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65. The Moth in A Scattered Musical Concert
Mahavir Tyagi’s two booklets were translated into Gujarat and were just published. ‘Those Days of the Freedom Struggle’ – 4th edition, and ‘The Sound of Trumpet Against Kettledrum’ – 3rd edition, were those books. These books were originally published in Hindi in 1993. Both these books contain reminiscences of the writer. One of them has 132 pages and the other has 152 pages. I took hold of the little book first and started reading its fourteen chapters from the rear. Many a times the book made me touchy and at others it made me split my sides with laughter. Here I present an excerpt from the book ‘Those Days Of Freedom Struggle’, for the benefit of those readers who don’t know Mahavir Tyagi. “We are the carefree youngsters who danced spellbound to some celestial tune. For thirty years we have been ceaselessly performing in that great ballet, matching its beats with those of our hearts. We defied everything in the world and enjoyed that music wholeheartedly. But neither that carefree attitude nor the tune exists now. Our gathering has messed up just like a gathering of moths is dispersed after the candles in the chandelier have burnt out. The Congress without Bapu is just like the notes without a tune. I don’t even remember what we did during the last forty years. We used to do everything with the carefree attitude of an intoxicated person. We faced a lot of obstacles but we enjoyed the work assigned to us.
Since Independence, most of our Congressmen have become jobless and homeless too. Because, the Master who trained us is no more now. We had sharpened our senses to listen to his claps and would jump and run when he whistled. We lost our hearts to his smile. Now, there is no leash around our necks. We go here and there wagging our tails. No one is there to clap or whistle now. I had something or the other to do when Britishers were here. If we had nothing at all to do, we would organise a rally in the morning. If we saw a few people gathering together, we would tell them the news from the papers. They would call us and ask, “What is Mahatmaji doing these days? He must be acquainted with you.” I would enthusiastically tell them stories about Bapu. But those are the old tales now. When Britishers quit this country, their cooks and many others lost their jobs. Now, Congressmen also don’t have any job! I called on each and every leader to get something to do with their help. They had power, money, permits, licenses, scholarships and lot more but no work!