Jalsa, Mumbai Aug 15/16, 2013 Thu/Fri 2 : 03 AM
The devastation caused by the unprecedented flooding due to a cloud burst at Uttarakhand, the northern region of the state of Uttar Pradesh, the rush and speed of the water in the rivers at that high point, at Kedarnath one of the most devout destinations among the Hindus, a temple where millions travel through mountainous terrain to worship, was a disaster that caused hundreds to perish. Many have still not been dug out of the debris that the flooding left behind. Houses temples built along the sacred river have submerged into the river in its fury. Near and dear have been lost. Those that recovered and were saved due to the valiant and brave efforts of the Army jawans, have not been able to unite with their loved ones. The loss and the degree of the horror still haunts us all.
As a fraternity, we decided to hold a Telethon for 7 hours non stop to collect funds in whatever manner to bring succour and some semblance of relief to those that lost all. Tonight we all went on the television to do our bit for the victims of this disaster. Many of us performed live in front of a large audience and many spoke and helped in garnering funds so that some material benefit can be brought to those that have and still suffer.
And that is what we all did … many artists performed, many lent their voice and presence, many spoke to the countrymen to make generous contributions … and to give immense credit to the people of our country they came forward in plenty. I think by the time I came on, they had already collected close to 10 cr rupees … all of this shall go in helping those that have no homes, clothes, lost relatives and exist today in dire circumstances …
Shankar Ehsan and Loy the music trio had composed a song for the moment, with the lyrics of Prasoon Joshi, a poet and writer of eminence, his most recent work being his screenplay and lyrics for the film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, and I had recited it to their rhythm, which was shot and played for the audiences. Along with that I had brought along a few of my clothes - a Harley Davidson jacket, and a few silk shirts to be auctioned, and the funds be given to this most noble charity. I do hope it fetches a substantial amount, so that a sizeable amount can be given to the Uttarakhand enterprise ..
The setting at the newly constructed NSCI Stadium, where ShahRukh and myself speak for the cause and my poetry plays on the screen to the music of the SEL music ..
Mika … that singer with the unusual voice and one that has been churning out great hits in the recent films, performed as well and came back stage for a victory sign ..
Raveena Tandon .. that little girl who came up to my knees not so long ago, when her Father Ravi Tandon was directing me in ‘Majboor’ was a part of the telethon … lovely to meet her after working with her in BHTB ..
Shahrukh and me being led to a frenzied press meet after the show, sharing a laugh at a common joke ..
with Shahrukh on stage urging countrymen to donate generously ..
….. and making a point or two about help, environment, the importance of freedom, on this day the 15th of August our Independence day .. all in all a most satisfying evening .. one, most essential and worthy ..
Thank you India, for your gesture … let us wipe the tears of those that shed them in distress and pain of loss …