It was one more Sunday and I was on my way to the place where it had worked hard to get the plaque in honour of Abbas Sahab placed , with of course the help of the messiah among men , Sunil Dutt – Ali Peter John
But I had to have a tussle with a florist who saw money as more beautiful and more fragrant than the flowers and bouquets hanging around like the women at and around the red light areas waiting to be bought and sold by hungry and lusty men .
I had to buy the cheapest kind of flowers and I somehow felt very happy inside me because I knew of all the flowers I had taken to the plaque of Abbas Sahab , he would certainly have liked these marigold flowers the best .
And when my auto driver , “chachaji ” as I call him and me struggled to adjust the garland around the plaque , I could see Abbas Sahab smiling and saying , ” aakhir apne aapki auqaat pehchaan hi li tumne .
Kya zaroorat thi woh keemti phool laane ki jab tumhe pata tha mujhe aisi cheeze pasand nahi aur pasand nahi hogi jab tak mere desh ki haalat theek nahi hogi ” . My autowaala asked me why I was smiling when there was nothing or nobody to smile , and I wished how I could tell him why I was smiling .
Abbas Sahab left this world more than thirty five years ago, but he lives with me every day and we talk to each other and I give him all the information about the state of affairs in the country like I used to when he was around and even used my information in writing some of his books , novels and films .
I had finished honouring him with my garland and was about to get into chachaji’s auto which he maintains better than his wife in Jaunpur , when I realised ( how could I forget ? ) that it was exactly fifty two years since Abbas Sahab’s ” Saat Hindustani” was released all over Hindustan .
It was a film about how seven young Indians from different parts of India fought for the liberation of Goa and a young man called Amitabh Bachchan was a last minute replacement for Tinnu Anand and played the “seventh Indian” and then went on to become the most popular and powerful Indian in Hindustan , which he still is at 78 .
All the characters and technicians associated with Saat Hindustani have gone away into some other “land ” about which no one knows anything .
The only ones who are old but still very much alive are my friends Tinnu Anand , his wife Shehnaz and Anwar Ali who was my neighbour till I broke my leg and the last time I saw him he was on a stretcher and moving around in a wheelchair .
That is what Abbas Sahab used to say about life , you may have all the money , you may have all the talent , you may have all the power and all the strength , you may believe you own the world , you may believe that all the beautiful women are madly in love with you , but you can never have good health and age on your side all the time , you may feel you are eternal , but you are blissfully ignorant of the only truth that you are only a bubble which can burst within the split of a second .
Insaan bewkoof paida huva tha aur apni bewkoofi ko woh tab tak nahi maanta jab tak uski maanne ki shakti usse cheenni nahi jaati “.
The profound words of Abbas Sahab spoken to me when I was a young bewkoof insaan continued to play in my mind till I reached the venue of my event where some young men and women have a feeling that I am a wise man or a learned man , but how do I tell them that according to my guru , Abbas Sahab who used to call himself ” Abba Ass ( father of donkeys ) I am a “bewkoof insaan” who is running out of time to redeem his reputation , but is sure to fail like his guru failed even though he was his guru and the guru of thousands of others who have gone away as bewkoof insaans and many who are still struggling to prove that they are wise men in a world where more and more fools who can even fool an invisible God are ruling .
That afternoon , I fell asleep at a time when I have never slept and woke up when I didn’t know whether it was morning , night or day , till Ram Bahadur , my young caretaker who has never been to school scoffed at me and told me it was only seven in the evening and I came to my senses ( do I have my senses in their right places ? ) when Ram Bahadur placed before me my favourite cup of black tea without sugar and the bewakoof insaan in me could see dirty politicians screaming out to me to save them from the hot tea ( the horrible mess ) they had got themselves into .
This is the real time when Abbas Sahab should have been here and screamed out against all that is going to hell with the kind of politicians we have .
He could scare politicians like Jawaharlal Nehru Sardar Patel and down to S A Dange and Bal Thackeray , then what are these two penny politicians , he could have made vada pav out of them all with his fountain pen dipped in Quink ink and typed by his efficient secretary Abdul Rehman on his Remington typewriter….
I don’t care whether there is a rebirth or not , but for the sake of great , sorry very great men like K A Abbas , God should think about his own future and revise his rule about rebirth or karma and bless men and women like K A Abbas with what is like a distant dream now , rebirth .