Jalsa, Mumbai Apr 4/5, 2011 Mon/Tue 1 : 17 AM
Hearty Gudi Padwa greetings to all those that celebrate it in our State of Maharashtra. Wishes and prosperity for the festival of Ugadi to those that reside in Andhra and Karnataka. Happy Navreh Poshte to those from Kashmir and happy Navratra and new year according to the Hindu calendar for the year 2068 !!!
In this diverse and unique country, in this largest democracy of the world, in this land with almost 22 prominent languages and around 10 practicing and vibrant religions, we welcome the celebration of festival with equal fervor and dignity of all. May all your troubles be behind you, may there be the joy and enthusiasm of the fresh harvest, may the advent of the summer be of value - the poila baisakh - and may peace togetherness and love prevail ever !!
Some divine justice seems to have been working in the timing of all these events and religious sentiments. I am certain that in other parts of the world too there must be certain rituals for this time of the year. This homogenous attribute is the legacy of the human race, a race that was created to be one and to be together. But look how caste, creed, color, religion has distanced us from each other. Created boundaries that have remained insurmountable and divisions that have been the cause of painful separation. And look how desperately we seek each other to remain together and one, and on discovering our own attributes find that in the truest sense the distance was never too large to traverse, or the boundary too large to cross.
I marvel at the compassion that we bear towards each other here on this platform. I marvel at the concern, affection and care that we extend to those that have for the most part remained unknown elements. I marvel how individuals unknown become known. This is true comradeship and no, not in the communistic manner, but in its desire for holding and bearing for the other. This is remarkable and may it ever remain so !!!
The topic of discussion and comment has not diverted itself from the victory of the final game on the World Cup cricket. And though the streets are no longer jammed with enthusiastic revelry, the minds are. Many among the players that brought us glory express similar sentiment. It still has not sunk in. And really they have very little time on their hands for it to do so, for, in another couple of days all those that participated for their country, shall now be pushing their energies and allegiance to their respective teams in the IPL, about to start on the 8th of this month !! Those against the other shall now be playing for each other in the same team ! And shall be fighting with equal vigor and commitment for their side, as they did for the WC ! This is such a bizarre situation. How soon sentiments shall shift from national to personal teams representing different regions of the country. Rivals for the past month, team mates for the next !!
And the fans and the followers and the supporters. What of them ? How quickly they shall have to change their minds and thoughts too - rooting for those they wanted to win, now against them. Cricket is a funny business !!
I messaged Sachin and Harbhajan on their marvelous victory and true to their spirit they responded, as always. Abhishek and Aishwarya have been invited tonight to a celebration by Sachin. The joyous mood retains its vigor. God bless them, their effort and the effort of the entire team. And God bless India. 11 Indians have invigorated an entire nation of almost a billion and half, and perhaps in other parts of the world too with their dedication.
A prominent author and thinker on a public platform admitted that sport and film were the two most fertile ingredients in bringing a nation together. Nothing could be truer. They always were and shall always be, a unifier !