We call it 'independence day'. We became free from the clutches of an exploitative empire. 72 years of freedom. Our country has come a long way from the way the 'rulers' left it. On that independence day and the day after that, two great personalities got their personal freedom from their personal prisons of pain and suffering. Two gems who contributed in their own different ways to our country. Ajit Wadekar. The first Indian captain of our cricket team that I became aware of. I was in Std. IV. I remember a photo of the captain alighting from a flight followed by his team members. They were returning victorious from a test match in England. The 8 year old in me was really impressed. I'd wait to get out of my school bus in the evening and would try to be the first to get out of that bus. In my juvenile mind, the bus was an aircraft and I was the captain alighting victorious onto Indian soil. Cricketers have come, gone and some continue in the game, but this was my first introduction to the world of cricket. It is a different matter that I am no great aficionado of the game or any sport whatsoever, but I certainly felt a twinge of loss when I heard of the passing on of this great cricketer. Atal Behari Vajpayee: I am at a loss to name another politician who was equally loved by all, whose tenure in the political arena was as clean and non-controversial. Vajpayeeji, as he was known to one and all, was a gentle giant, a stalwart, an erudite man, a politician with class and polish (almost an oxymoron in today's world) and something of an anachronism in today's world of politics ..... words are inadequate to describe this personality. The feeling of loss is tremendous. God has stopped making politicians like him - at least not in India. May his soul rest in eternal peace.