This is not my story but I felt this needed a platform and hence, I am presenting it. On 27th April, I had a conversation with my mother on Whatsapp. I have tried to keep her words unedited here, adding only what is necessary to increase clarity.
Maa: Feeling sad My fav handsome actor is no more. Saw him at Manali in1973 with 1st wife and eldest son . All of them were really beautiful just can’t forget talked with him at o ne feet distance
Me: Really u had met him wow… I was wondering who you liked better Vinod Khanna or Sashi Kapoor…
Maa: We had gone for excursion from University to kulu Manali. After field work we went to a apple juice shop there he was with his family. He is so tall handsome actually the whole familywas beautiful. Akshay(e) was on his ‘kol’ ( lap), we touched the baby took pictures but I don’t have. They had no ‘gham’*(Airs). Sashi is good looking but vinod is too handsome.
Me: Thats a nice story you should write it on FB.
There is nothing off great importance in this chat perhaps for the readers. But for me, it had importance, a few thoughts crossed my mind. We are not so different despite what we call the generation gap. My mom reminiscing about her college days is just like how I would look back on mine. I haven’t met many celebrities but may be I would sound as wistful when remembering the first time I went to Eden Garden to watch Rahul Dravid play a test match.
Life brings us two choices, one to be happy the other to be miserable. In her sadness my mom still found that memory that glowed in her mind like a beacon. That’s how it works. There are days when we are surrounded by loss or failure or sadness and on those days something bright in our mind lifts us up. I am reminded of a pop culture reference from the movie X Men – First–class where Charles helps Eric harness his true power and strength by finding the happiest memory in his mind and brightening it. Our strength comes from our happiness. And happiness is not money it’s experiences to be treasured.
My mom has not been a teacher for a while now but as I always say, she continues to teach me everyday in some little way how to live a fulfilled life. She is my greatest teacher. And that is why I thought it was important to share her remembering a man who was part of her life when she grew up. Idols like Vinod Khanna touch many lives in distinct ways. And only those who are touched understand the true loss. For the rest of us he may be a yeasteryear actor but to many he means a lot more than just a Cine Idol. In India Cinema and Sports are probably more influential than politics and hence, when a mighty giant falls in those spheres, people sit up , wonder , perhaps even quietly contemplate the meaning of life. I dedicate this post Mr. Vinod Khanna. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.