Obama bids farewell to the Oval office this week. And even though a lot of us are spending our energy worrying about the Orange in the Oval, I have decided to channelize this energy into anticipation. Anticipation of Obama’s next book, his memoirs from the White House. I promise to read whatever he writes. That is my gift to the man who let me flourish in his reign.
Many of us started our careers, started our families, got married to people we wanted to, and achieved the pinnacles of our career, in his reign. We owe him more than just a few tears that I assume every one shed when he paid a tribute to his wife and Joe Biden in his farewell speech in Chicago. We owe him his space, to put his mind and intellect to work, to solve for problem larger than the United States of America.
I was in Denver when when he visited to campaign for his first term, in April 2008. I attended his rally at the University of Colorado, Denver, in a basketball court. There weren’t many people. May be a few hundred. The man won my respect when he rolled up his sleeves (literally) and took the microphone, while still dribbling the basketball.He wasn’t a phony. He had something important to say. And he surely did. I clicked pictures relentlessly with my first iPhone. And I probably still have those pictures in my old Macbook that has now retired. I have changed four iPhones since then. This probably gives you a measure of how much has changed in the past eight years. But my respect and admiration for President Obama, is still the same.
After that rally, I bough the book, Dreams from my father. I like to read book at a stretch. But not this one. I could only digest a few pages at a time. But through this book I understood his roots and learnt about his rather colorful childhood and youth. He is to me what Gandhi was to my father’s generation.
My words cannot do justice to him. May be someday I will master the language, and learn to weave a few sentences like him, in his appreciation. But not today. I am fortunate to have lived in this country under his governance, and I will be forever indebted to him for helping me build my father’s dreams on this soil.
Thank You President Obama. I know that you know that there is more to be achieved outside of the White House, and I am still pinning my hopes on you.
Yes we did. Yes we can. Yes we will.