post and I did get many suggestions. Many of you asked me to keep writing…sharing thoughts and ‘inspiring the young’. For whatever my thoughts are worth, here is my take on ‘leaders and masqueraders.’
We live in the world’s largest democracy and as all our news channels remind us on a daily basis, our country guarantees freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right. Does that really mean we make heroes of people, who by their ability to debate and influence, create a one sided narrative to support a divisive agenda? While millions of our people who are engaged in passionate efforts of nation building are overlooked or under-appreciated, we have these ‘hijackers’ get prime time coverage, support from political parties, money without work and a fan following that is scary to say the least.
Politics in universities is more important than education it seems. So we have these young ‘leaders’ who continue to be ‘students’ at 30 plus with state support and without having contributed meaningfully at any level despite opportunity. instead of hard work and effort to complete their PhD on chosen topics, they have the ‘freedom’ to choose to organize and attend events on contentious issues like ‘Kashmir ki azadi and Bharat ki barbaadi’. And when confronted, either go underground or cunningly change their tune to ‘we are fighting for bhukmari se azadi, samantvaad se azadi ..etc etc. When they don’t have the courage to own up and stand by what they say and what they mean, can they ever be trusted? And for months and years, we have to put up with political drama played through these impersonators in student leader shoes.
Thousands of other young people who have leadership qualities backed by knowledge and skills in different fields, plus integrity and love for our country, and who can do so much for our people, sadly find no space in social and national discourse.
I would like to see more positive stories in the media. I don’t care what KK and UK are doing or not doing. The thought of their ilk leading the country in the near future, is to me a scary prospect.
Which brings me back to Akshay and his ilk who always put our country and people first. He and so many bright young people out there, who live their dreams and strive to make our country better, deserve much more appreciation and support. I would like to see more positive stories of young achievers to motivate and inspire our impressionable children. Innovators among farmers, doctors, teachers…caring activists and social workers, paramedics, lawyers…..entrepreneurs and businessmen with a heart to help through job creation and wealth distribution……brave soldiers who protect us without question and kind law enforcement authorities…..so many fields, so many good people. To help our children choose a path towards progress in myriad fields, we need the best amongst us to be visible. What we do not want is a narrative to instigate young stone pelters to protect terrorists and have our braves defend us at the cost of their lives.
To live better, we must choose right. We must take a stand. We can either be a nation of cribbers- always finding fault and forever pointing fingers, or we can put in our best and encourage others to do their best. Duty and responsibility go hand in hand with freedom and rights.
We have lost Akshay but we are not willing to lose hope. We have no answers to many questions that trouble us and yet our faith is strong. We will do our best to be even better human beings and citizens. Jai Hind.