The whole of India is mourning as India's former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more. One of the most charismatic and gracious leaders to grace the nation's political landscape, Vajpayee was a connoisseur of the fine arts. Education and learning was a lifelong journey for him. At 93, he breathed his last at Delhi's AIIMS today at 05:05 pm. The son of a schoolmaster from Gwalior, he was well versed in Hindi, Sanskrit and English. He had a love for literature since his youth and began his political career by working for the newspapers of Deendayal Upadhyaya, Rashtradharma, Panchjanya, Veer and Arjun. He had a passion for poetry and published seven books on the same.
On two occasions, he collaborated with late Indian ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh. His poems were made into two albums, Nayi Disha (1995) and Samvedna (1995). In fact, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan featured in Kya Khoya Kya Paya, a poem from Samvedna, which was sung by Jagjit Singh with an opening commentary by Amitabh Bachchan. This is not all. The video was directed by Yash Chopra. Shah Rukh Khan with his subtle expressions was the perfect foil to Vajpayee's words about life, destiny and loss.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was fond of films as well. In fact, he once said that he had watched actress and BJP leader Hema Malini's Seeta Aur Geeta for a record 25 times. In his career, he handled many situations like Kargil War, Indian Airlines Hijack and Gujarat violence. He also brought about many economic reforms in the country. Vajpayee was admitted at Delhi's AIIMS since June 11 for a number of ailments. The 93-year-old stalwart's health has been unsteady since he suffered a stroke in 2009. After that, he developed dementia and could not recognise people.
May his soul rest in peace.
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