In the previous post, I talked about how the best-selling author, James Altucher changed my outlook on life. The erudite and sage man simplified my otherwise convoluted understanding of life by delineating just four aspects which govern our prospects to be successful and happy.
His theories completely changed my life. Then after writing that post, I thought- Why not share the wisdom I learned from the life and ken of James! And, eventually, the thought culminated into a decision which I am delighted to share with my dearest readers-
“Soon I would be coming up with another MRS specifically talking about the four aspects and the benefits I reaped by bolstering only those four pillars governing my life. That would be the testament of how I chose myself.”
But, keeping all of that apart, I also need to apologize to my readers. I promised towards the closing of my previous post that the final part of this MRS will be out the next day. And, here I am typing it out on the day after that next day. Someone who I adore a lot has been bereaved of their father, and ergo, I could not churn out words or thoughts yesterday for my head was too cluttered with sundry thoughts of all kinds.
I humbly request all of my readers, whenever you get free of all your chores and can eke out a minute from your busy life, please do me a favour- Please pray for the soul of the man who had to leave for his heavenly abode. Please send your wishes and power to the afflicted family members in your mind.
I would be grateful. The reader doesn’t owe me anything, and yet here I am asking them for a favour, in the name of humanity.
– A few deep breaths later –
Okay! So, let’s get to the point. This is the final part of my second MRS, “The Four Who changed My Theories Of Life” and I have a very special and stellar personality to talk about. The man has been a celebrated Indian Parliamentarian who the former Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh lovingly christened, “Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Politics”- which means – The tallest figure in Indian Politics.
The name of this man is Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of India. It is not such a prosaic affair in my country that the same politician is loved by the people of all walks and ages of life, be it children, youth or the elderly. But, this man conferred with the nation’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna is probably the only one to have achieved that glorious feat in the history of Modern India.
I gleaned a plethora of information about him and his life when I read his biography crafted out by eminent journalist Kinshuk Nag, “A Man For All Seasons.” Albeit I felt that the book was more of an ardent fan’s tribute to Atal Ji. Yet, keeping aside the adulation, there was so much to learn about the greatness this man has realized in his life.
Hitherto reading the book, I knew Atal Ji was a revered figure in my nation and was arguably the best Indian Prime Minister the nation had ever come across. But, all I knew about him was- He took India to perform its nuclear bomb in 1998, devised the plan for the Delhi Metro and changed the landscape of Indian roads and highways.
That was all I knew about the man who embraced by the masses to an unimaginable extent! But, it was only after reading that biography that I got to connect with the greatness that had imbued countless Indians. And, the greatness that I witnessed was a series of variegated affairs, as he was not adored for just one of his traits!
Everyone admired him for absolutely different reasons that they themselves observed in this great man. And, while reading the biography I too fell in love with one of those colours of his life. While turning the pages and getting familiar with his life, I observed some intriguing instances of his life that led me to discover a beautiful truth of life, which turned into one of my own greatest beliefs.
And, it is to celebrate this great man and that strong and sacrosanct truth of life which he introduced me to, that I chose to end this Mini reading Series with a tribute to him. Ergo, I would first elucidate a few of those incidents out here and then I will finally reveal the nectar of life that those incidents poured into me.
So, let’s go!
During the 1980s, the incumbent Indian President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Atal Ji used to be neighbours. Both were tall figures of the Indian Political circles and belonged to Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party respectively, both of which had a gargantuan antipathy for each other. However, despite all the difference in ideologies of two political factions, the two men always shared a surprisingly friendly relation.
The two would go on morning walks together and at times even go on to taking strolls around Lutyen’s Delhi post dinner. The two would confabulate over history, politics, religion and a gamut of other subjects. And, Atal Ji maintained that relationship despite the fact that he had been a staunch critique of Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament those days that almost cost Pranab Mukherjee his post of the Finance Minister in 1982.
And, that was Atal Ji’s rendezvous with President Pranab Mukherjee alone. However, there were people who considered Atal Ji a great nemesis to their prospects. One of those being the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The thing about Atal Ji was that he seldom lied, and spoke the truth that his heart believed in. So, he never refrained from bestowing plaudits over his political enemies had they did something worthy of a praise. And, as soon as the same person would make a mistake, Atal Ji won’t abstain himself from impugning them either. And, something similar was his case with Mrs Indira Gandhi.
