The Last Journey - Melville de Mellow
" ... on which lay the body of Mahatma Gandhi, exposed to public gaze. Around the body like figures in marble stood Pandit Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Devadas Gandhi, Sardar Baldev Singh, Acharya Kripalani and Dr. Rajendraprasad. Millions lined the route-millions sang his favourite hymns-millions shouted his name-and all wept-nowhere did I see a dry eye....
... was a beggar-a decrepit old man, with swollen tearful eyes, blue lips, bristling rags and unclean sores. One who had looked too long, poor soul, over the hopeless landscape of an empty life of poverty. I saw him weep unashamedly, and the well-dressed woman wept too. And I thought, how wonderful, tragedy has brought these two people closer than they have ever been before! Gandhiji was all India that has toiled and suffered. His simplicity drew a world of hearts.
... The sun went down as the first flames leapt skywards from the sandalwood pile. A great moan went up from the crowds as they surged forward. 'It was as if a storm had broken over Raj Ghat. This was a storm of the spirit. On they came-these tragic men and women-ironing out barricades, ropes, wire, guards and police. They milled around the sandalwood pile as the flames leapt higher and higher and the smell of sandalwood filled the twilight.
The Last Journey
- Melville de Mellow
The feelings, of Indians found expression in shouts of "Long live Gandhiji", in streams of floral tributes, or in tears. And so at last the journey ended at Prayer, King .of the holy places-when they came to a River.