This Kullu village considers itself orphaned as its master, caretaker, ideal and everything has left its occupants for a long time now. He is sick. And he cannot come here to meet his children who have been praying for his good health for five years.
Prini, a tiny hamlet near Manali where former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has a house, is missing him since his health troubled him and he was not capable of coming here. Though Vajpayee has no child, the entire village treats him as godfather. A small festival is organized in village every year on December 25 to mark his birthday. Vajpayee had an emotional bond with villagers and he gave everything he could donate to make Prini an ideal village. Earlier, he used to visit Prini in summers and spend most of his time chattering with the villagers. Now when many politicians and VIPs are visiting Kullu-Manali, villagers have a hope that their master would definitely come to meet his children.
|Vajpayee’s cottage in Prini near Manali|
“We pray for his health every day. We are sure that this year we would celebrate his 88th birthday with him, not with his portrait. We are missing him a lot,” head of the village Thakur Dass said. He said that Vajpayee had threaded entire village together and he used to share their sorrows and happiness. Thakur said, “He has given what we demanded. We are connected with him telephonically but could not see him for past five years. I bet there will no such family in the village who do not pray for his good health.” Whether it is a child, elder or young, everyone comes to the Naag temple of the village with a common wish to bring back Vajpayee to the village.
Situated on the highway, the secluded cottage of Vajpayee once used to buzz with VIPs throughout the year. Now a couple of janitors are guarding the Vajpayee’s deserted home. However, Vajpayee didn’t enjoyed his summer holidays in this dream house situated at one of the best locations of the Manali but still the place is centre of attraction for tourists. “Bhaiya, Vajpayee ka ghar kahan hai (where is Vajpayee’s house)” is a common sentence which can be heard thousands of times every day from visitors here.
According to the villagers, Vajpayee’s adopted daughter, Namita Bhattacharya who had visited Prini last year would be visiting the village this year too and they shall convince her to bring Vajpayee here for at least one time.