J ust 76 hours since I landed in the USA, already through two cities of Houston, Texas and Brunswick, New Jersey. Here I am in Memphis, once a jewel upon the Mississippi and then an important railhead that thrived upon trade in timber, cattle and humans too. There is much to this city of both glory and gore. It is the grace land of Elvis the Pelvis with his inimitable style and above all a tremendous verve that swept this country and the world too. Even today there are Elvis lookalikes making a living trying to gyrate like him. Well we cannot forget our own Shammi of the Kapoor clan. Well before the Beatles, Elvis set fire to the American youth by his sheer intensity and outdid the Gangnams and Harlem shakers before their times. Was definitely the biggest mouth of the South.

This city is also infamous for the dastardly act of putting an end to the life of a great being, a man of great spirit, courage and vision, the apostle of civil liberties in the USA, Martin Luther King. King’s life was cut short with a single bullet which tore through his cheek and throat and on to the shoulder. An assassin’s bullet could only end his life but the spirited fire that he set forth raged on to bring equal rights to all and liberated this great nation from the shame of segregation and many other discriminatory laws. This nation could never have held its head high in the comity of nations without the contribution of Martin Luther King. Here I am in Memphis still wondering why they shot him down.

A Mahatma, a Martin, a Lincoln, all met their bullet. Is this a statement we are making that we don’t need great people in this world or is it a way of saying that we don’t deserve you. But of course their lives have not gone waste. On that fateful day in 1968 when he was felled, did anyone even dare to imagine a dark skinned man as the president of the United States. This, the power of his life.

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Everyone has dreams but how many are willing to stake their life to fulfill that dream. The courage and commitment to give your life to create what really matters. To give away the comforts of this day to manifest the tomorrow that is yet to be.  The clarity of vision as to what is of vital importance for the times we live in and for posterity, this sets apart great men from just men.