October 8th, 2015
Image Courtesy: Pluzcinema
How can we connect any individual’s brilliant skills and achievements to patriotism? Legends like Sachin Tendulkar or Amitabh Bachchan have undoubtedly garnered respect for the country, but they did not begin playing cricket or acting after being imbued with patriotism. Their achievements are resultant of their hard work and passion which they had towards their respective fields. With full dedication they reached the Mount Everest of success. I would like to repeat, that undoubtedly with their achievements the country got respect. But it would be wrong to bestow on them a medal of “patriotism” with regard to their achievements. Had they been able to continuously contribute with their distinguished abilities towards the service of the county in social life, only then would they have set an example of patriotism. The fragrance of good deeds, spreads slowly but eventually.
An ordinary face of an extraordinary man is Nana Patekar, whose name brings to us memories of his dialogue from the film Krantiveer, “ये हिन्दू का खून ये मुसलमान का खून….,” (this is the blood of Hindu and this is the blood of Muslims). Just kidding.. In the field of acting, he is no less than a megastar.
However, when he made headlines recently, it was for a very noble and unbelievable work. He, all by himself, helped 5,000 farmer households with financial aid—in the village where the head of the farmers, committed suicide after being disturbed due to draught conditions in the village. Some of you might have watched in the news the instance when Nana was distributing the cheques and a few youngsters started clicking his photographs. On this, Nana chased them and asked them in anger— “Is this any function going on here?” At one place a funeral procession was being taken out and at another they were taking pictures! I smiled instantly looking at his expression that connected me to his film Tiranga, but in the next five minutes whatever happened on the stage, left my eyes moist.
A very young, delicate widow could not hold the cheque in her shaking hands as she was not able to carry herself. Acting as a fatherly figure to her, Nana who being strong until now became sentimental. His heart was moved on hearing another farmer’s story—he had to walk to his village on foot, and did not have enough money to buy a bus ticket. From his savings, Nana distributed cheques of Rs. 15,000/- each to 5,000 farmer households. In the community hall he went to those 5,000 seats. He bowed to them and with his folded hands and moist eyes handed the cheques to widows, children, men….and his “ekla chalo re,” journey continues without any show-off.
Just now, I watched him on a news channel where he sits on the floor in his house and appeals, “No farmer should commit suicide; till my last breath I am there with farmers!” Leaving behind the world of glamour he reached to the helpless farmers in the farms of Sundar Bazaar, like a ray of hope to them, like the last straw they could hold on to while drowning in water. My salute to this megastar who is a saint in his heart. My message to you is to spread the story of his wilfulness to greater miles. —Madhu