Ha, first love!
Whoever forgets that? The first person you have loved with the purest kind of love and sheerest sort of innocence. Stuff of your first batch of day dreams. Chances are, even your best friend may not have realized just how much that person meant to you. This post is about my first love.
Before I launch into that story, I have a reasoning to appeal to. Not always is the first love a kid from your school or neighborhood. Yes, I agree that it is how the majority of first love stories happen. But it could also very well be a character from the favorite book or movie. Mine is a very true heartfelt story and I would appreciate it much if you don’t scoff at the idea. If you could please put on hold that amused judgement ready to form, I will tell you all about my first love.
My first memory of him is from my Social Science text book…There was a picture of his in the page 83. I was intrigued with his bold attitude and young looks that didn’t quite belong in the dull textbook. The small passage about him didn’t tell me much. But other bits and pieces I put together from several other sources did. He was my hero. My first love. With whom a tiny part of me is still in love with…
Bhagath Singh! From where I stand, he was indeed the most courageous man ever. Brave to the point of gallantry. He gambled with his life for a cause. At mere 23, he was murdered by the British. He refused to apologize or appeal. He stood straight in the face of a noose with an iron rode of a backbone.
It is said that Bhagath volunteered to bomb the parliament when everyone knew that if got caught, they will be executed in a blink. Death was a sure bet. Did I mention that the Bombing- the- Parliament- with –no-intention-to kill act was just that? An act? Yes, it was. Wikipedia says that Bhagath was much into dramas and theaters as a medium to communicate messages and ideologies. Wikipedia quite elaborately states:
“Singh had been exploiting the power of drama as a means to inspire the revolt against the British… In 1929, he proposed a dramatic act to the HSRA intended to gain massive publicity for their aims. Influenced by Auguste Vaillant, a French anarchist who had bombed the Chamber of Deputies in Paris, Singh’s plan was to explode a bomb inside the Central Legislative Assembly… the actual intention was for the perpetrators to allow themselves to be arrested so that they could use court appearances as a stage to publicize their cause”.
He came up with the idea realizing that the Parliament Bombing will get headlines and is a definite crowd puller. Add to the equation that it was already a very volatile stage with him wanted desperately for the murder of a police man. The group warned him that he will be risking his neck but was finally persuaded because Bhagath was too popular with the masses to pass. The recklessly brave boys that they were, they didn’t even try to escape in the resultant smoke and confusion. Wikipedia continues, “Instead, they stayed shouting the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad!” (“Long Live the Revolution”) and threw leaflets. The two men were arrested and subsequently moved through a series of jails in Delhi”.
And they were all right. He got the message out, loud and clear and got himself killed in the way.
There was no shred of remorse or regret or fear till his last breath. On the contrary, he stood before the noose, proud and head held high.
He wrote in his last letter, “I have been arrested while waging a war. For me there can be no gallows. Put me into the mouth of cannon and blow me off.” The word ‘hero’ doesn’t quite cover his character!
By all means, he had brave honorable friends who stood by him. I do not intend to make out that he was a one man army that fought the British. I admire the fiber of all the freedom fighters and value the choices they had made to make the country free.
But I am blinded by what I initially thought of as the ‘school girl crush’. Guess I am still not over him. Figures! He is the epitome of the proud Indian male in all his glory. The kind of Man with a capital ‘M’ that makes us proud just with sharing our nationality. The kind of tough guy of whom epics are written. My ever-green hero, Bhagath!