The hero and the villain.

Last week, India went through a lot. Our media had a ball. After all, they happened to have stories that could legitimately be passed off as news.Last week there took place, the death of two important men in my country.

The first, was a highly exalted man.A beautiful lotus born in a dark, murky pond called poverty. The one who made it out of this pond through values, ideals and qualities we read about only in fairy tales and corny blogs like this. A wise old man with a silvery bob, wrinkles of experience, hard work and age on his face. His lips spread in a smile so guileless,so good natured, so innocent–that he could be mistaken for a child. Teacher, scientist, missile man, activist, the former President of India, Bharat Ratna…he was given many an identity. But APJ Abdul Kalam was beyond these mundane titles. He was in the truest sense, a man one could not descibe in words. He was a force that the shallow couldn’t contain..a personality that didn’t fit in black and white moulds.

On the other hand, was a man guilty of having assisted his brother in killing innocent people. For twenty years, the fears, remorse,hope,madness and fury of this man had been contained in a four-walled room that was his cell in jail. He begged for mercy again and again, but in vain. No one could forgive him for so serious an error of judgement—-the one that separated so many from their dreams, their happiness, their loved ones. No one could forgive Yakub Memon for the crime he had committed,and so, among the chaos of much debating and discussing, much scrutiny and hype—-hung Yakub Memon.

So two men died last week. But one died wrapped in the Indian tricolour with flowers in his grave while the other’s corpse hung lifelessly on a noose built by the anger of the people. One died doing what he loved doing the most while the other died with crushed dreams of being with the ones he loved being with the most. One died gloriously as a hero with many eyes shedding tears for him, while the other died a villain, with the same eyes baying for his blood.

APJ Abdul Kalam's body in Rameswaram

APJ Abdul Kalam’s body in Rameswaram

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