After India won over Pakistan in the war of 1971 beating the aggressor to its toes, the enthused and elated Vajpayee Ji went far beyond the party lines to hail Mrs Gandhi as “Durga”, the revered Indian Goddess of power. However, when Mrs Gandhi enacted the emergency and exploited the power and authority to her own benefit, Atal Ji didn’t think for even once to crack down on the lady and show her his rage and disapproval.
This scathing criticism of Mrs Gandhi led to gestating of a strong discord amongst the two. And, yet when Mrs Gandhi wished to send the army into the Sikh’s holy sanctum, The Golden Temple to bring down the Khalistani terrorists under the infamous Operation Bluestar, she consulted Atal Ji, for his great political acumen and prudent thoughts in the national interest, could be very valuable.
Yes, Atal Ji advised that there could be better measures than a military action in a place of worship, and Mrs Gandhi didn’t heed to his advisory. But, the incident showed that no matter how big the rivalry they shared, yet his rivals believed in his integrity to go as far as to take their opinion on a state subject of such critical importance which had to be maintained a clandestine secret until the final day came.
That was the great respect he commanded in the political circle of Delhi which went way beyond the party lines and ideologies. And, similar was the case of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru Ji as well. Atal Ji was a scathing critic of him and Nehru too would answer all of Atal Ji’s criticisms with equal vigour and power. However, both shared a very special and regarded relationship which many looked upon askance with doubts.
And, the depth of their bond could be understood from the fact that then Prime Minister Nehru would often introduce Atal Ji to the foreign dignitaries as the future Prime Minister of India! Now, that clearly shows how high an image Nehru Ji saw in this young parliamentarian who had imbued him with his skills and dedication to his nation and credible acumen in foreign affairs.
What am I trying to convey by talking about all of these political biggies and their affairs with Atal Ji? I know the reader may be feeling that this post was supposed to talk about some sort of life lesson and this kooky writer won’t get to the point. Well, thanks a lot for bearing with me. So, let’s talk about the thing that the reader came for.
No matter how different your thoughts may be from someone else, it never means that you can never share a cordial bond with them. If your head ever says, “She is too different or opposite and I can’t find a common ground between us”, then immediately counter your mind with the following-
“There must be a common ground where our thoughts and ideologies would match. I just need to keep knowing her better and then I would eventually find that common ground. And once that happens. The bond between her and I will only bolster despite all the difference on all other matters.”
Hitherto this realization I believed that people who don’t think like me must be kept at bay. But, it was this realization that empowered me to understand that the person and I are bound to think alike in some domain of life. And, once I find that shared domain of interest I can strengthen my relationship with those people on just that one domain of interest.
It was only because of this great quality in Atal Ji that he could dare to undertake the herculean task of juxtaposing seventeen different Indian political parties under the domain of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to form a coalition Government which completed an entire term of five years in 1999. Something of this kind was unprecedented in the landscape of Indian politics and he was the first man to have championed such a grand feat.
Seventeen different parties with disparate ideologies and missions brought together under one umbrella by finding a common ground in each of them- This was something only Vajpayee Ji could have championed. And, with that said, I rest my case corroborated. In case the reader seems to differ in opinion, please share your views in the comments section.
This just like the lessons described in the previous three posts changed my life for the best. And, over the past year of reinvention of self, these are the pivotal tenets that I made sure I must never compromise upon. And, in return, these tenets too ensured that I must get to witness the greatness I desire.
I am still nothing and have a long path to travel to achieve the greatness that I believe I am capable of. But, I know that these four men have prepared me well to traverse that path to the end and achieve that heydey-
In this journey, I’ll be reading a lot of other books and coming across a number of other such personalities. I will be imbued by a lot of such great men and I’ll gain many others of such lessons that will redefine my life for the better. But, these four will always be the boldest names engraved on my wall of fame- The Four Who Changed My Theories Of Life!
I thank each and every reader to have invested so much of their time into reading this MRS. The love and blessings that have been showered upon me by a number of you readers is something that I will cherish for a long time to come.
Wishing the reader an enriching day and a blissful night ahead!