Shivsena patriarch Bal Thackeray’s funeral was historic what with massive crowds thronging on streets to pay their last tribute to their esteemed leader, Bollywood luminaries to business moguls to various politicians also turned up at Shivaji Park, where he was cremated. Such was the regard for the Shivsena torchbearer, Balasaheb, that with the news of his demise out, the nation’s financial capital, Mumbai was shut down and observed silence in the grief and affection of their favourite leader.
|view AMITABH, SANJAY DUTT AT BALASAHEB THACKERAY’S FUNERAL |
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who was also present at the cremation of Balasahib, tweeted, ”Mumbai was never, ever, in my 45 years here, been as quiet, disciplined and peaceful, as today !! BalaSaheb put to the elements… 2 million on the streets walk along his cortege, in respect and in grief .. never before such !! Salutations to the Shiv Sainiks, for maintaining a deserved protocol of dignity to the departed leader .. and salutations to the Mumbai Police for an incredible ‘bandobast’ … not a corner unguarded .. polite and helpful service ! And during rituals at the pyre, the holy chants and the prayers, in the midst of 2 million mourners, pin drop silence! Amazing !”
He further tweeted, ”The silence from the 2 million gathered at Shivaji Park during the last rites, demonstrated two things – the respect for Bala Saheb Thackeray and secondly the deep ingrained culture of the Maharashtrian … ‘sanskaar’ !!!”
Big B, who shared a great camaraderie with Shivsena supremo, Bal Thackeray, got emotional after visiting the funeral and tweeted, ”Yes Bala Saheb, I would like to believe, was close to me, and never had I imagined that I would live to see his motionless body!!”
”As I drive back from the funeral, two poster images stir an emotional chord. One: the word ‘Swargiya’ before Bala Saheb’s name ..And Two: A poster of a rudraksha mala around a chest, the thread broken and a rudraksha seed falling away. Caption : ‘mala tutli’. Bala Saheb wore a rudraksha mala around his neck and hands … today the thread that bound all the seeds, broken ..,” he added.
The demise of Bal Thackeray has not only trembled his followers and aam junta but also shook Big B to the core. Big B was quite by Balasaheb’s side in his last days.
CHECK OUT: Bollywood bids adieu to Balasaheb Thackeray
”Each day he continued his struggle with a grit that was baffling even for the doctors on hand…I sat by his bedside for hours these past few days, a prayer in my heart, watching him struggling to breathe, but fighting… And just a couple of hours back, as I stand next to his still, peaceful, saffron draped body, it is difficult to imagine … that he has left us!”
Big B also remembers how Balasaheb stood by him in his tough times.
He tweets, ”When the Bofors Scandal accusations on us were at its peak, he called me home and asked ‘tell me the truth, are you involved ?…When I said ‘NO !’, he said ‘Then do not worry about anything. I am with you. You are an actor, go do what you are best at.”
”When I was flown in to Mumbai from Bangalore in semi-conscious state after ‘Coolie’ accident, it was his ambulance that took me to BC: Breach Candy Hospital.”
Bal Thackeray treated Big B like a family. ”When Jaya and I married, he called us to his house .. and the rituals that were conducted was of the ‘bahu’ coming home ! From that day on he always treated us as family..,” he tweets.
Indeed Balasaheb’s departure has created a vacuum in the lives of people!