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Living in dangerous times

…You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
…You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
~ Maya Angelou.

Sleep never comes naturally to me. But, how can you sleep if a dark night morphs into a ghastly ghost?

I didn’t know you until you were gone. I mourned the fact more than I mourned your death. But, I must know some introductions are ought to come through death.

The truth, however is, that my heart shuddered and sobbed seeing your inspiring soul, ingenuous face, sparkling eyes and contagious smile going far off the reach – forever.

Since then, the myriad of words expressing grief on your doleful departure began to hail. As the hunger of knowing you more grew, I devoured as many alphabets as I could get hold of.

It is said: ‘You don’t matter until you are dead’. But, for many you did matter, even when you were alive. Rather more.

The evidence to that came in the exaltation through the sublime tributes your friends and acquaintances have penned down in your remembrance.

They profusely revere you as a light house to vagabonds. A radiant path to hopeless. A mentor to dreamers. An aide to strugglers. A voice to voiceless. A tender heart. A caring patriot. They cite your small island a home to artists, actors, comedians, writers, poets, musicians, thinkers and dissidents. For they are the life-line of any society.

I don’t know who killed you? Or why they killed you? Or what were your ideals? Or if they were agreeable? But, I know certainly that no grain of the ideology you preached warrants the bullets those cowards have pierced through you.

How can one deserve to die this way? How can one be deprived of his future? How can one’s dreams be murdered? How can a life be so worthless? How can such brutality not dispense justice?

The repository of words has gone empty to deplore a marvel like you adding up to the list of those who are taken away for just doing good; for restoring the balance of a demonic world.

Dangerous are the times when a society begins to murder its dreamers, silence its idealists, quieten its visionaries and strangle its dissidents. Because, that is when a society invites its intellectual decadence, nay, burial.

I must be a complete stranger to you as you were once for me and sadly, there are hardly things I could identify with you unlike your comrades. But, I want to resonate out loud to you that each time I see your pretty face, I feel to relate to somebody who has, before leaving, cemented my belief further that there is no point of thinking the way others think. It is of no worth to live a life others live. World belongs to misfits, mystics, dreamers, rebels and idealists. As they defy the conventionalism, beat the orthodoxy and question the traditionalism by travelling the less travelled paths fearlessly. They are the people who lord over the world and leave the legacy behind.

I believe, a person is not dead until he is forgotten. I know, somebody will walk into your kolhapuri and mend all those dreams that – for a while – were crushed into countless glass pieces.

Dear Sabeen Mahmud, you will live on in guise of your dreams.

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