NEW DELHI: By 3pm, 6A Krishna Menon Marg, the where Atal Bihari Vajpayee for over a decade, was again. The former Prime Minister and one of India’s tallest leaders had its compound for the accompanied by thousands of his and well wishers—many unable to keep a dry eye.
An hour before the mortal remains were consigned to the flames, the morning melee had ended, the makeshift stage had been dismantled, the video cameras had left and the flurry of visitors had thinned out since Vajpayee’s body was shifted to the BJP headquarters.
The action, the security personnel stationed outside the now forlorn looking Lutyen’s bungalow said, had moved elsewhere. “Go to the ghat. That’s where everyone is. Even the media,” an officer said.
Till about 9am on Friday morning, the rows of vistors had seemed endless. Bureaucrats, politicans, those who had worked with Vajpayee during his days as Prime Minister, and visitors from across states, had dropped by to pay their last respects to the towering leader.
But now 24 hours, the spotlight had shifted to Smriti Sthal. What remained at the house were posters that had come up overnight with Vajpyee’s smiling face, accompanied by couplets he had penned, which would live on and inspire generations.
His memories, the neighbourhood, would sustain. With two framed photographs of Vajpayee hanging inside his tiny shop, Ranjay Kumar Yadav, a tailor in the Krishna Menon Lane Market, said, “The crowds may have gone, but people will remember Atal ji well. We also had the opportunity to go into Atalji’s bungalow once in a while, when they needed some jobs done. He was immensely gracious and once he knew you, he would remember. Even people like us.”
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