Many people wished that he lived on, but he got just 95 years on his ticket… Nelson Mandela, bids farewell today in a free South Africa. Am not sure if he could close the divide much, but the Apartheid regime is gone and hey, others can carry on his work. A special memory for Krishnan and I is this picture at the Cradle of Mankind museum.
Krishnan’s hand fit Madiba’s handprint perfectly. In a way, this was the closest we could come to shaking hands with the great man.
When you are wronged even slightly, like a slap that was meant for a different cheek lands on yours, your reaction is to slap right back, preferably harder. And here is someone who spent TWENTY SEVEN years behind bars for no wrong except asking to be treated like a human being, and comes out and spreads compassion like the Sunlight that was denied to him – Madiba’s spirit was certainly different, his DNA not of this world. His birth was in the middle of the Russian Revolution and the First World War in 1918 … As he was sent to prison in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic “I have a dream” speech, JFK is assassinated in November…. And then in the next 27 years the world changed, Man landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong spoke about a giant step for mankind, while a giant amongst men, Madiba was shut away hoping he would forget and let go of the fight to be treated as a human being. This man comes out of prison in Feb 1990 and talks of compassion and transfer of power with no bloodshed and actually manages to do that !! What a hero.
On his 94th birthday I had written a blog on Heroes. This year his birthday came and went without much fanfare, maybe because his farewell was around the corner.
2013 had many things important events, but Madiba’s leaving will remain the most important. You are finally truly free Madiba, and as you meet God, am sure, he and many heroes will give you a standing ovation ! Thanks for leaving us an idol without feet of clay ….