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'Than Gayi, Maut Se Than Gayi': Vajpayee Penned a Poem on Face-off With Death

Vajpayee’s never-say-die attitude, couple with his oratory skills and fondness for the simple joys in life, made him popular not just in political circles but also among the masses of Old Lucknow.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 16, 2018, 6:11 PM IST
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'Than Gayi, Maut Se Than Gayi': Vajpayee Penned a Poem on Face-off With Death
File photo of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
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Lucknow: “Than gayi, maut se than gayi, jhoojhney ka mera koi irada na tha, mod par milenge iska wada na tha, raasta rok kar woh khadi ho gayi, yun laga jaise zindagi se badi ho gayi (A face-off with death is a certainty now. I was in no mood to fight since I never knew what lay in store. Death is trying to scare me and threatening to become larger-than-life/ but I won’t give in without a fight).”

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee penned these lines in 1988 and sent them to the then Dharamyug editor Dharamvir during a sleepless night when doctors informed him about his kidney operation in the United States.

Vajpayee’s never-say-die attitude, couple with his oratory skills and fondness for the simple joys in life, made him popular not just in political circles but also among the masses of Old Lucknow.

The five-time Member of Parliament from Lucknow had a special connection with the city and tried to do his best to address its concerns in the Lok Sabha.

“Lucknow is also known as Atalji’s house. He did so much for the development of the city being a prime minister that the city will always be indebted to him. He (Atal Ji) has also worked as a journalist in Lucknow and has been a favourite of the masses. There are so many projects such as roads, flyovers and bypasses that he ensured for Lucknow,” veteran BJP leader Vinay Katiyar told News18 over the phone.

“I have been very close to him and a friendly man like him is hard to find today. Despite being a prime minister, he met people without any hassles. I spent a lot of time with him on his trips to Ayodhya,” he added.

King of oratory

Elaborating on the former PM’s culinary favourites, Katiyar said, “Atalji was very simple and never went for any specific cuisine. I remember how during campaigning, each one of us used to bring something from our houses and Atalji would happily eat that.”

However, Vajpayee was known for his sweet tooth and his special fondness for the ‘pedas’ of Lucknow’s chowk area was not a hidden fact. Several people who visited him in Delhi often carried the sweet for him.
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