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A master blaster, he fired words

He was a master of the game. The great art of silencing critics with sheer brute force. It was something he had been doing since childhood.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 01:34 IST

He was a master of the game. The great art of silencing critics with sheer brute force. It was something he had been doing since childhood.

Be it debates, verbal duels or the likes of it, Mahajan refused to say die. In his adolescence, he brought home trophies from every single debate he took part.

As a budding leader in the famous 1972 Marathwada student uprising or during intense discussions with cell-mates during Emergency, he never failed to impress with his shrewd logic and way with words. Astute, savvy and forceful — that is the enduring image of the young Mahajan in the minds of hundreds of childhood friends, college mates and political peers in Marathwada. Someone, who was confident right from the day one that he would make it to the top. Focus was his armour and he had his goals firmly etched.

“Early in his youth, Pramod was clear about what he wanted in life,” says Anil Bhalerao, Mahajan's classmate at the Government Engineering College, Aurangabad, in 1967. That was the time, when prizes from debates held across Maharashtra went to the college, thanks to young Mahajan. But his brush with technology was short-lived. By the end of the first year, Mahajan dropped out to study liberal arts in his hometown, Ambejogai, at Yogeshwari Mahavidyalaya.

His winning run continued. Not just as an orator, but as an actor playing the lead in Marathi plays. It was during one such play that he met wife Rekha. Love blossomed. In 1988-89, when Mahajan received an invitation to speak at a public meeting at Belgaon, the Karnataka town dominated by Marathi-speaking people, Mahajan, much to the dismay of organisers, agreed on condition that he would wax in Hindi and not in Marathi. “He took care not to get entangled in politics,” recalls Bhalerao.

But fate willed it otherwise for the son of the high-school teacher. But for all his bluster, he was young at heart and easy-going. A die-hard cricket and film buff, Mahajan was known for his knack of spotting a good film.