YSR: The man and his disarming smile

Think YSR, that disarmingly infectious smile, pure as ray serene, comes to mind. Think YSR, a quintessential Teluguness in spotless white dhoti comes to mind. Think YSR, a friendly visage, where eyes talk and smile greets everyone with a rare candour and unadulterated love. YSR is a memory that never fades. Everyone who saw or met him has a story to recount, an anecdote to tell.

Today is his birth anniversary. He would have been 69 years today.

YSR’s friendly smile was an assurance for the needy, a source of the solace for the distressed, a spring fountain of confidence for everyone. He smiled away problem. However big the challenge might be, he overcame that with a winsome smile. While for the poor and the needy, his smile was a guarantee of reassurance, it was sliver-like sarcasm for the rivals.

YSR used to tackle the rival attacks with a smile and a banter. This cool and collected attitude and his characteristic non-challance made Opposition leader Chandrababu seethe with impotent rage. His encounters with political rivals, both inside and outside the Assembly were memorable and his friends and associates recall them even now.

Life for YSR was not a bed of roses, but a path mined by thorns. For years, he was an Opposition leader and during this period, he understood the travails of the common man. It was this yearning to reach out to the poor and the distressed that made him take up the arduous Praja Prasthanam. Inclement weather and unkind ruling dispensation did not deter him from his path. Despite ill-health, he continued with the yatra.

Another unique feature of YSR was that his humility, friendship and affection personified even when an arch rival approached him for help. He could be fire and brimstone on the political front, but on a personal front, he was an embodiment of friendship. It was this demeanor that made leaders, writers, critics and even mediapersons quintessential YSR admirers.

Our salutations to this great soul!
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